Students as Creators and Change Agents

Author: Lisa Harris 

Mark Gatenby and Lisa Harris are running an Education Enhancement Fund project called “Students as Creators and Change Agents”. A team of students (Digichamps old and new!) from across the University are helping them to design the structure and create content for a new common first year of undergraduate business programmes in 2015/16.

project team 2
The Project Team in Action

The aim for the new programmes is to offer a broad education that is organised around a liberal interest in ideas, along with contemporary relevance, to help students to understand the impact that business has on their lives. They operate as pathways offering six distinctive perspectives on business: analytics, management, history, philosophy, entrepreneurship, innovation. Delivering the new modules will involve collaboration across a number of Faculties of the University as part of a wider strategy to embed the Business School more strongly in the intellectual life of the university. The focus during this co-creation stage of the project is on four new modules:

Lisa and Mark are keen to incorporate some lessons learned about the role of technology in education from the successful MOOCs that the University now offers in order to make sure that students arriving at University “hit the ground running” and get the most out of their time with us. They also aim to embed principles from Lisa’s award-winning Curriculum Innovation module Living and Working on the Web which encourages students to “eat the dogfood” to develop their own professional digital profiles and enhance their employability and good citizenship skills.

Senior Digichamps Olja Rastic-Dulborough and Tim O’Riordan will be acting as mentors to the undergraduate team of Bartosz Paszcza (Physics), Charlie Mason (Politics and International Relations), Tim Mitchell (Business School) and postgraduate student Sylvian Patrick (Business School).

The work that the students will be doing includes:

  • Sourcing and evaluating possible online platforms (eg Blackboard, Moodle, e-folio, WordPress)
  • Investigating models of module structure that are used in introductory courses at other universities
  • Sourcing and evaluating free web-based tools/apps that could be utilised to help new students manage their learning
  • Obtaining and analysing feedback from current students on the various options proposed.
  • Checking out possible interactive exercises, gamification techniques, quizzes etc
  • Sourcing and curating relevant module content from the web for the new modules

So what do our participants think?

Sylvian says: “I joined this project as it is an attempt to reimagine the way education is being taught and I thought I can contribute to make education more fun.”

Bartosz says: “What is thrilling about this project is that it gives opportunity for students use their experiences to shape higher education courses. Furthermore, it allows to push the business courses into the 21st Century, by incorporating technology to deliver the broad syllabus.”

Charlie says: “Combining 21st century technology into the new Business and Management curriculum is an exciting new addition to the learning experience. Furthermore having a professional online presence will prove invaluable outside of the classroom and into the future.”

Tim says: “I’m looking forward to developing new modules with a first-hand student insight into the experience of 1st  year undergraduate study!”

You can follow our progress over the next few months by checking out the hashtag #SBScoCreate on a variety of social media.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.