Blended e-learning skeleton of conversation: Improving formative assessment in undergraduate dissertation supervision
Article first published online: 23 JAN 2009
© 2009 University of Salford. Journal compilation © 2009 Becta
British Journal of Educational Technology
Volume 40, Issue 2, pages 294–305, March 2009
How to Cite
Heinze, A. and Heinze, B. (2009), Blended e-learning skeleton of conversation: Improving formative assessment in undergraduate dissertation supervision. British Journal of Educational Technology, 40: 294–305. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2008.00923.x
- Issue published online: 12 FEB 2009
- Article first published online: 23 JAN 2009
The supervision of undergraduate student dissertations is an area in need of research. Although some studies have already addressed this, these are primarily based on academic staff responses.
This study contributes to knowledge by gathering the responses of students and focusing on formative electronic assessment. Data was collected using a student focus group and student questionnaire.
Unsurprisingly, the findings suggest that good supervisor–student communication is crucial to the supervision process and a number of students felt unhappy with this aspect. However, to facilitate this communication, the perceived absolute necessity of regular supervisor–student meetings is being questioned and a combination of technology-enabled communication is advocated. It is suggested that to improve the undergraduate student dissertation experience, a combination of face-to-face and electronic formative assessment is used. In addition, the blended e-learning skeleton of conversation model provides a sound theoretical framework that could guide supervisors and students in the supervision process. This model is advocated for use in dissertation module design and in supervisor development.