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Facilitating sustainable, long-term enhancement of learning and teaching in WA universities.

Engaging Students as Partners to Shape University Learning and Teaching

An Office for Learning and Teaching Fellowship

Future leaders who thrive in the face of uncertainty; agile and able to generate new ideas and solutions to problems we can’t yet imagine; innovative thinkers - this is the calibre of graduates to which universities aspire. Students rarely get opportunities to take leadership in their own learning within their degree programmes. Students as partners is a way of thinking that positions students as change agents who share responsibility for learning and teaching with university staff – going beyond student engagement that fosters active learning.

Students as Partners shifts students from learning from to learning with academics at the forefront of knowledge creation and teaching innovations. This workshop will engage participants in discussions about students as partners: definitions, motivations, current practices, and emerging research. Stories of student-staff partnership already happening at Murdoch will be shared. Models will be presented to prompt conversation about the outcomes, barriers and opportunities of student-staff partnership approaches at unit of study, degree programme and institutional levels. Participants will leave with new insights into ways of thinking and talking about student-staff partnerships; ideas about implementing students as partners initiatives; and a sense of existing partnership efforts happening locally, nationally and internationally.


Dr Kelly Matthews is a Senior Lecturer in Higher Education at The University of Queensland. In 2015 she was awarded an Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) Fellowship focused on Students as Partners. She is currently a co-chair for the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSoTL) Special interest Group (SIG) on Students as Co-inquirers and co-leader for the International Collaborative Writing Groups initiative. A theme of her research explores students’ experiences of learning across degree programs, and increasingly involves students as co-researchers.

Lucy Mercer-Mapstone is a PhD candidate at the University of Queensland. Lucy’s interest in ‘students as partners’ initiatives is based on a firm belief in the value and importance of motivating and empowering students to be fully engaged in their own education. Lucy is Co-Fellow on the Students as Partners OLT Fellowship, as well as focussing on other areas of higher education research and development – such as the development of generic skills for employability – in the Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation at UQ.

Please RSVP to Natalie Davis, Centre for University Teaching and Learning, Murdoch University [email protected]

Murdoch Workshop Program






Intro: context, aims, audience




Activity 1: Experiences of SaP




Murdoch Stories of Partnership: Students (15 mins)




Activity 2: Defining SaP




Morning Tea




Murdoch Stories of Partnership: Staff 




Activity 3: Identifying practices using Healey Model of SaP with case studies 



Activity 4: Outcomes and Barriers




Activity 5: Reflection via 1-minute paper: Influenced thinking



Activity 6: Reflection via 1-minute paper: Advancing SaP