What supervisor, student and programme practices can be seen to align with successful dissertation outcomes for online distance learners?
As a number of new online Masters programmes launch at the University of Edinburgh, and online distance learning (ODL) becomes more mainstream across the University, supporting part-time, online distance students through the latter stages of their studies becomes a matter of shared interest as well as a priority for individual programmes and supervisors.
This one-year project was funded by the Principal’s Teaching Award Scheme (October 2014-September 2015) to investigate:
- what students want and need from their dissertation experience,
- what connections exist between programme and supervisor practices and student outcomes,
- how student and supervisor understandings and experiences of ‘success’ map onto available dissertation-related data on four ODL programmes: the LLM (Masters in Law) and MSc in Digital Education in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; and the MSc in Clinical Education and MSc in Clinical Management of Pain in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.
A key output from the project will be materials for online distance programmes to use in workshops with dissertation supervisors.