April 29, 2014, by Teaching at Nottingham
Engaging students through partnership towards better educational outcomes
Colin Bryson, with Ruth Furlonger and Jenni Cannon, talks about involving students more fully in conversation about curriculum design, assessment and teaching.
This was the plenary session at the 2014 University Teaching and Learning conference on Students in Conversation.
Student engagement now occupies a prominent focus in Higher Education. However it is a complex concept and used to describe a whole host of different developments and initiatives. Approaches to engagement are also influenced by contrasting viewpoints about the purpose of universities and the positioning of students! The notion of ‘students as partners’ is emerging as a way of integrating student engagement and creating an ethos in which engagement can flourish and where students (and staff) gain the opportunity to get involved much more profoundly in a learning community – and thus enhance transformative learning and developing graduate attributes. We have been creating such a model of students as partners within the context of a large degree; including partnership on co-governing the degree and school policy, peer mentoring, co-design of the curriculum and many student led projects. We shall explore these concepts and consider policies and practices which enhance engagement and partnership. This approach does pose challenging questions but resolving such issues through discourse and negotiation with the students presents a constructive way forward.
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