Digital technologies for promoting “student voice” and co-creating learning experience in an academic course

Abstract

“Student voice” (SV) refers to listening to and valuing students’ views regarding their learning experiences, as well as treating them as equal partners in the evaluation process. This is expected, in turn, to empower students to take a more active role in shaping their learning. This study explores the role played by digital technologies in creating a space for SV in academia. The qualitative study was conducted in an academic course, which combines face-to face, synchronous lessons with a variety of asynchronous self-directed and group learning activities. The participants were 54 Master’s students in education. We analyzed the pedagogical design of the course, as well as interpretations of teaching, learning, assessment, and the role of technology as experienced and presented by the students. The findings demonstrated that students functioned as co-designers of the course content, co-creators of teaching and of their own learning experience. Students perceived the requirements of active learning, teamwork, and community participation (i.e., an advanced way of conveying SV—leadership; Mitra International handbook of student experience in elementary and secondary school, Springer Publishers, The Netherlands, 2007), as both challenges related to overload and stress, and benefits related to the gains of meaningful learning, innovative pedagogical design, and diverse instructional methods. The equalization effect of the digital environment, which diminishes status cues changed the power dynamic, promoted students’ active participation and their pedagogical partnership with the instructor. Based on the findings, our conceptualization of SV and its implications for academia includes: (1) co-design of content, (2) co-teaching, (3) co-creation of learning experience and outcomes, and (4) embedded co-assessment for learning.

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Blau, I., Shamir-Inbal, T. Digital technologies for promoting “student voice” and co-creating learning experience in an academic course. Instr Sci 46, 315–336 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11251-017-9436-y

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Keywords

  • Student voice in higher education
  • Student voice as listening, collaboration and leadership
  • Teamwork and learning community
  • Students as co-designers of content, teaching, learning and assessment
  • Added value of technology and embedded assessment
  • Online equalization effect
  • Active participation and engagement