Effective supervision meeting practices: a practical tool

Euan Coutts, Pamela Marshall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book


Supervision of student work is a core component of any academic’s role. Holding supervision meetings can occupy a large percentage of diaries and yet academics and students often begrudge meetings; supervisees may feel meetings are not fruitful or purposeful, academics may feel students do not maximise on their allocated time, and both can feel there are not sufficient hours in the day for meetings along with other commitments and expectations. Yet very few organisations have meeting guidelines, an “astonishing omission considering the cost of meetings” [1]. Often material relating to academic supervision practices drifts into policy statements “about” supervision rather than practical approaches regarding “how” to supervise. To improve supervision, a new approach focusing on regular, formatted meetings and will be discussed, along with supervision styles. These meetings ensure a consistent format, rolling agenda and mechanism of consistent feedback. This approach facilitated by a paper-based tool, embraced the concept of High Value Meetings (HVMs). This approach is effective by providing students regular, consistent progress feedback, important as “students need to have a clear idea of what is expected of them and whether they are meeting those expectations” [2]. The innovative approach has been employed over the last 5 years with students on product design engineering degrees. Results from a survey of supervisees are presented and discussed along with reflection and recommendations. The desired end result is to transform supervision meetings from a begrudged obligation to effective and efficient use of supervisor and supervisees time; a mutually beneficial undertaking.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education
Place of PublicationGlasgow, UK
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2019


  • design education
  • formative assessment
  • value
  • meetings
  • supervision

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