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ERIC Number: EJ1170626
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1881
Supervisors' Perceptions of Research Competencies in the Final-Year Project
Background: This paper analyses the development of research competencies in higher education students, particularly with regard to the undergraduate Final-Year Project (FYP). The FYP is understood as an assignment that requires the integration of learning outcomes and demonstration of competencies for the successful completion of the degree. Purpose: Given the key role played by academic supervisors in the FYP, the main objective of this study was to ascertain their perceptions of the way students apply research competencies to their FYP. Sample: Interviews were carried out with a sample comprising 12 academic supervisors at the University of Barcelona (Spain), with at least two years of experience supervising FYPs in the Education Degree programme. Design and method: A qualitative, exploratory and interpretative methodology was employed, using semi-structured interviews, which were guided by a validated script. Once data were transcribed, themes were explored through hermeneutical content analysis. Results: The analysis allowed exploration of themes related to the supervisors' perceptions of: the academic supervisor roles (personal and academic guidance; topic choice; definition, contextualisation and setting research; knowledge integration facilitation), student profiles (autonomy, awareness of competencies), the concept and process of the FYP and a number of specific research competencies (bibliographic research, information recovery and analysis techniques, methodological process organisation and ethical treatment of information). The analysis suggested that supervisors understand the research competencies within a broad frame of their teaching, and even within their personal roles, which range from motivating, raising awareness of what has been learnt during the degree course, explaining specific concepts or processes, right through to the academic supervisors' own learning process. Conclusions: The study offers insights into the academic supervisors' perceptions of the FYP and its relationship with the research competencies. It was evident, for example, that the supervisors' views of the methodological aspect reached far beyond the application of a technique, as they attached importance to the coherence between different elements of the project. It is hoped that the research can help inform practical guidance, with the aim of supporting the development of the competencies.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Spain (Barcelona)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A