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Responding to Supervisory Feedback: Doctoral Students’ Understanding of Supervisors’ Attitudes and Improvement of the Feedback

Syed Abdul Waheed, Nadia Gilani, Saira Zafar

Abstract: Pursuing doctoral studies after the commencement of the dissertation is exceptionally challenging. Doctoral students meet several times to seek feedback from their research supervisors, and they observe supervisory attitudes very closely. Responding to supervisory feedback is one of the challenges that must be addressed for qualifying the dissertation successfully. The present study aims at how doctoral students respond to the supervisory feedback and how the feedback can be improved because of participants’ perspectives on the feedback and supervisory behavior. Narrative research was employed for grasping a better understanding of participants’ understanding of supervisory feedback and attitudes. Thirteen doctoral students were approached through maximum variation purposive sampling who was pursuing a doctoral degree in various physical and social science disciplines in different semesters at public and private universities of the Punjab province in Pakistan. The data were collected through conversational interviews to examine the in-depth understanding of doctoral student’s storied experiences. The main themes emerged from the thematic analysis were; responding to the feedback, supervisory attitudes, and relationship and improving supervisory feedback. The emergent themes were described and interpreted through significant words, phrases, and statements of the participants. The study has implications for the improvement of supervisory feedback and bringing reforms in doctoral studies.
Keywords: attitudes / dissertation / themes / behavior / doctoral students / supervisory feedback

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