At a time of uncertainty and change, it is ever more important that the wonderful student engagement work that institutions and students’ associations are doing can be celebrated and shared around the sector. So this article is a guide to all the different ways you can share your effective practice and success stories in student engagement!
Here is a reminder of some of the channels through which sparqs can get your achievements in student engagement in quality to a wider audience:
Resource Library: This is a long-standing feature of the sparqs website that contains a wealth of case studies, reports, links and materials relating to a wide range of student engagement practice. We welcome submissions on an ongoing basis relating to topics from course level activity to cross-institutional work, or from policy papers to training materials. You should consider submitting anything that is effective student engagement to our Resource Library.
COVID-19 hub resource page: So much innovative practice has emerged in recent months as staff and students have developed and adapted engagement to a digital world. Anything related to the pandemic response should be submitted to our COVID-19 hub’s resources page, which includes sections for everything from adapted surveys to supporting reps to institutional strategies.
Talking Student Engagement: Sometimes staff and students have great personal stories to tell about their work on a particular piece of student engagement practice, research into a dimension of student engagement, or experiences of what makes good partnership. Please volunteer yourself or a colleague if this sounds like a way to highlight a powerful story from an individual perspective. We enjoy hearing from staff and students in different roles within institutions, students’ associations and national agencies, and especially love voices from beyond our sector in Scotland.
Spotlight On…: This is a regular feature of our news articles, which usually contain a short description highlighting a successful initiative in engagement or partnership, with links or contacts to provide more information. It’s a great way of getting a short, snappy overview of your practice shared with a wide audience. To easily find them, search for “Spotlight On” in the search bar on our home page.
Student Engagement Staff Network (SESN): Our regular series of meetings for student engagement practitioners has a major focus on sharing practice – whether a five- or ten-minute presentation or something longer.
National Education Officers’ Network (NEON): Our regular forum for students’ association education officers welcomes presentations and case studies from officers themselves about what they have done in leading student representation and engagement activities in partnership with their institutions.
sparqs conferences and awards: Although disrupted by the pandemic, our biennial national conference and Student Engagement Awards are normally a high-profile opportunity to share practice through either a presentation, workshop or awards nomination. Our conferences usually have attendance in the hundreds, including a strong international presence.
sparqs' publications: From time to time sparqs produces major reports that collate and celebrate effective student engagement activity. These may either be general publications or more specific to one topic or theme. Indeed, we aim to produce a report this year to showcase successful engagement and partnership during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are currently seeking submissions for this (deadline end of March 2021).
For more information about any of these ways of sharing practice, please speak to your key sparqs contact. We would be delighted to help you develop a case study from any ideas you have, and guide you to the most appropriate channel.
There are many other avenues for sharing your practice across our sector outwith sparqs’ opportunities above. These include other agencies’ events and forums, such as the College Development Network’s Virtual Bridge webinars, or the Enhancement Themes activity in universities, both of which regularly showcase student engagement and partnership in their activity.
You may also know of practitioner networks and conferences related to your specialism to which you could consider submitting student engagement practice. We would be delighted to help you with this if we can, for instance in connecting your work to sector policy, sparqs’ ongoing work or comparable activity in other institutions.
Finally, you may wish to submit an article about your practice to one of the academic journals dedicated to student engagement such as the Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal, the Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change and the International Journal for Students as Partners.
Please do contact us to discuss any of the above – or to suggest another platform for sharing that we could add to this list for a future article or webpage!