Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 2021-03-10T15:18:59+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> Newcomer to Expert Practitioner: Identifying emerging communities of practice in extra-curricular student engagement activities in art and design 2021-03-08T13:28:27+00:00 Kate Dunstone <p>This case study reports on research exploring student experiences supporting the Saturday Club programme within Manchester Metropolitan University’s Arts and Humanities faculty, demonstrating the value of a communities of practice model in understanding student engagement in extracurricular art and design activities. The study was informed by Lave and Wenger’s communities of practice model, and the process of “legitimate peripheral participation” through which participants gain legitimacy in their domain of interest (Lave and Wenger, 1991), and explores how this theory can illuminate student experiences in supporting Saturday Club.</p> <p>Results of the study show that student experiences coalesced into a journey common to each participant, beginning with nervousness, followed by a sense of increased confidence, through which an expert practitioner role began to develop, leading to sense of confidence in one’s knowledge, and an ability and willingness to share this with an audience. This journey can be understood as a move from newcomer to established practitioner situated within a network of relationships and dialogic methods, which map to Wenger’s community of practice model.</p> 2021-02-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Co-creating a student charter 2021-03-08T13:28:27+00:00 Harriet Dunbar-Morris 2021-02-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Enhancing student learning and teaching experience through a cross-level collaboration: a reflection 2021-03-08T13:28:27+00:00 Kiu Sum Labros Dimitropoulos Grete Kurik <p>(Not applicable)</p> 2021-02-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Student engagement in knowledge exchange: A conceptual model based on established student engagement practice in educational development. 2021-03-08T13:28:27+00:00 Tom Lowe Philip Dent <p><em>Student engagement remains a prevalent theme in United Kingdom (UK) Higher Education (HE) with specific emphasis placed upon engaging students in the curriculum, quality assurance and student voice activities in educational developments (Austen, 2020; Bryson, 2014; Gvaramadze, 2011). As UK HE becomes an increasingly outcomes-focused sector, a new measure has emerged to assess the transfer of knowledge by providers – the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF)<a href="#_edn1" name="_ednref1"><strong>[i]</strong></a>. As the KEF builds traction in UK HE as a driver of accountability, and therefore strategic attention and activity, the question of what student engagement in knowledge exchange looks like becomes increasingly important. This paper sets out four conceptual models based on established student engagement theory from published works on student engagement in the curriculum, educational development and development as a framework for wider conversations at institutions internationally.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="#_ednref1" name="_edn1">[i]</a> Knowledge Excellence Framework (KEF) Knowledge exchange framework (KEF). Research England. Available at: <a href=""></a> (Accessed 13/04/2020)</p> 2021-02-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Editorial 2021-03-08T13:28:26+00:00 Rachel Forsyth 2021-02-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal “It’s nice to know you might make a difference”: engaging students through primary research as an authentic assessment 2021-03-08T15:49:53+00:00 Ellen Yates Ruby Oates <p>This paper presents the views of undergraduate students on taking part in a small-scale student-staff research project to inform the design of a local community play space. The project repositioned students as researchers by providing them with an opportunity to engage in primary research with children through an authentic assessment task in a final year module. The students took on responsibility for the design and implementation of the primary research to elicit the views of young children aged 6-7 years, alongside Higher Education (HE) lecturers who collected the views of other key users of the space. The students experienced the project as engaging, challenging and as an opportunity for individual professional development, resulting in valuable learning including, increased confidence, professional aptitudes, and applied research skills. While finding much potential in co- research projects for student engagement, we recognise barriers within the higher education curriculum that mitigate against their success as part of assessment. The reconceptualization of HE within a market economy and the changing expectations of students further limit the success of such projects.</p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> 2021-02-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Engaging with feedback processes in workplace settings 2021-03-08T13:28:27+00:00 Kay Sambell Sally Brown Elizabeth Adamson <p>This paper reports outcomes from a pedagogic action research project conducted collaboratively with students. It focuses on co-constructed resources targeted on the development of feedback literacy in work-based settings. It outlines the process for developing the resources, then presents the outcomes, together with participating students’ views of becoming involved in the co-construction process.</p> 2021-02-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Student Researchers: Potentials and Challenges 2021-03-08T13:28:27+00:00 Carole Davis Mona Sakr <p>In this paper, we explore the particular potentials and challenges associated with working with student undergraduate researchers acting as part of a wider academic research team in order to find out more about student experience. We report on a project in which two undergraduate student researchers collected data about the experience of second year BA students on a social sciences module that aimed to integrate innovative social media practices in order to enhance student understanding. We explore the experience of the student researchers by reflecting on interviews with them, as well as data they collected over the course of the project: their field notes and transcripts of interviews conducted by them. In line with previous literature on insider research, we found that the student researchers facilitated greater student engagement offering insights into aspects of the student experience that others would not have been able to, but that they also struggled to achieve a critical distance from the project and the views of students participating in the project. More specific to this context however, the student researchers’ contribution was negatively impacted by a lack of confidence in their research skills and a strong desire to please the academic members of the research team by reporting the successes of the project and underplaying the difficulties. We argue that supporting undergraduate students to act as insider student researchers is an exciting avenue for development in research into student experience in higher education, but that particular attention needs to be paid to the development of skills and confidence among student researchers and that a high degree of reflexivity is required in relation to the communication that occurs between students and academics who are part of the same research team.</p> 2021-02-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Incorporating student voice in course development 2021-03-08T13:28:27+00:00 Joanne Smith Amanda Coppin Carenza Clifford <p>The purpose of this research was to investigate students’ perceptions with motivation to inform future practice of the BA Hons SENDI course. By undertaking focussed discussion groups to gain a rich source of information enabled the course lead to explore further the reasons behind student responses which would inform future practice. This also provided positive change to participants involved in the research process. This includes the intention to encompass student academic voice to enable a more co-constructive curriculum. Evidence of this was established whilst interrogating formative and summative feedback data which identified the strengths and challenges within a 12-month period. Focused discussion groups helped to clarify students’ expectations of course delivery and whether the course was meeting their expectations. Results of this study include students feeling more settled and supported and being able to voice options to get changes. With the combination of guest lectures, work experiences and external trips helped to enhance understanding of course content and how to implement knowledge into real life experiences. These contributed to students having a more positive experience of the course which will continue to inform future practice.</p> 2021-02-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Faculty Support for Student Mothers: Comparing Student and Faculty Perspectives 2021-03-08T13:28:27+00:00 Martina Dickson Lilly Tennant <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The importance of faculty support of students in higher education is well-researched. There are positive correlations between faculty support and a host of student attributes such as satisfaction, academic attainment and retention. When there is a breakdown of understanding between faculty and students, or where perspectives of support are totally different, it can lead to isolation of students and misunderstandings from both sides. For students in particularly stressful or eventful periods of their life, this support can be critical. Student mothers who are juggling take care of a newborn, whilst keeping up with full time studies, need support and encouragement in copious amounts. We interviewed both student mothers and faculty at the same institution and explored their perceptions of the ways in which support was offered and received. Factors which may influence the quality of support offered by faculty were examined, such as the faculty’s perception of the student mothers’ support systems and coping mechanisms. These perceptions were compared with the students’ own descriptions of these factors. It was found that the faculty’s perceptions of the home support systems were similar to those experienced by the students, yet their college support systems were generally misunderstood. We discuss how this could possibly lead to faculty supporting student mothers inadequately in some areas, and how this may impact on student retention.</p> 2021-02-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Promoting student engagement among commuter students: a South African case study 2021-03-08T13:28:27+00:00 Benita van Zyl Magda Fourie-Malherbe <p>Like most universities across the world, Stellenbosch University (SU) in South Africa is only able to accommodate a minority of its undergraduate student population in university residences. The remaining 75% of students are commuter students living in private accommodation and traveling to campus every day. Literature suggests that residential students traditionally demonstrate higher levels of engagement and participation in student communities than commuter students. Hence, a variety of interventions are undertaken to enhance commuter student engagement.</p> <p>At SU the residential education and cluster initiative aimed to address the needs of commuter students by providing a physical on-campus space for commuter students and by granting them access to common areas in residence dining halls and study areas. The purpose is to promote social interaction among residential and commuter students in the co-curricular environment. This initiative further seeks to create student engagement and integrated learning communities that are commuter-friendly and to promote active and collaborative academic and social activities outside the classroom. Whereas the initiative endeavours to integrate the campus experience of students that live in student residences and those that live off-campus and commute, it also aims at integrating the curricular and co-curricular experiences of students. Ultimately the aim is to improve student success (academic success) and student development in the co-curricular space. This study used program evaluation to gain a better understanding of the cluster initiative and hub, the extent to which it addresses the needs of commuter students and promotes commuter student engagement and success.</p> 2021-02-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Examining the relationship between student’s engagement and socioeconomic background in higher education 2021-03-08T13:28:27+00:00 OLGA TZAFEA <p><em>This paper aims to contribute an analysis of student engagement as </em><em>a key predictor of academic performance, persistence and retention in higher education</em><em> and consequently academic success. Issues of engagement and developing a sense of belonging lie at the heart of both retention and study success. The research aims to examine students’ academic and social engagement on the basis of socio-economic family background, analyzed through Bourdieu-inspired capital approach in HE studies, which explains various forms of inequalities and exclusions of students in HE, related to entry experience, participation and peer support or interaction. </em><em>Statistical analysis data and semi-structured interviews show that there is a strong relationship between </em><em>socio-economic family background</em><em> and student engagement demonstrating that persistent social inequalities affect student success. </em><em>Research results support that academic success strategies have to account for socioeconomic factors, aside from institutional or individual drivers, as a result of the increasing heterogeneity of students and growing attendance. </em></p> 2021-02-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Is Lurking Working? The role of non-assessed discussion boards in an online enabling program literacies subject. 2021-03-10T15:18:59+00:00 Julia Doyle Johanna Nieuwoudt <p style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px; line-height: normal;"><span style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Arial',sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;">Students’ engagement online is not always visible. This presents challenges for assessing learning in an informal formative way and for diagnosing potential problems prior to assessment submission. Such challenges informed this small exploratory study which aimed to analyse students’ online behaviour and seek students’ perspectives of their engagement in online learning activities in a tertiary enabling program. In the academic literacies subject analysed in this study, online discussion boards host the dialogues and weekly tutorial activities that on campus students participate in within their physical classroom environment. However, as these online discussion boards are not assessed, student participation is low and wanes further over the academic session. Given the low student participation, this study analysed online students’ use of the discussion boards to determine whether the functionality was perceived as valuable. Student’s use of the non-assessable discussion boards was then correlated with final grades to determine whether posting, replying to messages, and viewing forums, supported students’ learning as reflected in their grades. The study found a high correlation between students posting and reading posts, with their final grades. Further, whilst not all students were visible on the discussion boards, this did not devalue the pedagogical role of this learning site functionality from students’ perspectives. What may be described as legitimate peripheral participation <span style="margin: 0px;">(Lave &amp; Wenger, 1991)</span> or lurking <span style="margin: 0px;">(Beaudoin, 2002; Taylor, 2002)</span> was perceived by students as beneficial.</span></p> 2021-02-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal A whole cohort approach to working in partnership between students and staff: problematising the issues and evaluating the outcomes 2021-03-08T13:28:27+00:00 Colin Bryson Laura Callaghan <p>Staff and students working together in partnership is now commended as excellent practice which offers many benefits to both, as well as enhancing authentic student engagement. We investigate a ‘whole cohort’ approach, practising multiple forms of partnership; whole class (in the curriculum), role based and project based. We critically evaluate if these benefits are realised and to what extent, by the different modes. This study is conducted through interviews with students in the setting of a single degree in a research intensive university. The lenses of engagement, empowerment, sense of collaboration and trust, and learning and development are used to assess benefits. The rich accounts of the students present a complex and nuanced picture as their personal perspectives are diverse and unique to them. There is not one mode of partnership that is guaranteed to deliver the most powerful benefits and development. Instead we note how the same, or very similar experiences have manifested different benefits and challenges for each individual. We tentatively suggest that offering and engaging in multiple forms of partnership over a longer duration, deepens benefits. We note both tensions and flipsides e.g. to greater autonomy and empowerment. However overall, the benefits outweighed any negatives, and enabled transformation for some students, and in more inclusive ways than in singular forms of partnership. We commend the whole cohort approach to partnership although it is not easy, and requires both perseverance and continuous reflection, consideration and care to ensure responsiveness and sensitivity to who the partners are.</p> 2021-02-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Exploring student’s perceptions on psychological empowerment by using a business simulation 2021-03-08T13:28:27+00:00 Nuno Arroteia Alex Avramenko Khalid Hafeez <p class="Abstract" style="margin-left: 0cm; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Arial',sans-serif;">This research introduces a study exploring the impact of computerised business simulations on student’s perceptions about their psychological empowerment. The research is focused on undergraduate business students in a Higher Education institution in the UK. Psychological empowerment is a determinant of student engagement in the learning process. A survey-based instrument was designed and administered to students studying different business modules. The survey data was analysed using descriptive statistics. Subsequently, semi-structured interviews were conducted to verify the empirical findings. The results indicate a significant and positive impact of simulation-based pedagogy on intrapersonal, interactional and behavioural dimensions of students’ psychological empowerment. Furthermore, our findings also suggest that these sub-constructs are interconnected. We have also found a positive trend in student academic attainment driven by the use of computer-based business simulations. These results encourage business and enterprise professionals in Higher Education to embed simulation-centred pedagogies in the teaching and learning process as a means of supporting student learning and experience.</span></p> 2021-02-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal