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December 2019

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December 2019

In chapter 5 of Pedagogical Partnerships: A How-To Guide for Faculty, Students, and Academic Developers in Higher Education, we pose the question: What kind of structure might weekly meetings of student partners follow? We suggest that you consider developing a set of prompts that will afford each student partner the opportunity to capture individual experiences in informal writing. This ensures time for thoughtful reflection, records of experiences that can be returned to later, and a range of experiences that can be shared in subsequent discussion. Student partners suggest that it is helpful to keep their freewrites or reflections in one place so that toward the end of the semester they can easily return to some of the prompts from the beginning of the semester and track change and progress.

In this resource we offer a sample outline of topics for weekly meetings of student partners, a version of which we have used in SaLT and that directors of pedagogical partnership programs at other institutions have adapted for their contexts. See also the syllabus for the for-credit course in the “Sample Student Partners Course Syllabus” resource.

Week 1:

  • Focused free write: What strengths and capacities do you bring to partnership? What challenges are you experiencing or do you anticipate?
  • Emphasize positive framing
    • student partners have capacity and a unique perspective
    • partnership is about dialogue, not identifying and fixing problems
    • start out looking for what is working well in the faculty partner’s classroom and why

Week 2:

  • Focused free write: What is your faculty partner doing to create the learning environment they want? What have you been able to you affirm about their practice? What language do you use to convey these affirmations?
  • Continue to emphasize importance of identifying what is working well and reasons why, using words like “From my perspective it worked well when you did X because…” rather than “You did a great job.”
  • Share observation note formats and discuss note-taking strategies

Week 3:

  • Focused free write: What do you feel good about accomplishing so far in your role as a student partner? What has your faculty partner accomplished that you can particularly affirm?
  • Discuss patterns that might be emerging in pedagogical practice or in the partnership itself

Week 4: Bring up midterm feedback (suggestions for preparation)

  • Focused free write: What has been a surprising celebration and an unexpected disappointment or frustration?
  • Discuss faculty receptivity to midsemester feedback and approaches; see the “Gathering Feedback” resource

Week 5: Check in about midterm feedback

  • Suggest a version of these questions:
    • What is supporting your learning in this class? (perhaps specifying particular components of the class upon which the faculty member wants feedback: readings, class discussions, assignments, class dynamic, etc.)
    • What are you struggling with and what could better support your learning?
    • What am I as facilitator doing to maximize your learning and what could I do more or differently?
    • What are others in the course doing to maximize your learning and what could they do more or differently?
    • What are you doing to maximize your learning and what could you do more or differently?

Week 6: Discuss midterm feedback for TLI student partners

  • Consider using some of the questions in chapter 9 of Pedagogical Partnerships: A How-To Guide for Faculty, Students, and Academic Developers in Higher Education

Week 7: Invite student partners to propose a topic

Week 8: Low energy–How can you re-energize yourself/partnership? Or, in what ways have you evolved through this partnership work? (As a partner? A student? A person?)

Week 9: Shifting the focus of your work (perhaps to planning for another course?)

  • See “Should student and faculty partners revise the approach or focus of their partnership as the term progresses?” in chapter 6 of Pedagogical Partnerships: A How-To Guide for Faculty, Students, and Academic Developers in Higher Education

Weeks 10-15: Concluding partnerships

  • Prepare an annotated list of what your faculty partner has accomplished and experimented with and a shorter list of considerations or questions to take forward
  • Write a letter thanking your faculty partner for the experience and specifying what you got out of it
  • Share drafts of/ideas toward these so student partners can draw on one another’s ideas/approaches/points
  • See the “Representing What Partners Have Explored” resource

Final meeting

  • Plan for final meeting with faculty partner
    • Ask questions that help your faculty partner reflect, such as:
      • How did you feel about your last class of the semester?
      • How do you feel about your students’ reactions to the class and their preparation for the final?
      • Looking back on your goals from the beginning of the semester, what do you feel that you have accomplished? Is there anything you want to continue refining?
      • Was there anything about this class that you wish had been different?
      • What’s something you’re proud of from this semester?
      • What are you looking forward to next semester?
    • Give letter and annotated list to faculty partner
  • Roses, rosebuds, and thorns
    • Everyone share something that has blossomed in or through the partnership work, something that might have been a little prickly or painful, and something that may open later, like a bud, as a result of the partnership work