In 2019 the CAN Conference will focus on the evolving landscape of staff-student partnerships at universities and colleges. Our five key themes offer participants the opportunity to critically reflect on our collective progress to date, and to begin to envision the future of staff-student partnership in a rapidly changing education sector.
1. Informed Innovation: Working with Students
How does innovation in education embrace and develop consistent, long-term engagement with students as partners? Innovation in education covers a broad field, from learning and teaching technologies and practices, to ways of working. An evidence-based approach to innovation promotes not only the successful implementation of ideas, but also welcomes discussion of pilots, experiments, and prototypes. Informed innovation relies on learning from experience, and this theme provides a ‘failure amnesty’ to share ultimately unsuccessful efforts. This theme critically reflects on the experience of innovating in education, and how this has evolved through partnership between staff and students.
2. Partnerships in Curriculum Innovation/Design
How do ongoing partnerships with students in curriculum innovation and curriculum design contribute to the development of modern and relevant learning and teaching content, materials, and practices? This is a broad and varied area, which encompasses experiences in co-production, co-creation, consultation, engagement, student success, and the affordances of digital technologies across these.
3. Engaging Students in Change
At this time of intensive change and uncertainty, in our society and in our institutions, this theme seeks to explore the opportunities and challenges of engaging students in change. How can staff and students be open and empathetic partners in sustainable change? How can difficult conversations and decisions be negotiated from all areas? Staff and students will share their strategies and experiences for engaging students in change.
4. Landscape of Student Voice
Over the eight years the CAN conference has been running, the student voice landscape has evolved and changed significantly. This theme offers an opportunity to reflect on this evolution, and institutions’ experiences of bringing staff-student partnerships to life. How will this landscape continue to change and develop? What are some of the key responsibilities and expectations of these partnerships, looking to the future? What are the implications of this for our sectors and for our students?
5. Positioning Ourselves for Future Success
This theme is future-focused, discussing how both institutions and students can position themselves for success. As staff, how are we engaging our students in preparing for their future success? As students, how does your partnership and engagement with staff and institutions influence strategic thinking and institutional success? Are broader sector priorities and student priorities shared?
6. Engaging a Diverse Student Body
This important theme focuses on how we engage with an increasingly diverse student body, and ensure our staff-student partnerships are fully inclusive, so that all students have the opportunity to make their voices heard. It will include examples and best practice around engagement strategies, widening participation, policies, the use of digital technologies, and experiences we can share to improve access to partnership for students.