Do you know who we are? We think you should: Developing effective engagement strategies for in-work students

Do you know who we are?

In this blog we would like to share two key outputs which emerged from the recent HEA-sponsored Teaching Development Grant project: Going beyond ‘you said, we did’ approaches to student engagement: developing effective co-design processes with part-time undergraduate health and social care leadership students. Both outputs have been written collaboratively – primarily by students at Sheffield Hallam University with support of staff – and draw upon evidence emerging from the project.

Animation explaining the processes of co-design.

The first output is a short animation which was co-designed with students on our BA (Hons) Health and Social Care Leadership and Management course and funded by the HEA. This is the culmination of a fifteen-month process of co-design. We provided the student participants with recording devices and asked that they record key messages they would want other students and policy makers to hear about. The data were transcribed and independently thematically analysed by two of the project’s researchers and then member checked by the participants. We explored various formats including scenario modelling and a more formal toolkit to convey the findings. The participants decided that a more suitable vehicle for the findings would be to construct a short animation. The words and ideas are all from participants’ data. The animation depicts the actual students who describe – in their own words and voices – the experiences of studying as part-time in-work students. You can view the animation directly on the Sheffield Hallam University YouTube channel.

Development of In-Work Student Manifesto.

In addition, the emerging themes from the animation have been incorporated into a Manifesto for In-Work Students. Participants felt that the animation was a starting point for change and that the manifesto seeks to further develop significant ideas.  This incorporates key messages emerging from the film for both Universities and students.

The Manifesto is available under a Creative Commons license to use and share.

Manifesto for In-work Students Doc
Manifesto for In-work Students PDF

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We are keen to hear about other colleagues’ work in this area as we feel there must be others who feel strongly about the erosion of opportunities for in-work and part-time students and subsequent decline in numbers. All comments and questions are gratefully received.

Further details of the project and our plans for further development of this work are available by contacting Ann-marie Steele, TDG Project Lead at A.Steele ‘at’ shu.ac.uk or Stella Jones-Devitt, National Teaching Fellow (2012) at S.Jones ‘at’ shu.ac.uk.

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