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ERIC Number: ED562137
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Oct
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 17
Postgraduate Students' Level of Dependence on Supervisors in Coping with Academic Matters and Using Digital Tools
Sidhu, Gurnam Kaur; Kaur, Sarjit; Choo, Lim Peck; Fook, Chan Yuen
International Association for Development of the Information Society, Paper presented at the International Association for Development of the Information Society (IADIS) International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in the Digital Age (CELDA) (12th, Maynooth, Greater Dublin, Ireland, Oct 24-26, 2015)
The empowerment of human capital through higher education is a key element that contributes to the growth of national income. In line with this, Malaysia under the MyBrain15 initiative aims to produce a total of 60,000 doctoral degree holders by 2023. However, high attrition and low completion rates among postgraduate students to date have hindered the noble aspiration. Among the factors that have contributed to this are postgraduate supervisory practices and student limitations in terms of knowledge, and 21st century skills such as critical thinking, autonomy and lifelong learning. Therefore, this paper aims to investigate students' perceptions of their level of dependence on supervisors in postgraduate study in relation to digital literacy and academic matters in terms of providing motivational support, writing a proposal, collecting and analysing data and writing the final report. This exploratory descriptive case study involved 132 postgraduate students from the largest public university in Malaysia. Data were collected using a mixed-methods research design through the use of a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. The findings show that students' level of dependence on supervisors for academic matters such as the need for was much higher compared to dependence in using digital tools. In terms of digital literacy, students articulated dependence on supervisors in aspects such as data analysis, data visualization and data management tools. With regard to academic study, students' dependence on supervisors was highest at the proposal stage but reduced at the data collection and data analysis stages. Nevertheless, their dependence again increased at the final writing stages. The findings of the study suggest that postgraduate students lack autonomy for lifelong learning and hence appropriate steps need to be taken to improve the quality of postgraduate supervision in the university. [For the full proceedings, see ED562093.]
International Association for the Development of the Information Society. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Malaysia