Should students design their own courses?

By Singapore Institute of Technology

How teachers can give more control and get better results.

Rote learning is one of those terms that leave a bitter taste in the mouth. Memories of being hunched over a desk with stubby pencils and scraps of paper, hands desperately clutching onto a textbook as we tried to cram in one more date, one more definition into our saturated yet sorely disengaged minds - plague us all in South East Asia.

Many institutions have thankfully left the days of rote learning and memorisation behind them. In fact, they’ve gone right through to the other end of the learning spectrum - by allowing students to design their own curriculums. Professor Mick Healey, Higher Education Consultant and Researcher and Emeritus Professor at the University of Gloucestershire, will share more at the Applied Learning Conference this January.

Universities in the US, UK and Australia have begun working with students to design their own teaching curriculums. Before the University of Queensland created a new academic programme to teach entrepreneurship, they held roundtable discussions with students to discuss what entrepreneurship meant to them. The faculty then developed their teaching strategy around what students wanted to learn more about.

Prof. Healey is a strong advocate for the benefits of engaging students as collaborators in their own learning journey. He recently published a guide titled Students as Partners Guide: Student Engagement Through Partnership. A guide to the Advance HE Framework - written together with his daughter, Dr Ruth Healey, Associate Professor in Pedagogy in Higher Education at the University of Chester.

“For me, partnership goes beyond simply listening to students,” says Prof. Healey. “Partnership is about recognising that everyone has something to contribute”. Some of the ways Prof. Healey suggests that students can be engaged include partnering them as co-designers of curriculum and change agents in quality enhancement.

He will share his ideas and proposed frameworks on how educators in South East Asia can establish partnership learning communities and bring students on board as collaborators. Sign up for the Applied Learning Conference 2020 here today.

When: 30 - 31 Jan 2020
Where: Sands Expo & Convention Centre | Marina Bay Sands Singapore