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Emerging educational action?: BA-Thesis work in maritime higher education
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. (Centrum för skolans kunskapsinnehåll i praktiken)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2010 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The issue of this paper is related to those students’ who enrols the higher education in Maritime Studies at the Åland University of Applied Sciences (ÅUAS) but has problem getting their bachelor degree du to uncompleted thesis work.

 

The R&D project, here referred to, was initiated by ÅUAS in order to help out some of those students that had left the school without a full exam. Further the aim of the project was to help the teachers to develop a better competence to supervise students’ thesis work. It was not only a problem for the school that several students did not complete their bachelor degree. This was also a problem for the shipping companies since there is a shortage of fully educated master mariners (e.g. Captain). For the drop-out students this was a personal problem in relation to what jobs they could apply for. Realising the problem the ÅUAS had tried to improve the education in different way. The thesis work was thus talked about as an important part of the education; an educational action that played a central role in the educational programme.

 

The R&D-project was sectioned into two sub-projects. The first sub-project was conducted as an investigation where we tried to get a picture of the problem from the students as well as from the teachers’ perspective. The second sub-project (e.g. the main project) was formed as an intervention divided into three parts. The first was arranged as a series of tutorial sessions where one maritime teacher (subject supervisor) and the interventionist (supervisor of the supervisor) could collaborate in order to help the drop-out student to fulfil his (it was only male students) thesis work. The second part was arranged as a formal in-service course focusing thesis work and supervision. The third part was aiming the organisation of the thesis work.

 

In the beginning of the R&D-project the teachers and the management ascribed the problem as on the one hand related to AKADEMISERINGEN that had led to a thesis work was og no use for their coming carrier as master mariners, and on the other to students’ lack of motivation, and laziness.

 

During the investigative sub-project an other picture was growing. The interviews with the students’ gave indications of an education where the thesis work had only a peripheral position. Firstly, the timetabled time was made in relation to free periods and some occasional days spread over three semesters. Secondly, this time was also used when extra time was needed. The students did not always know who their supervisor was and the supervision was not timetabled. The student often felt that asking for help was to burdening the teachers.

 

These issues that the students where signalling has been focused in the D&R-project both in discussions with the management and in seminars with the teachers. There are still a lot of organisational obstacles e.g. concerning the timetabeling. But, there are indications that the teachers are starting to see the thesis work as core part (and meaningful) of the education. And in addition they have started to address the management with requests of time, both scheduled time with the students and time where the teachers can develop their supervision together as a team. Thus, we can se how the R&D-project has led to an emerging central educational action. An action that perhaps will prevent other students to drop-out due to being left to them self to accomplish a thesis on their spear time beside the regular course.

 

 

 

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The issue of this paper is related to those students’ who enrols the higher education in Maritime Studies at the Åland University of Applied Sciences (ÅUAS) but has problem getting their bachelor degree du to uncompleted thesis work.

 

The R&D project, here referred to, was initiated by ÅUAS in order to help out some of those students that had left the school without a full exam. Further the aim of the project was to help the teachers to develop a better competence to supervise students’ thesis work. It was not only a problem for the school that several students did not complete their bachelor degree. This was also a problem for the shipping companies since there is a shortage of fully educated master mariners (e.g. Captain). For the drop-out students this was a personal problem in relation to what jobs they could apply for. Realising the problem the ÅUAS had tried to improve the education in different way. The thesis work was thus talked about as an important part of the education; an educational action that played a central role in the educational programme.

 

The R&D-project was sectioned into two sub-projects. The first sub-project was conducted as an investigation where we tried to get a picture of the problem from the students as well as from the teachers’ perspective. The second sub-project (e.g. the main project) was formed as an intervention divided into three parts. The first was arranged as a series of tutorial sessions where one maritime teacher (subject supervisor) and the interventionist (supervisor of the supervisor) could collaborate in order to help the drop-out student to fulfil his (it was only male students) thesis work. The second part was arranged as a formal in-service course focusing thesis work and supervision. The third part was aiming the organisation of the thesis work.

 

In the beginning of the R&D-project the teachers and the management ascribed the problem as on the one hand related to AKADEMISERINGEN that had led to a thesis work was og no use for their coming carrier as master mariners, and on the other to students’ lack of motivation, and laziness.

 

During the investigative sub-project an other picture was growing. The interviews with the students’ gave indications of an education where the thesis work had only a peripheral position. Firstly, the timetabled time was made in relation to free periods and some occasional days spread over three semesters. Secondly, this time was also used when extra time was needed. The students did not always know who their supervisor was and the supervision was not timetabled. The student often felt that asking for help was to burdening the teachers.

 

These issues that the students where signalling has been focused in the D&R-project both in discussions with the management and in seminars with the teachers. There are still a lot of organisational obstacles e.g. concerning the timetabeling. But, there are indications that the teachers are starting to see the thesis work as core part (and meaningful) of the education. And in addition they have started to address the management with requests of time, both scheduled time with the students and time where the teachers can develop their supervision together as a team. Thus, we can se how the R&D-project has led to an emerging central educational action. An action that perhaps will prevent other students to drop-out due to being left to them self to accomplish a thesis on their spear time beside the regular course.

 

 

 

 

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010.
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-53483OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-53483DiVA: diva2:390761
Conference
FISCAR/NISCAR conferens 23-25 May 2010, Helsingfors
Projects
Sjökaptener i Hamn
Available from: 2011-01-23 Created: 2011-01-23 Last updated: 2015-05-28

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