1st Edition

A Conversation Analytic Approach to Doctoral Supervision Feedback, Advice, and Guidance

By Binh Thanh Ta Copyright 2023

    This book reports on an empirical study of oral feedback practices in doctoral supervision meetings, observing supervisors’ and students’ conduct to enable a new understanding of the social organisation of doctoral research supervision.

    In a field that has predominantly drawn on surveys and interviews, this study presents a rare, direct insight into doctoral supervision meetings, showing us what actually happens and making a significant contribution to future practice. Based on 25 video-recorded supervision meetings at an Australian university, the book invites the reader into the micro-world of interactions between doctoral students and their supervisors. Drawing on conversation analysis as an analytical framework, the study uncovers how feedback is initiated and delivered, how supervisors manage when students disagree with their advice and guidance, how they acknowledge student autonomy and identity as people with knowledge and expertise in their own right, as well as how supervisors co-work within a team supervision environment.

    Offering an important new perspective to the study and practice of doctoral supervision, this book will be of interest to doctoral supervisors, postgraduate students and researchers working with conversation analysis and education, and those with an interest in feedback and advice as an integral part of their professions.

    1.Introduction 2. Feedback, advice, and guidance in doctoral supervision and in other educational contexts 3.Conversation analysis 4. Initiating feedback and advice activities and the practice of problematising student responses for advice purposes 5. Securing student display of understanding and acceptance of feedback and advice through storytelling 6. Managing resistance, rejection, and securing acceptance by invoking student epistemic identity 7. Managing disagreement by attending to student autonomy and invoking student deontic identity 8. Anticipatory completion of feedback and advice in team supervision 9. Inviting collaboration in team supervision 10. Towards effecting feedback and advice practices in doctoral supervision


    Binh Thanh Ta is a lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Science, Monash University, where she teaches communication courses. She has expertise in conversation analysis, video-ethnography, and video-stimulated interviews. Her publications have focused on interaction between students and educators in the contexts of doctoral education and clinical placement.