This session tells the story of two ‘student-as-co-creators’ projects (SCC) which ran in parallel from March to June 2021. These projects aimed to collect lived experiences and to develop research tools to address the thematic and systemic higher education (HE) issues surrounding ‘the awarding gap’ and ‘diversification’ of the curricula. Using innovative research methods, the projects explored ideas and applications of imaginative or communicative empathy as skills that can be nurtured to support strengthening of the learner voice and expand inclusion of diverse cultural values in learning and teaching practices.
In the first SCC project, qualitative data were collected about interdisciplinary learner and educator experiences (questionnaires n=44, focus groups n=2). Preliminary analysis informed the development of a ‘learning and teaching’ workshop framework. In the second SCC project with architecture learners, a series of graphical research ‘devices’ or ‘tools’ were designed with the intention to provoke discussion and to enable self-reflection. The outputs of these two projects were brought together in the design of an interactive, collaborative workshop framework for learners and educators to participate and reflect together in addressing HE educational issues identified above.
Finally, a pilot workshop (July 2021: participants n=10 students, n=10 educators) tested this framework in a session tailored for the specific learning environment of the architecture design studio. The ‘devices’ were used to stimulate conversation and thinking, resulting in rich (mixed-format) data being collected; menti-meter / JISC results, audio transcripts, graphical research ‘devices’. Findings from the workshop and suggestions for future altered practices will be presented.