The Development of a Master Thesis Mediated Through Technology: Challenges Felt in the Master of Administration Assistance

The Development of a Master Thesis Mediated Through Technology: Challenges Felt in the Master of Administration Assistance

Anabela Mesquita (CICE – ISCAP / Polytechnic of Porto, Portugal & Minho University, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5936-8.ch017

Abstract

It is not always easy to start a research process. When doing a master thesis, it is necessary to take into consideration that there is no previous experience in the scientific process. Usually, during the development of a master thesis, student and supervisor work side-by-side or at least with a stronger support from the side of the supervisor. It is expected to have the supervisor close by to clarify doubts or point ways. But what happens when student and supervisor are not close by? When they communicate at distance, using different means to reach their purposes? How to help the student to find his/her way and, even more important, to keep him/her motivated in this solitary road? In this chapter, the authors present a situation where supervisors and students are separated by an ocean. They describe the challenges faced by both supervisor and students and give some recommendations in order to help other similar key players to overcome the difficulties and be successful.
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Background

The Master’s Degree and Its Importance

To complete the Master degree, students need to write a MT. This project can be characterized as having a substantial research component in which the direction is determined by the author / student, with prolonged engagement, and with the support of a supervisor (Todd, Bannister, & Clegg, 2004). Usually it requires the integrated application of most learning outcomes acquired in the previous courses. Students also need to do commitments in order to meet the goals established, while they manage their own time to reach them. This is also a collaborative work, at least with one supervisor, for several months. Finally, it requires the writing and exposition of the acquired knowledge. Although the supervisor guides students in the development of the MT to ensure they meet the objectives in terms of learning outcomes and quality of work, students encounter several difficulties when adapting to the particularities of this kind of subject (Triviño & Martin, 2014). The quality of the supervision process is deemed one of the most important factors contributing to a successful research project (Drennan & Clarke, 2009).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Research Process: A set of systematic steps followed by a researcher in order to produce knowledge which the community will consider to be worthwhile within the field.

Coach: Someone that teaches how to improve at a sport, skills, or a school subject.

Research Supervision: Process by which the supervisor gives some guidance, counselling, and support to a student during the development of a research. In this process, the supervisor helps the student with time management, makes them aware of intermediate and final deadlines, and ensures students get the most of their projects and have the necessary resources.

Tutor: Person who teaches someone outside the school in order to give the student an extra help with a certain subject in order to obtain particular results.

Competency: A skill needed to perform a job, a talent, an ability.

Supervision: The activity/act of watching a person or activity, making sure that a certain activity is done correctly and safely, meeting the requirements and deadlines.

Mentor: A person, usually more experienced, who gives another person (usually less experienced) some help and advice, related to work or school, over a period of time.

Supervisor: Person that supervises someone of something.

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