Adult Education Academy

    Group 5

    Comparative Group 5: Students’ voice as teaching and learning methods in higher education and assessment

    students’ centered, methods, participatory learning environment, assessment

    The comparative group work will be developed under ‘student’s voice’ perspective that has found its roots within the English and American contexts (Czerniawski & Kidd, 2011; Flutter & Rudduck, 2004; Rudduck & McIntyre, 2007). The core of this new educational vision is related to the recognition of the important contribute given by students to the improvement of the teaching and learning process, and policies as well (Cook-Sather, 2009). Rethinking the role of the students within educational contexts means to recognize the collective contribution of diverse students’ presence, participation, and power in the processes of planning, and research (Cook-Sather, 2002; 2006). Cook-Sather (2014) explored ‘rights’ and ‘respect’ through students’ voice perspective, underling that ‘If a rights framework is not combined with genuine respect for all parties involved and intentional structures to support collective action by adults and young people, which includes student empowerment, then the result can be empty rhetoric—claims not acted on in practice?’(p.134). Putting into practice this perspective based on students’ voices, rights, and power, improve teaching and learning methods, generate democratic learning environment (Grion, 2013), empowering students as responsible agents of their own learning process also through their active participation within the assessment process (Fielding, 2012).

    The expected learning outcomes of this CGW is related to the development of awareness in the participants of new learning environments; the comparison of policies and of the levels of adoption of students’ voice perspective in the different countries with the consequent impact on the innovation of teaching and learning methods, and assessment system.

    Comparative research question

    1. How do policies support students’ participation within teaching and learning process?
    2. How higher education institutions encourage students’ participation in the university’s life, and decision making processes?
    3. Are there specific university’s project /actions in which students are usually involved?
    4. What is the role of students in the teaching and learning process?
    5. How do teachers encourage students to participate in the teaching, learning, and assessment process?
    6. What is the pedagogical approach of didactics at university?
    7. What are the characteristics of assessment culture?

    Context of comparison

    1. Different policies at national and local universities level
    2. Different theoretical approaches to investigate the didactical approaches in different countries.
    3. State of the art of teaching and learning methods, and the role of students in assessment system according to student’s voice perspective, at the universities involved. They will be investigated through some narrative interviews

    Categories of comparison (selection for the transnational essay is based on participants research interests)

    1. educational policies: Which national or universities policies to support student’s participation?
    2. pedagogical teachers approach: From which pedagogical approach teachers’ didactics is guided? It usually has a strong impacts on the roles of teaching and learning actors, and on the didactics and practices;
    3. the role of students in the learning, teaching and evaluation system: Which is the role of students within the formal contexts of learning? What is the level of innovation and the level of democracy within the learning environment?


    Cook-Sather, A. (2006). Sound, presence, and power: Exploring ‘student voice’ in educational research and reform. Curriculum Inquiry, 36 (4), 359– 390.

    Cook-Sather, A. (2014). The trajectory of student voice in educational research. New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 49(2), 131.

    Boud (2000). Sustainable Assessment: Rethinking Assessment for Learning Society. Studies in Continuing Education, 22(2), 151-167.

    Fielding, M. (2001). Students as radical agents of change. Journal of educational change, 2(2), 123-141.

    Fielding, M. (2012). Beyond student voice: patterns of partnership and the demands of deep democracy. Revista de Educación,359,45-56.

    Grion, V. (2014). Meanings of 'student voice' in Italy: Emerging experiences and practices. Connect, (207), 19.

    Mitra, D. (2011). Student participation. Oxford Bibliographies in Education .

    http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo- 9780199756810/obo-9780199756810-0066.xml?rskey=GDptnG&result=75&q

    Rudduck, J., & McIntyre, D. (2007). Improving learning through consulting pupils. London: Routledge.


    Prof. Monica Fedeli, Universitá di Padova, ITALY

    Her main research interests are: organizational development, and human resources management, teaching and learning methods in higher education and in non formal and informal settings. Work-related teaching and learning. Since 2008 (when she started her tenure track at University of Padua) she has been having an active role in several national and international projects: projects on lifelong learning, apprenticeship and employability, junior research fellowships for skills mapping, ESF projects on non-formal skills validation; faculty development and students voice in Higher Education.

    Prof. Valentina Grion, Universitá di Padova, Italy

    Prof. Valentina Grion received her PhD in education in December 2008. Her main research interests are: assessment and evaluation, as well as pre- and in-service teacher education, online education and Student Voice. She is currently holding a position as Researcher and Assistant Professor in Experimental Pedagogy at the Faculty of Education, University of Padua, Itlz. In the past academic years she has been a Visiting Scholar at the Centre of Education and Research in the School of Education at the University of Northampton, UK, Universidade do Estado do Rio De Janeiro, Brasil, Faculty of Education in the University of Cambridge, UK and Université de Cergy-Pontoise, France.

    Co-Moderation: Concetta Tino, Universitá di Padova, ITALY

    Her main research interests are: teachers professional development; work-Related learning as programme on which education and workplace build their partnership; the development of competences  for students within work-related learning experiences.