n South African Journal of Higher Education - Engineers are from Mars and educators are from Venus : research supervision in engineering and educational collaboration

Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This article reports on a research project that investigated the supervisory practices in Masters level interdisciplinary research projects that were undertaken in engineering education. The projects usually entailed an interdisciplinary thesis that addressed an educational issue within a specific engineering discipline, such as problem-based learning in chemical engineering, the work-readiness of civil engineering students, or curriculum reform in mechanical engineering. In practice, such projects involved collaboration between supervisors appointed from the broad field of 'higher education studies' to oversee the educational aspects of the thesis and engineering discipline specific supervisors with an interest in education. The findings include data which indicate both the difficulties of working across the disciplines, and the promise of new, interdisciplinary practices in research supervision.

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