Co-creating Learning Hubs

Several ideas for further development of activities in terms of content and format were expressed by the students in the evaluation of the project. Therefore, the next proposed stage of the project is to further develop the Learning Hubs in co-creation with the students. Students take on the role of as ‘co-researchers and pedagogical co-designers' (Bovrill, 2016) with an aim is to enhance overall student engagement, active participation and learner agency.

The aim of the project is therefore to strengthen the current Learning Hub programme by identifying learners’ needs and preferences, develop skills activities and enhance student engagement though the adoption of a participatory research approach in which students are co-creators of the content.

The suggested project will train a group of students in key areas such as blended pedagogies, digital and research skills, and the development of learning materials. Reflective research tools will be employed to capture the impact of the project and co-creation of activities on the student-researchers. Engagement, experiences and impact of the activities on the wider student group within the Childhood routes will subsequently be evaluated by the student-researchers.

The Learning Hubs are envisaged to increase engagement and attainment of all students, providing opportunities of extended learning for those who want to be challenged and those who are facing challenges, ultimately leading to improved student experience (monitored via NSS scores) and fulfilling the university’s widening participation agenda and responsibility towards all learners.

There are several reasons for a co-creative approach to the development and evaluation of the Learning Hubs leading to the following expected outcomes:

  • Impacts on students as co-researchers: By being involved in co-creating the design and practical implementation of the Learning Hubs on the participatory level of collaboration and empowerment (IAP2, 2015), students will feel valued for their contribution which will increase their sense of belonging to the university and subsequently their attainment and satisfaction. Their knowledge and understanding of learning and teaching will be increased, their digital, academic writing, research skills will be improved. Increased engagement of students with professional services.
  • Impacts on students in Childhood routes courses: Positive impact on students’ learning experience, academic, transferable and employability skills well their wellbeing is expected more widely in the Childhood routes courses due to activities aligning better with their needs and being co-created by their peers.
  • Impacts on students across the University of Suffolk: Co-created Learning Hub activities will be shared as materials available across the university.
  • Impacts on staff involved as co-researchers: Strengthened collaboration of academic staff and professional services, sharing of knowledge, upskilling.
  • Impacts on staff across University of Suffolk: Upskilling of staff through dissemination, efficient use of shared interactive resources.