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Student-Focused Learning and Assessment

Involving Students in the Learning Process in Higher Education

Edited By Natasha A. Jankowski, Gianina R. Baker, Erick Montenegro and Karie Brown-Tess

This contributed volume explores institutional and programmatic policies and practices which actively engage students as partners in improving student learning. This entails an examination of the degree to which students are partners in the assessment and learning processes and the characteristics of these partnerships. This volume showcases student partnerships, as well as presents a history of institutional culture affecting student learning, the role of students in teaching and learning, and brings student voices and perspectives to bare through research from a variety of institutional types. Case studies, current programs and activities, and a model for culturally-responsive assessment are highlighted to better understand student-focused learning and assessment. Implications for faculty, staff, and administrators are questioned. Overall, this volume links research to practice, and offers faculty, practitioners, and administrators different forms and methods of including students, while keeping issues of equity in mind.

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5. Enabling Student-led Design of the Learning Experience

Extract



LUKE MILLARD, JAMIE MORRIS, SAMUEL GEARY, & STUART BRAND

Students are often asked to consider the value of their University experience. From a pedagogic perspective such requests in the United Kingdom arise from national statutory agencies and through internal University quality processes. However, the student perspective is also collated locally and nationally by bodies that vary from the University’s catering franchise to the National Student Survey that identifies levels of student satisfaction on their academic student experience.

Whomever collects such feedback and for whatever reason, whenever this happens there appear to be a series of common traits. Firstly, any response to this data rarely impacts the students who offered the view. Universities and the sector can be very slow in responding to requests for change. The approval processes for innovation and change to the student experience, in many instances, are placed there for good reason and seek to protect and enhance the quality of the provision. However, they were not designed for speed and therefore any change is always likely to impact upon subsequent student cohorts or subsequent program design iterations. Thus, the students who report a potential need for change are not the ones who experience any potential benefit.

Secondly, as a sector, Universities are not always good at highlighting to students what improvements have been made and more explicitly why they were made. We often forget that for every student, this is the first time they have experienced this program....

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