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ERIC Number: EJ1144024
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0256-0100
Postgraduate Supervision at an Open Distance E-Learning Institution in South Africa
Manyike, Tintswalo Vivian
South African Journal of Education, v37 n2 Article 1354 May 2017
Effective postgraduate supervision is a concern at universities worldwide, even under optimal conditions where postgraduate students are studying full-time. Universities are being pressured by their governments to increase the throughput of postgraduates where there is a need for supervisory guidance in order to produce quality graduates within a shorter period of time than was previously thought possible. In an Open Distance E-learning (ODeL) context in South Africa, postgraduate supervision presents an even more formidable task as face-to-face communication between supervisor and student is restricted or totally non-existent. Informed by a review of the Community of Practice Theory, the researcher undertook a qualitative study to investigate the challenges of supervisors by means of a purposeful sample of postgraduate supervisors at a major ODeL institution in South Africa. Open-ended questionnaires were the means of collecting the data. The results indicated weaknesses in respect of the following: the selection and allocation of postgraduate students to supervisors without consultation; the requirements for intensive guidance during the process of writing the thesis to meet the needs of underprepared students; and the difficulties inherent in the ODeL model, which depended primarily on written communication, especially for academically weak students. The recommendation is that experienced supervisors should conduct workshops and mentor novice academics on effective ODeL supervision procedures.
Education Association of South Africa. University of Pretoria, Centre for the Study of Resilience, Level 3, Groenkloof Student Centre, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, George Storrar Road and Lleyds Street, Pretoria 0001, South Africa. Tel: +27-12-420-5798; Fax: +27-12-420-5511; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A