Student experience


In this invited commentary, we offer three principles to anchor understanding of student voice in university teaching and learning. Encompassing related concepts and practices, the principles we offer support a shift in (1) attitude toward, (2) structures for, and (3) goals of teaching and learning. In our introduction, we provide a short history of the concept of student voice and our reason for using the notion of anchoring to argue for embracing its practice. In the main body of our commentary, we share expanded reflections on what each of the three principles might look like in practice, grounded in examples and selected scholarship. We conclude with an invitation to continued dialogue about this work.

Practitioner Notes

  1. Student voice is always a relational and humanising practice premised on respect for lived experiences and related understandings.
  2. There are many ways to describe and approach student voice, including through engaging students as partners, pedagogical partnership, co-creation, and other forms of collaboration and co-design.
  3. Student voice involves thinking differently about the role of students in teaching and learning practices—it provokes teacher reflectivity and re-framing of their role.
  4. As an anchoring innovation, student voice maintains a strong focus on student participation in and contribution to learning, teaching, and assessment.
  5. A renewed understanding of student voice provides a humanising and relational value proposition for higher education during ongoing disruptions (e.g., generative AI, growing inequality).