Student reviewers of teaching practice: Reflections on the design & experience of participants

  • Jenny Marie University College London
  • Jesper Hansen University College London
  • Melissa Hazen Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada
  • Manuela Irarrazabel Elliott University College London
  • Giacomo Piccoli University College London
  • Joe Thorogood Coventry University
Keywords: peer observation, partnership, dialogue, student consultants, virtual learning environments


This case study focuses on the benefits and challenges of students and staff working in partnership to review virtual learning environments as part of a wider review of an academic course. The paper considers how it enables a more rounded view of the course to be gained and how students identified possible enhancements to online sites in their own departments from the experience. Most issues raised by students related to the organization of the sites, with differences between students and staff in both the approach they thought should be taken to this and the importance placed upon it. These different perspectives make dialogue and respect very important in this area of student-staff partnership.


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Author Biographies

Jenny Marie, University College London

Jenny Marie directs UCL ChangeMakers, which supports students and staff to work in partnership to enhance the student learning experience at UCL. The student reviewers scheme forms one of the initiative’s three strands. Jenny also oversees the pedagogic support that the Arena Centre delivers directly to departments and faculties.

Jesper Hansen, University College London

Jesper Hansen leads UCL Arena One, a developmental pathway for postgraduate students who teach, and teaches introductory linguistics in UCL Scandinavian Studies. He has worked with students on a number of projects since joining UCL in 2010. His research interests are on educational development, particularly relating to early-career academics.

Melissa Hazen, Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada

Melissa Hazen is an Audiologist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. She participated in the student reviewers scheme while a postgraduate student at UCL’s Ear Institute. Melissa also served as the student representative for her department and the Faculty of Brain Sciences during her studies.

Manuela Irarrazabel Elliott, University College London

Manuela Irarrázabal Elliott is a final-year PhD student in the Greek and Latin department. She has experience teaching as a lecturer in her home country and as a teaching assistant at UCL. She has also been a student fellow at the UCL Arena Centre for Research-based Education.

Giacomo Piccoli, University College London

Giacomo Piccoli is a postgraduate student in economics. He took part in the scheme while an undergraduate. He is interested in collaborating with members of staff to enhance the learning experience of his peers in the department, which welcomes more than 300 new undergraduates each year.

Joe Thorogood, Coventry University

Joe is an Assistant Lecturer in Human Geography. He took part in the student reviewers scheme twice while a PhD student in UCL’s geography department. His pedagogic interests include the role of post-graduate teaching assistants, staff-student partnership and research-based education.


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How to Cite
Marie, J., Hansen, J., Hazen, M., Irarrazabel Elliott, M., Piccoli, G., & Thorogood, J. (2018). Student reviewers of teaching practice: Reflections on the design & experience of participants. International Journal for Students As Partners, 2(2), 125-134.
Case Studies