At Westminster we view partnership as a reciprocal process in which we share responsibility for shaping our learning and teaching environments and experiences. We work through a co-creation model of partnership which encourages students and faculty to build collaborative and reciprocal relationships of learning.
Student partnership is an area of development in the Centre for Teaching Innovation and across Westminster. We have a well-established Students as Co-Creators Project and we are currently looking at expanding student representation across the institution and moving co-creation into the curriculum.
Students as Co-Creators
A core part of our partnership work at Westminster is the Student as Co-Creators Project. This initiative provides opportunities and resources for students and staff to work together on research projects to enhance learning and teaching at Westminster. Project teams are student-led, with an academic partner working as a team member, offering advice and guidance to students.
The Students as Co-Creators Project gives students an opportunity to share their perspectives and ideas, shape their learning experiences, build networks and develop skills in team-working, leadership, communication, research, giving presentations, and managing projects and budgets. These experiences support students’ academic careers while also helping them gain important skills to enhance their employability. Projects undertaken so far have included work on the impact of online learning, assessment briefs and exam stress, and language skills in the professional world.
Westminster student participants have taken advantage of many opportunities to showcase their work on the Students as Co-Creators project, both internally and externally. They have shared the results of their projects at the March 2015 JISC Change Agents Network meeting in Birmingham; the June 2015 and 2016 University of Westminster Learning & Teaching Symposia; the June 2016 JISC change agents’ network meeting at the University of Lincoln.
Students as Co-Creators team attend RAISE special interest group meeting in Newcastle
My reflections on the RAISE Partnership Special Interest Group Meeting
Monday, the 21st of May, Newcastle University
As a final year student, just a few weeks away from graduation, attending the RAISE SIG meeting was like a stroll down memory lane. And throughout reflecting in-action – during my active participation in the discussion and even delivering a 1-minute pitch on what the benefits of being a student leader through partnership are – and on-action, which occurred on the train journey back to London, there are three main aspects I focused on.
One, this whole meeting confirmed just how big my love for learning is and how much I have enjoyed every single moment of my academic life, a big part of it thanks to participating in the Students as co-creators projects, one per every university year.
Two, I have been immensely lucky to make lifelong friendships with fellow peers and staff members, and develop this sense of belonging to my own community of people, whose passions and ideals I share.
And three, being part of student partnership projects has aided my personal and professional development through helping me discover aspects of my own self – e.g. how interested I am in Research and working in a people-focused environment; also increasing my self-confidence more and more throughout the years – and developing numerous transferable skills – examples include leadership (by being the project leader for my final two student-led research projects), time-management, organisation (juggling academic workload with extracurricular activities, work AND trying to have a social life wasn’t easy!) and analysis (I found having to make sense of primary data collection findings fascinating!).
Finally, attending this conference meeting has made me realise just how lucky I have been throughout these three years of study to be able to participate in such projects, meet new people, put everything to practice and get to enjoy every bit of it!
Anna Dolidze, Final year student in Business Management (Marketing)
Exploring the usefulness of Youtube videos in enhancing student learning and integration into university
Reviewing assessment briefing processes to increase the transparency of assessment criteria for students
Departmental differences in student engagement with iPads via use of smart applications during teaching sessions
Could exposure to technologies before online studies boost the academic performance of the student?