Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) through Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (FSSH) Talent Development Committee had organized a series of supervisory skills courses for young lecturers in the faculty. The main purpose of the courses is to assist new lecturers in performing effective supervision.
Topics included in the series are conceptualization of various research studies, fundamental research skills, supervision and examination of research studies.
These up-skilling courses could enhance lecturers’ knowledge and supervisory skills; to develop the range of skills required by their students to perform research tasks; to inculcate the thinking skills for decision making and problem-solving; and to reduce attrition rate while at the same time enabling more students to graduate on time.
The series of supervisory courses that have been implemented were :
- Quantitative Statistical Methods – What Analysis to Apply,
- Attributes of Good Post Graduate Research Supervisors,
- How Much a Dissertation Differs From a Thesis
- Roles and Responsibilities of Examiner and Chairperson and Examiner in Viva Voce Examinations.
Supervision Series 1: Quantitative Statistical Methods – What Analysis to Apply was presented by Prof. Dr. Mohamad Bilal Ali on 23rd August 2020 which explained the appropriate data analysis methods.
He also revealed the use of mean, t-test, normality test, ANOVA, correlation, chi square test as well as visualized how to conduct the analysis through the statistical analysis software SPSS.
Supervision Series 2: Attributes of Good Post Graduate Research Supervisors was presented by Prof. Dr. Muhammad Sukri Saud on 6th September 2020.
He outlined 11 attributes of a good supervisor which are :
- Ensure the right partnerships for the research project
- Get to know students and carefully assess their needs
- Establish reasonable, agreed expectations
- Work with students to establish a strong conceptual structure and research plan
- Encourage students to write early and often
- Initiate regular contact and provide high-quality feedback
- Get students involved in the life of the department
- Inspire and motivate
- Help if academic and personal crisis crop up
- Take an active interest in students’ future careers
- Carefully monitor the completion and presentation of the research.
Supervision Series 3: How Much a Dissertation Differs from a Thesis was delivered by Prof. Dr. Mohd Salleh Abu on 21st September 2020.
Through this talk, he pointed out the main differences between dissertation and thesis in terms of purpose, structure, originality, contribution to new knowledge, theories and practices in their field of study.
For a Master thesis, students’ knowledge is more advanced in the chosen field of specialization as compared to Research Study Master Dissertation. While thesis at a Ph.D. level, students have authenticity in their field and show evidence of command of the knowledge.
Supervision Series 4: Roles and Responsibilities of Chairperson and Examiner in Viva Voce Examinations was presented by Prof. Dr. Zaidatun Tasir and Prof. Dr. Salleh Abu on 27th September 2020.
This series emphasized the role of lecturers as chairperson and examiners of viva voce. The evaluation should focus on whether the written information in the thesis and as defended in the viva examination meet the academic standard of the degree.
The chairperson’s task is to moderate the viva session, act fairly and professionally guide the assistant chairperson in writing the viva report and present the final version of the viva report to all examiners.
The series of supervisory courses were well-received by all lecturers at FSSH, especially among the young lecturers.
The mission and vision of this supervision series talk, which is to expose young lecturers with the best supervisory skills, have been successfully implemented.
It is hoped that the content provided will be able to increase the knowledge and skills of lecturers in guiding students to produce quality research and thesis writing.
Prepared by: Nor Hasniza Ibrahim, Nurhusna Abd Wahid, Yeo Kee Jiar and Hemnaart a/l Tanakara