Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 2024-07-05T11:15:41+00:00 SEHEJ Editorial team Open Journal Systems <p>SEHEJ is an international peer-reviewed journal supporting the work of the <a href="">RAISE network</a>. Thus the focus is on student engagement, the active participation of students and staff and students working in partnership. You can sign up as a reviewer, reader, or author on this site by creating an account, and contact the editorial board on </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Pedagogical Partnerships as a Way to Amplify Undergraduate Voices 2023-06-05T14:31:18+00:00 Dara Drake <p>My journey as a student partner began in the summer of 2020, amidst overwhelming COVID-19 hysteria and an opportunity to explore a new kind of online learning. I was doing research with a professor of mine and invited to a workshop about Pedagogical Partners with Alison Cook-Sather. When I learned how impactful my work could be as a student partner, I was hooked. For many years, I had felt as though students were not listened to, heard, or respected. I wanted students to be able to play an <em>active</em> role in their own learning. My freshman year, I became an undergraduate teaching assistant (UTA). The experience truly changed my college experience - I mended my troubled relationship with school and learning and came to love it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Now, in my final year of college, I’ve been a UTA every semester since my freshman year. I’ve done research on the number of UTAs across the country and on campus at Syracuse University (SU). At SU, UTAs were few and far between, just about 10% of classes had one. The most common answer as to why UTAs weren’t used was that there was no money to pay them, so I created my own class that gave students 3 credits to be a UTA and partnered up with two close faculty mentors of mine to teach it. We reflected, dished out advice, and made important bonds with faculty and each other. After one very successful semester, we combined with the Partnership for Inclusive Education (PIE) Program through the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence to merge the UTA program with a student consultant program. This semester, I am enjoying the best of both worlds as a UTA as well as a lead student consultant. Over the course of my college career, I have learned what a <em>true</em> partnership means, experienced the two-way learning it provides, and worked to make courses more inclusive, understanding, and student-centered. I’ve fought hard to put students in decision-making roles and mentored countless students into fantastic student partners that have changed campus for the better.</p> 2024-07-02T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Book Review: Advancing Student Engagement in Higher Education: Reflection, Critique and Challenge 2024-05-07T11:33:02+00:00 Mirjam Glessmer 2024-07-02T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Learning in community 2022-05-06T09:46:13+00:00 Tim Herrick Jasper Shotts <p>This paper analyses a model of student observation of teaching at the University of<br />Sheffield, inspired and directly shaped by an earlier scheme at the University of<br />Lincoln. Student observation of teaching does what it says on the tin; it places staff<br />and students into dialogue with each other about teaching practices, and offers a<br />space outside of conventional approaches to evaluation where meaningful dialogue<br />can be fostered. The paper outlines what each scheme does and how it operates,<br />evaluates the success of the Sheffield scheme through data gathered through two<br />instances of the project, and relates these insights to the existing literature on studentstaff partnership. Themes derived from the data identify changes to student and staff<br />participants’ identities, their relationships with one another, and a deepening sense of<br />solidarity between students and staff. A secondary finding focuses on the value of<br />cross-institutional collaboration in projects such as this, where work may challenge<br />conventional institutional expectations. We end by exploring the risks and<br />opportunities for aligning this work with contemporary mechanisms of quality<br />assurance, and policy discourses around teaching excellence.</p> 2024-07-02T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Students as partners: Creating a collective responsibility for course evaluation and improvement 2023-02-10T13:46:50+00:00 Catriona Meighan <p>Student engagement and a culture of partnership is a key feature of UK Higher and Further Education policy. Dialogue and collaboration are at the core of these concepts. This article explores the role that students have in evaluating and planning improvement in the context of whole course evaluative processes. Using a small-scale study within a tertiary institution, it examines the impact and effectiveness of a new approach to whole course self-evaluation. Furthermore, it explores the role of the student in the creation and use of evaluative data and feedback and the nature and extent of collaborative partnership working between students and staff. Analysis suggests that the new approach outlined is perceived as highly effective in engaging students and staff in meaningful evaluative dialogue. It concludes with questions for further engagement and empowerment opportunities for staff-student partnerships in this co-creative context.</p> 2024-07-02T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal ‘I spend my whole life worrying’: The experiences of student mothers working in the Early Childhood Sector 2024-02-25T10:00:23+00:00 Kay Owen Helen Simmons <p class="Paragraph" style="line-height: normal;"><span style="font-family: 'Arial',sans-serif;">This study was designed to explore the experiences of student-mothers in higher education, with participants drawn from undergraduate and postgraduate programmes within the discipline of Education and Childhood at a UK University. The study utilised a mixed open- and closed-question questionnaire in order to capture student’s reflections on their experiences. Responses were considered in light of feminist perspectives, specifically the concerns raised by recent campaigns (Pregnant Then Screwed, 2022) regarding the social and economic pressures on women with young children. The research discovered that many student mothers are balancing the demands of academic work with childcare, financial pressures, and household responsibilities, often with limited or negligible support. The current cost of living crisis has further exacerbated problems, with students often working in poorly paid early childhood roles, whilst paying a premium to have their own children cared for when they attend lectures. We conclude that the failure of Higher Education Institutions to recognise the additional and specific needs of this group is inequitable and increases the pressures on student mothers.</span></p> 2024-07-02T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Innovation or inhibition? Factors affecting student engagement with flexible assessment arrangements 2024-02-14T11:51:41+00:00 Sam Elkington Paul Chesterton Alexander Wood <p>There has been increasing interest in providing students with flexible learning opportunities in Higher Education – allowing students greater choice with respect to when, where and how they engage with course materials, as well as how they are assessed. However, studies reporting flexible assessment strategies and their impact across different modes of study remain limited with little emphasis placed on students’ perspectives on, and experiences of, the role they play in assessment processes and what they need to benefit from such practices. This paper draws upon research seeking to identify the key design and practice factors shaping student engagement with flexible assessment arrangements. The paper analysed students’ qualitative views of flexible assessment designs deployed on multiple undergraduate programmes (including Chemical Engineering, Interior Design, and Business Management). Inductive thematic analysis revealed several recurrent factors affecting students’ engagement with assessment arrangements, each including key enabling and inhibiting features for realising greater flexibility in student assessment experiences. Evidence of the most effective strategies for achieving flexible assessment arrangements are discussed including the utilisation of a variety of accessible and inclusive approaches, digital tools, and implementation of a balanced range of authentic assessment tasks enabling all students to engage meaningfully and demonstrate their learning.</p> 2024-07-02T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal At the intersection of safety and belonging: a reverse mentoring exploration of student and campus police relationships in higher education 2023-11-08T09:52:56+00:00 Rachael O'Connor <p><em>Through analysis of reflections from a pilot reverse mentoring study which saw five international students mentoring a police higher education liaison officer (PHELO), this piece explores the role of PHELOs in the sense of belonging agenda across the higher education (HE) sector. It acknowledges that, to date, research on interactions between PHELOs and students is scarce in the UK context, as opposed to the international context Although recent research has shone a spotlight on police and security interactions on campus during and since the COVID-19 pandemic, this has not focused on PHELOs specifically. Seeking to begin to plug this gap, the discussion explores findings from the reverse mentoring project around motivations for getting involved in community initiatives with PHELOs, the benefits students and the PHELO took from the experience and how it changed their perspectives on other authority/student relationships. The most unique contribution of this piece is its longitudinal insight into the impact of reverse mentoring in HE via analysis of a follow-up interview with the PHELO mentee one year after the project ended. This piece advocates for an increased focus on engaging PHELOs (and related staff such as security teams) more meaningfully in HE belonging work, given a growing number of issues relating to student safety negatively impacting student experiences, particularly for students from backgrounds which are marginalised in HE. It makes a number of proposals for how reverse mentoring could be further utilised across campus communities to pursue enhanced belonging and safety for all, prioritising perspectives and experiences of students from under-represented backgrounds.</em></p> 2024-07-02T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal ‘A language we understand’: Students’ perceptions of emojis, memes and gifs in higher education teaching. 2023-07-07T10:42:29+00:00 Beatrice Hayes Sania Fatima <p>Emojis, memes and gifs are visual representations of emotions, concepts and pop culture references, and are being increasingly used within higher education teaching. Although positive perceptions have been found when using these with children, an understanding of higher education students’ perceptions around lecturer’s emoji, meme and gif use remains unknown. To explore this, we thematically analysed ten one-to-one semi-structured interviews conducted with higher education university students (M<sub>age</sub>= 20.6 years, SD= 1.06; 8 female) based at UK institutions. Key themes of communication and learner experience arose from the data. Students identified emojis, memes and gifs as positive in fostering personability of the lecturer, as well as aiding attention and understanding of learning content. Although, students did recognise that over-disclosure and distraction were negative outcomes of using emojis, memes and gifs. These findings are important in adding to the pedagogical debate around the use of visual stimuli and digital communication within higher education teaching.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> 2024-07-02T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Engaging student voices via digital feedback platforms: new directions, dilemmas, and affordances 2024-04-30T15:00:22+00:00 Stella Kazamia Helen Treharne Karen Gravett Naomi Winstone <p>Higher education institutions have adopted multiple tools to engage students’ voices on key areas, including teaching, learning opportunities, assessment, and feedback. Concerns about timeliness have meant that the effectiveness of such methods has been questioned. This has prompted the adoption of alternative approaches that can capture student feedback at earlier points in the degree programme. This paper explores how the adoption of the digital feedback platform Unitu, has impacted students’ experiences and their interactions with the academic staff. This was accomplished through a mixed method approach using surveys, semi-structured interviews, and focus groups with students and staff. This study indicates that Unitu can provide many affordances for staff and institutional leaders in their scope to surface students’ experiences and provide timely responses to students’ feedback. The dilemmas that educators must address if they are to continue promoting effective learning experiences through digital feedback platforms are also discussed in this paper.</p> 2024-07-02T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Supporting first-year University student success via multi-disciplinary workshops: The College Connect way. 2023-07-20T12:27:41+00:00 Michael Brickhill Suzanne Muloin Johanna Nieuwoudt <p>Students face many challenges as they transition to university during their first year of study, including academic expectations. The transition process can be eased through supplementary support encouraging development and practice of academic skills through self-regulated learning strategies. These strategies can increase motivation, self-efficacy and engagement, leading to greater academic success. Multi-disciplinary workshops embedded within a first-year unit for students at a regional university in Australia aim to encourage the development and practice of these academic skills within a supportive environment. Analyses of student attendance, unit score, and grade point average (GPA) were undertaken to determine if there was a relationship between workshop attendance and academic performance. Results indicate that students attending workshops tend to achieve better unit and GPA results than those who do not. Significant positive relationships between attendance and these measures of academic performance suggest multi-disciplinary workshops may contribute towards greater academic success. The approach presented in this study could thus be beneficial for higher education institutions to support the transition of first-year students, and may be an alternative to support strategies that are focused on individual units of study. &nbsp;</p> 2024-07-02T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Learning from Quitting: student engagement in an interprofessional student-led smoking cessation program enhances communication and collaboration. 2023-11-24T12:06:17+00:00 Beverly Fitzpatrick Leslie Phillips Stephanie Chesser <p>We developed an intervention to facilitate student learning through interprofessional education. Pharmacy students and psychiatry residents worked together in a student-led, real-world smoking cessation clinic. Too often, interprofessional education is delivered in classroom settings, sometimes using simulated patient scenarios with whom students interact as a team. There are few structured activities that involve caring for real patients. Our intention was that students would be more engaged in learning through a collaborative pedagogy that emphasized communication. We used a qualitative methodology to develop, analyze, and explain student learning. Data collection included self-reflections, drawings, and interviews. Our results showed that students and residents learned to help clients quit smoking, how to collaborate as members of interprofessional teams, and how to communicate effectively to and with diverse clients and other professionals. They felt engaged in their learning with each other, and engaged in their learning with the clients from the clinic. They thought that learning in a real world setting went beyond what they could have learned in a classroom setting or even a simulated experience.&nbsp;</p> 2024-07-02T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Challenging simplistic and deficit perceptions of belonging amongst historically underrepresented students 2023-11-24T12:13:41+00:00 David Gilani <p>As the topic of student belonging amongst minoritised student demographics becomes increasingly researched and theorised within higher education, there is a risk that practitioners and policy makers adopt approaches summarised from top-level findings, thus missing important nuance. This opinion piece poses four self-reflective questions to ensure that efforts to address belonging gaps for minoritised students are appropriate and successful. These questions prompt readers to: recognise the value of asset – over deficit – approaches; reflect on how definitions of minoritised students do not account for the difference between historical and current underrepresentation; question whether demographic binaries are useful and relevant; and consider how not all students want to belong and whether it is appropriate to challenge this position. Overall, this article provides a protocol so that practitioners and policy makers can have more confidence in embedding findings from belonging research into their local contexts.</p> 2024-07-02T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Editorial 2024-07-01T17:02:20+00:00 Rachel Forsyth 2024-07-02T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Diversifying peer mentors: working collaboratively with students to enhance engagement of under-represented groups 2022-11-15T13:56:17+00:00 Amy Kyte <p>Nottingham Trent University have delivered a large-scale student peer mentoring programme since 2017, with the objective of fostering a sense of community and belonging for first-year students. This case study describes a project undertaken in 2021 during the Coronavirus pandemic which aimed to increase the proportion of student peer mentor applications from students from traditionally under-represented groups in higher education. This project was delivered collaboratively with students and recent graduates and involved fully reviewing and adapting mentor recruitment processes. This case study describes the methods utilised, as well as the opportunities and challenges raised during this project, which ultimately succeeded in increasing the representation of several student groups, including mature students, students entering university with a BTEC qualification, and students reporting a disability.</p> 2024-07-02T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Retiring the mechanical approach 2023-11-24T12:03:16+00:00 Karen Dwyer <p>Student anxiety and uncertainty around the conventions of academic integrity remain an ongoing issue within higher education today. To date, punitive approaches have been the primary strategy in addressing this issue, alongside efforts to teach paraphrasing and citation practice. Yet, these latter approaches can be misleading in suggesting understanding plagiarism is simply a mechanical operation devoid of critical engagement with the underlying arguments of the text. Less emphasis has been given to the underlying principles of academic integrity and why these conventions are relevant in academic work. In this paper, I explore how cultural artefacts can be used alongside a philosophical dialogue technique to help students advance beyond a simplistic mechanical understanding of avoiding plagiarism in their conceptualisation of academic integrity. I argue that this approach can help students to conceptualise the ethical principles underlying the use of sources, to consider the differing cultural perceptions of ownership of ideas, and to understand approaches to identifying plagiarism. This approach is discussed in the context of how students (re)conceptualising the values of academic integrity is consistent with potential for new and innovative ways to promote student engagement.</p> 2024-07-02T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal