Welcome from Professor Richard Williams, OBE, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Heriot-Watt University

Students as co-creators: Strategies for high quality engagement and learning

It is widely recognised that active engagement leads to deeper student learning.  Evidence-based teaching approaches and assessment strategies that have been shown to produce improvements in student learning have attracted widespread interest from across the higher education community and are starting to gain traction among practitioners.  The concept of students as co-creators underpins many of these developments.  While the term is used to describe a wide range of activities, one common feature is a partnership approach involving a community of students (and staff) in the process of learning and in the co-creation of knowledge.

In this presentation we will discuss some of the research in this area and will describe examples of students as co-creators drawn from our own teaching and research.   We will also touch briefly on some of the barriers to more widespread adoption and why research evidence is not always enough.


Judy Hardy

I am Professor of Physics Education and Director of Teaching in the School of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh.  I undertake evidence-based research into physics teaching and learning with the overall aim of developing and evaluating educational strategies that improve student learning.  I am particularly interested in the student experience of learning, teaching, assessment and feedback and in the ways that this can inform educational development.

Alison Kay

I am a PhD student within the Edinburgh Physics Education Research Group at the University of Edinburgh.  My research focuses on students’ use of PeerWise – an online application where students write multiple choice questions for their peers to answer and comment upon.  I am investigating the relationship between PeerWise engagement levels and academic performance in undergraduate physics, chemistry and biology courses across three research intensive UK institutions.


Judy Hardy and Alison Kay

Alex MacLaren, EGIS - Designing ‘Live’ – A series of one-day design Charettes bringing together HWU students of different disciplines and stages

Dr Tadhg O’Donovan,  EPS - Student-Led Virtual Guides of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering

Dr Stefano Padilla, MACS - Framework for computer games industry application portfolio

Fiona Pankhurst & Alison Hamilton-Pryde, SoTD - The Illusion of Memory: a collaborative project between Design for Textiles, Interior Design and Industry to create interior design solutions for Dementia patients.  Easing student transitions from an ALP to HWU: Creating a strategic approach

Dr Gudmund Grov, MACS - Helping 1st Year CS Students to Become Independent Learners Through Automated Feedback

Gary Quinn & Stacey Webb, SML - BSL Interpreter Repository (BSLIR)  Why wait, when you can bring the real world into the classroom? Improving the student transition