Effective and Valid
Student Leadership
Elizabeth Deane University of Western Sydney

Supported by the Australian Governmen...
Project dimensions
Project team:
UWS; UQ; USQ; La Trobe; USyd; UniSA and the National
Union of Students
+
International Ad...
Context: drivers
• Student roles in Universities have been evolving –
from passive vessels to active partners in all
aspec...
Context: Current position
•

Many mechanisms for gathering student input/student voice, little analysis of the
validity an...
Ambitions
Current positioning of students Desired positioning of
Current positioning of
students
students

Getting there a...
Project approach
• International and historical analysis of student
leadership roles and influence in higher education
• C...
Progress
Defining the scope of leadership
• Analysis of governance and policies for
delineation of “formal” student roles
...
Progress
• Draft typology of student leadership roles
• Map of student roles on committees in Australian
Universities
• Wo...
Typology of roles: leadership vs influence
– Presidents of student guilds/unions

– Faculty and school representatives
– C...
Conceptualising the roles of students
Student as evaluators

Students as institutional
decision makers

(the student voice...
Investigating student leadership
Key features of survey and focus groups with student leaders
(students in governance)
Cap...
Leadership and influence
Where it gets fuzzy – moving to the informal
student roles as leaders and influencers:
Student as...
Possible components of a framework
For both formal and informal leaders:


Clearly defined roles, performance indicators,...
Outcomes
• Resources to support greater and valid
student participation in learning, teaching and
curriculum development.
...
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Prof. Elizabeth Deane, University of Western Sydney: Developing effective student leadership frameworks to greater enhance the student contribution toward the improvement learning, teaching and curriculum development

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Professor Elizabeth Deane, Interim Head, Learning and Teaching Unit, University of Western Sydney delivered this presentation at the inaugural Student Experience conference in 2013. A quality student experience is a critical component when examining the attributes a university offers a prospective student. It is equally as important sector wide, in producing highly educated, well rounded and qualified individuals that make up the future of the national workforce. As a result, it is crucial for universities to assess not only ways they can improve their institution’s student experience but ways they can differentiation themselves in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Factors that holistically impact student experience include the interconnections between student services, methods of course delivery and the use of technology along with all that this entails. The Inaugural Student Experience Conference will endeavour to address these complex and challenging issues within the context of the evolving Higher Education sector. For more information about the event, please visit the conference website http://www.informa.com.au/studentexperienceconference

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Prof. Elizabeth Deane, University of Western Sydney: Developing effective student leadership frameworks to greater enhance the student contribution toward the improvement learning, teaching and curriculum development

  1. 1. Effective and Valid Student Leadership Elizabeth Deane University of Western Sydney Supported by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching
  2. 2. Project dimensions Project team: UWS; UQ; USQ; La Trobe; USyd; UniSA and the National Union of Students + International Advisory group and participants Two year OLT funding will deliver: Good practice frameworks, guidelines and practical resources for empowering students (and institutions!) to participate in curriculum development for L&T improvement
  3. 3. Context: drivers • Student roles in Universities have been evolving – from passive vessels to active partners in all aspects of operations • Encompasses curricular and co-curricular • Is International • Increasing focus on student “experience” and “engagement”; • The rise of surveys – political drivers • Strong pedagogical drivers – research led teaching; students as partners (UK HEA project)
  4. 4. Context: Current position • Many mechanisms for gathering student input/student voice, little analysis of the validity and effectiveness of these strategies and how they could be improved. • Importance of student contributions to enhance the quality of their educational experience • Current challenges faced in developing valid, productive roles for student leaders in governance through to curriculum development (Lizzio & Wilson, 2009), include: – Role ambiguity – Lack of experience – Poor student training for leadership – Attitudes and expectations of staff – Systemic difficulties (including unaligned policies, poor committee structures and other governance related activities)
  5. 5. Ambitions Current positioning of students Desired positioning of Current positioning of students students Getting there and knowing it Consumers of knowledge and providers of feedback ⟶⟶⟶⟶⟶⟶⟶ Students representatives in governance Student leadership of guilds, clubs and societies Co-producers and partners in knowledge generation and acquisition Co-drivers of academic and governance agendas Co-drivers of Government agendas
  6. 6. Project approach • International and historical analysis of student leadership roles and influence in higher education • Conceptualising student leadership roles – from the “classroom” to the “boardroom” • Methods: Survey, focus groups and case study investigation; governance and policy analysis • How can diverse leadership roles be best supported?
  7. 7. Progress Defining the scope of leadership • Analysis of governance and policies for delineation of “formal” student roles • Identification of range of informal/nongovernance positioned roles, particular focus on discipline and curriculum. • Expanded involvement of student leaders in project (via NUS and CAPA)
  8. 8. Progress • Draft typology of student leadership roles • Map of student roles on committees in Australian Universities • Workshops with peak student associations – identification of case studies and participants • Framework based on international research on student roles and influence • Survey developed encompassing HE Leadership work
  9. 9. Typology of roles: leadership vs influence – Presidents of student guilds/unions – Faculty and school representatives – Class and unit representatives – Representatives of discipline based clubs and societies – Student-led learning community leaders – Individual student voice (surveys/direct conversations) – Office holders in special interest Clubs and Societies
  10. 10. Conceptualising the roles of students Student as evaluators Students as institutional decision makers (the student voice) (students in governance) Students as experts and partners in provision Students as drivers of change (driving curriculum) (driving development and knowledge) adapted from Dunne and Zandstra, 2011
  11. 11. Investigating student leadership Key features of survey and focus groups with student leaders (students in governance) Capabilities – personal , interpersonal, intellectual Skills and Knowledge needs Development needs (and training/PD) Enablers, challenges and impediments How do we know whether “participation” = empowerment and influence?
  12. 12. Leadership and influence Where it gets fuzzy – moving to the informal student roles as leaders and influencers: Student as evaluators Students as experts and partners in provision Students as drivers of change How can these roles be better recognised, facilitated and supported?
  13. 13. Possible components of a framework For both formal and informal leaders:  Clearly defined roles, performance indicators, training needs and leadership capabilities  Documented challenges at institutional, staff and student level/suggestions on how these might be addressed  case studies
  14. 14. Outcomes • Resources to support greater and valid student participation in learning, teaching and curriculum development. • Practical and productive models of effective partnership between teachers and learners • Mechanisms to support student leaders to participate in learning, teaching and curriculum development

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