“I am wary of giving too much power to students:” Addressing the “but” in the Principle of Staff-Student Partnership

Rebecca Murphy, Sarah Nixon, Simon Brooman, Damian Fearon


Staff and students coming together to enhance learning is a key educational challenge facing the higher education sector. Literature proposes different ways of achieving this through co-creation, partnership, and collaboration. This paper focuses solely on staff perspectives of a staff-student partnership project aimed at improving feedback strategies. Through a mixed-methods approach, staff in four disciplines in one UK university were questioned in regard to collaborating with students, asked to take part in a co-creation experience, and then invited to take part in a follow-up interview. Findings indicated that staff initially supported greater student engagement in curriculum development but were wary of substantial change in the design of curriculum content. Some doubted the experience and abilities of students in this context. The overarching response was a positive statement followed first with a “but” and then with the issues that could be caused by a partnership approach. 


staff perspectives; partnership working; co-creation; feedback; educational change

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15173/ijsap.v1i1.3055

Rebecca Murphy
Liverpool John Moores University
United Kingdom

Subject Head, School of Sport and Exercise Science

Sarah Nixon
ORCID iD https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/about-us/staff-profiles/faculty-of-education-health-and-community/school-of-education/sarah-nixon
Liverpool John Moores University
United Kingdom

Subject Head

School of Sport Studies, Leisure and Nutrition

Simon Brooman
Liverpool John Moores University
United Kingdom

School of Law. Senior Fellow of HEA

Damian Fearon
Liverpool John Moores University
United Kingdom

Department of Built Environment