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Delectus - Scientific Journal, Inicc-Perú - [ISSN: 2663-1148]

URL: https://revista.inicc-peru.edu.pe/index.php/delectus

DOI: https://doi.org/10.36996/delectus

Email: publicaciones.iniccperu@gmail.com

Vol. 6 No. 1 (2023): January-June [Edit closure: 31/01/2023]


RECEIVED: 21/11/2022 | ACCEPTED: 15/12/2022 | PUBLISHED: 31/01/2023

Suggested quote (APA, seventh edition)

Bastidas Teran, F., Fernández Ojeda, A. (2023). Methodological profiles of thesis guides/advisors of the universities of Carabobo, Venezuela. Delectus, 6(1), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.36996/delectus.v6i1.186


Methodological profiles of thesis guides/advisors of the universities of Carabobo, Venezuela

Felipe Bastidas Teran

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4867-0711
Universidad Internacional de la Rioja, España

AÍda FernÁndez Ojeda

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9145-6307
Universidad San Sebatsián, Chile
afernandezo@docente.uss.cl

Considering the complexity of guiding/advising research works, this study has characterized the profiles of these professionals according to their actions and teaching-learning methodologies. To achieve this objective, a descriptive field research, univariate transectional, was proposed. The Likert Scale of Methodological Guidance (ELGUIM) was used. The principal component analysis technique was applied to perform the automatic classification analysis, cluster; with these two techniques it was possible to differentiate and configure five profiles of methodological guides: reviewer-corrector (30%), integral (23%), driver-facilitator (21%), enunciative (14%) and endorser (12%).

Keywords: Methodological guides, styles, research, thesis.

In Latin America, as in much of the world, the thesis is a requirement to qualify for an academic degree, which is the result of a scientific research process validated according to standards or policies of each University and at the same time, it is a measure to generate research skills in undergraduate and graduate students, where the University, its faculty and administrative staff should guide students in a conducive way on how to do it (Aiquipa, Ramos, Curay and Guizado, 2018), understood specifically as a written research work of unpublished character, which is expected to be a real contribution to the discipline and society (De Del Castillo, 2007), carried out under the protection of universities, where the mission of these has the responsibility to combine teaching and transmission of culture, together with research, knowledge transfer and the social dimension of this institution (Ruiz-Corbella and López-Gómez, 2019). With this, it has been intended to generate favorable conditions for the scientific and technological development of Latin American societies, aspiring to reduce the existing gap between the countries of the region through research development and with a solid science and technology system, which, for decades, has been warning that these results have not been as expected, despite the fact that the early incorporation of scientific research in undergraduate students should be a priority of all universities, because it represents a fundamental pillar in the integral development of the student.

For most undergraduate and graduate students, the elaboration, presentation and evaluation of the thesis is a conflictive process (Sarrot et al., 2007; Machado and Machado, 2014; Rangel, 2004). Some of the most cited causes are an imprecise academic-administrative procedure and insufficient communication between research tutors and evaluators, being a challenge for students, since, it constitutes a complex process, which requires cognitive, methodological aspects, constancy and dedication for the culmination (Rodriguez, 2019). The weak or non-existent system of incentives and stimulation towards research in universities, both for tutors and thesis students, is another factor that generates the feeling of abandonment and loneliness on the part of both actors, as well as the deficient training of tutors and a feeling of frustration at the impossibility of publishing the findings of the theses (Salinas and Vildózola, 2008; Rosas, Flores and Valarino, 2005).

To counteract this reality, universities are increasingly including research methodology curricular units in their professional training programs, apropos that student research training has become a priority objective for many universities (Montesi, Cuevas-Cerveró and Fernández-Bajón, 2017) with the intention that students arrive at the end of the career with the necessary research skills to develop and present a thesis, which demands an effort that although it falls on the thesis student, there must, in every sense, be an institutional commitment to provide the respective advice (Mayta-Tristán, 2016). However, the opposite is usually the case: the student does not have the research skills nor the tutors sufficient training to guide him/her in this process (Rangel, 2004). Although at the beginning of the process the thesis students have the motivation and willingness to develop their thesis, these are annulled because they do not have the knowledge or scientific skills (Amezaga, 2014), adding to this that the university student does not always fulfill his obligations in time and under the conditions or guidelines indicated.

Among the deficiencies presented by the students, we can mention: poor reading and writing skills, as well as weaknesses in the statistical analysis of data (Sarrot et al., 2007). To this is added misinformation about the procedure and expectations of the institution with respect to the work of thesis students, as well as the awareness of their low research capacity that cannot be acquired immediately, a fact that generates negative emotions such as insecurity, fear, anguish, loneliness, guilt, feeling of being handicapped (Rangel, 2004). This author identified several phases of this traumatic and conflictive process of the thesis student, one of them being isolation and paralysis, which gives way to coping and help management, due to the incentive of fulfilling the thesis requirement to graduate and complete their degree.

Additionally, most undergraduate and graduate students are immediatists and procrastinate the development of their scientific competences, often neglecting the curricular units of research methodology (Resala, 2007); a situation that contrasts with the research training of students integrated into research structures with defined lines of research, through which their work is published (Salinas and Vildózola, 2008).

The delivery and evaluation of the thesis in an efficient and timely manner is not only a personal goal, but a social one due to the great investment of time, resources and talent invested. For this reason, it is frequent that thesis students are inclined to seek an external advisor to receive guidance in their research process, an attitude that has also been promoted by some universities and, in some cases, has been institutionalized. In this context, the methodological advisor has emerged as a figure that in Venezuela has become autonomous from the social representation of the research tutor.

The methodological advisor is presented as a complementary actor to the research tutor, who has remained more in the role of legal representative, evaluator (follow-up of the thesis) and advisor in the theoretical and technical aspects of the discipline, which has fallen to the methodological advisor. The presence of the methodological advisor in some contexts is valued positively, and is seen as a contribution and complementarity with the research tutor, since it helps the elaboration of a quality thesis within the established time, thus contributing to a personal, institutional and social achievement.

Morillo (2009) indicates that the limits between advisor and tutor are blurred, pointing out that the tutoring (advising) must be present throughout the process of carrying out the degree work. However, the figure of the methodological advisor is already commonly found in the institutional rules and regulations of various universities in the Latin American region: "The role of a methodological and statistical advisor consists, essentially, in providing advice at any stage of a research project, that is, from the planning of a study to the dissemination of its results" ( Uruguayan Society of Cardiology, n.d.) and similar specifications are found in other guidelines for research in higher education institutions.

Although the figure of the methodological advisor has already been institutionalized and accepted in many university contexts in Latin America, little is known about this emerging professional, unlike the figure of the tutor, who has a large volume of scientific literature on his or her profile, ethics, competencies and training. In order to give a start to the approach of this professional who has gone in recent years from being invisible to being visible, from being informal to being institutionalized, even from being optional to being mandatory, the objective of this study is to configure a representation of the profiles of methodological advisors according to their characteristic actions exercised formally or informally in the university contexts of Carabobo. In this sense, the following research question has been posed: What are the profiles of methodological advisors according to their characteristic actions exercised in the contexts of the main universities of the State of Carabobo - Venezuela?

Research design

This is descriptive quantitative research, seeking to achieve a scheme or classification of any issue of social relevance (Mendicoa, 2003), that is, the profiles of the methodological advisors were identified, which merited a classification based on their performance and actions carried out according to their area of influence.

The research design is a univariate transectional field study. Field because the information in this study was collected directly from live sources in their natural context; transectional because the information was collected between December 2018 and January 2019; it is univariate, in that the only event to be described was the methodological advice. We proceeded to perform the operational definition of the variable "methodological counseling" obtaining the following:

Methodological advice: A learning situation with a climate of trust in which an advisor, as an expert in research methodology, guides a person, group or team to carry out a research, through: a methodological, personal and academic/professional orientation; facilitation through personalized and group didactics, stimulation of basic motivation and planning and organization of the sessions; quality assurance of the process and the product with the review of the substance and form of the report, personal follow-up to the researcher/s; mediation between the tutor-tesist/s, thesis student/researcher-institution, thesis student/researcher-context. Finally, it provides emotional support with understanding, patience and empathy to favor the balance, coping and resilience necessary for the thesis holder/researcher to complete his/her intellectual work with the least possible trauma.

Participants

The sample, understood as a subgroup of the population of interest (Hernández, Fernández and Baptista, 2014) corresponds to methodological guides/advisors who develop their activity in a formal or informal way in the main university institutions from which professionals of long careers graduate in the State of Carabobo, Venezuela. Given the informal, hidden or invisible condition of many of them, it was not possible to know the exact number of those who make up the population, therefore, the population is infinite or unknown. Consequently, the sampling technique is non-probabilistic, because the study units do not have the same probability of being chosen within the sample (Ramirez, 2007), and it is also the most frequent in educational research (McMillan and Shumacher, 2005).

When the population is infinite or unknown, the type of sampling is casual, which is the case of this research. We surveyed those professionals who have worked or self-qualified as methodological guides for thesis students, who consented to answer the instrument. The sample consisted of 100 study units, corresponding to the methodological advisors, with a sampling error margin of 10% and a reliability level of 95%. In this sense, the instrument was applied during the months of January, February and March 2022 at the facilities of the Carabobo University (Bárbula campus), Technological University of the Center (Guacara and Valencia), Libertador Experimental Pedagogical University-Impm/Iupma (Valencia/San Diego), National Experimental University of the Armed Forces (Naguanagua), Arturo Michelena University (San Diego), José Antonio Páez University (San Diego). We took advantage of the teachers' stay in the teachers' lounge, during courses and workshops, meetings and oral presentation of theses, as well as others contacted by thesis students.

Instrument

The type of instrument used was the Methodological Guidance Likert Scale with four response alternatives that measure the intensity of each statement derived from the indicators of the dimensions: guidance; facilitation; review, correction and follow-up; mediation. According to Barrera (2010), the Likert scale consists of a set of items presented in the form of statements or judgments referring to the event in such a way that respondents select a graduated alternative, depending on the intensity of their reaction to each statement or judgment. The dimensions, as well as the indicators and content areas, were specified through the theoretical foundation of the research, constituted by means of an exhaustive documentary review.

Statistical analysis

Reliability was calculated using the cronbach's alpha technique with the support of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) program. Overall, the instrument obtained a reliability of 0.92, considered very high or very strong because it was in the range between 0.80 and 1.00.

The information was processed using multivariate statistics with the support of the SPAD 5.5 program. In the first instance, the principal component analysis (PCA) technique was used. Finally, the automatic classification analysis, cluster, was applied to refine the procedure performed by the principal components analysis and allowed the identification and configuration of the profiles of the methodological advisors.

The first step for the PCA was to analyze the principal components based on the eigenvalues of each factor, as shown in Figure 1 below.


Figure 1. Histogram of eigenvalues according to principal component analysis

It is evident that the inflection point occurs from factor 2 onwards, i.e., the eigenvalue of the factors is significant in the first two factors, therefore, these are considered for the principal component analysis (PCA). The first factor explains 18.01% of the variance, being the largest factor, which shows that there is a correlation between all the activities measured in the methodological assessment. It is followed by factor 2 with 8.52% of the variance and both explain 26.52% of the variance; thereafter, the factors each have less than 5% of the variance, so they were deemed irrelevant for inclusion in the PCA.

Given that factor 1 is the factor with the greatest contribution, it shows that all the activities of the items are correlated with each other and form a single event: the process of methodological advice. This is a general ordering factor of the items of methodological counseling according to their weight (test value) or hierarchical contribution to the overall event. What was obtained in factor 1 means that all the actions (items) are positively correlated, however, there were actions that obtained greater weight, and are those that give a tendency of the general behavior of the sample under study. Table 1 shows the fourteen actions that made the greatest contribution to factor 1, all above 0.55. Once the actions with the highest weight in factor 1 have been analyzed, it can be seen that, the higher the score in this factor, the methodological advisors show a behavior more inclined to: 

Table 1.
Main contributions of the characteristic actions (items) of the methodological assessment to factor 1

Assume that the thesis student is subject to an evaluation process, and therefore, try to contain him/her and focus him/her on his/her goals. Take care of the internal and external consistency of the methodological process, taking into account that there is an evaluation process according to parameters whose fulfillment is imperative. 3. Design a counseling plan as a means of guiding and orienting the thesis student. In conclusion, factor 1, gives a general representation of the event, assuming the process of methodological counseling as an activity subject to an evaluation (it operates taking into account an evaluation process according to parameters to be fulfilled).

Factor 2 shows a polarity in the contributions (weight or test value) of the methodological counseling items, both positive and negative of the factor:

  1. On the positive side of factor 2, it is possible to observe a tendency of the methodological advisor to direct, that is, to lead and point out orientations of the methodological process, before the thesis candidate acts, most of them centered on the phases of the project. The role of the methodological advisor in the direction, as facilitator and conductor is reinforced by the intentionality of favoring and establishing actions aimed at giving structure to the research process and to the methodological advice.
  2. On the negative side of factor 2, we can observe a tendency towards methodological advice with an evaluative character, where correction and revision predominate, that is, the advisor intervenes once the student has developed the corresponding work, to correct, adjust and clarify doubts. Most of these corrections are focused on the advanced stages of the research project. It seems that advisors on this side of the factor consider that their responsibilities basically have to do with making corrections rather than directing the work. Although their style of methodological advice is that of an evaluator, they are attentive not to affect the susceptibility of the thesis student and, therefore, provide him/her with containment in the face of a constant process of readjustment of what has already been built.

Table 2.
Contributions of the actions (items) of the methodological assessment to factor 2

Factor 1 is divided by factor 2, which polarizes in the upper quadrant those consultants who emphasize the cases they advise, but in a directive way, and in the lower right quadrant those who tend to advise, but from the evaluation. In the lower left quadrant, those who do not advise or advise weakly and do not direct or lead. In the upper left quadrant, those who do not advise laxly and do not evaluate (do not review or correct).

Once the principal component analysis (PCA) had been performed, we proceeded to apply an automatic classification analysis (cluster), in order to specify and define more clearly the different typologies of assessors, identify the members of each group, and describe each of their characteristics with regard to methodological assessment. The first thing that was done was to identify into how many classes the 100 study units could be subdivided according to their characteristic actions in the process of methodological counseling. According to the histogram produced by the SPAD program (figure 2), the inflection points of the possible classes are in the last five, which are the most significant; this was also evident in the dendogram (figure 3).


Figure 2. Histogram of level indexes


Figure 3. Dendogram with percentages of the five classes identified

According to the guidelines provided in Figure 3, it can be identified that the study units are classified first into two classes, and then into three classes, but the groups are still very large and heterogeneous, and others are small and homogeneous, and by dividing the study units into five classes or groups, a better distribution in their composition and size is observed.

Once the possibility of classifying the study units into five groups was identified, we proceeded to deepen their analysis, for this reason, we reviewed the intra- and inter-group inertias of the five classes identified, as a starting point for the configuration of the profiles of the methodological guides/advisors. As shown in Table 3, the inter-class inertia is much higher than each of the intra-class inertias, which means that the units of study of each class are closer to each other than to the units of study of other classes. This ensures that the conformation of the five groups is the most appropriate, i.e., that the members of each group have common characteristics of the methodological counseling process, and at the same time, they differ from the members of the other classes.

Table 3.
Intra- and inter-group inertia

Table 3 shows the pre and post calculation, in which an adjustment of the members of the study units of each class is observed, if it is observed, class 1/5 went from 31 to 30 cases, class 2/5 from 20 to 21, class 3/5 from 24 to 23, class 4/5 from 11 to 12 and class 5/5 remained the same. In this way, the classes with more study units (1/5 and 3/5) lost one case each, allowing classes 2/5 and 4/5 to gain one more case; so, the groups have a better distribution of study units.

Caracterización de la clase 1/ 5

Class 1 was made up of 30 cases, being the most heterogeneous class of all (its intragroup inertia is 7.20). The characteristics of the assessor that have the greatest weight in this class show a methodological assessor with the following attributes (weight or test value):

1. He/she is empathetic with the thesis student and his/her negative emotions associated with the research process: he/she understands the difficulties in the results phase (3.50), listens to the thesis student's feelings of discouragement (2.81), allows him/her to vent feelings of insecurity (2.80).  

2. Promotes or favors student autonomy, but does not direct: stimulates or enhances creativity in justification (3.50), sets guidelines for writing by means of a conceptual scheme (3.42), knows and informs the student of the evaluation criteria (3.10), generates self-evaluation in data processing (2.67). This is corroborated because it places less emphasis on facilitation: does not provide didactic material on research question (-2.37), does not instruct on tertiary documentary sources (-2.38).

3. Focuses on the internal consistency of the research, especially in the instrumentation or projective phase of the research, with emphasis on correction and revision: ensures the coherence of the methodology (3.04), explains the consequences of sampling (3.02), corrects the wording of instrument items (2.80), identifies gaps in the development of instruments (2.60).

4. Attends to the external consistency of the research process in relation to the written report, with emphasis on revision and correction: clarifies doubts about the reference file (2.94), reads the conclusions and recommendations (2.82), corrects the titling of tables, graphs and infographics (2.80).

5. Does not give special importance to external validation or legitimization/social relevance, i.e., focuses or closes on the research process: does not suggest inviting beneficiaries to the oral presentation (-2.50), omits the social relevance of the research (-2.56), does not set guidelines in the validation of instruments (-2.72).

6. It does not deepen in the process of bibliographic research and bibliographic survey: It does not instruct on tertiary documentary sources (-2.38), it does not review the progress of the bibliographic survey and bibliographic research (-2.51). This confirms that his emphasis is not on management.

Characterization of class 2/ 5

Within this class, 21 study units were grouped. It was more homogeneous than the previous class with an intra-group inertia of 5.18. The main actions of this type of methodological guide/advisor are (contributions of test value or weight:

1. Directs the research process according to the norm, before the student acts: sets guidelines in the validation of instruments (5.17), guides in the selection of the topic according to lines (4.32), and reminds the social relevance of the research (3.10).

2. Directs the performance of the thesis student to focus him/her on the research process: Points out the importance of elaborating the schedule (4.54), plans the advising sessions (3.88), recommends linking the acquired knowledge (3.43), establishes norms for the advising process (3.24), interprets the requirements of the jurors in the correction (2.78), guides the student to set achievable goals (2.54), reviews the progress of the bibliographic survey and filing (4.59), makes corrections of reference cards (3.61).

3. Facilitates and orients the student, with emphasis on the first phases of the research and in key moments of the methodological process: I provide didactic material on the research question (5.00), clarifies doubts in the writing of recommendations (4.59), facilitates procedures to review the feasibility of the topic (4.20), invites to explore alternative ways of writing objectives (4.08), instructs on tertiary documentary sources (3.59). Gives alternatives to identify units of study (3.14), explains consequences of writing objectives (2.92), clarifies the doubts of the student about reliability (2.37), shows alternatives on how to present information (2.35).

4. Does not give autonomy to the student: Does not generate concern in the achievement of research objectives (-2.44), does not help to interpret the jury's corrections (-2.60). 

5. Prefers to act and direct rather than correct: Does not identify gaps in the development of instruments (-2.35).

Characterization of class 3/5

Twenty-three cases were grouped in this class, which is the most homogeneous of the three typified as effectively methodological advisors, with an internal inertia of 5.04. The actions of this type of consultant are shown below with their weight or test value:

1. Facilitates and guides with emphasis on external consistency (written and oral discourse), above all, in the confirmatory and evaluative phase of the research process (final writing of the report, oral substantiation, socialization of the study): prepares to defend the methodological criteria (4.99), explains the content of the conclusions (4.21). Advises the writing of conclusions with examples (3.88), sets guidelines for the writing of the discussion of results (3.87), clarifies doubts in the writing of recommendations (3.59), stimulates creativity in the oral presentation of the thesis (3.54), invites to explore options for the dissemination of results (3.34), performs a complete check of the report (2.77).

2. Assumes the role of mediator based on the promotion of the thesis candidate's assertive communication with other actors: promotes assertive communication in disagreements with the tutor (4.61), recommends dialogue with the examining jury (2.99), invites the thesis candidate to incorporate the jury's corrections (2.52), and even mediates between other actors apart from the thesis candidate: seeks agreements between the tutor and the institutional norm (2.81).

3 It attends to the strengthening of the thesis student in its intellectual dimension (intellectual skills): it generates concern in the presentation of results (4.47), generates concern in the achievement of research objectives (4.43), develops in the thesis student a critical attitude (3.59), stimulates creativity in the oral presentation of the thesis (3.54). As well as its volitional-social dimension (personal, academic-professional): it orients the student to set achievable goals (3.37), recommends linking acquired knowledge (3.12), invites to use foundation to strengthen knowledge (2.62), communicates to the student his/her academic growth (2.59).

4. Helps the thesis student to interpret the challenges arising from the research process itself: helps to solve novel methodological problems (4.14), solves absences of methodological criteria (2.86), recommends bibliography based on his/her experience (2.86), instructs on tertiary documentary sources (2.47), and on the demands of other actors in the research process: reminds of the social relevance of the research (3.09), helps to interpret the jury's corrections (2.84), helps to identify institutional expectations (2.42).

5. It orients the thesis writer regarding the internal consistency of the research process, with special emphasis on the final phases of the project (projective phase of the research) and of the report (confirmatory and evaluative phase of the research), gives alternatives, invites to explore, clarifies doubts in the drafting of recommendations (3.59), invites to explore options for the dissemination of results (3.34). Gives alternatives for identifying study units (3.31), facilitates data analysis based on his experience (3.29), invites to explore alternatives for collection techniques (2.91), clarifies the doubts of the thesis writer about reliability (2.77).

6. The revision and correction is aimed at taking care of the external consistency of the research (formality in written and oral communication), with special attention to the norm: it ensures the correct use of the citation system according to the norm (3.32), corrects the titling of tables, graphs and infographics (3.30), corrects the wording of items of the instrument (3.20), identifies gaps in the design of the oral presentation (3.17), ensures compliance with the norm of tables and graphs (2.75).

7. 4. Helps the thesis student to interpret the challenges arising from the research process itself: helps to solve novel methodological problems (4.14), solves absences of methodological criteria (2.86), recommends bibliography based on his/her experience (2.86), instructs on tertiary documentary sources (2.47), and on the demands of other actors in the research process: reminds of the social relevance of the research (3.09), helps to interpret the jury's corrections (2.84), helps to identify institutional expectations (2.42).

5. It orients the thesis writer regarding the internal consistency of the research process, with special emphasis on the final phases of the project (projective phase of the research) and of the report (confirmatory and evaluative phase of the research), gives alternatives, invites to explore, clarifies doubts in the drafting of recommendations (3.59), invites to explore options for the dissemination of results (3.34). Gives alternatives for identifying study units (3.31), facilitates data analysis based on his experience (3.29), invites to explore alternatives for collection techniques (2.91), clarifies the doubts of the thesis writer about reliability (2.77).

6. The revision and correction is aimed at taking care of the external consistency of the research (formality in written and oral communication), with special attention to the norm: it ensures the correct use of the citation system according to the norm (3.32), corrects the titling of tables, graphs and infographics (3.30), corrects the wording of items of the instrument (3.20), identifies gaps in the design of the oral presentation (3.17), ensures compliance with the norm of tables and graphs (2.75).

7. It is empathetic, but assertive and firm in guiding the thesis student: allows the student to relieve feelings of insecurity (3.18), is understanding of the thesis student's doubts (3.06), clarifies arguments of unfeasibility of the topic (2.87), calls the attention of the thesis student for non-compliance with the plan (2.84), requests advances in the research background (2.79), endorses with his/her signature the record of advising (2.75), accompanies the student throughout the process (2.68).

Characterization of classes 4/5 and 5/5

They were excluded from this section because they do not undertake actions of methodological assessment, since the test values (weights) are negative. The cases placed in class 4/5 tend to neglect the internal and external consistency of the research, i.e., they review the report once it has been written, by means of a general check. Consequently, it does not facilitate or facilitates superficially. This profile was designated as a guarantor. With respect to class 5/5, we obtained an actor prone to the enunciative at the expense of the volitional, practical or operative, neglects the internal and external consistency of the research; performs the actions or responsibilities of methodological advice (facilitation; orientation; revision, correction and follow-up; mediation) in a weak or lax manner, therefore, he was denominated as enunciative or nominal. Classes 4 and 5 were not taken into account for the identification and construction of the profiles.


Figure 4. Profile of the reviewer-corrector-methodological guide/advisor

In this way, the profile of the reviewer-corrector is shown, an advisor who is very similar to the classic notion of the traditional tutor centered on the thesis student, therefore, leaving him/her some autonomy and freedom to act, but only to correct and adjust according to the norm, and although it is focused on taking care of the internal and external consistency of the research and has as a relevant characteristic its concern for the emotionality of the student (it is concerned about a cordial and respectful treatment before the revisions, reorientation and evaluations of the process), it tends to direct the process centered on the regulations, criteria and institutional requirements (Figure 4).


Figure 5. Profile of the integral methodological guide/advisor

In this context, this type of advisor makes assertive communication the pivot of methodological advice, and also encourages the thesis candidate to use it with other actors such as the tutor, the evaluating jury and the institution. It assumes the role of mediator: interlocutor/conciliator between the different actors, as well as interpreter in the face of the challenges of the research process and demands of other actors as a way of assisting the student. He/she confers certain autonomy to the thesis student (guides, does not direct), is understanding and empathetic, but firm in the guidelines of the methodological advice. He is attentive to the strengthening of their intellectual, personal and professional formation.

In short, he/she is an advisor who in a balanced way fulfills his/her responsibilities of facilitating, guiding, revising and mediating. The professional characteristics of the study units are homogeneous in terms of the propensity towards assertive communication: guidance, languages, social communication, information, management, psychology, education; most of them have doctoral studies in humanistic areas of a managerial nature (Figure 5).

Subsequently, the profile of a methodological advisor-facilitator was identified (Figure 6), as opposed to the reviewer-corrector, who assumes methodological advice as a process of direction of both the research process and the thesis writer: he establishes parameters according to the norm and facilitates key methodological processes. In other words, he/she guides before the student acts (establishes consequences, shows alternatives); clarifies doubts, reviews and corrects in the process, prior to the writing of the report. He/she takes care of the internal and external consistency of the research. Emphasizes its predictive and cautious nature.


Figure 6. Profile of the guide/methodological advisor conductor-facilitator.

Leads the researcher by setting standards, reminds the researcher of the importance of a dedicated research schedule, and plans advisories. Interprets, but does not help to interpret the thesis candidate when he/she faces the jury's evaluation. The characteristics of the units of study in this group show a certain homogeneity in terms of training linked to administration or management and to logical-formal thinking; there is also homogeneity in the years of experience as advisor: most of them are between 5 and 15 years. There is a certain tendency towards a formal and institutional approach.

The methodological guide/advisor has become a leading figure in some scenarios where the processes of generating theses for the achievement of an academic degree are highly challenging for students, fulfilling an important role in the continuous monitoring during the assigned curricular course (Díaz-Vélez, Fernández-Mogollón, Apolaya-Segura, & Pisfil-Farroñay, 2019). In view of this, some profiles of the advisors studied stand out, such as reviewer-corrector, integral and driver-facilitator, which allows to account for a line in the characteristic development of these subjects, facing the possibility of generating an efficient and quality advising, in line with what is proposed by Oyola-García (2015) when he asserts that the methodological advisor guides in the selection of the topic, analysis and writing, among other relevant actions. This advisor, in addition, performs his or her actions based not only on the idea of completing the thesis, but also -in some cases- based on the importance of a broader support to the student.
So, the first and most numerous group of guides/advisors (30%) were those classified under the profile of the reviewer-corrector centered on the thesis student, therefore, leaving him/her certain autonomy and freedom to act, but only to later correct and adjust according to the norm, being an advisor enclosed in the research process, taking care of the internal and external consistency of the research; he/she is concerned about not hurting the susceptibility of the student-researcher before the constant revision, reorientation and evaluation of the process. He assumes methodological consultancy as a closed process, that is, he prefers to omit the pertinence or social legitimization of the research and focus on the institutional evaluative criteria and requirements.
Then, the profile of an integral methodological guide/advisor was configured, resulting from 23% of the sample. This type of professional assumes the research process as a discourse; consequently, he/she places special emphasis on the external consistency of the research without undermining the internal consistency, with greater emphasis on the final phases of the research (confirmatory and evaluative: data analysis, conclusions). It gives special importance to the communicative fact: it takes care of the formality of the written report according to the norm, the ilation and aesthetics of the discourse, the oral substantiation of the research, and even invites the thesis writer to explore other forms of socialization and dissemination of his or her study.
The third group corresponds to the one identified as the profile of methodological guide/advisor, who is positioned as a directive advisor, establishing parameters according to the norm and facilitating key methodological processes and taking care of the internal and external consistency of the research, emphasizing its predictive and cautious character.
The most balanced profile was that of integral guide/advisor, whose characteristics of the units of study that comprise it have a background towards management or sciences that promote or study communication, here it is necessary to remember that in any counseling process the notion of joint construction refers to the fact that the task is built as a team, from the perspective of each one, as well as the experiences, knowledge, emotions and feelings that the situation generates (Solé and Martín, 2011). It is necessary to identify the characteristics of the methodological advisors and that they adapt their style to the configuration of the work, seeking to enhance the scientific production and the love of their thesis students for the production of knowledge, without losing sight of the need for integrality in the process, where the training of researchers demands a certain teaching and learning process that does not end with the delivery of knowledge, even though its importance as an essential component in this field is not avoided (Fuentes, 2012).


Figure 7. Profiles of methodological guides/advisors at the intersection of factor 1 and 2.

So, of the three profiles that entered the quadrants of methodological guides (Figure 7), it is striking that the most numerous was the reviewer-corrector, i.e., the one who acts reactively and, subsequent to what has been elaborated or constructed by the researcher, located on the border between "methodological non-consulting" and "methodological consulting". Facilitating and guiding are fundamental and key synergies that move together with revision-correction and mediation in methodological consulting.  Only one of the profiles, integral advisor, showed attention to the personal, professional and academic development of the thesis student.

In each of the profiles, the process of methodological advising and thesis construction was assumed to be subject to evaluation and to comply with certain parameters and standards; although this is in fact the case, and it would be irresponsible to assert any assumption to the contrary, it is also necessary to observe the process of methodological consulting as a learning process for both the thesis candidate and the methodological advisor, and even, ideally, in terms of the acquisition of new competencies, it should also be assumed as significant learning that responds to the demands of society, on the basis that the competencies from the conceptual point of view, in addition to what is related to the set and development of knowledge, skills and abilities, are important to be used in other actions such as responding to situations, solving problems and developing in the world (Espinoza and Campuzano, 2019), which allows, by the way, a better performance of the thesis student as a future professional.

Only one of the profiles was shown as a conciliator and mediator (integral advisor), as well as an empathetic and understanding methodological advisor to the thesis student. The profiles of reviewer-corrector and facilitator-driver do not stimulate open communication nor do they help the student to interpret the challenges and emerging issues of the research process; they do not generate self-confidence, concern or reflection in the researcher, nor do they invite him/her to transfer and link his/her newly acquired knowledge from his/her research activity.

It is highlighted that the role of the methodological guide/advisor shows profiles that will determine the conduction of the final product (the thesis) and, therefore, of its result, however, there is in each of the three predominant profiles the differentiating element regarding the relationship with the student. In this context, this configuration that emerges from the methodological advisor, which, although it has many characteristics of the figure of the tutor, similar to those highlighted by Vera and Vera (2015) and Piamo-Morales and Ferrer-Marrero (2019), although different from the conceptions of the university tutor as described by Martínez et al. (2020), acts in his role under an academic freedom that allows him to transmit his knowledge and make the accompaniment from his own style and under profiles that he applies that resembles many other advisors, regardless of his disciplinary area. Research conducted and recorded in the scientific literature reveal that a decisive factor for the successful completion of research work, as well as having a high probability of publication, are directly related to the experience and competencies of the advisor, thus, from this perspective, the profiles of the advisors have a great influence on the development and outcome of the research work, taking into account that Sarasa (2014) asserts that leading a thesis work requires a group of specialists capable of performing various actions for the benefit of this process.

In short, the present study is positioned as a relevant contribution providing tools for the construction of models of accompaniment, counseling and facilitation of thesis elaboration processes. For further studies, it is suggested to analyze the processes of acquisition of competencies by thesis students as a fundamental requirement for the achievement of the graduate profile, based on the assumption that the different characteristics of the methodological advisors could develop different skills for the benefit of a greater and faster adaptation to work contexts of future professionals. It is also suggested to carry out studies of advisors' profiles in Chilean universities in order to establish comparisons between the two countries.

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