Hearing and Responding to Student Voices

Hearing and responding to the student voice threads strongly through the articles in this issue of BeJLT. Some of the articles originate from this year’s Brookes Student Learning Experience Conference focused on ‘Enhancing Student Engagement’ and others from the Internationalisation of the Curriculum Conference on ‘Using Formal and Informal Curricula to Improve Interactions between Home and International Students’. The articles cover internationalisation, assessment and research in the undergraduate curriculum, all strategic priorities for Brookes.

Aaron Porter (Vice President, Academic) for the National Union of Students challenges us to involve students in all aspects of university life, including curriculum development and quality assurance. He writes of the ever-changing world of today and the need to be able to respond rapidly. For their part the NUS are now training students for expanding roles as partners in higher education.

Viv Thom describes an intervention that allowed international students to safely share their experiences at the International Consortium of Staff Developers Conference and how the resources generated have fed into development activities for staff and students. Continuing the internationalisation theme, Hilary Rollin considers the benefits of the multicultural language-learning classroom to promote the student experience of internationalisation, and offers strategies that could be used by others. Mary Woolliams further offers ideas for approaches to incorporating global perspectives into our teaching.

Student voices are recognised in a different way by Helen Walkington and Alan Jenkins by extending the student experience of research at undergraduate level into publication, the students being involved in all stages of publication of two student journals.

The continued lack of confirmation in the National Student Survey that we are doing a good job in assessment and feedback is responded to by the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, the Assessment Standards and Knowledge Exchange, in an Assessment Manifesto. Margaret Price and her colleagues advocate assessment for learning rather than assessment for the measurement of learning and call for the improvement of communication between staff, students, employers, professional bodies and the government. Finally, Mary Davis and Freda Yang follow up on their work using Turnitin as a learning tool for students, this time illustrating its usefulness for international students and students with dyslexia.

These papers present a strong challenge to staff to redevelop their curricula, actively listening to the voices of today’s students and working in collaboration with them.

Valerie Clifford,

Chair,

BeJLT Editorial Committee

Posted in Editorial

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