Staff-student Partnership in Practice in Higher Education : The Impact on Learning and Teaching
This staff-student collaborative project involved six small project teams each composed of staff and undergraduate students studying within the University of Hertfordshire, UK. Each project team engaged in a mini-project designed to research an aspect of learning and teaching to develop learning and teaching and to enhance students’ employability skills. The ‘student researchers’ from the small project teams were also members of a larger coaching group that met with the project lead and other experienced colleagues and undertook joint enquiry. Students used reflective logs as one means of recording data on their developing employability skills and their learning from the project. Evaluation activities included documentation of all coaching group workshops and collecting quantitative and qualitative data for each learning and teaching research project. The usefulness of this data was evaluated by staff members in relation to its impact on their module planning. The main implication of this approach is that staff-student partnership in learning and teaching has a significant impact on learning and teaching development and enhancement, learning to learn, raising the profile of research into learning and teaching, and employability skills and attributes. The student researchers came to a much deeper understanding of learning and teaching, and became much more aware of their responsibility for their own learning and committed to enhancing the learning of others. Members of staff noted that working with students had been ‘extremely inspirational’- seeing students work with other students and what they could achieve that could not be achieved by members of staff.