Student-faculty partnerships: Enhancing teaching and learning via a Student Consultant Program at Lingnan University (HK)
The Student Consultant Program at Lingnan University offers faculty-student partnerships in the form of pedagogical “student consultants”. Through regular classroom observations, consultation, dialogue, discussion, and critical reflection, student consultants provide faculty across disciplines with feedback from the perspective of trained students who are not enrolled in their courses. In its approach to professional partnership and sustained collaboration to enhance teaching and learning, the Student Consultant Program is significantly different from and can enhance conventional forms of feedback and observation such as CTLEs, peer observation or other kinds of course evaluation from enrolled students, as it radically re-conceives the power structure of traditional student/teacher relationships. Student-faculty partnerships allow faculty unique insight into how their teaching practices and assignments are perceived and received by their students. Student Consultants develop the capacity to observe and assess classroom practices without judgment and offer insight and creative solutions to perennial teaching challenges. Through partnership, a new forum is created where students and teachers can collaborate on how they both function as teachers and learners. To ensure a safe space for faculty and students to engage in such important work, the program is not formally evaluative and is strictly confidential. This presentation discusses the implementation and development of the Student Consultant Program at Lingnan, inter-institutional collaboration, cross-cultural adaptations, and the Program’s pedagogical challenges and successes, from the point of view of participating teachers and students.
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