Curricular Goals and Personal Goals in Master's Thesis Projects: Dutch Student-Supervisor Dyads

Renske de Kleijn, Paulien Meijer, Mieke Brekelmans, Albert Pilot


One of the most important tasks for master’s thesis supervisors is to provide constructive feedback. This feedback should be goal-related to be effective, but is not perceived as such. In order to better understand goal-related feedback in Master’s thesis projects, the present study explores goals of students and supervisors and similarities and differences within and between supervision dyads. Twelve supervisors and students were interviewed, and their goals were categorized using a curricular perspective and personal goals perspective. Results indicated that most students and supervisors pursue both curricular and personal goals. Within dyads these goals vary greatly. Also, supervisors and students perceive each other’s goals in only a few cases. The findings suggest that goal-related feedback in Master’s thesis supervision appears to be complex, as the students and supervisors of this study (1) pursue different goals and (2) do not perceive each other’s goals.

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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