Project lead, Dr Nham Tran

Can you please give a run-down of the project?

My idea was to integrate students into our Biomedical Engineering school to provide feedback on both the curriculum design but also the running of current subjects. We had just rolled out a new undergraduate degree with significant changes and I believed that having students in our Teaching and Learning Committee would identify issues which we could action, and in doing so improve the learning experience for our students. Aside from this benefit, this partnership would break down pre-conceived barriers between academics and students, fostering a higher level of interaction.

What was the inspiration for the project?

After introducing a new biomedical engineering program in 2018, it was important for us to get feedback from the students. The SFS is a good barometer, but it only allows for future changes during the next teaching cycle. The idea was to have feedback during the teaching session and feed this back to the subject co-ordinators. It would allow co-ordinators to make any adjustments but also give the students a voice in their education.

How did you get the students involved?

When the school was formed, I worked with several students to form the student-ledĀ Biomedical Engineering Society. From this interaction, I then recruited the executive members of the society onto our committee. We have a great relationship and try to meet on fortnightly basis.

What have been the benefits of the project from your perspective?

This initiative has delivered several important benefits to the school. First and foremost, it empowers the student body to have a voice in their education. Equally important is the active feedback we receive. This can direct the co-ordinators to make adjustments during the teaching cycle when possible or initiate these changes in the next semester. Underlying these benefits is building a solid relationship with our students to ensure a better outcome.

Is there anything you would do differently?

Thinking back, probably not as it is always better to look forward to the future than look back to the past. We have a great cohort of students in Biomedical Engineering and working with them has enhanced the teaching practices of our school.

Student insights from Rana Judeh andĀ Fatema E Ismati

Can you please give a run-down of your involvement with the project?

It is a great opportunity to collaborate with our school’s teachers and to be part of our learning curriculum. As student representatives, we have an obligation to our peers to pass on any information that may effect the way we go about our course.

What have been the benefits of the project from your perspective?

We gain insight into the structuring process of different types of modules that make up a degree. And get to see learning from the perspective of our teachers that can help us to understand their views on subjects which is really.

What would be your tips to academics trying to involve students as partners?

Take every chance you can get to make a connections with your students. It is important that you know how they feel about the learning process and thus be beneficial to the way you carry on with the respective modules.

Is there anything you would do differently?

Maybe have a session meeting where academics and students can meet as a whole. This would also be beneficial to students who are looking for mentors for their capstone.

Feature image by Ousa Chea.

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