Working Alongside: Collecting Examples of Collaborative Practice
The Student Engagement, Evaluation and Research directorate works alongside students in different ways, employing student researchers and offering them placements.

The ‘Working Alongside’ project involved one of our student researchers collecting stories from academic staff in the University who gave accounts of working alongside their students in a range of contexts (representation, interviews, research, away days, and course design).

The researcher then collected together the findings as snapshots of good practice and compiled them as an animation to share on Sheffield Hallam’s Teaching Essentials CPD resource.

For more information, contact STEER Team

What does the scheme entail?

The interviews took place with a range of academic and professional services colleagues in the University and the Students’ Union.

Staff members were approached initially because of their known good practice, but additional participants were identified through the interviews.

What support do you get from the University?

STEER developed this project as a core dimension of our work on student engagement, and as a way of modelling the benefits of working alongside.

We are very grateful to the colleagues who gave up their time to share their stories.

What are the motivations behind the scheme?

The project evolved as a response to a particular request following a curriculum co-design workshop. Colleagues requested an accessible resource to showcase easily-adopted student engagement activities that had been tested at Sheffield Hallam.

The short animation captures concisely some readily-adopted ideas for how staff and students can work alongside, and outlines how both can benefit.

Key benefits to the student

The benefits listed here are the ones that emerged directly from the project and were identified by the student researcher and her interviewees, but it’s not an exhaustive list:

Participation: creating, formulating, sharing experiences, contributing, designing.

Employability Skills: improvement in confidence, transferable skills for CV - primarily for students, yet also for staff in terms of their career and personal development, students gaining insights into the university as an employer.

Evaluative/Informative/Reflective: both for staff and students, enhancing personal practice.

Key benefits to the University

We wanted to make sharing good practice as effortless as possible, both for those explaining their innovations, and for those wanting to take on each idea.

It was important that the idea was easily absorbed and replicated by co-workers.

Key benefits to the sector

The ideas in the project and their benefits are quick to absorb but easy to replicate. The animation conveys our ideas more effectively than written text and was created using cloud-based software.

The animation can easily be replicated by other institutions interested in adopting this medium for their own work.