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UKZN Professor designs Research Wheel

07 Sep, 2017

Research Wheel designer Professor Michael Anthony Samuel.

The School of Education’s Professor Michael Samuel has designed a research wheel for supervisors and post-graduate students.

The wheel is a pedagogical tool to be used as a pack of cards to assist students and supervisors to understand specific issues around different stages of the doctoral learning journey.

Samuel says an increasing number of new doctoral graduates and first-time appointed staff are being thrust into the responsibility of supervising doctoral candidates with little guidance or support.

‘Often this tasking is in response to the growing demand for schools at university to increase their enrolment of post-graduate students to offset the skewed undergraduate/post-graduate ratios.’

The tool to support novice supervisors is designed to develop an overt vocabulary among individuals sharing the doctoral supervision learning journey.

‘The aim is to generate a clear orientation for both supervisors and their post-graduate students about the hallmarks of a quality, coherent doctoral study and thesis report. Imaginative, creative and critical new directions should be the feature of doctoral education.’

More than 700 individuals have been tutored on the use of the research wheel during workshops conducted by Samuel at UKZN and other institutions.

Dr Angela James of UKZN’s School of Education said ‘the research wheel is absolutely awesome. For any researcher – novice and seasoned – it systematically details how and why research planning and action should be done in a particular style. It takes research to another level’.

James says she has shared it with international partners who were very impressed.

Samuel has been invited to present this tool in the United Kingdom and in the Netherlands.

Nomcebo Mncube, Mncuben@ukzn.ac.za

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