6 Oct 2014

Tools for mapping and planning student engagement

Materials developed by sparqs were showcased at the recent annual conference of RAISE (Researching, Advancing and Inspiring Student Engagement), held on 11th and 12th September 2014 at Manchester Metropolitan University.

RAISE is a network of student engagement practitioners, student officers and researchers from across the UK and beyond. The theme for the 2014 conference was “Opportunities for all”.

sparqs contributed a poster about Student Partnership Agreements (SPAs), which was a great opportunity to talk about the developments of SPAs, the supporting guidance we’ve produced, and the impact they have had on institutions and students’ associations in Scotland.

At our conference stall we presented many of our other resources, guides and toolkits on topics ranging from the Higher Education Achievement Report to the Student Engagement Framework for Scotland.

We also delivered a workshop where we shared a range of tools for mapping and planning student engagement, drawing on many resources we have produced over the past few years.

The workshop allowed participants to interact with the materials and think about how they could apply or adapt them in their own institutions. Although the conference was university sector only, the materials are all perfectly applicable in – and have often been developed with – the college sector as well.

A delegate’s tweet about our workshop said “Brilliant thought-provoking session, making us think outside the box.”

You can download the resources we presented below:

  1. Student Learning Experience – The SLE diagram is at the heart of our Course Rep Training, creating bite sized headings around which meaningful feedback or conversations can be generated.
  2. Grid for developing tools of feedback from students – This is a “sneak preview” of a tool which will form part of our forthcoming student feedback toolkit. It is best used in conjunction with the toolkit once it is published.
  3. Three questions – A simple tool to replace lengthy questionnaires and shift the focus from institutional priorities to those of students.
  4. Card sort on departmental councils – Adapted from our departmental representation toolkit.
  5. Course rep lifecycle – A planning tool taken from our HEAR guidance and best used within the wider context of those materials.
  6. Map of institutional structure – A simple basis for reflection on the strengths and weaknesses in communication between institutions and students’ associations.
  7. What is partnership? – An exercise taken from our Student Partnership Agreement guidance, and best used alongside other elements of that document.
  8. Student Engagement Framework – Our nationally-agreed resource which presents an ideal basis for strategic planning, reflection and other processes.

We have already received an invitation as a result of our workshop at RAISE to deliver something similar within an institution for student engagement practitioners and other staff and students.

So for more information or advice about how you might be able to use these resources in your own university or college, please contact us. 

For futher information contact Simon Varwell, sparqs Development Advisor – simon.varwell@sparqs.ac.uk

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