‘It seems strange now to imagine a time when universities did not want to work with students as partners in initiatives to enhance the student experience. But what do such partnerships look like in practice and are all students regularly included? In the UK The HE Academy and the Quality Assurance Agency have both funded a range of projects to identify key issues affecting students and methods for engaging students as partners . Annually the National Student Survey, allows final year undergraduates to tell universities how satisfied they are with their experience but this is a limited version of listening to student voice. Partnership working has been held up as an antidote to ‘students as consumers’ yet there are challenges:
- Teaching remains something that is more often than not controlled by the lecturer, something that is ‘done to’ the students rather than co -created between lecturer and student. Yet study is already going on in the lives of students, including when they walk into a classroom and before they start a university course. Can students truly be partners in undergraduate learning? What would have to change to make this happen? What do students want?
- While universities can work hard to encourage the involvement of students in quality assurance, enhancement and change initiatives, many students are just not interested and those who do get involved may not be representative of the wider student body. This kind of work can therefore be challenging and exciting and frustrating at the same time. How can we bring hidden voices to the fore? How can we encourage students to see the value of working in partnership? Are partnerships more about taming the student voice than real change?
- As Healey, Flint, and Harrington (2014 ) say, ‘ Although partnership has been described foremost as process, rather than a product or specific outcome, we still know relatively little about the ‘how’ of learning partnerships in practice, and particularly with respect to disciplinary approaches to partnership. There is a need for work that develops understandings of partnership in connection with scholarship, practice, signature pedagogies and the epistemology of different disciplines and professional spheres. (p.60) Are there disciplinary differences we should take notice of? Are some disciplines more able to offer partnership working?
The discussion will be hosted by Professor Julie Hall and students from Roehampton University – a university with a proud history of working closely with students. ’
Professor Julie Hall is a former Director of Learning and Teaching and former co-chair of the UK Staff and Educational Development Association and is now Deputy Provost at The University of Roehampton. Julie is a National Teaching Fellow, SEDA Senior Fellow and has taught at undergraduate and post graduate level over twenty years. Julie has written extensively on academic professional development, access to higher education, race and gender and pedagogic practice and change management in higher education. Julie’s applied research has regularly involves students as partners and co-creators of knowledge and Julie has run workshops on this topic for SEDA and for the HE Academy
The Storify is here: LTHEchat 50: Students as Partners with @julieh8 and students.
If you are reflecting on this specific #LTHEchat please share your post with us so that we can reblog.
If you participated/are participating in any way in the #LTHEchat, please complete our short survey and let us know if you have other suggestions on how we could make the #LTHEchat more valuable for you. Thank you.
See you Wednesday, same time, same place 😉 – 8-9PM BST #LTHEchat
The LTHEchat team