Title

Fostering science students as partnerships. Examining undergraduate students’ perspectives of pedagogical partnerships

Standing

Undergraduate

Type of Proposal

Oral Research Presentation

Faculty

Faculty of Science

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Dora Cavallo-Medved

Abstract/Description of Original Work

There has been a growing discourse within higher education to engage with Students as Partners (SaP) and to transform institutional culture by harnessing the strength of students and faculty working together. Engaging with SaP offers benefits to both students and faculty, yet there continues to be less research on SaP practices at the macro-degree level. The purpose of this study was to conduct a faculty-wide investigation of student-faculty partnerships within the Faculty of Science at a mid-sized university in Ontario, Canada. Through a mixed methods approach of surveys (n = 178) and semi-structured interviews (n = 10) with undergraduate students, we examined the types of student partnerships occurring within the Faculty of Science as well as gathered insights into students’ perspectives of the benefits and challenges they experience engaging in these partnerships. Collaborating with faculty on research projects, teaching assistantships, and being a student leader in an organization with faculty guidance were considered the most impactful partnerships among participants. Students also reported several social, personal, academic, and career-related benefits as a result of working in partnership with faculty members, while common challenges included barriers to engaging in activities, social barriers, power imbalances, difficult working environments, and personal challenges. By studying the benefits and challenges experienced by students, we provide advances towards creating an engaged learning environment that supports undergraduate student engagement, collaboration, and enhanced student-faculty relationships that in turn support recruitment and retention efforts.

Availability

March 29, March 30, March 31 after 12:30pm

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Fostering science students as partnerships. Examining undergraduate students’ perspectives of pedagogical partnerships

There has been a growing discourse within higher education to engage with Students as Partners (SaP) and to transform institutional culture by harnessing the strength of students and faculty working together. Engaging with SaP offers benefits to both students and faculty, yet there continues to be less research on SaP practices at the macro-degree level. The purpose of this study was to conduct a faculty-wide investigation of student-faculty partnerships within the Faculty of Science at a mid-sized university in Ontario, Canada. Through a mixed methods approach of surveys (n = 178) and semi-structured interviews (n = 10) with undergraduate students, we examined the types of student partnerships occurring within the Faculty of Science as well as gathered insights into students’ perspectives of the benefits and challenges they experience engaging in these partnerships. Collaborating with faculty on research projects, teaching assistantships, and being a student leader in an organization with faculty guidance were considered the most impactful partnerships among participants. Students also reported several social, personal, academic, and career-related benefits as a result of working in partnership with faculty members, while common challenges included barriers to engaging in activities, social barriers, power imbalances, difficult working environments, and personal challenges. By studying the benefits and challenges experienced by students, we provide advances towards creating an engaged learning environment that supports undergraduate student engagement, collaboration, and enhanced student-faculty relationships that in turn support recruitment and retention efforts.