Reflections on the Challenges and the Prospects of a Post-pandemic Doctoral Supervision in Moulay Ismail University
Keywords:COVID-19, higher education, research supervisors, distance learning
There has been an extensive growth of ICT-based models adopted in doctoral supervision as a major avenue in maintaining relationships with doctoral candidates engaged in research at a geographical distance from university and those undertaking research-related activities off-campus. However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in recommendations of safety procedures and extended restrictions issued by the World Health Organization, has considerably affected doctoral education in ways that have revitalized distance, online supervision and so moved this latter from being an option on the side to a requisite. The main endeavor of this study is to examine the challenges doctoral supervisors have encountered whilst supervising candidates’ projects in the present circumstances and also explore the prospects of post-pandemic distance-delivered doctorate programs in the Moroccan university. The study employs a qualitative analysis guided by semi-structured interviews of 17 supervisors to obtain a clearer perception of doctoral supervision practices in light of the pandemic as well as the efficacy of alternative online distance modes. The findings yielded compelling issues grounded on institutional support, financial restrictions, adaptability of existing platforms, as well as technical unpreparedness to move online, all of which demand a critical reflection and strategic attention to build research capacity. Eventually, this study brings in various pedagogical implications sought to enlighten the uptake of online supervision and its integration and efficacy as a current alternative.
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