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Development and evaluation of resources to enhance skills in higher degree research supervision in a cross-cultural context

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Development and evaluation of resources to enhance skills in higher degree research supervision in a cross-cultural context
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    Development and evaluation of resources to enhanceskills in higher degree research supervision in across-cultural context Final Report 2010 Partner institutions and team members: Macquarie University Associate Professor Judi HomewoodMs Christa Jacenyik-TrawogerAssociate Professor Anna ReidDr Theresa Winchester-Seeto The University of Queensland Dr Catherine Manathunga The University of Newcastle Professor Sid BourkeProfessor Allyson Holbrook Report authors: Associate Professor Judi HomewoodDr Theresa Winchester-SeetoMs Jacqueline MackawayMs Christa Jacenyik-Trawogerhttp://www.altcexchange.edu.au/group/cross-cultural-supervision-project     Support for this project has been provided by the Australian Learning and TeachingCouncil, an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Education,Employment and Workplace Relations. The views expressed in this report do notnecessarily reflect the views of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council Ltd.This work is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Australia Licence. Under this Licence you are free tocopy, distribute, display and perform the work and to make derivative works. Attribution: you must attribute the work to the srcinal authors and include thefollowing statement: Support for the srcinal work was provided by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council Ltd, an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Education,Employment and Workplace Relations. Noncommercial: You may not use this work for commercial purposes. Share Alike: If you alter, transform, or build on this work, you may distribute theresulting work only under a licence identical to this one.For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the licence terms of thiswork. Any of these conditions can be waived if you get permission from thecopyright holder.To view a copy of this licence, visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/au/  or send a letter to: CreativeCommons, 171 Second St, Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA.Requests and inquiries concerning these rights should be addressed to theAustralian Learning and Teaching Council, PO Box 2375, Strawberry Hills NSW2012 or through the website: http://www.altc.edu.au  ISBN 978-1-921856-04-42010  CCS cross-cultural supervision Acknowledgments  The project team would like to sincerely thank the many people without whosesupport, expert advice, knowledge and participation the project would not haveachieved the level of success it has.We would particularly like to acknowledge the contributions made by the followingpeople, groups and institutions:the 38 candidates and 34 supervisors who agreed to be interviewed andparticipate in focus groupsDr Claire Wakefield, Elizabeth Reid, Jane Thogersen, Jacqueline Mackaway,Beverley Simmons and Dr Maryam Jamarani for research assistanceprovidedDr Peg Nightingale for support and advice as external advisor on the projectDr Claire Wakefield who developed and wrote the scenarios and videoscriptsMark Parry who produced the videosSelim Soytemiz who designed the webpagesTheresa Wannisch and Alison Cameron for proofreading servicesJacqueline Mackaway for producing the final reportreference group members: Jean Brick, Professor John Hooper, Dr KateLloyd, Dr Peg Nightingale and Professor Sandra WillsThe Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) for providing projectfundingMacquarie University, The University of Queensland and The University ofNewcastle for support in kind.Photos from video scenario resources courtesy of Mark Parry  CCS cross-cultural supervision Report Contents 1.0 Executive Summary ...................................................................................................... 12.0 Introduction ................................................................................................................... 33.0 Project Outcomes ......................................................................................................... 54.0 Project Approach and Methodology .............................................................................. 65.0 Resources Developed................................................................................................. 126.0 Enhancement of Existing Knowledge and Current Practice ........................................ 197.0 Selected Factors Influencing Project Outcomes .......................................................... 218.0 Dissemination ............................................................................................................. 239.0 Extent to which the Approach/Outcomes are Amenable to Implementation ................ 2610.0 Links between this project and other ALTC projects and fellowships .......................... 2711.0 Project Evaluation ....................................................................................................... 2812.0 Concluding Remarks .................................................................................................. 3013.0 References ................................................................................................................. 3114.0 Appendices ................................................................................................................. 33Appendix 1: Actors in video resources Appendix 2: Gift giving (example of a written scenario)Appendix 3: Becoming a student again (video transcript)Appendix 4: Supervisor teams (example of a strategy)Appendix 5: Resource evaluationAppendix 6: Website evaluation  CCS cross-cultural supervision 1 1.0 Executive Summary The involvement of international candidates in postgraduate research degrees hasbeen a goal of many universities across the developed world. Surprisingly littleresearch has focused on the needs of this group of students, and for the most part ithas problematised them by its focus on factors associated with students themselves,for example cultural adaptation and language problems, rather than addressing anyneed for the institution and its agents to vary their practice to meet any different needsof an increasingly diverse population. This project addressed postgraduate researchsupervision in a cross-cultural context from the point of view of both supervisor andcandidate, and from the perspective of what institutions can do to support candidatesand supervisors.Semi-structured interviews and focus groups with candidates and supervisors wereused as the source of research data to construct the project outcomes. The broadfindings of the project were that certain factors magnify or intensify the complexity ofthe supervisory arrangement when this occurs in a cross-cultural context. Theseinclude:Separation from the usual support network, including family, friends andcolleagues and former teachers.Separation from the familiar, and the consequent „ fish out of water ‟ feeling orlack of familiarity with and understanding of both the academic as well asgeneral way of life in Australia.Increased time pressure for international candidates due to visa limitations andincreased costs and/or loss of income.Language issues that contribute to communication difficulties including, but notlimited to, written and oral.The interviews also provided narratives and case studies that informed thedevelopment of resources designed to assist supervisors, doctoral candidates andthose charged with the education and training of these two groups. The resourcesinclude:Materials designed to augment professional development for candidates andsupervisors, which would also assist private self-reflection (videos and writtenscenarios).Materials to suggest strategies to candidates and supervisors.A checklist for departments and faculties to help them assess their readiness tohost international candidates, and assist candidates with different culturalbackgrounds.A bibliography that would provide access to the main published material in thisarea, and to allow further investigation if needed.To ensure ready access, the resources are available from the ALTC Exchangewebsite. They are free for people to use and can be downloaded and used as often asnecessary, under a Creative Commons licence.The project did not attempt to produce resources that would supersede those alreadyused by institutions for supervisor training; rather the resources are designed to be anadjunct to existing practice. The project also did not produce resources which mandate
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