Welcome to the January issue of Teaching Matters: Co-creation in learning and teaching

Photo credit: pixabay, misavana, CC0

Happy New Year to all our readers and welcome to our first issue of 2019: Co-creation in learning and teaching. The term ‘co-creation’, here, specifically refers to students and staff working together in active participation to evaluate, refine, and produce learning and teaching practices. Co-creation approaches can be adopted at an individual, classroom, course, or institutional level. For example, at a course or programme level, students can act as ‘pedagogical co-designers’ (Bovill, Cook-Sather, Felten, Millard and Moore-Cherry, 2015), where they share with staff members the responsibility for (re)designing elements of learning and teaching, including assessment. This is often termed ‘co-creation of the curriculum’, as explained by Tanya Lubiz-Nawrocka in this month’s introductory post, and wonderfully illustrated in Dr Meryl Kenny’s upcoming post about students and staff co-designing the pre-Honours course, Understanding Gender in the Contemporary World.

Co-creation can mean the co-production of disciplinary research design and outputs, as Matjaz Vidmar exemplifies in his post this month, highlighting undergraduate students working on real research questions during a Summer Project at the Institute for Astronomy. Co-creation approaches can also include dressing up as zombies to teach professional skills, as Veterinary student, Emily Hochkins, will explain later this month…

Mini-series: Social responsibility and sustainability in learning and teaching practices

Each Wednesday throughout January and February, Teaching Matters will publish a blog post from the latest mini-series: Social responsibility and sustainability in learning and teaching practices. This mini-series is co-edited by Sarah Ford-Hutchinson, Communications Manager, and Megan McGrath, Communications Coordinator, from the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability. Posts will include a discussion on embedding sustainability into teaching training, a look at the Low Carbon College in China, and an insight into the Advanced Sustainable Design course, in which students help redesign the Union Canal.

Teaching Matters podcast

New for 2019 is the launch of the Teaching Matters podcast. The podcast will accompany the mini-series topics, as well as hosting other conversations between staff and students around controversial or stimulating learning and teaching topics. Readers will be notified when episodes are released through a Teaching Matters blog post, and listeners will be able to access and download episodes from the Teaching Matters website. The first two episodes will be co-hosted by Masters students Ryan Gilmour and Polly Wells, and will be based on issues around learning and teaching climate change.

Spotlight on… Joint Degrees

This month’s post by Chris Perkins raises the question of the more mundane features of organising effective joint degree programmes, such as emails and forms. On the surface, these everyday ‘things’ may seem harmless and insignificant, but a closer look at the work they do reveals that they create powerful effects on how student and staff relationships can develop in productive, or unproductive, ways…


C. Bovill, A. Cook-Sather, P. Felten, L. Millard, and N. Moore-Cherry, 2015. “Addressing potential challenges in co-creating learning and teaching: overcoming resistance, navigating institutional norms and ensuring inclusivity in student-staff partnerships,” Higher Education, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10734-015-9896-4.

Jenny Scoles

Dr Jenny Scoles is the editor of Teaching Matters. She is an Academic Developer (Learning and Teaching Enhancement) in the Institute for Academic Development, and provides pedagogical support for University course and programme design. Her interests include student engagement, professional learning and sociomaterial methodologies.

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