Students are integral to teaching and learning. As such it is important that they are involved as much as possible with most aspects of the programme on to which they are enrolled. This input could include taking into account their views on how teaching and learning will take place, their role in helping to design a curriculum, or on the assessment strategy that will test their knowledge and understanding.
There are many ways in which we capture the student voice and student feedback, both formal and informal. Formal mechanisms include the nomination of student representatives to act as the collective student voice for each student cohort, student representation at course team meetings, and an elected Higher Education representative as part of the Student Union. Student forums also take place periodically throughout the year with minutes and action plans updated and informing the overall annual course monitoring process. Unit specific feedback is also collated by students completing unit feedback forms, end of year course evaluations, and scheduled performance review meetings with their tutor.
However, this is not the only time when feedback from students is sought. Discourse with students is constant, teachers adopt a ‘reflection on action’ approach to adjust teaching, so that students are presented with an environment that is most supportive of their learning styles. Just as employers could have an input into assessment design, so too could students. This supports the development of assignments that are exciting and dynamic, and fully engage students in meaningful and informative assessment.
The biggest advantage of consulting students on their teaching, learning and assessment is securing their engagement in their own learning. Students feel empowered and develop a sense of ownership of all matters related to teaching, learning and assessment, not just their own experiences. Students could also view themselves as more accountable to their lecturers, ideally seeing themselves as partners in their own learning and not just part of a process.