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Students as Partners Guide: Student Engagement Through Partnership A guide to the Advance HE Framework

Authors:
  • Healey HE Consultants Ltd; University of Gloucestershire

Abstract

The authors of the Guide, reflect on the way student-staff partnerships have evolved over the last five years.
Student Engagement through Partnership
A Guide and Update to the
Advance HE Framework (04)
2019
Mick Healey and Ruth L. Healey (Healey HE Consultants)
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This framework is informed by a 2014 Advance HE (formerly the Higher Education Academy)
publication, 'Engagement Through Partnership: Students as Partners in Learning and Teaching in
Higher Education'. Advance HE are grateful to the authors of that report (Mick Healey, Abbi Flint and
Kathy Harrington) for the scholarly underpinning and development of the conceptual model adapted in
this framework, and to colleagues across the sector who contributed to a summit and/or gave
feedback on early drafts of the framework. This framework focuses specifically on student engagement
through partnership in learning and teaching. Advance HE acknowledges the complementary work on
student engagement by other sector bodies and agencies.
© Advance HE. All rights reserved.
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Contents
1. Definitions and language 4
2. Importance of partnership 5
2.1 Exemplifying partnership through the framework 5
3. Process of partnership 6
3.1 Partnership values 7
3.2 Developing partnership learning communities 7
3.3 Scaling up partnership activities 8
3.4 Student-staff partnership comes of age 9
4. Reflective questions 100
4.1 Partnership practice in your context 100
4.2 Values 100
4.3 Designing, teaching and assessing the curriculum 10
4.4 SoTL and discipline-based research 100
4.5 Support and development 111
5. Activities 115
6. Key recent texts and resources 122
6.1 Concepts and practices 122
6.2 Case studies 144
6.3 Practical guides 144
6.4 Further sources and keeping up to date 144
Student Engagement through Partnership: A Guide and Update to the Advance HE Framework (04)
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1. Definitions and language
Several terms have emerged to capture the work of student-staff collaboration in higher education,
including ‘co-creation’, ‘students as partners’, and ‘pedagogical partnership’. A widely cited
definition of such partnership is:
“a collaborative, reciprocal process through which all participants have the
opportunity to contribute equally, although not necessarily in the same
ways, to curricular or pedagogical conceptualisation, decision making,
implementation, investigation, or analysis”
(Cook-Sather, Bovill & Felten 2014, pp. 6-7).
Partnership is understood not as an outcome but rather as a process by which student engagement
is developed through the practice of student-staff collaboration. Partnership is a form of student
engagement, but whilst all partnership is student engagement, not all student engagement is
partnership (Healey, Flint & Harrington 2014). As Figure 1 illustrates, engagement is experienced in
a range of different forms of collaboration, with partnership as a specific way of students and
students, or students and staff, working together. Yet within any given partnership project or
initiative, partners may find themselves working at various points along this continuum during
different stages. For example, staff may need to inform students about how the university or wider
higher education system is structured and operates, such as the quality assurance processes, and
how these may constrain what is possible. Yet at another point in the same project the students
may be entirely in control, such as designing student engagement activities.
+ Figure 1: Student Engagement (Source: Student Voice Australia)
Student Engagement through Partnership: A Guide and Update to the Advance HE Framework (04)
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The Cook-Sather et al definition of partnership provides a useful starting point in helping you clarify
your own understanding of partnership. Student-staff partnerships mean treating students as ‘more
than customers’ (Gravett, Kinchin & Winstone 2019). Clarifying what is being meant by partnership
in your context is important to lay the foundations for the building of partnership relationships.
2. Importance of partnership
In the UK context, engaging students through partnership offers a range of opportunities to develop
practices which may have a positive impact on the outcomes of the National Student Survey (NSS)
and the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF). For example, whilst effective
partnership practices have the potential to enhance teaching and learning as interpreted through all
of the NSS questions, partnership schemes may have a specific affirmative impact on the responses
to three statements from the ‘student voice’ section of the survey, an area that currently receives
low scores across the sector:
23. I have had the right opportunities to provide feedback on my course
24. Staff value students’ views and opinions about the course
25. It is clear how students’ feedback on the course has been acted on.
3. Exemplifying partnership through the
framework
Drawing on the work of Healey, Flint & Harrington (2014), the Student Engagement through
Partnership Framework identifies four different, but overlapping, areas of partnership:
Learning, teaching and assessment
Subject-based research and inquiry
Scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL)
Curriculum design & pedagogic consultancy
A growing number of institutions around the world have developed practices in these areas in the
last decade (Ahmad et al 2017; Healey, Flint & Harrington 2016).
Learning, teaching and assessment: Peer learning and assessment, mentoring, co-
teaching and other forms of active learning are increasingly common forms of partnership. For
example, Bournemouth has a well-developed Peer Assisted Learning scheme, Nottingham Trent is a
UK leader in Student-Centred Active Learning Environment with Upside-down Pedagogies (Scale-
Up), and Bradford is experimenting with Team Based Learning.
Student Engagement through Partnership: A Guide and Update to the Advance HE Framework (04)
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Subject based research and inquiry: Many institutions have explored ways of engaging
students through embedding research and inquiry in the curriculum. For example, research-based
education is at the centre of UCL’s Connected Curriculum; while Student as Producer was a cross-
institution curriculum development initiative at Lincoln.
Scholarship of teaching and learning: There has been a rapid growth in the involvement of
students in SoTL projects in which students undertake projects designed to improve the University
learning experience for themselves and their peers. Many have drawn on the Students as Change
Agents programme at Exeter and the Students as Academic Partners scheme at Birmingham City.
These models have since been adapted in a variety of formats at several other universities in the UK,
such as Imperial (StudentShapers), Nottingham (Students as Change Agents), UCL (ChangeMakers),
Westminster (Students as Co-creators), and Winchester (Student Fellows Scheme).
Curriculum design and pedagogic consultancy: Engaging students in curriculum design
and pedagogic consultancy is perhaps the least developed of the four areas, though there are plenty
of examples of students producing pedagogic resources. In the Student Curriculum Consultant
Programme at Kingston students work as Curriculum Consultants to collaborate with staff to create
more accessible, meaningful and globally-relevant curricula at all levels of the institution. In the
Students as Learners and Teachers (SaLT) program at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges, USA,
undergraduate students work as pedagogical consultants to new and continuing faculty members,
normally over a full semester. Variations on this approach have since been developed at over 20
institutions in eight different countries. In the Students as Colleagues initiative at Edinburgh Napier,
they engage students as peer-reviewers of teaching.
Integrated schemes: A recent trend among some institutions is to develop strategic, cross-
institutional initiatives that cover more than one of these partnership areas and sometimes include
others as well, such as governance. For example, at Queensland, Australia, their Student-Staff
Partnership Projects seek to foster partnership to enable students and staff to enhance the 1)
teaching and learning, 2) governance and strategy, and 3) student experience environments at the
University. It is projected that 800 student partner grants will be awarded in 2020. The Students
Partners Program at McMaster, Canada, has three streams partnering students and staff: 1) as co-
inquirers on SoTL research projects; 2) to (re)design courses faculty partners are teaching, or to
analyse and refine one of the faculty partner’s courses as it is being taught; and 3) to engage in
curriculum review and enhancement processes.
4. Process of partnership
In any partnership project or initiative, it is imperative to obtain a balance between the process of
working in partnership and the planned outcomes. However, both require time and, depending on
the purpose of the partnership, members may make the choice, consciously or otherwise, to focus
more on one or the other. Understandably, many projects are primarily focused on delivery of the
planned outcomes, and working in partnership is simply seen as a desirable means to achieve these
outcomes. In such circumstances, it is nevertheless important that explicit attention is given to the
values which underpin partnership and the development of partnership learning communities
(Healey R L 2019a).
Student Engagement through Partnership: A Guide and Update to the Advance HE Framework (04)
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5. Partnership values
Developing the process of partnership requires recognition that working in partnership is an
experience which may take both student and staff participants outside their comfort zone. It may
require staff to relinquish significant control and power to students, and for students to accept this
and share responsibility for the outcomes. Accepting this shift in control and power requires
courage on behalf of the students as well as the staff. The Advance HE Framework identifies nine
values which underpin successful student engagement through partnership: authenticity, honesty,
inclusivity, reciprocity, empowerment, trust, courage, plurality, and responsibility. Understanding
and applying these values is critical in supporting the formation and development of partnerships
(Healey et al 2019a).
These values may be articulated in different ways. For example, Matthews (2017) offers five
‘propositions’ for genuine partnership practice:
1. Foster inclusive partnerships
2. Nurture power-sharing relationships through dialogue and reflection
3. Accept partnership as a process with uncertain outcomes
4. Engage in ethical partnerships
5. Enact partnership for transformation.
These five elements complement the nine values but emphasise different points. The participants in
a partnership need to work together to develop trust in one another, be open to new ideas, and
learn together to be comfortable in the uncertainty that working in their partnership may bring.
Some people may be hesitant here, as they think this may mean that a student-staff partnership
team would have to go along with any ideas the students offer. However, partnership is about
recognising that everyone has something to contribute and people bring different things to the
table. The practice of partnership aims to break down the barriers between staff and students so
that everybody’s ideas are given consideration, no matter whether they are offered by a staff
member or a student. Both staff and students are experts in different ways. Teaching staff, for
example, have expertise in the courses they teach, while students are experts in the experience of
being students and having an overview of their programmes. The challenge is to stop thinking of
each other only in terms of their roles, and value their ideas and experiences in relation to the
potential benefits for the project or initiative.
6. Developing partnership learning
communities
Partnership is messy how the partners build a relationship will vary every time you start a project,
depending on who is involved, how they are engaged and the different contexts in which the work
takes place (Healey & Healey 2018; Marquis et al 2019). One way of recognising and making explicit
the values of partnership is to develop a partnership agreement. This document is a way of
Student Engagement through Partnership: A Guide and Update to the Advance HE Framework (04)
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articulating and exploring different members’ perceptions of partnership, and their expectations and
assumptions about the way in which the partnership will operate. Such an agreement might be an
evolving document that is revisited during the project and amended as appropriate in light of the
experience of working together.
At all stages of partnership it is important that attention is given to inclusivity and that we are aware
not only of opportunities for access but also inequalities of outcomes (e.g. Bovill et al 2016; Mercer-
Mapstone, Islam & Reid 2019; Moore-Cherry et al 2018). Moreover, partnerships are relationships,
and therefore, like all relationships, they are underpinned by emotions (Felten 2017). Partnership
teams should recognise this from the beginning of their work and consider putting in place
appropriate support practices, such as, mentoring, peer support or reflective writing.
7. Scaling up partnership activities
Practicing partnership, particularly in a context with limited partnership experience, may be more
effective if you focus on your own practice, where you have significant control (e.g. at unit,
programme or department levels), rather than trying to implement practice across an institution
from the start. Once you establish experience, knowledge and understanding, partnership activities
may be scaled up, and staff and students who are less convinced about the value of this way of
working may be introduced to the benefits (Bovill & Woolmer 2019).
Figures 2 and 3 provide illustrations of how partnership practice might be scaled up, referring to the
top half of the model in the Student Engagement through Partnership Framework in Figure 2, and
the bottom half of the model in the Framework in Figure 3. Both figures illustrate how the number
of students who might participate in student-staff partnership activities relates to the nature of the
activity in which they are involved and the extent to which the partnership is led by staff or students.
Figure 2 provides examples of different types of student-staff partnerships in relation to designing,
teaching and assessing the curriculum, while Figure 3 provides examples of different types of
student-staff partnerships in relation to SoTL and discipline-based research.
+ Figure 2: Student-staff partnerships in designing, teaching and assessing the curriculum: Healey, R (2019b)
Student Engagement through Partnership: A Guide and Update to the Advance HE Framework (04)
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+ Figure 3: Student-staff partnerships in SoTL and discipline-based research: Healey, R (2019b)
8. Student-staff partnership comes of age
As the field of partnership matures, we are seeing more critically reflective and theoretically
informed approaches being taken to the practice of partnership that explore not only the benefits of
working in partnership but also the challenges (e.g. Healey R L 2019a; Healey et al 2019; Matthews
et al 2019a, 2019b). We are also seeing significant contributions to our thinking about partnership
coming directly from students and student unions (e.g. Daviduke 2018; Dwyer 2018; NUS 2012).
These are valuable developments that should help support practitioners to have realistic
expectations as to what is possible for partnership practice within their varying contexts. This
includes recognising that working in partnership may not be for everyone.
Undertaking partnership is messy and no single approach will be effective in all cases (Healey &
Healey 2018). We therefore need to be flexible about how we approach partnership and allow time
for upfront discussion between the participants about how they are going to work in partnership. As
you and your institution gain experience, knowledge and understanding, it will be possible to embed
support and reward structures into partnership practice and include partnership working as part of
professional development opportunities for both students and staff.
Student Engagement through Partnership: A Guide and Update to the Advance HE Framework (04)
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9. Reflective questions
9.1 Partnership practice in your context:
What forms of student-staff partnership have been developed in your area to date, and what
forms might you develop in the future and how?
Looking at the four areas of focus in the Framework, which areas do you want to focus
partnership(s) on, and why?
Who will be involved in the partnership(s) and what are their reasons for doing so?
In the UK, how might partnership approaches in your context enhance student responses to
the ‘student voice’ questions from the National Student Survey?
9.2 Values:
To what extent, and how, do you encourage and enable open and honest dialogue between
student and staff partners?
What are the overt and covert power relationships within your partnership team, and how
do you plan to distribute and share power in your partnership?
How do you demonstrate respect and fairness in your interactions with other partners?
What unique experiences, insights and talents does each member of the partnership team
bring to the project or initiative, and how are these recognised and supported?
9.3 Designing, teaching and assessing the curriculum:
To what extent, and how, are active and collaborative learning approaches embedded in the
curriculum?
How might students and staff be involved in co-designing, co-teaching and co-assessing the
curriculum?
9.4 SoTL and discipline-based research:
To what extent, and how, do students and staff act as co-inquirers and co-researchers in the
development of knowledge in their subject area or professional field?
How might students and staff be involved in SoTL and discipline-based research?
Student Engagement through Partnership: A Guide and Update to the Advance HE Framework (04)
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9.5 Support and development:
How is working in partnership between students and staff, and among students, supported
and rewarded?
How do staff and students work together in the design and delivery of staff professional
development in learning and teaching?
10. Activities
Look at the programmes highlighted in the section above on ‘Exemplifying partnership through the
framework’. Which of these examples interest and excite you? How might you adapt them for your
context?
Look at the conceptual frameworks and mini case studies in our collection. Which ones appeal to
you? How might you use the conceptual frameworks which interest you? What modifications
would you need to make to the mini case studies to fit your situation?
Student Engagement through Partnership: A Guide and Update to the Advance HE Framework (04)
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11. Key recent texts and resources
11.1 Introductions
For an introduction to the key ideas and practices on student-staff partnership see:
Cook-Sather, A., Bovill, C. & Felten, P. (2014) Engaging students as partners in teaching & learning: A
guide for faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Healey, M., Flint, A. & Harrington, K. (2014) Engagement through partnership: Students as partners
in learning and teaching in higher education, York: Higher Education Academy.
https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/engagement-through-partnership-students-
partners-learning-and-teaching-higher
For reflections on the application of the Healey et al (2014) model, which features in the Advance HE
Student Engagement through Partnership Framework, see:
Healey, M., Flint, A. & Harrington, K. (2016) Students as partners: Reflections on a conceptual model.
Teaching and Learning Inquiry 4(2), 1-13.
https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/TLI/article/view/57438
Ahmad, A., Ali, A., Van Maaren, J., Barrington, J., Merritt, O. & Ansilio, K. (2017) Partnership in
practice: Implementing Healey’s conceptual model, International Journal for Students as Partners
1(2) https://mulpress.mcmaster.ca/ijsap/article/view/3197
For a well-cited literature review see:
Mercer-Mapstone, L., Dvorakova, S. L., Matthews, K. E., Abbot, S., Cheng, B., Felten, P., Knorr, K.,
Marquis, E., Shammas, R. & Swaim, K. (2017) A systematic literature review of students as partners
in higher education. International Journal for Students as Partners 1(1).
https://mulpress.mcmaster.ca/ijsap/issue/view/306
For reflections on two areas of partnership see:
Cook-Sather, A. (2018) Developing “Students as Learners and Teachers”: Lessons from ten years of
pedagogical partnership that strives to foster inclusive and responsive practice. Journal of
Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change, 4, 1.
https://journals.studentengagement.org.uk/index.php/studentchangeagents/article/view/746
Healey, M. and Jenkins, A. (2018) The role of academic developers in embedding high-impact
undergraduate research and inquiry in mainstream higher education: Twenty years’ reflection,
International Journal for Academic Development 23(1), 52-64.
https://doi.org/10.1080/1360144X.2017.1412974
11.2 Concepts and practices
For a discussion of some key issues, benefits and challenges of partnership see:
Bovill, C., Cook-Sather, A., Felten, P., Millard, L. & Moore-Cherry, N. (2016) Addressing potential
challenges in co-creating learning and teaching: overcoming resistance, navigating institutional
Student Engagement through Partnership: A Guide and Update to the Advance HE Framework (04)
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norms and ensuring inclusivity in studentstaff partnerships. Higher Education, 71, 195-208.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-015-9896-4.
Bovill, C. & Woolmer, C. (2019) How conceptualisations of curriculum in higher education influence
student-staff co-creation in and of the curriculum. Higher Education, 78, 407422.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-018-0349-8.
Daviduke, N. (2018) Growing into pedagogical partnerships over time and across disciplines: My
experience as a non-STEM student consultant in STEM courses. International Journal for Students as
Partners, 2(2), 151-156. https://doi.org/10.15173/ijsap.v2i2.3443
Dwyer, A. (2018) Toward the formation of genuine partnership spaces. International Journal for
Students as Partners, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.15173/ijsap.v2i1.3503
Felten, P. (2017) Emotion and partnerships. International Journal for Students as Partners, 1(2), 1-5.
https://doi.org/10.15173/ijsap.v1i2.3070
Gravett, K., Kinchin, I. M. & Winstone, N. E. (2019) ‘More than customers’: conceptions of students
as partners held by students, staff, and institutional leaders. Studies in Higher Education.
https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2019.1623769
Healey, M. & Healey, R. L. (2018) ‘It depends’: Exploring the context-dependent nature of students
as partners practices and policies, International Journal for Students as Partners, 2(1).
https://mulpress.mcmaster.ca/ijsap/article/view/3472
Healey, R. L. (2019a) The benefits of hindsight: Lessons learnt from leading my first cross-
department student-staff partnership project. York Learning and Teaching Forum Magazine. In
press.
Healey, R. L. (2019b) Student-staff partnerships in designing, teaching and assessing the curriculum
and in SoTL and discipline-based research. in Healey, M. Students as partners and change agents in
learning and teaching in higher education. Howden: Healey HE Consultants.
www.mickhealey.co.uk/resources
Healey, R. L., Lerczak, A., Welsh, K. & France, D. (2019) By any other name? The impacts of differing
assumptions, expectations and misconceptions about student-staff ‘partnerships’. International
Journal for Students as Partners, 3(1): 106-122. https://doi.org/10.15173/ijsap.v3i1.3550.
Marquis, E., Jayaratnam, A., Lei, T., & Mishra, A. (2019) Motivators, barriers, and understandings:
How students at four universities perceive student-faculty partnership programs. Higher Education
Research and Development, https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2019.1638349
Matthews, K. E. (2017) Five propositions for genuine students as partners practice International
Journal for Students as Partners 1(2). https://mulpress.mcmaster.ca/ijsap/article/view/3315
Matthews, K. E., Cook-Sather, A., Acai, A., Dvorakova, S. L., Felten, P., Marquis, E., & Mercer-
Mapstone, L. (2019a). Toward theories of partnership praxis: an analysis of interpretive framing in
literature on students as partners in teaching and learning. Higher Education Research and
Development 38(2), 28-93 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2018.1530199
Matthews, K. E., Dvorakova, S. L., Mercer-Mapstone, L., Acai, A., Cook-Sather, A., Felten, P., Healey,
M., Healey, R. L. & Marquis, E. (2019b) Enhancing outcomes and reducing inhibitors to the
engagement of students and academics in learning and teaching partnerships: Implications for
academic development support. International Journal for Academic Development 24(3): 246-259.
https://doi.org/10.1080/1360144X.2018.1545233
Mercer-Mapstone, L., Islam, M. & Reid, T. (2019) Are we just engaging ‘the usual suspects’?
Challenges in and practical strategies for supporting equity and diversity in studentstaff partnership
initiatives, Teaching in Higher Education, https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2019.1655396
Student Engagement through Partnership: A Guide and Update to the Advance HE Framework (04)
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Moore-Cherry, N., Healey, R. L., Nicholson, T. & Andrews, W. (2016). Inclusive partnership:
Enhancing student engagement in geography. Journal of Geography in Higher Education 40(1), 84-
103. https://doi.org/10.1080/03098265.2015.1066316
NUS (2012) A manifesto for partnership. London: NUS. http://www.nusconnect.org.uk/resources/a-
manifesto-for-partnership
11.3 Case studies
For a collection of around 150 mini-case studies of practices around the world and in different kinds
of institution and across a range of disciplines, including most of the programs discussed above,
along with a wide range of conceptual frameworks see:
Healey, M. (2019a) Students as partners and change agents in learning and teaching in higher
education. Howden: Healey HE Consultants. www.mickhealey.co.uk/resources
11.4 Practical guides
For three useful ‘how to’ guides see:
Cook-Sather, A., Bahti, M. & Ntem, A. (2019) Pedagogical partnerships: A how-to guide for faculty,
students, and academic developers in higher education. Elon: Elon University Center for Engaged
Learning Open-Access Books (in press).
Mercer-Mapstone, L. & Marie, J. (2019) Practical guide: Scaling up student-staff partnerships in
higher education. Institute for Academic Development: University of Edinburgh.
http://bit.ly/2EfUR16
Taylor, C. (2015) A guide to ethics and student engagement through partnership. York: Higher
Education Academy. https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/guide-ethics-and-student-
engagement-through-partnership
11.5 Further sources and keeping up to date
See Advance HE Student engagement through partnership web page for details of key projects,
resources and ways you can connect with student engagement. https://www.advance-
he.ac.uk/guidance/teaching-and-learning/student-engagement-through-partnership
For an extensive list of over 800 references which is regularly updated see:
Healey, M. (2019) Students as partners and change agents: A selected bibliography. Howden: Healey
HE Consultants. www.mickhealey.co.uk/resources
To keep up to date with the latest literature be sure to check the latest issues of:
International Journal for Students as Partners (IJSaP). https://mulpress.mcmaster.ca/ijsap
Student Engagement through Partnership: A Guide and Update to the Advance HE Framework (04)
15
Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal.
https://journals.studentengagement.org.uk/index.php/raise/index
Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education.
teachingandlearningtogether.blogs.brynmawr.edu/
The Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change.
https://journals.studentengagement.org.uk/index.php/studentchangeagents/
Also check:
The Researching Advancing Inspiring Student Engagement (RAISE) Network Students as Partners
Special Interest Group. http://www.raise-network.com/get-involved/special-interest-groups-sigs/
The Annual Meeting of the International Students as Partners Institute (ISaPI).
https://macblog.mcmaster.ca/summer-institute/
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... Start with small initiatives linked to the own practice, instead of a large innovation like a curriculum (Bovill et al., 2016;Healey and Healey 2019). Adjust the level of learner involvement to learners' and teachers' ability to fulfill their roles and take the necessary responsibilities (Bovill and Bulley 2011). ...
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This case study looks at the University of Manchester Library Student Team (UMLST) as a model for inclusive community engagement. It examines the impact of working with students as co-creators and explores how the ideas, insights and value they bring serve to drive change in a way that enables the Library to deliver in relation to current student needs, rather than react to past requirements. It discusses how the UMLST have engaged in and delivered peer-led support, how they have shaped space and policies and how this model places the Library within the community, instead of framing the community as an outside group or other with which to engage.
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Introduction Stakeholder participation in healthcare curriculum design is an important aspect of higher education with stakeholders including students, staff members, clinical partners, healthcare organisations, patients and members of the public. Significantly, student co-creation, of the curriculum, has become increasingly important. Yet there is limited research which addresses how to engage this group in design processes. Methods This paper represents the first phase of a three stage action research spiral whereby the authors evaluated the use of a novel tool for curriculum design processes, anonymised crowdsourcing. This initial phase was open to all students enrolled on an undergraduate diagnostic radiography programme in the UK. To confirm the reliability of the crowdsource design an established eight point crowdsourcing verification tool was applied. Results Twenty-three unique ideas were generated by participants, 40 comments made and 173 votes cast. Inductive analysis of the comments generated five themes. These included: the role of technology enhanced learning; simulation activities; patient focused curriculum; mental wealth (resilience) authentic assessment approaches. An evaluation of those who had and had not engaged highlighted areas of improvement for the administration of the second and third iterations which will include a wider pool of participants. Conclusion This study from a single programme offers lessons for others wishing to adopt and develop this approach elsewhere. Implications for practice Several ideas elicited by the crowdsource have been considered by the curriculum design team and will be implemented in the 2020 curriculum thus demonstrating the impact on local education practice of this research approach.
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Most of the existing literature on student-staff partnership explores the experiences of people who are keen to be involved and who have already bought into the ethos of Students as Partners. We explore the challenges of conducting student-staff partnership in the context of resistance. Specifically, we focus on the interpretations of partnership by students and staff who were attempting to work in partnership for the first time in a medium-sized geography department in the UK The views of participants were captured during a six-month project in which four undergraduate students were employed to work with eight academics to redesign the second-year undergraduate curriculum of one programme. Notwithstanding an introductory briefing and ongoing support, some participants showed indications of resistance. Our findings suggest that different perspectives on partnership influenced participants’ experiences. We argue that assumptions, expectations, and misconceptions around the terminology used to describe Students-as-Partners practice may hinder the process itself, as some people may not buy in to the practice. However, despite the challenges of this project, the experience of being involved in the re-design of the modules has led to reduced resistance and emerging partnership practices throughout the department.
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This article reflects on a conceptual model for mapping the work that fits under the broad heading of students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education (Healey, Flint, & Harrington, 2014). We examine the nature and purpose of the model with reference to specific examples, and reflect on the potential and actual uses of the model in the development of practice and policy, focussing particularly on students as co-inquirers in SoTL. The article also provides a framework for the other articles in a special section of Teaching & Learning Inquiry on students as co-inquirers.
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There is a wide range of activity taking place under the banner of ‘co-created curriculum’ within higher education. Some of this variety is due to the different ways people think about ‘co-creation’, but significant variation is also due to the ways in which higher education curriculum is conceptualised, and how these conceptualisations position the student in relation to the curriculum. In addition, little attention is paid to the differences between co-creation of the curriculum and co-creation in the curriculum. This paper addresses this gap by examining four theoretical frameworks used to inform higher education curriculum design. We examine how each framework considers the position of the learner and how this might influence the kinds of curricular co-creation likely to be enacted. We conclude by calling for more discussion of curriculum and curriculum theories in higher education—and for these discussions to include students. We argue that more clarity is needed from scholars and practitioners as to how they are defining curriculum, and whether they are focused on co-creation of the curriculum or co-creation in the curriculum. Finally, we suggest that paying greater attention to curriculum theories and their assumptions about the learner, offers enhanced understanding of curricular intentions and the extent to which collaboration is possible within any particular context.
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This essay considers the trajectory of my personal and professional growth in my position as a student consultant for three different STEM professors. I explore the unique perspective I brought to this work as a student of the social sciences and I argue for the value of cross-disciplinary pedagogical partnerships.
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Higher education institutions have been identified as inequitable for historically marginalised student and staff populations. Student–staff partnership has recently emerged as one approach to redressing such inequities. To what extent are institutional partnership schemes considering or achieving this goal? Using two phases of qualitative data collection, we explored the perceptions of staff administering student–staff partnership schemes regarding the inclusion of diversity across eight UK higher education institutions. Results highlight conceptual and practical challenges for and strategies to striving for equity in student–staff partnership initiatives. These results are discussed by drawing on the identities of the research team to highlight intersectional approaches to inclusion in partnership.
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Extracurricular student–staff partnership activities are increasingly common in higher education institutions, but concerns have been expressed about their relative inclusivity. In order to contribute to understanding of why students do and do not take part in such initiatives, this study draws on data from a survey of students at four institutions, in three different countries, with established extracurricular partnership programs. Though the findings indicate some preliminary differences between participants at the four institutions, they also demonstrate a number of shared perceptions, including similar understandings of key features of partnership and shared perceptions of barriers to participation. Implications for partnership practice and research are discussed.
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Students as partners (SaP) practices are emerging in today’s universities as a means to offer a more participative agenda, and to transform institutional cultures within an increasingly economically driven higher education context. This study contributes to understandings of partnership approaches, which largely still remain under-theorised, through exploring the conceptualisation of SaP by institutional leaders, staff, and students. Drawing on data from concept map-mediated interviews, this article offers a counterview to recent studies that have depicted staff understandings of SaP to be firmly located within a neoliberal discourse. Rather, our interviews portray surprising overlaps within students’ and leaders’ conceptualisations of SaP, depicting recurrent themes of communication, dialogue, community, and enabling students to escape neoliberal constructions: to become ‘more than customers’. This article ends with a consideration of how investigating the ways in which students and staff conceptualise SaP can be valuable, as partnership approaches become further prioritised in institutional strategies.
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This practical guide is designed to support individuals, teams, or institutions in scaling up student-staff partnership (SSP or ‘partnership’, also commonly known as ‘students as partners’). The model presented here is a projects-based model which is one of the most common ways that institutions around the world have approached scaling up and embedding partnership within higher education. The aim of this guide is not to present a single, ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to expanding partnership practices because, given the highly contextual nature of partnership, such an approach is unlikely to succeed. The purpose of this guide is to walk you through the multiple stages of scaling up a project-based model of partnership from gaining support and designing your initiative, through to implementation and evaluation. It aims to anticipate and answer the kinds of questions you might have as you progress through this process. Importantly, the guide encourages you to establish partnership values early and to revisit these regularly to ensure that your process of scaling-up partnership aligns with an ethos of partnership itself. At each stage, the guide outlines suggestions for best practice and poses questions to prompt you to think deeply about how your initiative will work logistically as well as how you will foster authentic partnership throughout the process. The questions, suggestions, and recommendations in this guide are based on research that examined 11 institutional-level project-based partnership schemes at 11 higher education institutions in the United Kingdom [1]. This data is supplemented by the authors’ experiences in designing and running project-based partnership schemes as well as by partnership research and practice in international contexts.