Using Cognitive Apprenticeship to Examine Problems in Research Higher Degree Supervision Feedback Sessions
Feedback interactions between supervisors and their students are central in the supervision of research higher degrees. The coaching and scaffolding purposes of these interactions, as the candidate is supported through formative to summative stages of the candidature, suggest the usefulness of examining the processes in terms of Collins et al's (1989) cognitive apprenticeship instructional model. In this paper, interaction problems identified in extracts from transcripts of interviews from a set of Australian research higher degree students and their supervisors are analysed in terms of the cognitive apprenticeship model. The results indicate that the problems centre on finding the right balance between the formative processes of supporting learners and ensuring that they develop dissertations that are genuinely their own work. The model is found to provide a useful framework for understanding the nature of the problems and for suggesting ways in which the interactions and transitions might be improved. Suggestions are made about approaches that can be taken to improving coaching and scaffolding, sequencing different levels of complexity and skill development, and addressing candidate readiness for explorations of their own.
Effective Teaching and Learning (ETL)Conference