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Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning


Case studies

Below is a selection of case studies that provides examples of practice in various areas of working with students as partners. This list is not exhaustive and more can be found on topics of interest to you by searching for key terms in the common journal databases. Below the table is a list of example partnership schemes at other institutions.

Partnership Focus Overview Reference
Co-constructing decolonised curriculum; Curriculum development; Co-creation of reading lists Case study of the co-development of decolonised reading lists working in partnership with students at an arts-based institution. Crilly, J., Panesar, L., and Suka-Bill, Z. (2020) Co-constructing a Liberated / Decolonised Arts Curriculum. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice. 17(2).
Co-creation; Curriculum development Explores the potential of co-creating learning and teaching with a whole class to increase inclusivity of student voice in process of co-creation. Bovill, C. (2020) Co-creation in learning and teaching: the case for a whole-class approach in higher education. Higher Education. 79.
Peer-learning; Students as learners and teachers; Peer-assisted support schemes; peer-mentoring Findings from this case study indicate that the PAL programme had a positive impact on students' perceptions of their learning in four areas: clarification of new knowledge; development of assessment (writing) skills; reduction in feelings of intimidation; and the creation of a safe environment for learning. Longfellow, E., May, S., Burke, L., Marks-Maran, D. (2008) "They had a way of helping that actually helped": a case study of a peer-assisted learning scheme. Teaching in Higher Education. 13(1).
Peer-learning; Students as learners and teachers; Peer-assisted support schemes; peer-mentoring The Peer-Assisted Student Success scheme at London Metropolitan University has developed a course-embedded model in which trained 'Success Coaches' provide academic and personal guidance to first-years on all undergraduate degree programmes via in-class groups and one-to-one support. Warren, D., Luebsen, W. (2017) "Getting into the flow of university": a coaching approach to student peer support. Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change. 3(1).
Students as teaching evaluators; Student experience enhancement; Learning and teaching co-researchers Experiences of working with a student as a partner in the learning environment to tackle issues of racial tensions in in-class discussions on American History. The student acted as a peer observer to the classroom dynamic and offered consultative feedback on classroom management. Reyes, R. & Adams, K. (2017) Navigating a Difficult Journey: Reflections on how a student-faculty partnership helped address racial tensions in a social science course. International Journal for Students as Partners. 1(2).
Student experience enhancement; Culturally inclusive partnership Experiences of cross-cultural students as partners work with international students, a paradigm to help understand this process and methods to ensure culturally inclusive practice is a foundation of partnership work. Zhang, M., Matthews, K. E. & Lui, S. (2022) Recognising cultural capital through shared meaning-making in cross-cultural partnership practices. International Journal for Students as Partners. 6(1).
Students as teaching evaluators; Student experience enhancement; Learning and teaching co-researchers; Inclusive practice; Decolonisation Case study experiences of students and staff working in partnership to tackle inclusivity, practices of decolonisation and online learning. Addy, T. et al. (2022) Student pedagogical partnerships to advance inclusive teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. International Journal for Students as Partners. 6(1).
Students as learning and teaching evaluators; Learning and teaching co-researchers A collaborative evaluation project within a Master's programme in professional education. The project aimed to increase knowledge of research methodologies and methods through authentic learning where participants worked in partnership with the tutor to evaluate the module which they were studying. Bovill, C. et al. (2010) Experiences of learning through collaborative evaluation from a masters programme in professional education. International Journal for Academic Development. 15(2).
Inclusive partnership working; Learning and teaching co-researchers; Student experience enhancement Black female students' sense of belonging and pedagogical partnerships. Improvements in perceiving, feeling and engaging differently. Confidence levels also improved through being trusted and valued in this role. Cook-Sather, A., Seay, K. (2021) "I was involved as an equal member of the community": how pedagogical partnership can foster a sense of belonging in Black, female students. Cambridge Journal of Education. 51(6).
Co-creation of assessment criteria Research paper exploring how an active participation in the construction of the assessment criteria and utilisation of that co-constructed criteria would affect the students' engagement with assessing their own work. Smith, M. & Lowe, C. (2021) DIY assessment feedback: Building engagement, trust and transparency in the feedback process. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice. 18(3).
Co-creation of assessment criteria; Learning and teaching co-researchers Case study outing a staff-student partnership to co-create generic assessment criteria to use in a UK business school. It highlights the potential for challenging established power differentials of academia are dissolved and partnership values can be established. Smith, S., Akhyani, K., Axson, D., Arnautu, A. & Stanimirova, I. (2021) Learning together: A case study of a partnership to co-create assessment criteria. International Journal for Students as Partners. 5(2).
Disciplinary co-researchers This case study introduces and discusses the Winchester Research Apprenticeship Programme in the Faculty of Business, Law and Sport at the University of Winchester. The programme realises a student-as-researcher approach, with undergraduate students working alongside academics as paid 'research apprentices' on current disciplinary or pedagogic research projects. Bohnacker-Bruce, S. (2019) Undergraduate students as partners in academic research: The Winchester Research Apprenticeship Programme (WRAP). Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change. 5(1).
Students as evaluators of learning and teaching; Learning and teaching co-researchers; Student experience evaluators This case study explores and reflects on the Students as Learners and Teaching programme, in which students are invited to be co-creators and evaluators of learning and teaching practices. Cook-Sather, A. (2018) Developing "Students as Learners and Teachers": Lessons from ten years of pedagogical partnership that strives to foster inclusive and responsive practice. Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change. 4(1).
Co-design curriculum; Students as evaluators; Student experience evaluators Participatory action research is presented from an introductory chemistry module, whereby students were actively involved as partners at various stages of the research, design and development of the module. The end result was a more student-focused module, where the student partners had challenged the status quo, used their experiences constructively and truly empathised with their peers. Chadha, D., Inguva, P. K., Le, L. B. & Kogelbauer, A. (2022) How far do we go? Involving students as partners redesigning teaching. Educational Action Research.


Examples of student-staff partnership schemes at external institutions

  • University of Winchester: Student Fellows Scheme
  • UCL: Change Makers & Student Curriculum Partners Scheme
  • University of Exeter: Change Agents
  • University of Lincoln: Students as Producers
  • Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges: Students as Learners and Teachers (SaLT)
  • University of Warwick: Co-creation Scheme
  • University of Queensland: Student-Staff Partnership Programme
  • University of Westminster: Students as Co-Creators
  • University of Reading: Student Partners
  • The Open University: Student Partners Scheme


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