This page contains implementation guidance in the form of a ‘viewpoints for student-staff partnerships’ toolkit based on Ulster University’s viewpoints framework for curriculum design. The toolkit can support teams working either across an institution, within specific disciplines or those who have been tasked to institute student-staff partnerships.
The viewpoints process in the student-staff partnership toolkit assumes that students will be encouraged to play an active part throughout.
The viewpoint framework comprises a set of discussion cards and effective practice points. It focuses on four key dimensions:
- Partnership setup
- Partnership implementation
- Capabilities, development and accreditation
- Sustaining and embedding partnerships based on evaluation of impact
The four dimensions – working in parallel
Please note that the four dimensions are not intended to form a fixed sequential pathway and users may engage with any of the dimension in any order to reflect a specific need or reflect their current position. However, we recommend that the dimensions should be considered as potentially running in parallel but with staggered start dates.
For instance, it is very important to consider sustaining and embedding partnerships based on evaluation of impact fairly early on as this involves activities such as stakeholder buy-in and aligning student-staff partnership activities with other institutional initiatives and priorities.
The viewpoints cards form the core of the toolkit. They can be downloaded and printed for use in your institution. Each viewpoints card has a short url so you can easily access the effective practice points and additional information without the need to print large volumes of supporting materials.
Effective practice points
The four key dimensions for instituting student-staff partnerships were drawn from a review of current and past initiatives that focused on educational innovation, change and digital media.
Within each dimension a series of effective practice points have been identified to provide guidance identified as key to successful partnership working.
1. Partnership setup
1.1 Carry out a baseline study to research current position
1.2 Establish the case for student-staff partnerships and align with strategies and policies
1.3 Establish motivation, reward and recognition options for students and staff
1.4 Devise innovative recruitment and induction approaches for students
1.5 Identify a partnership model that includes options for different student roles together with a range of stakeholders
1.6 Identify an outline project plan including resources and funding
1.7 Identify and learn from exemplars and case studies of student partnerships
2. Partnership implementation
2.1 Establish, implement and monitor a project plan (based on agile methodology)
2.2 Develop a set of principles of good practice to follow for student-staff partnerships
2.3 Allocate significant time and resource for stakeholder engagement and communications
2.4 Look for and acquire existing guides, toolkits and resources or develop your own
2.5 Be clear about student and staff roles, responsibilities and activities
2.6 Identify risks and how to manage them
2.7 Establish or join internal and external communities of practice
3. Capabilities, development and accreditation
3.1 Identify the abilities and qualities that students will need to take part effectively in innovation and change activities
3.2 Develop or acquire courses, training and learning resources for students and staff
3.3 Consider student personal and professional development planning using reflective practice and e-portfolios
3.4 Develop academic and professional body recognition opportunities for students
3.5 Provide support for students and staff
3.6 Provide relevant staff straining and links to continuous professional development (CPD)
4. Sustaining and embedding partnerships based on evaluation of impact
4.1 Identify the reason and need for evaluation
4.2 Choose appropriate evaluation approaches (qualitative and quantitative)
4.3 Adopt a range of data collection techniques to support evaluation
4.4 Identify impact on a range of stakeholders and the institution
4.5 Develop case studies for use with stakeholder communications and engagement
4.6 Develop recommendations for sustaining student-staff partnerships as part of evaluation
4.7 Explore options for institutionally embedding student-staff partnerships
How to use the viewpoints cards and effective practice points
The purpose of the viewpoints cards is to facilitate discussion and collaborative development between all stakeholders (students, staff, managers, governors, employers etc). The viewpoints approach can be used to support educational innovation and change on a broad range of topics and to influence policy and strategy. Examples of how others are using the viewpoints approach include using it with:
- Teams involved in the development of curriculum design and delivery, embedding and developing digital literacies and for enhancing assessment and feedback practice
- Staff involved with student careers planning and graduate skills/attributes such as employability skills and digital literacies
- Library, learning resources (including digital resources) and information services
- Student experience, support and guidance services
- Staff developers and those designing staff CPD programmes and professional accreditation
- Student records, administration, management and information systems teams
- Teams involved in monitoring and developing institutional processes such as quality assurance and induction
- Governors and senior managers to help them to review their strategies, policies and plans in relation to the student experience, learner journey and learning, teaching and assessment
- Those responsible for reviewing and enhancing institutional professional support services to programme teams such as technology-enhanced learning, ICT, management information systems, careers planning, employability and communication strategies
- Staff responsible for recruitment and retention, student induction, student engagement, employer engagement and business and community development
Detailed guidance on how to plan, prepare and run viewpoints workshops is given in the downloadable viewpoints handbook. This is recommended reading for all viewpoints workshop facilitators.
Resources in this section include:
- A series of 27 effective practice points corresponding to the headline sections of the viewpoint cards
- A downloadable set of 30 viewpoint cards – each card links to one of the 27 effective practice points
- A downloadable handbook – a detailed guide to running workshops on viewpoints for student-staff partnerships (recommended reading for workshop facilitators)
- A downloadable A0 sheet for use in workshop activities (A0 sheets can be ordered through online printing companies for those without local access to a printer capable of producing worksheets of this size although personalised A0 worksheets could be made using flipchart pages as a simple option)
The viewpoints cards and effective practice points are available for you to use under Creative Commons licence Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA).
This licence lets others remix, tweak and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.