Project presentation mariela_mayreni_cuxim_cervantes_&_minerva_diaz_mendoza


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Project presentation mariela_mayreni_cuxim_cervantes_&_minerva_diaz_mendoza

  1. 1. 1.1 Background  In the academic world it is a tradition to have a guide to supervise the students’ research. According to Toncich (n.d.), the main role of a research supervisor consists of guiding and mentoring students in such a way that they can learn about the systematic processes of discovery... and this role has not changed over the years; however, Toncich claims that there are others that have, for example, the methods and techniques that supervisors use to fulfill this process.  “Effective supervision of research students is acknowledged to be a crucial factor in the latter’s successful completion of the Ph.D.” (Fisher & Larson, 2000). Thus, the role that a supervisor plays is very important so that a student can finish his/her research paper.  In the article Imperial College London (2012), it is claimed that the role of the supervisors and their relationships with their students are of critical importance. So, it is important that a supervisor builds a good work environment with his students but it is not always possible as nowadays, professors have more responsibilities such as doing research, tutoring, giving classes, and attending meetings which have been compulsory since 10 years ago to be a faculty member at the Universidad de Quintana Roo.
  2. 2. 1.2 Rationale  As we can see in the background, most studies about research supervision have been carried out in foreign countries but only in graduate studies while in Mexico there have been few undergraduates’ research supervision studies.  As the undergraduates’ research supervision studies that have been carried out in Mexico are focused on the methodology that teachers use to supervise research projects and on the students’ perspective and with quantitative approach, we want to search about what are the supervisors’ characteristics and perceptions involved in the process of supervising undergraduates’ research at the Universidad de Quintana Roo using a qualitative-descriptive approach.
  3. 3. 1.3 Objectives. General Objective  To study the faculty s perceptions regarding the research project supervision of undergraduates and the factors that may be affecting it. Specific Objectives    To analyze teachers perceptions and experiences when supervising undergraduates’ research. To examine the personal and institutional factors that may affect the research supervision according to the teachers perceptions and experiences. To determine supervisors self-efficacy during the process of research supervision.
  4. 4. 1.4 Research questions       RQ1. How do teachers develop the process of supervising undergraduates’ research? RQ2. What are the perceptions that teachers have regarding supervision and what are some experiences they have been through? RQ3. What are the personal and institutional factors that may be affecting undergraduates’ research supervision? RQ4. What are the characteristics that a supervisor needs to have to be considered efficient? RQ5. How does the faculty perceive their self-efficacy to supervise research projects? This research questions emerge from our empirical knowledge and our curiosity to know more about the difficulties that professors face when supervising undergraduates’ research projects at the Universidad de Quintana Roo. In addition, as we are about to graduate we wanted to know how professors develop the process of research project supervision.
  5. 5. 1.5 Significance/relevance of the study.  This study will be useful for those teachers wanting to be research supervisors because they will get a general idea of what being a research supervisor implies. Besides that, supervisors will become aware of the way they execute the research supervision process. Moreover, it will help the Universidad de Quintana Roo to identify the main aspects of the supervisors that need to be improved in order for the institution to have better prepared supervisors. Also, it will make the institution revise its educational policies because they will realize that professors have many responsibilities to cope with everyday.  Not only will the Universidad de Quintana Roo be benefited with this research but also other institutions because with this work, they will identify if supervisors have problems when helping the students with their research. Finally, the students will be benefited because they will know the professors’ perceptions about the research supervision process; therefore, they will have the opportunity to think of the kind of supervisor they want to have.
  6. 6. 2.1 Review of the relevant literature Many studies about research supervision have been carried out in graduate research studies but they have been done in foreign countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States; however, in these countries there are few studies about undergraduates’ research supervision.   The only article about undergraduates’ research supervision that we found that was conducted in a foreign country is the one that was carried out by Hammick & Acker in 1998 but it does not say the place where it was conducted in order to preserve the participants’ confidentiality. Hammick & Acker (2008) undertook a qualitative research project about the way supervisors of undergraduate research discuss their style of supervision and they had as variable the gender of the supervisors. They used unstructured and taped interviews to collect data. The outcome of this research was that although there were commonalties in the concerns of all the supervisors, there was also a tendency for women to adopt characteristically different ways of talking about the supervisory process and their role in it. And the conclusion that they reach was that there is a tendency for men supervisors to talk in more confident and task-oriented ways about their practice of supervision, whereas women emphasize personal relations and admit to doubts about their abilities to supervise.
  7. 7.  One of the projects that we found about undergraduates’ research projects in Mexico is the one that will be described below.  Tapia, Rivera & Piantzi (2013) conducted a quantitative research study about the beliefs that the students have regarding the writing and undergraduate research supervision in the state of Puebla. The outcomes that were found in this research project were that students had problems when deciding on a topic, how to write the research project and the lack of time to do it. Besides that, students agreed that supervisors should give them feedback to improve their research, be patient and kind towards them when working on the projects. And the conclusion was that writing a research project is very challenging and that the process becomes easier choose a topic that they like. In addition, students should choose a good supervisor to help them through this long process.
  8. 8. 2.2 Conceptual framework   Supervisors’ motivation is an important factor to carry out a good supervision process because if the supervisor feels motivated, he will transmit that feeling to his students and both student and supervisor will have the willingness to keep working in the project. In addition, teachers should know their capabilities when guiding students with their research project. Bandura (1994) claimed that People's beliefs about their capabilities to produce effects is known as Perceived Self-Efficacy and this is very important for a supervisor in order for him to know if he has enough knowledge about the topic that he is going to supervise. Besides that, perception is another factor that is involved in the way professors supervise research projects because all professors have different points of view about how to carry out research projects supervision. “Perception can be defined as a process by which individuals select, organize and interpret their sensory impressions, so as to give meaning to their environment.”(
  9. 9.  In order to carry out this project, a procedure was followed. The first step was to define the research design of this project which is qualitative-descriptive. This will be a qualitative-descriptive research because Seliger (1989) claims that “both qualitative and descriptive research are concerned with providing descriptions of phenomena that occur naturally, without the intervention of an experiment or an artificial contrived treatment.” Besides that, the research context is an important point.  The place where this research project will be conducted is at the Universidad de Quintana Roo which is a public university that offers the English Language Major. In addition, this institution has a department of language and education where the English professors are in charge of the English Language Major. As the English professors of this department also supervise research projects and as they have the experience supervising EFL research projects they will be the ones who will help us to do this research. Therefore, in this university the participants will be found.
  10. 10. 3.1. Participants  The participants of this research project will be the English professors of the Department of Language and Education who have a minimum of two years of experience supervising undergraduate’s research projects at the Universidad de Quintana Roo. 3.2. Instruments or materials  In qualitative research data are often collected by means of a number of procedures used simultaneously, with one piece of data leading to the next (Seliger, 1989). Furthermore, Seliger (1989) suggests that for this type of research interviewing informants, and compiling biodata about them can be used to collect data. Therefore, to collect qualitative data we are going to interview the participants.  Moreover, in 1989 Seliger remarked that structured interviews and semi-structured questionnaires can be used for descriptive research. Thus, we are going to apply questionnaires in order to collect descriptive data.
  11. 11. 3.3. Procedure  Having decided on the instruments that we are going to use to collect data, we are going to follow the next procedure.  First, we are going to elaborate a questionnaire that will include questions about the English professors’ experience supervising undergraduates’ research projects, selfefficacy, perceptions when supervising and the factors that may affect undergraduate’s research supervision. The questionnaire will be applied to the 19 members of the Department of Language and Education. Once the participants have answered the questionnaire, the results will be analysed. As this will be a case study, from the 19 members of the Department we will choose only five professors taking into account the information that was obtained from the questionnaires that were applied previously. The five professors that will be chosen are going to be interviewed to get more specific information about them and all the interviews will be recorded so that they can be analysed later.  To choose the five participants we will rely on the years of experience they have supervising undergraduates’ research projects. But in order to get a balance between the participants that will be interviewed, we will choose the two men and three women with more experience in supervision.  Once the interviews have been done, we are going to transcribe them in order to analyse them very carefully and interpret what the interviewees wanted to express.
  12. 12. 3.4. Data analysis  According to Seliger (1989) in qualitative research the data are usually in the form of words in oral or written modes. For that reason, the transcription of the interviews will be done.  The software that will be used to analyse the data collected of the interviews is Atlas.ti which is a program that is mostly used to analyse qualitative data. This software is very useful to analyse graphics, texts, audio and video. In this case, we are going to use Atlas.ti software to analyse the transcriptions of the interviews.  Data obtained from descriptive research are generally analysed with the aid of descriptive statistics (Seliger 1989). Therefore, the questionnaires will be analysed with the SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) software in order to get specific information from them.  Once we get the results from the analysis of the questionnaires and interviews we will have the tools to answer the research questions stated in this research project and to reach a conclusion.
  13. 13. Bandura, A. (1994). Self-efficacy. In V. S. Ramachaudran (Ed.), Encyclopedia of human behavior (Vol. 4, pp. 71-81). New York: Academic Press. (Reprinted in H. Friedman [Ed.], Encyclopedia of mental health. San Diego: Academic Press, 1998). Case Studies and Management Resources. Retrieved from OB-DS9.htm Hammick, M., & Acker, S. (1998) Undergraduate research supervision: a gender analysis. Studies in higher education. Vol. 23, No. 3. Imperial Collegue London. (2012). Retrieved from %20Regulations/Policies%20and%20Procedures/Eligibility%20for %20research%20degree%20supervision.pdf
  14. 14. Seliger H.W., and Shohamy, E. 1989, Ch. 6, Research design: qualitative and descriptive research, pp. 116 Tapia, R., Rivera, E., & Piantzi, L. (2013). Estudio exploratorio de creencias acerca de la redacción y supervisión de tesis. Revista Iberoamericana para la Investigación y el Desarrollo Educativo ISSN 2007 – 2619. Toncich, D. J. (n.d.) - Key Factors in Postgraduate Research - A Guide for Students Chapter 4 - Research Supervision Issues.
  15. 15. MONTH January February March April May June July ACTIVITIES Literature Review Theoretical Framework Instruments Design x x x x x x Data Gathering/Collection x Data Processing x Data Analysis x x Discussion x Conclusions x First Draft x Corrections x
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