Teaching Matters

PS5 R5 Students as Partners: Lessons from student perspectives during COVID-19

Back to program

Teaching Matters 2020 | Presentation Details | 1 December 20201 Dec 2020


Students as Partners: Lessons from student perspectives during COVID-19


  • Matthew Knox, Academic Division*
  • Clayton J Hawkins, University College*
  • Samuel Wilson, Division of the Chief Operating Officer



Presentation Type

Showcase Presentation


Room 5




Higher Education is in a state of flux. The heavily nuanced impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic threatens the quality of learning, teaching and research with many institutions responding with a rapid digitalisation of procedures (Butler-Henderson et al., 2020; Crawford at al., 2020). Academic leadership is currently crucial, and researchers across the world are collaborating online to present innovative ways to combat the challenges presented (Fernandez & Shaw, 2020). Preliminary research into the specific impacts on students calls for a targeted and considered response; although this response seems to be missing one crucial perspective, the students.

Collaborating less and socialising entirely online, this new student experience affects psychological wellbeing drastically; promoting the question as to how online studies impacts students (Elmer et al., 2020). So far, this impact has only been addressed once from the student perspective; measuring levels of anxiety in relation to social and economic factors (Cao et al., 2020). The aim of this presentation is to showcase student perspectives; and it draws upon current work addressing the current lack of student representation through collective self-ethnographies from students in Tasmania and Singapore, as well the collaborative processes behind the University of Tasmania’s University College innovative assessment methods. We adopt the Students as Partners approach; a collaborative process that fosters reciprocal relationships wherein students and academics work together to address the processes they share (Mercer-Mapstone, 2020). The findings from our study provide a snapshot of how institutionalised responses impact students’ motivations to learn, explore new opportunities, and flourish.


Butler-Henderson, K., Crawford, J., Rudolph, J., Lalani, K., & Sabu, K. M. (2020). COVID-19 in Higher Education Literature Database (CHELD V1): An open access systematic literature review database with coding rules. Journal of Applied Learning & Teaching, 3(2), 1-6. https://doi.org/10.37074/jalt.2020.3.2.11

Cao, W., Fang, Z., Hou, G., Han, M., Xu, X., Dong, J., & Zheng, J. (2020). The psychological impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on college students in China. Psychiatry research, https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2020.112934

Crawford, J., Butler-Henderson, K., Rudolph, J., Malkawi, B., Glowatz, M., Burton, R., ... & Lam, S. (2020). COVID-19: 20 countries' higher education intra-period digital pedagogy responses. Journal of Applied Learning & Teaching, 3(1), 1-20. https://doi.org/10.37074/jalt.2020.3.1.7

Elmer, T., Mepham, K., & Stadtfeld, C. (2020). Students under lockdown: Comparisons of students’ social networks and mental health before and during the COVID-19 crisis in Switzerland. Plos one15(7).

Fernandez, A., & Shaw, G. (2020). Academic Leadership in a Time of Crisis: The Coronavirus and COVID‐19. Journal of Leadership Studies, 14(1), 39-45. https://dx.doi.org/10.1002%2Fjls.21684

Mercer-Mapstone, L. (2020). The student–staff partnership movement: striving for inclusion as we push sectorial change. International Journal for Academic Development25(2), 121-133.

Back to program