Introduction by Tom:
I was asked by Vevox (a company we work closely with that facilitates audience response) to run the first session in their autumn webinar series. I was happy to do this and you can watch the recording of the session on Youtube.
After the session, Joe from Vevox was asked if I would mind someone writing a blog relating to the session. I was flattered and said of course. Dr Rachel Chan from St Mary’s University in Twickenham wrote her blog and shared it with me and I asked her if we could re-publish it here on TelTales. She was happy to let us use the blog…so this blog is a short reflection from Rachel after attending my webinar on “Co-Creating Expectations with Vevox”.
My name is Rachel Chan, I am a Senior Lecturer – Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist teaching on the BSc in Physiotherapy at St Mary’s University in Twickenham. Throughout my academic career, I have always been hugely committed to Teaching and Learning. I recently listened to a talk by Tom Langston from the University of Portsmouth about co-creation and thought it might be valuable to write a short blog to share some of his key messages.
Tom began by asking us a question ‘What is co-creation?’ We were all on the right track, people suggested things like ‘student partnership,’ ‘collaboration’ and ‘support.’ Bovill and colleagues(2016) define it as ‘…when staff and students work collaboratively with one another to create components of curricula and /or pedagogical approaches.’ Great, so, Where does it work? Tom showed us that co-creation can work in many areas of pedagogy including setting expectations, assessment criteria, curriculum content and assessment design. I was already sold by this point but there are many, less obvious benefits, to adopting co-creation in your pedagogical practice.
- It enables you to better meet expectations (the students’ expectations of you, your expectations of the student and more subtly but equally important, the students’ expectations of each other). An important tip Tom shared was setting these expectations as early as possible so that everyone knows the playing field from day 1.
- It facilitates a dynamic approach to your teaching practice, encouraging you to reflect on what you do and allowing you to evolve as an educator. CPD in action!
- It gives the students’ a voice – of course, it is impossible to accommodate all of their suggestions, no one is suggesting that you do. Phew! But listening to students, and showing them that you will try to accommodate some of them, opens the channels of communication – they know that you care and that you have heard them. This is SO important.
The idea of co-creation may make some educators feel anxious and, in some areas, it will be easier to implement than others (assessment design may be more challenging for example) but you can and should start small. Bovill and Bulley have created a ladder that models co-creation, it shows dictated curriculum at the bottom and an anarchic level of students in control at the top (ttps://eprints.gla.ac.uk/57709/1/57709.pdf). Tom wasn’t suggesting you aim too high but believes adopting some co-creation in your practice will have huge benefits for all.
How to adopt this principle of co-creation? There are many ways in which you can successfully include co-creation in your teaching such as using an EVS to make quizzes or simply creating a collaboration space to stimulate discussions with students.
My take-home message…Step 1. always try to engage your students in your teaching, and perhaps more importantly…Step 2. respond to that engagement. Thanks, Tom, I am inspired!
If you have any questions or would like to know more about co-creation, please contact Tom at: firstname.lastname@example.org