Co-creating effective student-staff research communities of practice in environmental conservation: a cross-university Student Environment Research Team (SERT).
Authors: Diaz, A. et al.
Start date: 30 August 2016
This presentation explores how undergraduate and MSc students, academic staff and professional practitioners can co-create new research that informs environmental conservation through being a student-managed community of practice. This innovative approach to enhancing learning opportunities embeds co-creation of learning as a mainstream component of the whole university learning experience. Here we consider a specific case study where a cross-university group of 25 students worked with academic staff and professional practitioners as mentors to co-create new understanding of how heathland plants and pollinators are affected by conservation management decisions. This presentation considers the following pedagogic questions: 1) what are the benefits to student members of the community in terms of their gain of subject knowledge and personal development ? 2) what aspects of the form and function of their community of practice most enable students to engage and achieve these gains? The audience will have the opportunity to discuss different perspectives with members of the team and discuss our approaches to evaluating and enhancing success. We welcome discussion of how success may be defined and achieved for different stakeholders and how a student-managed communities of practice approach to co-creating research could be used in other learning contexts and fields.