STLHE 2015 has ended
Achieving Harmony: Tuning into Practice
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Thursday, June 18 • 1:45pm - 2:45pm
RTD.04 - Engaging students as partners in teaching and learning: A necessity for fine-tuning teaching practices?

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There has traditionally been a separation between faculty and student perspectives on teaching practices that leads to dissonance. This is largely because of the fundamentally different roles of the two parties in learning (Cook-Sather, 2014). However, a theme of engaging students as change agents in the classroom to actively collaborate, co-produce, and co-inquire has emerged in recent pedagogical literature (Dunne & Zandstra, 2011). Educators that engage in this learning model have reported a better understanding of the needs of a classroom due to quality student feedback. Students externalize learning in a way that allows for a greater understanding of concepts (Mihans et al., 2008). Most importantly, students and faculty are more conscious of their presence and effect on each other when engaged in learning together. This allows for critical reflection and subsequent fine-tuning of teaching principles resulting in deeper learning. (Cook-Sather, 2014). 

At STLHE 2014, we presented the perspectives of students, faculty, and institute staff partnering on SOTL projects within our institute. We focused on the challenges stemming from these novel partnerships as well as their successes. This discussion will present the findings of a follow-up project through real examples of how student-faculty partnerships might be structured and documents feedback and advice from current partnership participants at McMaster University. Attendees of this discussion will be asked to reflect on their interactions with students in learning environments. We will provide strategies to incorporate components of partnership into teaching practices to change understandings of teaching and learning through widened perspectives gained through a deeper connection with students. 


Cook-Sather, A. (2014). Multiplying perspectives and improving practice: What can happen when undergraduate students collaborate with college faculty to explore teaching and learning. Instructional Science, 42(1), 31-46.

Dunne, E., Zandstra, R., Brown, T., & Nurser, T. (2011). Students as change agents: New ways of engaging with learning and teaching in higher education.

Mihans, I. I., Richard, J., Long, D. T., & Felten, P. (2008). Power and expertise: Student-faculty collaboration in course design and the scholarship of teaching and learning. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 2(2), Article 16

Thursday June 18, 2015 1:45pm - 2:45pm PDT
Bayshore Salon ABC

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