• By any other name? The impacts of differing assumptions, expectations and misconceptions in bringing about resistance to student-staff ‘partnership’

      Healey, Ruth L.; Lerczak, Alex; Welsh, Katharine E.; France, Derek; University of Chester (McMaster University, 2019-05-07)
      Most of the existing literature on student-staff partnership explores the experiences of people who are keen to be involved and who have already bought into the ethos of students as partners. We explore the challenges of conducting student-staff partnership in the context of resistance. Specifically, we focus on the interpretations of ‘partnership’ by students and staff who were attempting to work in partnership for the first time. The views of the participants were captured during a six-month project in which four undergraduate students were employed to work with eight academics to re-design the second-year undergraduate curriculum on one programme. Notwithstanding an introductory briefing and on-going support, some participants showed indications of resistance. Our findings suggest that different perspectives on ‘partnership’ influenced participants’ experiences. We argue that assumptions and misconceptions around the terminology used to describe ‘students as partners’ practice may hinder the process itself, as some people may not ‘buy-in’ to the practice. However, despite the challenges of this project, the experience of being involved has led to reduced resistance and emerging partnership practices throughout the department.
    • ‘It depends’: Exploring the context-dependent nature of students as partners practices and policies

      Healey, Mick; Healey, Ruth L.; University of Gloucestershire; University of Chester (McMaster University, 2018-05-07)
      In running workshops and presenting keynotes on students as partners (SaP), one of the most common answers we give to questions is, ‘It depends’. The breadth and complexity of practices and policies surrounding SaP mean that it is often difficult to make generalisations. This difficulty is intensified by the newness of the field, at least as it relates to learning and teaching in higher education, where the term has only become extensively used in the last decade and particularly the last five years, and then only in selected countries. Unsurprisingly, the term is used in a variety of different ways (Cliffe et al., 2017).