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A Constructivist Perspective on the Thesis Supervision Process: A Case Study of Sri Lankan Undergraduate Thesis Projects

, , , Department of Computer Science, Stockholm University, Sweden

Journal of Interactive Learning Research Volume 30, Number 4, ISSN 1093-023X Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC

Abstract

One of the main issues in undergraduate thesis supervision is a lack of understanding about the pedagogical assumptions underpinning the supervision process. In this paper, the concepts of the zone of proximal development and scaffolding are applied in developing a theoretical framework to understand the nature of the interactions that are expected between student, supervisor, research context and peers. Both designed-in and contingent scaffolding are applied in order to frame a personalised learning environment with a flexible structure that supports the interactions, based on individual zones of proximal development. A case study was conducted including students’ and supervisors’ views in several undergraduate degree programs within a Sri Lankan national university and the findings were compared with the theoretical framework. The empirical data suggest that both students and supervisors tend to encounter problems if the thesis supervision process has not adequately designed to support the characteristics of constructivist learning.

Citation

Peiris, C.R., Barbutiu, S.M. & Hansson, H. (2019). A Constructivist Perspective on the Thesis Supervision Process: A Case Study of Sri Lankan Undergraduate Thesis Projects. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 30(4), 425-449. Waynesville, NC: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved August 14, 2020 from .