Applying Solution Focused Approaches as a participatory method to amplify student voice in a Higher Education context.
This paper reports an evaluation of the application of the participatory method Solution Focused Approaches (SFA) to develop student voice within a HE setting. The work of Seale (2010; 2015; 2016) and their call to ‘amplify’ student voice processes through the trialing of participatory methods was responded to. SFA were positioned as a participatory method drawn from the field of applied educational psychology that would allow for students to be treated as equal partners in student voice processes. The research evaluation gathered qualitative data through focus groups with staff (course leads) and student representative (course reps). Thematic analysis was used to develop four themes of; SFA are active and involved, relationships are important, student apathy and disengagement from feedback, course rep experience and feedback systems. The research was instigated as difficulties with meaningful collaboration existed within student voice work, and SFA were positioned as being able to provide solutions to this. Outcomes are discussed in light of recommendations for further research and HE practice.
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