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RAISE Annual Conference Nottingham Trent University Sep 2013

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Presentation on theme: "RAISE Annual Conference Nottingham Trent University Sep 2013"— Presentation transcript:

1 A student and staff partnership model to enable dialogue and enhance teaching and learning
RAISE Annual Conference Nottingham Trent University Sep 2013 Kathrine Jensen & Dr Liz Bennett

2 Paper overview The ‘Student as Teaching and Learning Consultants’ project What kind of student engagement? Student/staff collaboration: Outcomes An innovative model?

3 Positioning of student engagement
Students as consumers Students as producers (Neary 2010) Students as change agents (Dunne and Zandstra 2011:4)

4 Project Aims to promote authentic student engagement in the enhancement of teaching and learning to create opportunities for student and staff to engage in reflection and dialogue around teaching and learning approaches. offer academic staff a qualified student perspective (at points of need) that goes beyond the typical end of module evaluation response or NSS survey. Joint Students’ Union and Teaching and Learning Institute project. Funded by Higher Education Academy Individual Teaching Development Grant. One year project (Aug 2012 – Aug 2013). Staff volunteer to participate. 11 students recruited by SU, trained and paid £10.35 an hour Inspired by Dr Crawford’s SCOT Project at University of Lincoln We paired students with lecturers from outside their discipline context, in order to remove some aspects of the power dynamic between lecturers and the students

5 Spaces for dialogue The consultation process was designed to enable conversations on teaching and learning where the consultants offered an authentic opinion from their perspective as a student.

6 What kind of student engagement?

7 Approaches to Student Engagement
Perspective on SE Focus Factors Limitations Behavioural Student behaviour, effective teaching practice. Institutional practices (support services) Student participation, satisfaction & achievement Often measured by surveys, limit of self-reporting. Snap shot Psychological Internal, individualistic process. Behaviour, cognition and affective dimensions Student involvement in learning, motivation, effort & sense of belonging Survey measurement, lack recognition of context/individual interplay Socio-Cultural Role of context. Institutional cultures Student identity, cultural fit and cultural barriers Focus on disengagement/alienation Holistic All of the above Student motivation, transactional engagement with teachers & each other, institutional & non-institutional support, and active citizenship No distinction between antecedents, state of engagement and outcomes Ella R. Kahu (2013) Framing student engagement in higher education, Studies in Higher Education, 38:5, , DOI: / A clearer distinction would be to recognise that what is considered to be the process is not engagement, instead it is a cluster of factors that influence student engagement (usually the more immediate institutional factors), whereas the outcome is student engagement – an individual psychological state with the three dimensions discussed earlier of affect, cognition and behaviour. Data from Ella R. Kahu (2013) Framing student engagement in higher education, Studies in Higher Education, 38:5

8 Figure 1. Conceptual framework of engagement, antecedents and consequences.
Ella R. Kahu (2013) Framing student engagement in higher education, Studies in Higher Education, 38:5, , DOI: / Ella R. Kahu (2013) Framing student engagement in higher education, Studies in Higher Education, 38:5

9 What does student engagement mean to you?

10 Different levels of SE Micro: engagement in their own learning and that of other students Meso: engagement in quality assurance and enhancement processes Macro: engagement in strategy development (Healey, O’Connor and Broadfoot 2010:21-22) The Students as Teaching and Learning Consultants project can be considered to be located at the meso level

11 The Partnership ethos “Working with the student consultants was a real delight; they were professional and polite throughout. They also provided some really useful feedback in a very objective and non-judgmental way; nowhere near as scary as one might first imagine!” “The opportunity to engage a student perspective is refreshing and challenging. I think this is valuable.” “It was good to be able to speak in a relaxed and informal way about the delivery of the course.” The feedback from staff that got us thinking about the what the scheme offered in terms of a different kind of relationship/role for students and staff. Quotes illustrate how staff perceived the consultancy and the relationship w students

12 Developing perspectives
“I now know that there is the potential out there for learning to be so much more than it is now. Some lecturers get it but I think more can be done to change the learning experience. But I also realise that students still need to be willing or no changes will make a difference.” (Student consultant) Student perspective – project has potential to make a difference to t&l Consultant identifies with the institution.

13 Developing perspectives
“It has made me feel like the university cares about how the students feel about learning. I have found that lecturers are also receptive to feedback and are eager to alter the way they teach in order to improve students’ learning.” (Student consultant) Consultant develops a respect for the institutional perspective Seeing t&l from other side

14 Student/Staff Relationships
Consultant Client Learner Teacher A space where students and staff can step outside normal roles and the traditional student/teacher relationship. Based on the feedback from staff and students, we believe one of the benefits of this model is that staff come to see students slightly differently (or at least some of the students), they get a sense of the students' perspective and students get insights into the perspectives of members of staff. In the consultancy interaction, the member of staff was not the expert. Student were presented as professionals, Students are ‘experts on the experience of learning in higher education’ (Crawford 2012). “…not as lecturer and student… it was ‘I am here to help you and you are here to help me’, finding things out together and it was really good…” (Student consultant K) The students have been keen to expand and perhaps even step out of their normal student roles in order to engage with a staff perspective and this seems to have been the case for a number of staff who participated as well. We argue that through this model both student and staff are able to occupy a liminal position that offers different insights and produces a different kind of student/staff relationship. Collaborative space for T&L conversation/reflection

15 Liminality Ambiguity/transitional state
Sense of identity dissolves to some extent, bringing about disorientation, but also the possibility of new perspectives. Turner posits that, if liminality is regarded as a time and place of withdrawal from normal modes of social action, it potentially can be seen as a period of scrutiny for central values and axioms of the culture where it occurs - one where normal limits to thought, self-understanding, and behaviour are undone Useful concept to borrow in order to consider what the outcomes of the partnership model was. The participation ‘ladders’ useful to consider levels and limitations. An anthropological concept. Van Gennep invented the term liminality his Rites de Passage published Term mainly related to ritual practices involving a transitional period from one state to another, such as rituals connected to adolescence. The term was taken up by Victor Turner later in the 60s and applied in a wider sense.

16 Concluding thoughts We’ve produced a model for SE at meso level;
Staff-student partnership, engagement and collaboration key features; With limitations (scope, scale) With potential too! Reach limited – currently small scale and quite time consuming, Scope tended to focus on lecturers, but also librarians Potential for other service providing parts of uni – about institutional culture

17 More information Project webpage:
Contact: Blogposts tagged with HEASTLC:

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