Improving supervision for students at a distance: videoconferencing for group meetings

Könings, Karen D.; Popa, Daniela; Gerken, Maike; Giesbers, Bas; Rienties, Bart C.; van der Vleuten, Cees P.M. and van Merriënboer, Jeroen J.G. (2016). Improving supervision for students at a distance: videoconferencing for group meetings. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 53(4) pp. 388–399.



Every year, thousands of students go abroad for part of their study programme. Supervision from the home institution is then crucial for good study progress. Providing supervision and feedback at a distance is challenging. This project aims to identify bottlenecks for supervision and hypothesises that online supervisory group meetings with videoconferencing contribute to good supervision. Study 1 showed that students who were abroad perceived lower-quality supervision and feedback on all measured aspects, compared with students staying at the home institution. Within a quasi-experimental design, Study 2 showed that students participating in online meetings experienced better supervision than those who were abroad without online meetings, and they were equally positive about supervision as students who stayed at the home institution. These findings stress the need for extra support for students during their stay abroad and the large potential of videoconferencing in optimising supervision at a distance.

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