I have been supervising MA student doing dissertations for many years now at several institutions and this is the time of year when we usually get started.
As soon as I am given the list of students who I will be supervising, I usually email each student and give them some information about me. I ask them to reply with some information about themselves. Some reply quickly, some reply slowly and some do not reply at all until I have sent several reminders.
For many years I have kept an informal record of who replies when and there does seem to be a positive relationship between the speed at which students reply and their final mark. Those who reply to me quickly do well, and those who do not reply at all usually do badly.
It would seem that it is all about management of the process.
This is similar to the medical students at Sheffield university reported in BMJ by Wright & Tanner in 2002!