The Students As Creators and Change Agents Project (#SBSCoCreate) is run by Mark Gatenby and Lisa Harris. It is supported by the Education Enhancement Fund (EEF) and is now entering its third year at the University of Southampton. Although the members of the programme have changed, and the aims diversified, co-creation has remained at the core of what the group has been doing. Working with a wide range of students allows for an inter-disciplinary approach to tackling obstacles, and developing innovative new materials.
The aim when developing these was to offer a broad education organised around a liberal interest in ideas, along with contemporary relevance, to help students to understand the impact that business has on their lives. The new modules were designed to support six distinctive perspectives on business: analytics, management, history, philosophy, entrepreneurship, innovation. Delivering the new modules involves collaboration across a number of Faculties as part of a wider strategy to embed the Business School more strongly in the intellectual life of the university. The focus during the co-creation stage of the project was on four new modules:
- Ideas that Shaped the Business World 1: Government and Society
- Technologies that Shaped the Business World 1: Mechanical Age
- Ideas that Shaped the Business World 2: Markets and Consumers
- Technologies that Shaped the Business World 2: Digital Age
Early work was carried out by Student Digital Champions (Digichamps). Olja Rastic-Dulborough and Tim O’Riordan acted as mentors to the undergraduate team of Bartosz Paszcza (Physics), Charlie Mason (Politics and International Relations), Tim Mitchell (Business School) and postgraduate student Sylvian Patrick (Business School). The team worked to design modules embracing technology, and lessons learnt from other courses across the University, most notably Lisa’s award-winning Curriculum Innovation module Living and Working on the Web.
The modules ran for the first time during the academic year 2015-2016 and the role of the group has evolved to reflect that. The aim of the group over the summer months is to review the impact and student feedback of these modules, taking student input as the main driver of change. One of the most exciting outcomes was the MANG1020 module receiving an award recognising excellent use of Virtual Learning Environments from the Institute for Learning Innovation and Development (ILIaD).
However, the group has also evolved beyond just the design of these modules, and into other areas:
- Fostering a Digital Learning Environment, building on the work of Pinterest and Blackboard innovation in the modules, by allowing Students to run a blog, a Twitter account and a Facebook page
- Increasing Student Engagement in the wider Business School, by working with students to organise field trips and guest speakers
- Helping to develop the transition of new students into the Business School, by using student-created and designed content to bring everyone to common level in key academic skills before induction week
- Working with the academics and staff in the faculty to offer feedback and suggestions for the overall of assessment and feedback practises, whilst introducing new forms of feedback methods across the school
- Exploring student feedback and ideas regarding Self-Managed Learning, a practise used in both modules MANG1020 and MANG1018.
- To present our experiences of working on this project at various conferences, at a national and international level.
There are now more students involved than ever before, which is incredibly important for the project’s success, given its scope:
- Zak Rakrouki
- Amy Morgan
- Tom Rowledge
- Tom Davidson
- Andreas Sabia
- Sam Phelps
- Calvin Vere-White
- Yan Pineda
- Jessica Hamilton
The group are always on the lookout for new members, whether they wish to focus on a specific area, write for the blog, or just find out more about the project.
For more details of the project’s activities see the Business Programmes Blog or follow @SBSbusprogs on Twitter.