Date of this Version
Supervising postgraduate students especially online supervision can be a daunting task that brings several unique challenges. This article reflects on my supervision experiences, the challenges faced by research supervisors in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and the strategies to improve the research supervision practices. The article draws upon my own experiences at both residential and distance learning universities and for the past four years as a research supervisor. My supervision reflection begins with my time at the University of South Africa (UNISA), where I cut my teeth as a Senior Lecturer, and have learned several valuable experiences and practices related to teaching undergraduate students, supervising postgraduate students (honours, masters and PhDs), writing research articles and be involved in community engagement or research projects. I have learned that students need to be prepared for postgraduate level and research supervision thus need to be treated with as much significance as teaching at undergraduate levels. I have also learned that the success of postgraduate education largely relies on effective supervision, however, the effective supervision is a two-way process involving both supervisor and student’s commitment. more about humanizing pedagogy. In addition, I have learned that supervisors need to develop and maintain good and harmonious relationship with their student, for the successful completion of postgraduate study or research project. As supervisors we thus need to apply humanizing pedagogy in the supervision relationship. I hope that my reflective experiences and suggested strategies will assist in providing effective supervision and the highest standards of scholarship in Higher Education Institutions, globally and South Africa in particular.