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Students As Change Agents

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Malcolm Ryan
13 October 2010

Much work has been done in recent years on the student experience of e-learning and the findings have begun to open the eyes of practitioners to the importance of listening and responding to the learner voice.

An emerging trend is students undertaking a range of mentoring, design and training roles that have the potential to impact significantly on practices and processes that may lead to an enhanced learner experience.

This cloud is a first attempt for the Cloudworks community to help me identify examples of students working as change agents in learning and teaching in any context.

There is to be a JISC funded Students as Change Agents in a Digital Age Symposium at University of Exeter on Thursday, 28th April. Register at:

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As a starter to this cloud review this QAA paper co-written by Liz Dunne at Exeter where we plan to run the Symposium in the early summer of 2011.

Do you have any similar examples or know of colleagues who have explored this exciting new concept?

Malcolm Ryan
09:13 on 13 October 2010 (Edited 10:50 on 18 March 2011)

Might coaching be an approach to enabling students to be change agents? Check out this project funded by JISC under the Curriculum Design Programme being run by Leeds Metropolitan University:

Also, look at the work being done at Lewisham College where students are part of a mentoring group supporting peers in their development of PDP at: Interim Evaluation Report.pdf


Malcolm Ryan
14:09 on 13 October 2010

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Kathrine Jensen
1:14pm 19 July 2011

Couldn't follow the link so there is a new one: The QAA paper Rethinking the values of higher education - students as change agents? is by Professor Janice Kay (Senior DVC, Education), Elisabeth Dunne (Head of Project Development, Education Enhancement)
and James Hutchinson (CEO, Students' Guild), University of Exeter.


Kathrine Jensen
1:21pm 19 July 2011

I also found this paper outlining an approach to using students as "pedagogical consultants".

"What Is and What Can Be: How a Liminal Position Can Change Learning and Teaching in Higher Education" in Anthropology and Education, Volume 42, Issue 1, pages 37–53, March 2011

Abstract: In this article we analyze what happens when undergraduate students are positioned as pedagogical consultants in a faculty development program. Drawing on their spoken and written perspectives, and using the classical anthropological concept of “liminality,” we illustrate how these student consultants revise their relationships with their teachers and their responsibilities within their learning. These revisions have the potential to transform deep-seated societal understandings of education based on traditional hierarchies and teacher–student distinctions.

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