Understanding the students' perspective on how pedagogical approaches influence their experience

Crawford, Karin (2009) Understanding the students' perspective on how pedagogical approaches influence their experience. In: iPED 2009 Fourth International Inquiring Pedagogies Conference 'Researching Beyond Boundaries', September 2009, Coventry University Technocentre.

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Understanding the students' perspective on how pedagogical approaches influence their experience
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Abstract

This presentation set out to share the author’s experience of setting up and running a pilot project, in the School of Health and Social Care, at the University of Lincoln. The project’s core focus was the student perspective; it offered a ‘lecturer-led’ student-based service to educators, whereby trained student consultants provided feedback to individual lecturers on how students experience the pedagogical approaches. The project acknowledged that students are the ‘experts’ on the experience of participating in teaching and learning activities. As such it worked in partnership with students, potentially breaking down the perceived boundaries between student and teacher and encouraging ‘the development of collaborative relations between student and academic for the production of knowledge’ (Neary and Winn 20009: 137). Student observers/consultants were trained and paid; they also gained valuable experience that would be useful for their own development.

This project offered an innovative strategy designed to enable academics to further enhance teaching and learning and thus improve the student experience. Academics typically receive student feedback, comments and ratings on their teaching through end-of-unit evaluations and large student surveys such as the National Student Survey (Hagyard 2009). All of these mechanisms can, and have been, critiqued, but perhaps their most undisputable weaknesses are that they are impersonal and untimely. Issues of focus, motive and timing for evaluative feedback are significant in making it meaningful (Hounsell 2009). The purpose of the SCOT (Students Consulting on Teaching) project was to enhance teaching and learning at the University of Lincoln by providing academics with another source of informed feedback other than student questionnaires. It is contended that timely, focussed, negotiated feedback from the student perspective supports the reflective practitioner, their ‘situational understanding’ (Eraut 2004:100) and the development of practice-based evidence.

The project supports the University of Lincoln strategic goals for continuous improvement of teaching and related professional practice, alongside the aim to provide students with relevant experiences to enhance their prospects, with students being valued as producers and peers. Upon request by an academic, a trained student consultant/reviewer, who was not a member of the academic’s classes, was invited to provide feedback on teaching and learning in a particular session, or module. Because invited student consultant/reviewers were not enrolled in that course, or had not previously taken that course, the feedback that academics receive was from an impartial student’s perspective.

The presentation provided a candid evaluation of the opportunities and challenges that arose through the implementation and management of this scheme that worked in partnership with students as consultants on teaching.

References

Eraut, M. (2004) ‘Practice-based evidence’ in G. Thomas and R. Pring (Eds) Evidence-based practice in education Berkshire: Open University Press pp 91-101

Hagyard, H. (2009) ‘ Student intelligence: Challenging received wisdom in student surveys’ in
M. Neary, H. Stevenson, and L. Bell (eds) The Future of Higher Education: Policy, Pedagogy and the Student Experience Continuum pp.112-125

Hounsell, D. (2009) ‘Evaluating courses and teaching’ in H. Fry., S. Ketteridge, and S. Marshall (Eds) A handbook for teaching and learning in higher education (3rd ed) London: Routledge pp198-212

Neary, M. and Winn, J. (2009) ‘The student as producer: Reinventing the student experience in higher education’ in M. Neary, H. Stevenson, and L. Bell (eds) The Future of Higher Education: Policy, Pedagogy and the Student Experience Continuum pp. 126-138

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Presentation)
Additional Information:This presentation set out to share the author’s experience of setting up and running a pilot project, in the School of Health and Social Care, at the University of Lincoln. The project’s core focus was the student perspective; it offered a ‘lecturer-led’ student-based service to educators, whereby trained student consultants provided feedback to individual lecturers on how students experience the pedagogical approaches. The project acknowledged that students are the ‘experts’ on the experience of participating in teaching and learning activities. As such it worked in partnership with students, potentially breaking down the perceived boundaries between student and teacher and encouraging ‘the development of collaborative relations between student and academic for the production of knowledge’ (Neary and Winn 20009: 137). Student observers/consultants were trained and paid; they also gained valuable experience that would be useful for their own development. This project offered an innovative strategy designed to enable academics to further enhance teaching and learning and thus improve the student experience. Academics typically receive student feedback, comments and ratings on their teaching through end-of-unit evaluations and large student surveys such as the National Student Survey (Hagyard 2009). All of these mechanisms can, and have been, critiqued, but perhaps their most undisputable weaknesses are that they are impersonal and untimely. Issues of focus, motive and timing for evaluative feedback are significant in making it meaningful (Hounsell 2009). The purpose of the SCOT (Students Consulting on Teaching) project was to enhance teaching and learning at the University of Lincoln by providing academics with another source of informed feedback other than student questionnaires. It is contended that timely, focussed, negotiated feedback from the student perspective supports the reflective practitioner, their ‘situational understanding’ (Eraut 2004:100) and the development of practice-based evidence. The project supports the University of Lincoln strategic goals for continuous improvement of teaching and related professional practice, alongside the aim to provide students with relevant experiences to enhance their prospects, with students being valued as producers and peers. Upon request by an academic, a trained student consultant/reviewer, who was not a member of the academic’s classes, was invited to provide feedback on teaching and learning in a particular session, or module. Because invited student consultant/reviewers were not enrolled in that course, or had not previously taken that course, the feedback that academics receive was from an impartial student’s perspective. The presentation provided a candid evaluation of the opportunities and challenges that arose through the implementation and management of this scheme that worked in partnership with students as consultants on teaching. References Eraut, M. (2004) ‘Practice-based evidence’ in G. Thomas and R. Pring (Eds) Evidence-based practice in education Berkshire: Open University Press pp 91-101 Hagyard, H. (2009) ‘ Student intelligence: Challenging received wisdom in student surveys’ in M. Neary, H. Stevenson, and L. Bell (eds) The Future of Higher Education: Policy, Pedagogy and the Student Experience Continuum pp.112-125 Hounsell, D. (2009) ‘Evaluating courses and teaching’ in H. Fry., S. Ketteridge, and S. Marshall (Eds) A handbook for teaching and learning in higher education (3rd ed) London: Routledge pp198-212 Neary, M. and Winn, J. (2009) ‘The student as producer: Reinventing the student experience in higher education’ in M. Neary, H. Stevenson, and L. Bell (eds) The Future of Higher Education: Policy, Pedagogy and the Student Experience Continuum pp. 126-138
Keywords:Higher education teaching and learning, Student experience, Pedagogical practice, academic development
Subjects:X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
ID Code:6084
Deposited By: Karin Crawford
Deposited On:28 Aug 2012 15:24
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 09:12

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