Using critical incident technique to improve the supervision of PhD students
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2007

The purpose of the paper is to provide a set of critical incidents in supervision that can be used as a starting point for a discussion on key issues in postgraduate training. When one begins to use the critical incident technique it is helpful to begin with an analysis of other people’s incidents. Writing down and relating one’s own incidents can be stressful, especially when one tells the story to a small group of colleagues. This paper provides a wide range of incidents that can be used in this first stage of the technique. There are some rules designed to get the most out of interrogating critical incidents whether one reflects on the incident alone, engages in a dialogue with a trusted mentor or tells the story in a small group of colleagues. It is important, for example, to hunt for assumptions that underpin the story itself rather than rushing in to give or get advice. Another useful rule is to see if the individual incident fits into a more general category. The latter tactic takes the ‘critique’ to a higher level and enables those who reflect on the story to suggest useful feedback and solutions if the incident concerns a common problem. In the section that follows we give a more detailed description of the critical incident technique, its history and how it might be used to improve the practice of PhD supervision

the reflective practitioner

supervision of research

critical incident technique


Michael Christie

Chalmers, Tillämpad informationsteknologi

Centrum för kompetens och kunskapsbildning i högre utbildning (CKK)

Pedagogical Papers Series

1654-3009 (ISSN)

Vol. 1 Autumn 1-63


Pedagogiskt arbete


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