Supervising Thesis Students: How Does LLInC Help?

Author: Yentl Croese, Heleen Verkiel, and Érica Sousa Miguel

“Attending the UTQ module ‘Supervising Thesis Students’ enabled me…to apply supervising skills, use my time in an efficient way and give constructive feedback… I learned when to use different kind of supervisor roles and I became aware of the importance of guiding the student throughout the process… I would like to keep myself updated on this matter. A refresher would be nice” – UTQ module participant

Supervising students, whether for a thesis or in another project setting, requires lots of skills and timeinvestment. For this reason, it’s important to be aware of the type of supervisor you are or want to be, as well as ways to help the student grow.

To learn (more) about the skill of supervising, teachers can enrol themselves to participate in one of the five so called UTQ (University Teacher Qualification) modules provided by LLInC.

Since, at LLInC, we continuously try to innovate and improve our products, when a faculty approached us to develop an accessible module which would enable teachers to refresh their supervising skills, we jumped at the opportunity.

This blog is about supervising students and our newly-created e-learning module, helping you to become the best supervisor you can be!

Looking back
– What is the module ‘Supervising Thesis Students’ about?

Supervising Thesis Students is a UTQ module consisting of two meetings. During the first meeting, the role of a supervisor is discussed. We look at some of the challenges, how to set boundaries, and how to give constructive feedback. 

During the second meeting, we practice scenarios in which different conversational techniques can be used to discover the causes of student and supervisor miscommunications. We also discuss one or more personal experiences of supervising, analysing what possible next steps could be.

– How can we continuously help teachers in their supervising roles? 

Although supervisors receive lots of information and insights within these two meetings, they cannot be expected to remember every tip and trick for the rest of their careers. Since not everyone is constantly supervising students, teachers need to be offered the opportunity to update their supervising skills. This is where we once again come into play!

Moving forward
– Time to create an e-learning module! 

We knew that having teachers redo the UTQ module was not a viable option. Consequently, we decided it was time to create an e-learning module which could be made accessible to all teachers across Leiden University, helping them refresh their knowledge about supervising students.

Luckily, our intern Érica was there to help us! Based on the information we provided her, she was able to distil the most important parts of the module ‘Supervising Thesis Students’, adapting these into an interactive and inspiring e-learning module able to be followed at any time.  

But don’t take our word for it – have a look yourself at the English or Dutch version!

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