AN EDTL APPROACH TO FOSTERING OPEN DIALOGUE IN STAFF/STUDENT PARTNERSHIP
“It’s a balance – there’s expertise and lived experience on both sides”
What problems were being addressed?
- Supporting student learning
- Active staff/student collaboration
- Experiential learning
Who was involved?
EDTL student partnership approach brought EDTL interns Ben Ryan and Hannah Arthurs together with Trinity’s educational development team, academic colleagues, and other professional staff. It also involved extensive collaboration with Trinity SU sabbatical officers and other student interns at Trinity (e.g. National Forum for Teaching & Learning interns).
Why did you choose to address the challenges this way?
- Build student assessment literacy
- Support student development and amplify student voices
- Develop resources for staff and students around digital pedagogic practice
How were the goals achieved?
Both Trinity EDTL Student Interns, Ben Ryan and Hannah Arthurs, worked closely with institutional leads, Dr Jonny Johnston, Dr Pauline Rooney, and Asst Prof Julie Byrne, to support the development of both staff and student-facing resources linked to digital teaching, learning and assessment. The staff/student partnerships were highly successful in profiling and furthering Trinity’s commitment to working collaboratively in partnership with students, as outlined in the College Strategic Plan. The Student Interns developed and peer reviewed resources intended both for staff and students from spring 2020 on through autumn 2022. These open-access resources included vox pops, podcast episodes, student-generated resource documents supporting examination preparation, staff-facing resource documents and multimedia case studies, many of which remain available via Trinity’s Gateway to Digital Assessment resource hub, and student-organised and facilitated webinars targeted to a national sectoral audience.
Both EDTL interns and Trinity EDTL team members agree that active partnership with students is extremely important, but that clear boundaries and expectations need to be articulated on both sides, early in partnership for partnership to be successful. This is particularly important where staff are changing their own understanding of what active collaboration with students look like. Developing partnership approaches means acknowledging a shift in power dynamics and acknowledging mutual expertise: both staff and student partners have different working knowledge of institutional environments, and this can be exploited to produce resources beneficial to distinct ‘end-users’. Coordinating partnership is also a join responsibility – asynchronous document mark-up (e.g. using comment/response in MS Word files) can support dialogue between partners, even when timetabling and diary clashes make it difficult to connect in live time.