ChapterPDF Available

Students and Staff Co-creating Curricula: An Example of Good Practice in Higher Education?

Authors:

Abstract

Over the last decade, there has been a resurgence of interest within the higher education sector in students becoming producers, partners and co-creators of their own learning (Bovill, Cook-Sather, & Felten, 2011; Little, 2011; Neary & Winn, 2009; Werder & Otis, 2010). Individual academic staff and some institutions are creating exciting ways of engaging students more meaningfully in curriculum design. This chapter explores the literature and examples of practice and analyses whether students and staff co-creating curricula can be considered as good practice. I present background literature and an overview of some of the rationales given by staff to explain why they are interested in providing opportunities for students to co-create curricula. I also briefly outline some of the benefits resulting from the processes and outcomes of co-created curricula. I then summarise a range of examples to illustrate ways in which students and staff are working together to co-create curricula. Finally, using Chickering and Gamson's (1987) seven principles of good practice in undergraduate education, I analyse whether students and staff co-creating curricula demonstrates any of these seven principles of good practice.
A preview of the PDF is not available
... Besides investing time, Bovill (2013) states that transparency is key to making co-creation successful. The teachers must make clear what they expect of their students and what their limitations are. ...
... Through these types of surveys, it is possible to settle the stepping-stones of active student participation (ASP). Active student participation, according to Bovill (2013) corresponds to "students designing modular and program curricula, affecting their own learning". According to this author, ASP allows students to alter power relations, such as what is stated by authors like Dewey and Freire 1 , as means to overcome power differences and social injustice. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
The present article deals with the proposal of teaching human rights through a content-based approach, using project work to enhance participation, critical thinking and soft skill development in most students. A departure point between teacher and students' perspectives opens the discussion about negotiated curriculum, and as a result, students proposed the topic of human rights as the content for the perfect unit for their group. The teacher addresses this challenge as an opportunity to enhance participation of all students through project work, and to test the effectiveness of language development through the teaching of content in the L2. The group of 32 students showed a positive disposition to work, contrary to previous units. Moreover, students were able to develop skills related to critical thinking, soft skills such as courtesy and teamwork and ICT-related skills. Finally, results show that students enhanced their linguistic competence drastically in productive tasks, in a 7-week unit of content-based instruction.
... However, dialogue and reflection, particularly around roles, identity, and expertise, can help address these concerns and form more equitable partnerships where power is shared between students and staff (Matthews 2017;. In addition, curriculum co-creation has been seen as a good practice in higher education (Bovill 2013) that can be transformational for students (Lubicz-Nawrocka and Bovill 2021). This transformation has been seen to benefit not only individuals within modules' closed learning communities but also the wider public through open educational practices (Cook-Sather et al. 2014;Lubicz-Nawrocka 2019b;Bovill 2020a;. ...
Article
Full-text available
Literature on curriculum co-creation tends to focus on in-person experiences of teaching and learning. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has spurred on learners and teachers to co-create curricula in new and creative ways. This article examines curriculum co-creation in a postdigital world focusing on the connections between curriculum co-creation and networked learning. Drawing on Hodgson and McConnell’s conceptualisation of six key practices of networked learning, the authors explore how these practices connect to curriculum co-creation in theory and in a specific example from a fully online module that ran effectively during the Covid-19 pandemic. The authors conclude that networked learning and curriculum co-creation foster postdigital thinking and dialogue, which advance many elements of excellent learning and teaching to benefit both students and staff as we continue to navigate the ‘new normal’.
... It is fair to say that this project was exploratory rather than extensive in its approach to its sources. This issue clearly demonstrates the value of student co-creation (Bovill, 2013), to teaching and learning, but also to research and public engagement. Students bring to research and public engagement fresh approaches and ideas. ...
Article
Full-text available
This introduction provides an overview of the Then & Now: Arts at Warwick special issue. It outlines the origins of the Then & Now project and how the issue was developed in collaboration between staff and students. To highlight the distinctive contributions of this issue to existing research on the history of Higher Education and the student experience, it also provides a brief summary of the historiography in this field.
... In agreeance with Timmis and Williams (2013), partnering with students in the co-design of TEL resources provides opportunities for authentic forms of student enquiry and research whilst engaging in learning with a shared purpose. Our study highlights the desire from students, to be involved as co-producers of learning content and a resulting shift in the conceptualisation of the teacher-student relationship towards a more reciprocal model (Bovill, 2013). Other institutions may want to consider the value of the student voice when developing strategic guidelines for the adoption of TEL across their Faculties. ...
Article
Full-text available
Teacher and student perceptions of using technology enhanced learning (TEL) in higher education have received growing attention, particularly during COVID-19, however existing studies are mainly discipline-specific. This study adopts a holistic cross-disciplinary approach. It compares teacher and student perceptions on defining TEL, promotors and barriers for its use, and solutions offered for better use of TEL in the future. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected from an Australian university. A total of 75 teachers and 48 students completed an online survey, and of these participants, 24 teachers and 29 students participated in follow-up focus group interviews that included Kahoot! surveys. Quantitative results show that teacher and student perceptions on TEL were generally aligned except that self-reported technology savviness and confidence was rated higher than how students and staff rated each other. Qualitative analyses reveal that both teachers and students identified the main promoters for TEL as being: modern and expected in higher education, while being equalising, efficient, engaging, authentic, collaborative and flexible. The common barriers for using TEL were identified as fear, time, organisational culture, knowledge and technical/support issues, along with the perceived pitfalls of distraction, and superficial student learning. Solutions offered for TEL in the future from staff focused on the institution and a desire for strategic, pedagogical and holistic approaches, while students focussed on the accessibility, flexibility and collaborative potential of TEL. This cross-discipline pre-COVID-19 study of TEL perceptions offered by teachers and students has contributed to knowledge in this area by identifying barriers and solutions for TEL common to all disciplines that have the potential to be applied to whole of institution strategic approaches for the more effective use of TEL in teaching and learning in higher education. Student accessibility to TEL and the development of pedagogically sound digital learning resources bringing together educational developers and discipline experts are of particular relevance during and post-COVID-19.
Article
Purpose In today’s global and highly competitive climate among universities, educational developers and instructors have focused more on trying to make the student experience more engaging. In this manner, student co-creation activities have recently become a major research priority in marketing and higher education (HE) research. The purpose of this study is to present a systematic review of the literature on student co-creation roles and behaviors in HE in order to map extant research on this topic and offer a consolidated view of the co-creation process and approaches that can be employed by HEIs to motivate students to co-create their HE experience. Design/methodology/approach A Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) approach was followed to classify, select, synthesize, analyze and assess the most relevant studies on student participation in co-creation in HE. Findings This study’s analysis has identified that the co-creation process in HE includes dialog, access, risk and transparency. The main approaches used by higher education institutions (HEIs) to motivate students to co-create their HE experience are student involvement, cognitive engagement, university affiliation and emotional engagement. Our review also shows that student co-creation behaviors are mainly participation and citizenship behavior, and their co-creation roles include those of co-producers, participants, change agents and partners. Originality/value This systematic literature review analyses and critically discusses the state of the art in student co-creation roles in HE and the approaches HEIs use. By providing a map of existing research, the paper contributes both to the clarification of student co-creation roles and behaviors in HE and the identification of research gaps and opportunities for further research.
Chapter
This is the first of two chapters that examine research undertaken by the authors, involving college managers and their experiences of working in a culture dominated by managerialism and neoliberalism. It begins to explore the remedies for the situations that colleges find themselves in and considers alternative approaches to managing colleges that have the potential to provide better outcomes for students. It describes the research that we have undertaken to ascertain how FE managers could better manage. It examines the quality processes used in colleges and looks at how students and other stakeholders are involved in the quality process and could be more involved in the democratic design of the curriculum and in the running of colleges. The chapter also describes the value of progressive leadership approaches and, consequently, how the culture of colleges can be changed to provide a more effective and better experience for all.
Article
Full-text available
Higher education institutions are increasingly relying on learning analytics to collect voluminous amounts of data ostensibly to inform student learning interventions. The use of learning analytics, however, can result in a tension between the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) principles of autonomy and non-malfeasance on the one hand, and the principle of beneficence on the other. Given the complications around student privacy, informed consent, and data justice in addition to the potential to do harm, many current practices around learning analytics within higher education can be considered to be in violation of CAS standards. This paper aims to explore this tension in greater detail and argues that the student voice offers a promising way to ensure that students’ autonomy is respected, harm is reduced, and that higher education institutions can still fulfil the principle of beneficence.
Article
Full-text available
Successful induction has been evidenced to strengthen students’ learning, engagement and feelings of belonging. Technology offers opportunities for enhancing the student induction experience, especially pre-arrival, but has been under-utilised. This article provides an evaluation of an online induction learning resource for pre-arrival students in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Warwick in 2019. There will be particular focus on the method of co-designing the resource with a group of current students. The article will demonstrate how online learning resources for pre-arrival students can support successful induction. It argues that co-designing digital student experience resources in collaboration with students aids the development of materials that students find engaging and that co-design has a range of benefits for staff and students who are involved in the process.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper explores the desirability and possibility of active student participation (ASP) in curriculum design. Rationales for pursuing ASP in curriculum design are outlined. A conceptual model from community planning literature is then presented – Sherry Arnstein's 'Eight rungs on a ladder of participation' – a model that has been used widely in various disciplines but rarely in higher education. Arnstein's model is adapted to enable exploration of different possible levels of ASP in curriculum design in higher education. Key features of this adapted 'Ladder of student participation in curriculum design' model are outlined and illustrated through the use of examples. Discussion focuses on contextualising the desirability and possibility of different levels of student participation in curriculum design, and explores the utility of the adapted model. The paper concludes with some suggested areas of ASP in curriculum design that need further investigation.
Book
There is greater interest than ever before in higher education: more money is being spent on it, more students are registered and more courses are being taught. And yet the matter that is arguably at the heart of higher education, the curriculum, is noticeable for its absence in public debate and in the literature on higher education. This book begins to redress the balance. Even though the term ‘curriculum’ may be missing from debates on higher education, curricula are changing rapidly and in significant ways. What we are seeing, therefore, is curriculum change by stealth, in which curricula are being reframed to enable students to acquire skills that have market value. In turn, curricula are running the risk of fragmenting as knowledge and skills exert their separate claims. Such a fragmented curriculum is falling well short of the challenges of the twenty-first century. A complex and uncertain world requires curricula in which students as human beings are placed at their centre: what is called for are curricula that offer no less than the prospect of encouraging the formation of human being and becoming. A curriculum of this kind has to be understood as the imaginative design of spaces where creative things can happen as students become engaged. Based upon a study of curricula in UK universities, Engaging the Curriculum in Higher Education offers an uncompromising thesis about the development of higher education and is essential reading for those who care about its future.
Article
Regardless of the institution or discipline, the UK's National Student Survey (NSS) has consistently highlighted that the level of student satisfaction about the feedback they receive is notably lower than for other aspects of their learning experience. This study explored how students understand concepts and practices rated through NSS questions evaluating feedback practices in higher education. Drawing on questionnaires completed by first, third and fourth year Chemical Engineering students, the study calls into particular question the reliability of NSS data on promptness of feedback. In conclusion, it calls for greater attention to be paid at institutional level to the identification and management of students' perceptions and expectations of the process, content and outcomes of feedback.
Article
This paper presents findings from research that investigated students and academic staff working in partnership to co-create curricula. Using case study methodology, the study investigated three examples within higher education in the UK, Ireland and the USA, where academic staff and students co-designed curricula. Findings focus on the approach to co-created curricula described by academic staff within each setting, followed by presentation of cross-case themes and outcomes from the three examples. The discussion focuses on drawing out key messages from the study results including the importance of students’ views being taken seriously and a range of early design decisions that are taken by academic staff and which are useful to those considering co-creating curricula.