How can universities support co-creation and active learner involvement in the design and development of their learning and assessment? Our recent webinar looked at one approach, using the model of Student-Centred Individually Created Courses (SLICCs).
Simon Riley and Dr Gavin McCabe from The University of Edinburgh, Katherine Lithgow from The University of Waterloo, and Professor Carol Evans from Cardiff University were the subject matter experts for this webinar. They shared their experiences pioneering co-created and student-centred courses. Here are some of the key insights.
1. Beyond the provision of opportunities, students need to be supported and enabled to act as contributors to the assessment and feedback process.
Carol suggests that if we think of co-creation as co-partnership, it becomes clear that academics have an important role to play in the development of student engagement – their willingness and capacity to engage – in their learning and assessment, with a key part being that educators help students negotiate their choices to ensure meaningful products and activities.
2. The SLICCs framework allows co-creation to be embedded across a wide range of programs, in any college or school, and at scale
As Simon explains, the model is underpinned by 5 generic Learning Outcomes, closely related to the university graduate attributes.
Students are able to apply these to a specific student-defined experience. The structure is provided by the course organisers and the content, topic, reflection and evidence is provided by the student.
3. Co-creation can provide a powerful means of focusing on growth
At Edinburgh, the SLICCs model encourages students to not merely engage with, but to take ownership of and contextualise the university graduate attributes. Gavin explains how this allows students to explore and evidence their development of skills and mindsets – in the curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular spaces – which are recognised and valued by both the student and the university through the assessment process.
As a result the focus is on the development journey, rather than solely on the proficiency level attained of skills and attributes.
4. Co-creation requires learning together
The Waterloo experience highlighted the fact that introducing models of co-creation can be challenging for both students and instructors who may have strong existing conceptions of the student/instructor role. In order to facilitate clarity over purpose and process and to scaffold the experience for students, a Learning Community for interested instructors provided a safe and supported space in which to learn together. Incorporating peer instruction and peer review as well as incorporating the student view have been key elements.
5. PebblePad and SLICCs – an excellent partnership
Using an eportfolio approach can provide a structured yet flexible means of supporting students to reflect on and evidence their growth and development in personally meaningful ways. In both the Edinburgh and Waterloo applications of SLICCs, a PebblePad workbook is used to provide instructions, scaffolded assistance around the reflective tasks, and space for responses and evidence.