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Guidance

Guidance

Good guidance requires that you are well prepared, participate actively and have made yourself clear what you want out of the guidance.


Guidance can be a great help to get a good work process that leads to a good end result - especially when writing larger assignments, for example bachelor thesis or thesis.

You can do a lot yourself to promote a good guidance process, among other things by preparing yourself, communicating clearly and making sure that the guidance is based on your specific work. If you have any specific wishes for the guidance, be sure to tell your supervisor clearly so that together you can create the most useful guidance for you.

Express your doubts and insecurities to your supervisor. Keep in mind that the purpose of guidance is to help you in those areas where you are unsure and need help. While it may seem cross-border, most people get the most out of the guide when they showcase their unfinished ideas and products.

Errors in guidance

Delusion

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

You are in solidarity with the supervisor

You don't want to upset your supervisor and take too much into account that he/she is busy.

Claim your guidance

Many tutors are busy, but you have the right to guidance and you should therefore claim it. If you would like to accommodate your busy supervisor, you can suggest that you plan your meetings well in advance.

You perform for your supervisor

You do not dare to show your doubts and insecurities, as a result of which you get to perform for your supervisor. For example, you are afraid to show drafts and unfinished texts.

The guidance can come to feel like an exam situation, where you feel that you have to show what you can and know.

Show your insecurity

If you perform for your supervisor, you do not give him the opportunity to take your problems as a starting point and thus give you the best possible guidance. Keep in mind that if you had to know everything in advance, the offer of guidance would be meaningless. Therefore, be sure to show your insecurity, and also feel free to ask for feedback on drafts and unfinished texts.

You postpone your guidance

Many students postpone their tutoring and save it for late in the assignment process. Often the idea is that you can always read a text more, have thought a little more or have prepared a little better.

Get started early with guidance

It is often at the beginning of the task process that you most need guidance, and it can therefore be useful to get started early. For example, you can already get guidance on your initial ideas, so that you can choose the best one in cooperation with the supervisor. It is important that you get off to a good start, for example by formulating your problem formulation early and by organizing the structure of the task. Although you may feel that you do not have enough material and that your problem formulation is lagging, it is important that you let your supervisor see what you have so that the supervisor can help you get started.

You do not take responsibility and do not get to solve problems

There is something in your manual that is not working for you. It may be that you and your supervisor misunderstand each other, and you do not feel that you are getting useful advice and feedback in the guidance.

Recognize problems and try to solve them

Address the issues to your supervisor. The guidance is a collaboration, and it is therefore also important that you work together to solve the problems if they arise. In rare cases, it may be necessary to change the supervisor. Talk to your student advisor about it.

You keep your challenges to yourself

You don't want to expose yourself and imagine that the problems will be solved along the way. Time goes by and the deadline is getting closer and closer.

Ask for help

Ask for help when it's hard, when you're stuck, when there's something you don't understand, or when you can't get on with your task. Guidance is there so that you can get the help that you need.

Three types of guidance

Tutoring can take many forms, and you will typically meet several different ones through your study.

There are many different types of guidance, but what they have in common is that they are a professional conversation about a professional content that is offered in order to help you plan and complete a project or task. Get to grips with three basic guide types here.

Individual guidance

Take responsibility for your own guidance and be clear when communicating with your supervisor.

In the individual guidance, you will meet alone with the supervisor who you have either been assigned or have made an appointment with yourself. Often it will be your responsibility to contact the supervisor, arrange the meetings and communicate clearly what you need in the guidance. You therefore have a great responsibility to get the guidance organized.

First guidance meeting
The first time you meet with your supervisor, you should talk about the framework and expectations for the guidance process, as it provides a common starting point for the guidance.

For example, you can discuss the following with your supervisor:

  • How many times will you meet?
  • Do you meet at specific stages of the writing process?
  • How do you communicate between your meetings, e.g. by e-mail?
  • What and how much of your text will the supervisor read?
  • Are there times when you or your supervisor are not available?

Before, during and after guidance

Below you will find good advice on what you can do before, during and after the guide.

Before guidance

Get started early Some students postpone looking for guidance – you can always read a text more or think about it a little more. However, this strategy is untenable, as it is often at the beginning of the task process that you most need guidance. Make sure you get guidance early in the process so that you and your supervisor can organize the work process and the structure of the task and get off to a good start.
Prepare To get a good benefit from the instruction, you should prepare. You can do this, for example, by thinking about what your challenges are, where you are in the process right now, and what it takes to move forward in the process. It is important that you make clear what you want to discuss in the guide and what you want to get out of the meeting.
Communicate with your supervisor

Communicate clearly to your supervisor what you would like to discuss in the guidance and get help to move forward. The guidance will be better if you agree on the content and purpose of the meeting.

It is a good idea to:

  • send questions that you want you to relate to in the guide. That way, you also give your supervisor the opportunity to prepare so that you can get the best guidance possible.

  • send text drafts to your supervisor so that the supervisor has something concrete to deal with and give feedback on. Emphasize how you perceive the draft, e.g. whether it is raw or close to finished. Also tell what the supervisor should focus on. For example, it could be something you are unsure about or something specific you want feedback on. That way you also make sure that the task writing is progressing.

Know the requirements for the task Be sure to know the requirements for the task you are going to write. Read the curriculum, and feel free to ask questions to your teacher or supervisor if you are in doubt about how the curriculum should be interpreted. You can also find information in relevant texts about task writing If you are unsure about specific parts of the task or work process.

Under guidance

Take ownership of the guide You can create a good progression by thinking the guidance meeting into three stages:
Introduction Structure the meeting. Make it clear where you are in the process and what you want to get out of the meeting.
The middle Here is the actual guide, where you discuss what you want guidance on. It can relate to academic content, the writing process, the structure of the task, problem formulation, method, literature, empiricism, etc. Take notes along the way, or ask. ask your supervisor if you can record the instructions.
The End Summarize and make a plan. It is important that you know what to work on when you leave the guidance, and it can therefore be useful to summarize it with your supervisor. Please also agree when you will meet again and what you need to have prepared for the next guidance meeting.

After the guidance

Reflect on the benefits and think ahead

After the guidance, you can take notes, write down agreements or write a short summary of the meeting, so you can remember what the supervisor has said and what you have agreed that you should continue to work on. You can reflect on the payoff of the guidance by considering the following:

  • What did you become aware of that you are doing well?
  • What do you need to fix or change?
  • What did you agree to do in the future?
  • What should you have prepared for the next guidance meeting?
  • Did you forget to mention something important?

If the supervisor has given you feedback and suggestions that you need to have incorporated, you can make a to-do list of them.

Find and use relevant resources

Supplement your guide as needed with some of the many offers available:

Read more about information search on the literature search page here.

Group guidance

If you write your assignment with other students, you will be supervised together, and you must therefore cooperate to get a good benefit from the supervision.

The group guidance is often reminiscent of the individual guidance in the way it is organized. Please also read the individual instructions above.

The difference between individual guidance and group guidance, however, is that you are more about preparing an assignment and participating in the guidance. It is therefore important that you work together to get the best possible benefit from the guidance.

Before, during and after guidance

Below you will find good advice on what you can do before, during and after the guide.

Before guidance

Get started early Some students postpone looking for guidance – you can always read a text more or think about it a little more. However, this strategy is untenable, as it is often at the beginning of the task process that you most need guidance. Make sure you get guidance early in the process, so that together with the supervisor you can organize the work process and the structure of the task and get off to a good start.
Prepare yourselves together The best starting point for a good guide is to be well prepared. Therefore, be sure to prepare together and draw up an agenda for the guidance so that everyone in the group agrees on what the content and purpose of the guidance is. Consider the purpose of the guidance and what challenges you are facing right now in the process.
Communicate with Supervisor

Communicate clearly to your supervisor what you would like to discuss in the guidance and get help to move forward. The guidance will be better if you agree on the content and purpose of the meeting.

For example, you can:

  • send questions that you want you to relate to in the guide. In this way, you also give supervisors the opportunity to prepare themselves so that you can get the best possible guidance.

  • send text drafts to your supervisor so that the supervisor has something to relate to and give feedback on. Please highlight how you yourself perceive the draft, e.g. whether it is raw or close to finished. Also tell what the supervisor should focus on. For example, it could be something you are unsure about or something specific you want feedback on. This also ensures that the task writing is progressing.

Know the requirements for the task Make sure you know the requirements for the assignment you are going to write. Read the curriculum, and feel free to ask questions to your teacher or supervisor if you are in doubt about how the curriculum should be interpreted. You can also orientate yourself in relevant texts about task writing If you are unsure about specific parts of the task or work process. 

Under guidance

Everyone actively participates

Make sure you all speak up in the guide. In some groups, it may be necessary to make agreements in advance about who will present specific issues to the supervisor.

Read more about the good cooperation and writing exam papers with others here.

Allocate specific roles Take advantage of the fact that you are several who work together to get the best out of the guide. For example, you can delegate specific roles during the guidance. One group member can be the primary note-taker, while another keeps track of time and that you achieve what you want. However, it is also important that all group members actively participate in the conversation with the supervisor.
Everyone gets feedback Even if you submit the assignment as a group, you will receive an individual assessment. You may also need to indicate who in the group is the author of which sections of the assignment - check your curriculum. Therefore, make sure that the supervisor reads pieces of text written by different group members over several supervision meetings. It is important that you all also receive feedback on your individual work during a counselling course.  

After the guidance

Reflect on the benefits and think ahead

After the guidance, you can take notes, write down agreements or write a short summary of the meeting, so you can remember what the supervisor has said and what you have agreed that you should continue to work on. You can reflect on the payoff of the guidance by considering the following:

  • What did you become aware of that you are doing well?
  • What do you need to fix or change?
  • What did you agree to do in the future?
  • What should you have prepared for the next guidance meeting?
  • Did you forget to mention something important?

If the supervisor has given you feedback and suggestions that you need to have incorporated, you can make a to-do list of them.

Find og brug relevante ressourcer

Supplement your guide as needed with some of the many offers available:

Read more about information search on the literature search page here.

Collective guidance

In collective supervision, you and other students receive guidance on your individual assignments together, and you get feedback from several and the opportunity to spar with each other.

In the collective guidance, you will gain experience in presenting and discussing professional issues in groups. You will gain insight into what topics, approaches and methods other students use, and the advantage is that you can learn from each other's experiences and process.

How is collective guidance practiced?
Collective counselling typically takes place in a counselling course, where you meet several times during the semester with a counselling group. The supervisor will often coordinate the meetings and set a specific focus for the individual guidance meeting.

There may be an expectation that you prepare some material indicated by your supervisor, for example, a draft of a specific part of your assignment. Since the mutual feedback between students is a large part of collective guidance, you will therefore also have to read your fellow students ' material and give feedback. Read more about giving and receiving feedback here.

Benefits of collective guidance
The focus of collective guidance is the learning that is in relating to and giving feedback on other people's texts - and that others relate to your text. So even if some students find that there is less focus on their individual project in collective supervision, the insight into other people's tasks and the sparring with other students during the supervisor's presence thus helps to qualify your own process and task.

Benefits of collective guidance includes:

  • you get feedback from many
  • you train scientific argumentation and professional dialogue
  • you may feel less alone with your project because you have other students to spar with and support you
  • you learn faster to recognize and apply the subject's criteria when reading other people's texts and have to give feedback
  • you will get started writing faster because you will often have to produce text as the basis for the instructions
  • more guidance time when supervisor is present

Before, during and after guidance

Below you will find good advice on what you can do before, during and after the guide.

Before the guidance

Prepare you

The preparation can typically consist of making a text draft either about your assignment or for a specific section of the assignment, which the others can give feedback on, and partly of giving feedback on your fellow students ' drafts. Tell the others how you perceive your text, e.g. whether it is a raw draft or almost finished, and whether there is something you would like them to focus on. That way you get more concrete, actionable feedback.

You and your fellow students ' prepared work will often form the basis of the supervision, and it is therefore important that you prepare so that you all get a good benefit from the supervision. Reading through and feedback on your fellow students ' material involves a great deal of learning for you because you become more familiar with requirements for a good assignment that you can transfer to your own process.

Know the requirements for the task Be sure to know the requirements for the task you are going to write. Read the curriculum, and feel free to ask questions to your teacher or supervisor if you are in doubt about how the curriculum should be interpreted. You can also find information in relevant texts about task writing If you are unsure about specific parts of the task or work process.

Under guidance

Participate actively

Collective guidance is tied to conversation, discussion and feedback in the group, and it is therefore important that you actively participate and contribute to the community. If you and your fellow students take joint responsibility for the guidance, you and your supervisor can create the guidance that makes sense to you.

If you have not had time to prepare, or you have stalled and fallen behind in relation to the others ' assignment process, it can still be beneficial for both you and your fellow students that you show up and participate in professional conversations and discussions. The other people's advice, experiences and views on your task can help you to get ahead.

Focus on professional sparring See the guidance room as a place where you and your fellow students have the opportunity to spar, turn ideas around and get professional input. One of the advantages of the collective guidance is precisely that you can gain insight into each other's different approaches and learn that there is rarely a definitive answer. Therefore, feel free to present drafts and unfinished ideas, and do not be afraid to show your insecurity. If you have any doubts about something, it is important to translate it. There will often be others who have doubts about the same as you, and you can use the guidance to help each other in the best way.

After the guidance

Reflect on the benefits and think ahead

You can reflect on the payoff of the guidance by considering the following:

  • What did you become aware of that you are doing well?
  • What do you need to fix or change?
  • What did you agree to do in the future?
  • What should you have prepared for the next guidance meeting?

If the supervisor has given you feedback and suggestions that you need to have incorporated, you can make a to-do list of them.

Find og brug relevante ressourcer

Supplement your guide as needed with some of the many offers available:

Read more about information search on the literature search page here.

See also this

Academic regulations

Orientate yourself in your curriculum on requirements for each individual subject in your programme.


Know the rules

Read about the rules in relation to exams at Aarhus University.


Avoid cheating in your task

It is important to follow rules and guidelines about exam cheating and plagiarism. AU Library guides you on how, so you can easily avoid it.


Podcast for students

Studiekammeraten is a podcast (in Danish) for students at the university. It is about the challenges and opportunities in student life. Both of the podcast hosts are student counsellors, and in each episode, they talk to students or experts about different aspects of life as a university student. Listen to the podcast here: 

The podcast is produced by the Student Counsellor at the Faculty of Health