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Supervising Online

Supervisors will need to establish communication and feedback processes with all of their off-campus students, particularly as they are not able to meet face-to-face. This page will help supervisors get started on supervising online, with information on good practice, tips for establishing a workspace, and technology resources. This will include ECU-centric information as well as linking to external resources that may be useful.

Establishing an online supervisor Teams workspace

At ECU we recommend supervisors create an online supervisor workspace using Microsoft Teams. Teams is a communication and collaboration platform for Microsoft Office 365 that allows integration of several apps that are useful for the research journey. Detailed instructions on setting up the shared workspace can be found in the downloadable guide.

Teams can be used via desktop application  or through a web interface: teams.microsoft.com. There are also apps available for iPhones and Android devices. Access to Teams is through Office365, using your ECU institutional login. External supervisors and students will need to be added to a Teams workspace by an ECU staff member.

You can use Teams as a virtual environment for supervision, by using the appropriate applications with it. An online Teams Workspace could use the following features:

  • Chat: For quick conversation between different members of the team, visible to all other members
  • Files: To store and share documents
  • Planner: List project milestones and tasks
  • OneNote: Take notes and to store meeting action items and agendas
  • Website link: Link out to relevant resources e.g. the library website
  • Meetings: Set up a virtual meeting, including a screen sharing and videoconference option

Supervisors are advised to set up a ‘Team’ for each of their off-campus students, allowing all the information for that student, as well as any associated materials, to be contained within the one application. Once you have set up the workspace, it will appear in your Teams list and will be accessible whenever you log into Teams in the future.

The tracking of student progress is now required by the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. To this effect, Supervisors are strongly encouraged to store the documents associated with MyPLAN, electronic copies of completed forms, as well as any feedback on writing and associated materials.

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