Student-staff partnerships, or "students as partners" schemes, have established themselves as the approach of choice to teaching, learning and curriculum design and innovation in Higher Education. Cook-Sather et al. 2014, p. 6-7, define student-staff partnership as 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 conceptualization, decision-making, implementation, investigation or analysis".
The approach is not without its challenges as it requires "rethinking of assumptions about teaching, learning, power and knowledge" (Bovill et al 2016, p. 199, citing King and Felten, 2012) and a shift in the traditional roles taken by both students and staff, for the student from "being passive recipients" to becoming "active agents" and for staff from being "disciplinary content experts" to 'facilitators" (Bovill et al. 2016, p. 197).
The proposed project aims to develop a training programme for students and staff to support them in taking full advantage of the opportunities afforded by genuine student-staff partnerships. It also asks for seed funding for a small number of pilot student-staff partnership projects in order to establish the impact of such training. It is planned that the project runs over a full academic year, thus allowing for a student-staff partnership model to be developed, implemented and evaluated.
Student-staff partnerships are an important model in educational development and we envisage that the above project may provide a blueprint for other departments who would like to establish and improve similar schemes.
Bovill, C., et al., Addressing potential challenges in co-creating learning and teaching: overcoming resistance, navigating institutional norms and ensuring inclusivity in student—staff partnerships. Higher Education, 2016. 71 p. 195-208.
Cook-Sather, A., C. Bovill, and P. Felten, Engaging Students as Partners in Leaming and Teaching: A Guide for Faculty, ed. M. Weimer. 2014, San Francisco, CA: Josey-Bass.
King, C., & Felten, P. (2012). Threshold Concepts in Educational Development: An Introduction. The Joumal of Faculty Development, 26(3): 5. .