Thursday, December 5, 2013

Student leadership in curriculum development

Greetings from the Inaugural Student Experience Conference in Sydney, where Elizabeth Deane (UWS) is speaking on "Student leadership in curriculum development and reform". This is an Office of Learning and Teaching funded project, with La Trobe University, University of Queensland, University of Sydney, University of South Australia, University of Southern Queensland and, most interestingly, the National Union of Students.

It would seem to me that leadership skills would be part of any professional degree program. This could therefore be built into the programs. However, there would have to be a curriculum and qualified teachers.

Also before teaching university students outdated pre-Internet ways to run a university, I suggest new on-line techniques be looked at. I help organize events and run organizations with people who I hardly ever (or never) see. These use specialized on-line services and also more fluid forms of "un-conference" event.


This project addresses a key issue in Higher Education: identifying and developing valid, productive roles for student leaders, particularly important in capitalising on the capacity of the student body to contribute to strategies for improving learning, teaching and curriculum. Phase 1 will investigate institutional governance and management frameworks supporting student involvement. This will entail documenting and critiquing student roles in education-related committees, a stocktake of models of student representation and policies, processes and approaches used to gather and use student feedback. Phase 2 will involve a survey of staff and students as to the validity and effectiveness of processes used to access the student voice and act on results, particularly in relation to curriculum development and reform. This survey will identify strategies and initiatives to ensure valid student leadership roles and develop case studies for the sector. Phase 3 will workshop the findings with experienced students and staff to establish effective student leadership framework(s) and validate key recommendations.

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