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Student as Partners The challenge of student engagement Professor Stuart Brand, Director of Learning Experience Luke Millard, Head of Learning Partnerships.

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Presentation on theme: "Student as Partners The challenge of student engagement Professor Stuart Brand, Director of Learning Experience Luke Millard, Head of Learning Partnerships."— Presentation transcript:

1 Student as Partners The challenge of student engagement Professor Stuart Brand, Director of Learning Experience Luke Millard, Head of Learning Partnerships

2 Overview Considering Student Engagement Engagement at BCU Experiences and lessons at BCU Challenges for the sector

3 Why (Kuh 2009) …. Virtually every report ….emphasized to varying degrees the important link between student engagement and desired outcomes of college Student engagement literature review (2010) – V Trowler for HEA

4 Institutional change (Bensimon, 2009) …productive engagement is an important means by which students develop feelings about their peers, professors and institutions that give them a sense of connectedness, affiliation, and belonging, while simultaneously offering rich opportunities for learning and development. Student engagement literature review (2010) – V Trowler for HEA

5 Australasian Survey of Student Engagement (AUSSE) students involvement with activities and conditions likely to generate high-quality learning measured along six engagement scales: academic challenge (extent to which expectations and assessments challenge students to learn); active learning (students efforts to actively construct their knowledge); student and staff interactions (level and nature of students contact with teaching staff); enriching educational experiences (participation in broadening educational activities); supportive learning environment (feelings of legitimation within the university community); work-integrated learning (integration of employment-focused work experience into study).

6 Engagement for all? students as active partners in shaping their learning experiences HEA 2011, Students as Change Agents Selective vs mass There will be others that arent interested in getting engaged…The challenge is how we best support those that want to get involved Alex Bols, NUS, 2012

7 Motivations for Engagement University (satisfaction, progression and retention) Students (payment, wider development) Staff (resource, better courses) Voluntary vs reward based engagement (varying models) Do we discriminate if we dont pay?

8 Student engagement beginnings CETL: Centre for Learning Partnerships Redesign of Learning Experience (RoLEx) – role of students - students as key stakeholder group Discussions within SU during 2008-2009 – positive commitment from new officers - Membership Engagement Manager role Common understanding of key issues such as ineffectiveness of academic student representation Identified need to create the learning community

9 Collaborative projects to improve the learning experience New avenue for proactive student involvement Equal partnership – not them and us Local level implementation Purpose: culture change Light touch management Students Union as student employer (payment)

10 Scale YearApplicationsFunded projects 2009-105225 2010-118347 (73 incl RoLEx) 2011-12105 (120)53 (growing to 65)

11 Faculty participation FacultySum of All Projects BCBS6 BIAD26 CENTRAL SERVICES21 ELSS28 HEALTH18 PME27 TEE37 Grand Total163

12 Broad project categories Development of new content/ learning/resources/ assessment approaches – curriculum focus Consultation/ survey/network projects/micro- community building/student engagement focus Employability, employment, professional practice and placement experience Thematic – employability/progression/retention

13 SAP investigations Does the SAP scheme only involve the educational elite of the student population? How do the skills developed through participation in the SAP scheme impact on student success and employment? What is the impact of the SAP project on the learning community and organisation?

14 What is a SAP? – 3 years evidence

15 Life beyond SAP – employment (16% response rate - ongoing) 86% SAP aided studies 59% SAP was only non-academic activity involved in 83% employed in West Mids 92% of those in jobs talked about SAP in application 75% talked about SAP in interview 75% of students not in employment didnt put SAP on their CV

16 Student partners not assistants (2011) Ive not felt that weve been the students and theyve been the staff, we havent been told what to do, it has been refreshing and quite nice to have this equal standing. I think it has worked well so far because we have a good mix of approaches, how we work and we have learnt off each other... you feel like you are learning and growing rather than just being told which is quite nice...we just feel like a team, there is no hierarchy or anything so its great.

17 Staff – more than a project (2011)...this SAPs thing has already started to infect ideas that are going on in the faculty about how we do define our relations with students …. Because we are stuck with this absolutely horrendous thing of customers which I think is so wrong. I think it could have a significance way beyond the SAPs project itself in that we are entering uncharted waters about how students view themselves and how staff operate in academia and it is really up for grabs.


19 Taking engagement further Strategic student employment Change Academy and HEA 1000 student jobs by 2015 Changing the face of the University 12 JDs – Admin, Research, Tech, Marketing Student Academic Mentors 63 in StAMP in 2012 SAP2 – live projects Broadening engagement

20 Strengths of engagement at BCU Strong leadership and partnerships Flexibility to engage across university Localised impact with widespread implications Embedded in university life Setting staff and student expectations Partnership working becomes the norm External recognition supports internal change

21 Weaknesses Student led vs staff led initiatives Ensuring wider student engagement Encouraged adoption through a light touch approach – now need to change Balancing the monitoring - have we made it too easy to give up How should we measure impact? Working with people, some will be excellent, others may tarnish good works

22 Threats Leadership/senior mgmt support Financial High expectations - not enough opps to engage (too few jobs) Policy shifts - engagement is flavour now, what about next year?

23 Opportunities Cross faculty working, abandon silos Creating the university experience Empowering students to improve their own experience A student facing university Engagement and the fee agenda (consumers vs partners)?

24 Challenges for the sector Minority activity? Can we show engagement improves student outcomes? Are the benefits for all stakeholders clear? Can we make student engagement more than the sum of its parts? QAA Code of Practice

25 Ladder of student engagement

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