A Framework for Student-Instructor Partnerships
journal contributionposted on 22.03.2021, 10:41 by Dylan Williams, Cheryl Hurkett, Sarah Symons, Sarah Gretton, Chad Harvey, Pippa Lock, Derek Raine
In recent years significant emphasis has been placed on staff and students as partners in higher education in order to address issues of engagement and transferable skills. However, the concept covers a wide range of meanings. On the one hand it can refer to module feedback questionnaires. At the other extreme it can include student input in curricular design, particularly constructing course materials. These very different experiences require different levels of academic preparation and student engagement. For the purpose of clarity in discussion it would seem useful to have a framework for the different levels of student-instructor partnerships, which emphasizes this range of experience rather than the activity content. This paper presents a framework based on the levels of student initiation of the partnership and of student involvement in the outcomes (referred to as ownership and autonomy respectively). The scheme was arrived at following study of the collaborative activities in two cognate programmes, the Natural Sciences degree programme at the University of Leicester and the Honours Integrated Science program at McMaster University. These programmes adopt pedagogical models which encourage the formation of strong, cohesive learning communities, thereby providing a rich variety of examples and an international perspective.