A thesis is a compilation of research that proves the student is knowledgeable about the information learned throughout a graduate program. It is normally done one-on-one with a faculty advisor with no lecture component. The delivery modality is determined by an agreement between the faculty and the student.
- Days/times are NOT listed in the course schedule as there are no set meeting times.
- All course materials, syllabi, grades, handouts, video lectures, assignments, etc. must be posted online within The Citadel’s approved learning management system (Canvas).
- All student work must be submitted via Canvas including work done in third-party vendors.
- Faculty will post both online and on-campus hours in the course syllabus.
- Faculty are required to use The Citadel’s approved videoconferencing tool (Zoom) if needed to work online with students.
Key Principles for Success
- Set Clear Expectations: Define the intended outcomes of the course. Make sure students know what the schedule of the course will be and how their work will be monitored and evaluated. In some cases, these conditions may be something you negotiate with the student. Whatever the case may be, have a written syllabus and/or contract that makes the expectations clear.
- Provide Early and Regular Communication and Support: A thesis course will probably be a deviation from the norm for students, so be in touch by the first day of class or earlier to make sure expectations are clear. Maintain regular contact throughout the term to provide feedback and guidance.
- Post Resources and Grades in Canvas: Even if the course doesn’t utilize significant online content or assignments, students still tend to look in Canvas for course information, submission options, and grades. Using Canvas for these purposes, however, limited they may be, is a good way to maintain student privacy and help students stay on top of important information and deadlines.
- Promote Professional Standards: Thesis classes often provide a unique experiential learning experience. Help students refer to and follow the standards of the discipline or profession as they engage with their experience.
- Promote Reflection: The quality of students’ reflection on a learning experience determines its impact. Help students reflect on their learning activities so they can connect them to important concepts and consider opportunities for improvement.
Preparation for a thesis class can vary significantly depending on the nature of the experience. However, some general principles apply:
- Set up regular communication means: Establish a Zoom schedule, in-person schedule, messaging schedule, or any other means you may need to maintain a connection with your students.
- Send a pre-class message: Students will likely find comfort in knowing how their thesis course will operate before the term officially begins.
- Add resources and assignment submission pages to Canvas: You can use the Canvas Assignments tool to collect work and check for plagiarism, the Canvas calendar to post important milestones, and the Canvas Modules to post important tutorials, forms, and other information. Give yourself more peace of mind by putting this information in Canvas at the beginning of the thesis course.