Postgraduate Supervision Online Before and During the Pandemic

Categories: Other, Professional Development and Continuing Education, Supervising and Teaching Research Skills and Roles, Time Sensitive Announcements, Timely Posts, Webinars

MethodSpace contributor Nicola Pallit will be a presenter for this important webinar from e/merge Africa. You might remember her discussions about research supervision in our fall 2019 webinar, see Nurturing the Researchers of Tomorrow: Slides & Recording. She also responded to questions in this follow-up post: Nurturing Researchers.

Date and Time: Wednesday, 24 March 2021
2:00 – 3.00 pm SAST
Your time zone here.
For more information and sign-up  here

Description of the Webinar: 

While online supervision is an emerging practice in African universities, there was already a need for more flexible forms of postgraduate supervision prior to the pandemic. Developing online supervision skills has become increasingly important for academics supervising postgraduate students. 

This webinar aims at discussing some of the challenges and approaches to supervision of students’ theses and dissertations during and beyond the Covid19 pandemic. We will focus on our diverse experiences of supervising postgraduate students in three African universities as well as drawing on data from both supervisor and student experiences of supervision during the pandemic.

In conclusion, the facilitators will highlight what has worked for them and propose recommendations for improved postgraduate supervision online. 

Karen undertook research for the DIES/CREST online course for doctoral supervisors and will share what doctoral supervisors experienced during the Covid19 pandemic, in particular between March and September 2020. Personally, she supervised one MA and one PhD student in the same period. 

Nompilo is currently supervising both Masters and PhD students, and is also involved in research on doctoral education. Her presentation will focus on the results of a survey administered to postgraduate students at three South African universities during the 2020 lockdown period. The data presents both the disruptive and enabling environment presented by the pandemic and the role of technology in mediating the supervisory relationship. 

Nicola has been supervising postgraduate students online before the pandemic. At the moment she is supervising a Masters student and co-teaching an online doctoral programme as part of a supervision team. The supervision team meets regularly to discuss feedback from students and incorporate insights into their programme. Nicola will share her experiences of different approaches to supervision (one-on-one vs. group) and what is involved when more flexible forms of postgraduate supervision are taken online. 

Facilitated by: 

Dr. Nompilo Tshuma: Researcher and Lecturer in Educational Technology at the Centre for Higher and Adult Education at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She has been working with educational technology since 2005 as both a lecturer and an academic developer. In her current role she is the institutional coordinator for a regional PG Diploma in Higher Education. She also teaches modules in the Centre’s two MPhil programmes and supervises Masters and PhD students. As a critical educational technology researcher, she uses social and critical theories to explore the context and politics of higher education, and their impact on educational technology practices.

Prof. Karen Meyers-Ferreira: is the Coordinator Modern Languages/Linguistics of the Institute of Distance Education at the University of Eswatini.  She obtained various qualifications: MA Romance Philology (French-Spanish), Honours Portuguese, Post-Graduate Diploma Translation (French-English-French), MA Linguistics, LLM Degree (Legal aspects of new technologies), PhD in French (feminine Francophone autofiction). She has published a monograph on Francophone autofiction, several articles (autofictional feminine writing, crime fiction, 20th and 21st Francophone, Anglophone and Lusophone African authors, distance and e-learning), participates regularly in international conferences and is a keen translator and interpreter.

Dr. Nicola Palitt: Coordinates the efforts of the Educational Technology Unit in the Centre for Higher Education Research,Teaching and Learning (CHERTL) at Rhodes University and offers professional development opportunities for academics to use technologies effectively in their roles as educators and researchers. Nicola supervises postgraduate students and co-teaches on formal courses in Higher Education. She enjoys meeting EdTech practitioners and researchers from across the globe. 

For more information and sign-up here.

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