The whole final project involves different forms of interaction between you and your supervisors. Therefore, we found it important to further clarify the roles of the supervisors in a final project. These roles can be categorised according to the following concerns: advertising or formulation projects, guidance and assessment.
Advertising or formulating projects
The (potential) supervisors of final projects should be sure that possible projects that they can supervise are announced, for example, on bulletin boards and websites. They should also be prepared to talk to candidates who are interested to do a final project, even if candidates have their own ideas about the topics of the final project. The supervisors should try to find out if the interests of the candidates match their own expertise. The supervisors must have some available supervision capacity (time) to be allocated to the candidate when they agree to supervise a final project.
The supervisors should cooperate with the candidates in order to reach an agreement on the initial project plan (deliverable of formalisation phase). Some supervisors may consider the writing of an initial project plan as the first activity a candidate has to do in the project. Other supervisors may develop it together with the candidate. Supervisors must check the project plan, and guarantee that it indeed conforms to these formal requirements.
The supervisors should stimulate the candidates to work independently. They should view the candidates as junior colleagues who are in a learning process. This implies that the supervisors should not hand out ready-made solutions to the candidates, but rather let them search for solutions. The supervisors may provide the candidates with basic material and should check the suitability of some additional material that the candidates are studying. The supervisors should watch out for the progress of the candidates in their final project, intervening only in case major obstacles appear. They may have to take the initiative to call a meeting in case (apparently) no progress is made. They should also monitor the project planning and suggest adjustments to the planning if it is found necessary. The supervisors should read critically the material produced by the candidates and provide timely feedback.
In an external project, an external organisation may give a higher priority to its own interests (for example, the development of a certain product) than to the interests of the candidate (conclude the final project successfully and in reasonable time). In this case, the local supervisors may have to intervene in order to guarantee that the candidate’s interests are respected.
The supervisors should check whether the candidate feels comfortable with the delivery of the final presentation, giving the candidate a chance for a try-out presentation if necessary.
At the end of the final project, the graduation committee must evaluate the project in its totality, and assign a final mark to the candidate. The graduation committee should consider in the assessment the work itself, the final report and the presentation.