onsdag 8 maj 2013

"My" bachelor's theses this spring

Same as last year, I have been the advisor of a group of nine students who (for the most part) work in pairs and who have been writing their bachelor's theses during the spring term. Same as last year, I will also be the examiner and read/oppose/judge twice as many other bachelor's theses a few weeks from now.

We have, as usual, been working with group supervision (i.e. I meet all my students at the same time) and as usual, the students have been pretty involved in each others' theses. In fact, part (1/7th) of the grade they receive is based on actively helping others by providing quality comments on other students' evolving theses during the term. Beyond our face-to-face group supervision meetings, we also use a group annotation system (currently Google docs) for commenting on each other's theses. I wrote a blog post a few months ago about an academic paper I wrote together with two colleagues about this "best practices" process our ours. The paper in question, "Using group supervision and social annotation systems to support students' academic writing" was finished quite some time ago. I was accepted for publication and the final, proof-read version was handed in to an open-access journal "Högre Utbildning" [Higher education] almost three months ago. It will, I presume, be published in their next issue.

I have anyway been busy lately, reading not "my" students' finished theses, but the draft versions of their final theses. Earlier today, at our final meeting for the term, I provided feedback - as did the students - on these almost-finished theses. What remains now are only the students' final efforts at polishing and fixing up the last details before handing in their theses next week and presenting (defending) them two weeks later. 

The five thesis I've been the advisor of are all written in Swedish and they are:

- Heurlin & Wahlstedt, "Min kompis Kenza och jag: En studie av enkelriktade relationer på bloggar" [My friend Kenza and I: A study about one-way relationships on blogs]. Abstract. Thesis (pdf file).
- Lagerberg, "Sociala rörelser och sociala nätverk: En kartläggning av den chilenska studentrörelsen" [Social movements and social networks: Mapping the Chilean student movement]. Abstract. Thesis (pdf file).
- Fleetwood & Joneby, "Twitter i svenska polisens tjänst" [Twitter in the service of the Swedish Police]. Abstract. Thesis (pdf file).

The last two will not be finished in time (will not be presented/defended in May) but will instead be defended after the summer. They don't have any titles at the moment so I went back to the thesis specifications that were written in mid-February to see what they were called at the time:

- Nilsson, "Parasociala Facebookrelationer" [Parasocial Facebook relations]. Abstract. Thesis (pdf file).
- Ahlsén & Engelbert, "Miljömedvetenhet med hjälp av energisnål webdesign" [Environmental consciousness through energy-stingy web design]. Abstract. Thesis (pdf file).

These theses will all be published on the web, later (before or after the summer). I will try to remember to update this blog post and link to the actual texts at a later point, but do remind me later if I forget! It's also possible that a title or two might be tweaked or updated, so I really should try to remember to revise this blog post later.

I think both me and the students are pretty happy about the resulting reports. The bachelor's thesis is  great practice for the students before they write an individual master's thesis that is twice as large (30 hp) two years later.

PS. KTH produced a press release in June about Fleetwood & Joneby's thesis, frames as "The reason why the police uses Twitter"

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