Student Preferences And Experiences In Online Thesis Advising: 
A Case Study Of Universitas Terbuka


Online learning and communication requires new perspectives and habits of learning which oftentimes are not readily acquired by students and faculties. The sense of security in the old habits of face-to-face learning may become a hindrance in the development of positive attitude and ease in online communication. This study explored student perceptions of the thesis advising process and the use of online communication for thesis submission, correction and feedback at the Open University of Indonesia (Universitas Terbuka, UT). This is an exploratory study of Internet usage patterns for thesis advising by students and advisors. The study, which involved thirty graduate students, reveals that in some cases there is a mismatch of perceptions and expectations in online advising between students and advisors. Even though students reported generally positive perceptions of online advising, only half of the students used the Internet for thesis advising. Only 38 percent of the respondents sent their thesis papers to an advisor using email, and, for various reasons, 61.5 percent preferred that the advisors provide written feedback on the printed draft rather than electronic feedback on the document sent back and forth using the Internet. Paperless thesis advising is not desirable for the students involved in this study, although they typically use the Internet for other purposes. Reasons for this discrepancy will discuss.

KEYWORDS: Online Thesis Advising; Online Feedback