Journal Article


Increasing student voice and empowerment through technology: Not just listening to the voice of the learner but using their digital capabilities to benefit a whole college community

Abstract

Perceived as fostering democracy in educational institutions, approaches which encourage student voice are being promoted as supporting greater social equalities and strengthening student’s commitment to their learning. Using student voice as a research theme, facilitated through focus groups, research funded by Jisc set out to hear learner views and explore their digital preferences when learning in a vocational context. The aim of this research was to enhance digital student practice by exploring how learners experience, use and wish to work, in a technology rich environment. A literature review was undertaken to inform the research findings which revealed a lack of research on student voice in the FE sector. This article goes some way to address that deficit and focuses on innovative practice, discovered by serendipity, that went beyond the tenets usually described in the literature on student voice. Using a Case study approach this article reports on work underway in one FE Institution where students have been appointed as ‘DigiPals’ and given a key role to embed the use of digital technologies into student and staff practice. Two theoretical lenses namely those focused on technology and the other on student voice are applied to explore innovative practice. The community of Digi-Pal practice is described and recommendations made for further adoption across the FE and Skills sector.

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Authors

Browne, Elizabeth
Kellsey, Deborah

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences\School of Education

Dates

Year of publication: 2018
Date of RADAR deposit: 2018-06-14



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