Thesis supervision evaluation


Honours Supervision

Expectations: Establish clear expectations early. Explain academic expectations regarding written work. Ensure plagiarism is well understood. Note what referencing style to use.

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Assess the student's research skills. Discuss actions for improvement if necessary. Establish a timetable of meetings and agree a work tempo. Clarify the role of the supervisor. Clarify what is expected of research students in College e. Be aware that your students' cultural understandings of the nature of knowledge and learning may differ from yours. Discuss any differences. Establish appropriate modes of address: Discuss with your student what form of address they prefer. Be aware of cultural differences e. It is possible for enrolled students to view a list of professors authorized to supervise.

In some faculties, students are not admitted to a program of study in the absence of a willing supervisor. Before thinking about a supervisor, students should make sure they are committing to the area of study that most interests them.


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They should ask themselves whether they are enthusiastic enough about a topic area to sustain this enthusiasm over the period of time it will take to prepare the thesis. Speaking to students and professors who do research in the proposed area of study will help clarify the students thoughts. The students should make sure they are well-informed before they approach any potential supervisors. Some academic units assign an interim supervisor to all students who do not have a definite thesis supervisor and topic at the time of admission. The interim supervisor helps acquaint a student with the research interests of professors in the academic unit and also helps identify the most suitable thesis supervisor.

A professor is not obligated to take on a student if he or she feels the match-up would not be a good one, or if the professor lacks lab space, time or funding.

Guideline on Theses | Study Guide

A student may have more than one supervisor. Before a student begins researching and writing a thesis, the supervisor and the student should have a detailed discussion of expectations and requirements. Below are examples of general and specific issues to be discussed during the preliminary meetings with the potential supervisor.


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  5. As soon as possible, the student should obtain ethics approvals or any other required approvals to conduct research. The student and the supervisor should plan to meet regularly whether or not the student has any finished work to show to the supervisor. If it is a major meeting, the student should draw up and deliver to the supervisor an agenda beforehand. If the meeting is to discuss text that has already been written, the student must send the draft well in advance of the meeting. After the meeting, and based on this agenda, the student prepares a brief report on what was discussed and decided, and shares this report with the supervisor.

    It is important to be productive at these major meetings, but it is also crucial to just keep in touch.

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    All along during the thesis preparation process, a student will receive feedback and should expect to do revisions. Part of the advancement of knowledge that preparing a thesis fosters involves engaging in dialogue and learning from these discussions, learning how to communicate clearly, and responding appropriately to suggestions for improvement.

    A joint management with a teacher in another discipline may be considered if the research project of a student is favoured. If so, the student, with help if needed from the interim advisor, should investigate the possibilities.

    Master’s thesis projects: student perceptions of supervisor feedback

    Some professors are allowed to supervise graduate students in more than one academic unit. A doctoral student may prepare a thesis under the joint supervision of a professor at the University of Ottawa and a professor at another university. This student would obtain a degree from both institutions. In many academic units, a thesis committee is assembled as soon as a student finds a thesis supervisor. Please note that not all academic units have thesis committees, the students must check on the protocol in their own academic unit. How the thesis committee is formed varies from academic unit to academic unit.

    The thesis supervisor plays the biggest role by approaching colleagues who have the expertise and inviting them to join the committee. If a student cannot find a venue for his or her presentation, please consult with IISP and we will coordinate one.

    Note: Although non-Honors students who are completing a thesis are not required to have a second reader or make a public presentation, we would certainly welcome them to do so. The Individualized Major Program has a student guide to thesis writing which is available at our website. If you have any questions about the Individualized Major Program or about supervising an individualized major thesis, please contact IISP staff.

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    A to Z Index. Overview All individualized majors complete a capstone, which provides them an opportunity to integrate knowledge they have acquired during the course of their majors. Thesis Courses Most thesis projects will comprise six credits completed over the course of two to three semesters. Learning Outcomes Individual faculty will differ in expectations regarding epistemology, methodology, and format for theses. A thesis should do more than summarize the existing literature on a particular topic.


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    It should make an original contribution to the field of study, present new findings in the form of new data, or new, critical interpretations of existing material. It should reflect a good command of the research methodologies in the relevant discipline s. Upon completion of the thesis project the student should be able to: Define a research question and design a substantial research project. Select a methodological approach to address the research question.

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