A Two Year Case Study: Technology Assisted Project Supervision (TAPaS)Manish Malik
Abstract (250 words): A project supervisor may get a range of students in any given year. These students may be classed as Independent, Collaborators, Pretenders or Dependent. This is not to say that they can not all become Independent over the project period. A supervisor plays an important role in guiding students through the various stages of their project. While doing their projects, students may feel under-supported, stressed or that they are on their own at times. In an internally funded project, at the University of Portsmouth, both social software (Twitter and Wiki) and electronic logs were used alongside traditional methods for final year project supervision. It was intended to establish separate formal as well as informal communication channels between the supervisor and their project students. Using ‘twitter’ a community of interest was setup with students and supervisors. Using ‘wiki’ collaborative workspace and student project pages were created. Using ‘e-logs’ virtual supervision was blended with face-to-face supervision. These diverse communication channels provided diverse uses for supervisors and students alike. This paper shows how these tools helped project supervisors in tailoring their support for different students differently yet reducing some of the repetitive supervision tasks. Also, by participating in a lively community of interest the students did not feel lonely and felt that they were well supported. Besides, students benefited from the speed of responses from the community to address their problems. Other benefits observed include an increased sense of ownership in students and an audit trail of both the student’s and supervisor’s actions.