Student co-created teaching and learning

The co-creation of teaching and learning materials by teachers and students can lead to greater empowerment of students and better relationships. Students can share responsibility with teachers for designing materials and activities as well as assessments. They can co-create new content and experiences or amend existing ones. The approach resembles ‘communities of practice’, whereby a group of people come together, linked by a common interest, and meet regularly in order to find ways of improving their practice. As students participate in the co-creation activities, they negotiate with others and form and evolve their identities. Examples of co-creation range from small group activities, often relating to specific courses, to larger-scale involvements such as surveys, interviews, consultations, testing of materials, workshops and critical reading of course content. Barriers to uptake of this approach include the need for students to have specific skills or expertise, and a concern that their involvement may alter the direction of content creation from what was originally planned. There may also be frustration when the process does not work smoothly, and there is a risk that co-creation may not involve all students, thereby contributing to feelings of exclusion. When co-creation works well, students often report positive feelings of enthusiasm and involvement and they can acquire new skills. Co-created materials may also save them having to buy expensive textbooks.

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