Improving doctoral support through group supervision: analysing face-to-face and technology-mediated strategies for nurturing and sustaining scholarship
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Authors: Hutchings, M.
Journal: Studies in Higher Education
© 2015 Society for Research into Higher Education. The challenges of the doctoral journey can create social and academic isolation. Student support is normally facilitated through the supervisory team and research training programmes. There is little empirical evidence on the role group supervision and peer learning can play in nurturing and sustaining doctoral scholarship. This article explores group supervision processes, analysing student experiences of face-to-face (FtF) and technology-mediated (Tm) strategies in a professional doctorate programme, to address the question of what factors in group supervision help or hinder scholarship. Findings illustrate how group supervision can nurture mutual and sustained support and how Tm encounters can add value, affording location-independent interactions to facilitate participation, and reduce isolation. Key dimensions of a pedagogical support framework for doctoral supervision will be identified, which give priority to nurturing relationship development and sustaining connectedness through group supervision. This form of nourished scholarship can support and sustain the doctoral journey and improve completion rates.