We Turned Students into Teachers to Learn What Would Happen
What would happen if students designed their own courses? The Centre for Innovation wanted to see what insights students can bring into their curriculum. Three students have undergone a journey to design their own classes with support from our learning experience designers, Yentl Croese and Daniek Bosch.
In this article, you will find a short summary of the Student Expert Sessions, a link to the recording of the session and some insights on what positive impact involving students in the design of your course can bring.
How did it work?
The students selected a topic they think could complement their study programme. During two workshops, our learning experience designers coached them on topics like storytelling, connecting to your learner, learning goals and online interactivity. This prepared them to give an interactive and innovative session in February, during the Student Expert Sessions.
Session 1: Bridging the Mind-Body Gap by Pia Linden
During the first session, Pia, a MA Psychology student, used a game-like approach to help the participants realise how the mind and body are intertwined and cannot be seen as two separate entities. She ended with some concrete, scientific examples of habits we can work on to have a healthier balance between our mind and our body.
Session 2: A Realistic Introduction to Criminology by Lotte Burghardt
The second session was provided by Lotte and used a case study to show how biased news coverage can be. With a good use of the chat, it almost felt like a game of Clue in which the participants had to think creatively about, location, murder weapon and what the motive of the murder could been.
Session 3: Hangul in 1 hour: Read the Korean Alphabet by Ainhoa
The week finished with a crash course in the Korean alphabet (or Hangul as we now know). With fun and specific learning goals (like learning to write your name and avoid being scammed when you visit Seoul), Ainhoa knew how to capture her audience. The session ended in Google Jamboard where all participants showed they were able to write their own name in Korean.
The power of involving students in creating courses
During this process, we gave the students the freedom to talk about a topic they were passionate about. To have such professional and unique sessions as a result truly shows the potential that students have.
Involving students in the design process for your course can be motivating in many ways. It is a great way to stimulate active participation and connect to what and how students want to learn. In projects like the “student expert sessions” students learn how to structure information, create an engaging workshop and develop their teaching skills. By leaving space for students to add topics to the curriculum, teachers can create room for more flexible learning pathways that connect to what students find important.
But, what did the students think?
Pia: “As a master student with no time for extra courses, it was nice to have an opportunity to learn more about teaching and get some coaching on it and choose the topic of the webinar.”
Lotte: “It was what I hoped it would be. You were free to choose your own subject. Usually you have to give a presentation about an assigned subject. It was nice to make it your own thing and I would definitely want to do it again.”
Ainhoa: “I would definitely recommend this experience to other students. Especially to people who are insecure to share, they can benefit the most. Talking about your passion can help feel more confident.”
Teachers, Students, What do you think?!
Are you a teacher and interested in discussing ways you can give students more ownership over their learning?
Are you a student who wants to impact their education or has a good idea that needs to be turned into a Student Expert Session?
Feel free to contact us…