“Times Higher Education Grades improve when students lead learning Times Higher Education With only about 50 per cent of students showing up to lessons in finance at Avans University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, academics decided to...”
“Picture this scenario (I bet it is a familiar one): Student X comes into your office. They are upset or troubled and like the good student affairs professional/superhero you are; you jump into act...”
“Recently, I asked a faculty focus group what they hear students “say” in class. The top answers didn’t surprise me, but they did reveal a pattern in kids today: “I’m bored.” “This is too hard.” “Will this be on the test?”
The director and chair of a new higher education student engagement and partnership unit have been confirmed. HEFCE recently announced funding for the unit, hosted by the National Union of Students (NUS), which will work to involve students more fully as partners in their higher education. Other funders include the Association of Colleges, GuildHE and NUS.
The student experience of higher education has changed substantially in the last few decades. Underpinning this have been substantial changes in the way in which HE has been funded and regulated as well as wider changes in government policy which have encouraged greater commercialisation of educational provision and changes in employment which have made employment more competitive and less secure. At the same time, HEFCE, QAA, and the Students' Union have placed increasing emphasis on student participation in shaping ‘their own education’ through changes in representative structures within HEIs as well as on external committees focusing on ‘student engagement’.
All those involved in HE or FE Student Engagement. Union/University, College/6th forms, Private/Public. (@studentproducer there's a linkedin group for any1 interested in student engagement and a jiscmail soon.
This article revisits the notion that to facilitate quality learning requires teachers in higher education to have pedagogical content knowledge. It constructs pedagogical content knowledge as a teaching and learning space that brings content and pedagogy together. On the content knowledge side, it suggests that threshold concepts, akin to a portal that opens up a new and previously inaccessible way of thinking about a subject, are useful in quality learning. On the pedagogy side, it employs student engagement as a useful proxy for identifying what happens in a learning environment to achieve quality learning. This article asks what fresh insights might this particular conceptualization of pedagogical content knowledge afford teacher education and teacher development in achieving quality learning in higher education. After outlining characteristics of threshold concepts and student engagement, it brings together the contributions these concepts make to pedagogical content knowledge before detailing some fresh insights afforded by the synthesis.
“When states cut spending on higher education, it’s not just a matter of colleges doing more with less. The consequences appear to go much further.”
Ian Giles's insight:
So something like 50-60%of teaching is now being done by temporary, less qualified 'adjunct' staff. What happens in the US soon crosses the pond to the UK. How does this make for a quality student experience? At least one State Governor admits that this is just a cost cutting exercise. When will UK students paying full fees start to hold their HEI to account as to how they are spending their money?
“Emerald Group Publishing Limited publishes research in management journal and book titles (Looking forward to the launch of the Student Engagement Handbook later this week at RAISE: http://t.co/93Y6QOPsta...”;
This forum, jointly held by the LH Martin Institute and the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), brings together tertiary professionals to discuss solutions that can be adapted to create an engaged student experience.
Ian Giles's insight:
Looks like an interesting meeting - pity I can't get there!
The decisions we are making now as educational leaders and classroom teachers will determine whether our students are engaged learners, or are passive learners. In other words, our decisions now will determine whether education is something we do to our students or whether education is something into which we actively engage them. The time for "Planning for Student Engagement" is now.
Studies in Higher Education: (2013) 38(5),758-773. doi: 10.1080/03075079.2011.598505
Ian Giles's insight:
Student engagement is widely recognised as an important influence on achievement and learning in higher education and as such is being widely theorised and researched. This article firstly reviews and critiques the four dominant research perspectives on student engagement: the behavioural perspective, which foregrounds student behaviour and institutional practice; the psychological perspective, which clearly defines engagement as an individual psycho-social process; the socio-cultural perspective, which highlights the critical role of the socio-political context; and, finally, the holistic perspective, which takes a broader view of engagement. Key problems are identified, in particular poor definitions and a lack of distinction between the state of engagement, factors that influence student engagement, and the immediate and longer term consequences of engagement. The second part of the article presents a conceptual framework that overcomes these problems, incorporating valuable elements from each of the perspectives, to enable a better shared understanding of student engagement to frame future research and improve student outcomes.
This chapter develops a definition of engagement which is underpinned by a participatory enquiry paradigm and invites an exploration of patterns and relationships between variables rather than a focus on a single variable. It suggests that engagement is best understood as a complex system including a range of interrelated factors internal and external to the learner, in place and in time, which shape his or her engagement with learning opportunities. The implications of this approach are explored first in terms of student identity, learning power and competences and second in terms of student participation in the construction of knowledge through authentic enquiry. Examples are used to illustrate the arguments which have been generated from research into the theory and practice of Learning Power and from the Learning Futures programme in the UK and Australia. The chapter argues that what is necessary for deep engagement in the twenty-first century is a pedagogy and an assessment system which empower individuals to become aware of their identity as learners through making choices about what, where and how they learn and to make meaningful connections with their life stories and aspirations in authentic pedagogy. In this context, the teacher is a facilitator or coach for learning rather than a purveyor of expert knowledge.
Wintrup, Julie, James, Elizabeth, Humphris, Debra and Bryson, Colin (2012) Emotional work: students realising, negotiating and overcoming barriers. Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, 4, (2), 170-185.(doi:10.1108/17581181211273156).
Ian Giles's insight:
The purpose of the research is to explore Foundation degree students’ experience of an innovative curriculum, designed to enable pathway choices and widen access to Honour's degree programmes in a wide range of health professions and social work.
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