Title: Interdisciplinary postgraduate student-led electronic Journal Club to develop key graduate attributes. (Online only)

Author: Richard Smith

Theme: Building community; Interdisciplinary teaching; Student-Staff co-creation curriculum work

Student-staff co-creation of learning activities which involves shared decision-making has gained both popularity and traction within higher education over the last decade as academics have become increasingly aware of the benefits of bringing students’ perspectives into discussions and decisions about learning.
Our Electronic Journal Club (eJC) is a collaborative education activity involving staff and postgraduate students from a range of online programmes, set in an interdisciplinary virtual learning environment. Students select a paper to be discussed, publicise the event, present to peers, and evaluate the session, supported by staff. Primarily designed to hone critical appraisal skills of our students, this initiative also fosters organisation, planning, teamwork and leadership skills and most importantly creates a joint community of learning for all programmes.
Co-creation challenges the prevailing paradigm in Higher Education by shifting learning and teaching from something we do to students towards something we do with students. Evidence suggests that such a shift augments motivation and engagement; metacognitive understanding of learning; sense of identity; academic performance; positive relationships and trust; sense of responsibility for learning and teaching (1).
Now in its second year, we present findings from the eJC relating to development of graduate attributes and community building from student and staff perspectives. Initial student quotes: “I got to interact with enthusiastic students from other courses and we learned to plan and execute as a team.” ”The eJC will help critically analyse any research paper in future and help with designing an MSc/PhD project”. “It made me realise there are multiple perspectives to presenting a paper; the focus should be on the right questions rather than the right answers”.
(1) Bovill, C. Co-creating Learning and Teaching: Towards relational pedagogy in higher education. (2020). Jarvis, J. & Smith K. eds.