Engaging students through partnership

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Engaging students through partnership. Colin Bryson, Ruth Furlonger, Olivia Petie, Fae Rinaldo-Langridge and Katie Dodds colin.bryson@ncl.ac.uk ruth.furlonger@ncl.ac.uk. The Challenge. Combined Honours at Newcastle Diverse and complex apparently incoherent and so individual - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Engaging students through partnership

Colin Bryson, Ruth Furlonger, Olivia Petie, Fae Rinaldo-Langridge and Katie Doddscolin.bryson@ncl.ac.uk ruth.furlonger@ncl.ac.uk

1The ChallengeCombined Honours at NewcastleDiverse and complex apparently incoherent and so individualMissing sense of identity, inclusion and belongingDissatisfied and disengagedBut few resources and so difficult to influence the curriculumSo how to address?

2The nature of student engagementHolistic and socially constructedEvery student is an individual and different (Haggis, 2004)

Engagement is a concept which encompasses the perceptions, expectations and experience of being a student and the construction of being a student in HE (Bryson and Hand, 2007).

Engagement underpins learning and is the glue that binds it together both located in being and becoming. (Fromm, 1977)

SE is dynamic and fluid fragile and resilientSE is multidimensional, includes students whole livesIncludes the past and the future 3Key influences on engagementStudent expectations and perceptions match to the personal project and interest in subject Sufficient challenge and appropriate workloadDegrees of choice, autonomy, risk, and opportunities for growth and enjoymentTrust relationships Communication and discourseA sense of belonging and communitySupportive social networksOpportunities for, and participation in activities and roles to enable ownership, self-assurance and self-efficacyBut also negatives alienating forces (Mann, 2001), sense of exclusion (Hockings, 2010)

4Holistic student engagement strategyFollow the principles of SEWork with the studentsCrucial that the students co-owned the problems, solutions and changes madePartnershipDiverse origins both pedagogic and politicalSuch virtuous principles democratic, ethical, model of citizenshipAntithesis of consumer modelThe right ethos, values and beliefs mutuality and communityLinked concepts Arnstein (1969) - Ladder of participationPateman (1969) Continuum of Industrial Democracy

6Initiatives on partnershipStudent as producer (Neary and Winn, 2009)Students at L&T champions/change agents/consultants (e.g. Exeter, Birmingham City)Co-designers of the curriculum (Bovill, 2013)QAA Chapter on SE (2012)University policies and practices (Van der Velden, 2012)Partnership agreements in Scotland

Student RepresentationEvolving to empower student repsStudent-led, staff support (student-staff committee).Engine room for ideas.Working groups student chosen agendas.Constituency format consistency.

SSC Success stories: CH weekCo-design of modulesMentoring

8Mentoring

Building a communitySocial integration lead role in induction.Group dynamics time with fellow CH students.Linking to other schemes PASS and SSC links. Mentors as partnersStudent designed and staff support fortnightly feedback meetings.Opportunity to recruit and train future intake of mentors.

9Combined Honours Society Important role in building our CH community. No staff involvement, committee of students.Links up with other schemes and staff on CH Awards rewarding outstanding contributions to CH.

10PASS (Peer Assisted Study Support) Our Scheme:Informal drop-in sessions in the Combined Honours common room.6 PASS advisors trained in academic writing. Student Coordinator.

Successes: Relieves pressure for mentors to give academic advice.Increased CH identity- more roles for student engagement.Benefits to PASS advisors themselves.

Graduate Development ModulesOpportunity for academic credit:

About 50% of people in roles are on the modules.Frees up time to dedicate to role and allows them to take on ambitious projects: (i.e. curriculum design create a new interdisciplinary module).Other projects have included redesigning Post-application Open Day and organising the Combined Honours Conference.

Reflections on the CH StrategyVirtuous outcomes:Individual benefits improves graduateness and confidence. Better student experience and more attractive to incoming students due to community feel. Achievement academic grades have continued to climb alongside scheme successes.

Any questions?

Activity over to youWhat opportunities could you introduce in the area you work that would promote engagement and partnership?How are you going to put these into practice? You should aim to include as many students as possible

Challenges and issuesGetting past pseudo-participation (measuring and evaluating that it is really happening)The role of the student union (and levels where this works)Can we create opportunities for all students (and are attractive to all?)Ensuring participation as it cannot be obligatoryHow does the staff role change?This approach creates an unpredictable and unknown future - the nature of co-creation

To meet regularly to discuss SE. To involve and work with students in partnershipAn early goal was to develop a concept map and set of principles that underpin the promotion of SETo establish an annual conference drawing together leading edge work on SE - and to feed into publication through journals and books. (Next conference Sept 2014, Manchester)To gain funding to support these events and activities.To create a bank of useful resources for us to share.To facilitate communication between us (web, email network etc)http://raise-network.ning.com/

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