Claudia Doroholschi presented the paper (co-authored with Kristin Solli) “‘The material you’re working with is yourself’: Student learning experiences with thesis writing” at the 1st Literacy Summit in Porto, 1-3 November 2018. The paper resulted from COST Action 1401 ELN and was part of the symposium “Exploring dissertation/thesis writing from the students’ perspective: The ‘what’, the ‘how’, and the ‘why’” chaired by Bojana Petrić.
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Bachelor’s and Master’s theses are used widely in order to assess students’ research abilities in a certain discipline and to ensure that certain types of learning take place. This study used semi-structured interviews with students who completed MA and BA theses in several universities in Europe to explore students’ perceptions of their learning experiences during the thesis writing process. Students were asked to plot their learning experiences while writing, indicating the moments when they felt learning of any kind occurred. The paper attempted to identify any commonalities in the way students experience learning in various contexts, highlight aspects of learning that are important for the students themselves, but may be overlooked by institutions, supervisors etc. and suggest the implications that the aspects outlined above have for institutional support and supervision at BA and MA level.
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The conference brought together researchers in various fields connected to literacy, from early literacy to academic writing, as well as practitioners and app developers. It also launched the European Literacy Network (ELN) and included the ceremony of the signing of the ELN charter which outlines the values and principles of the network.