Most students in Human Kinetics would agree there is one class that truly awakens them and opens their eyes to the challenge that is university: Dr. Andrews’ anatomy class. All students in our partnership had been enrolled in the course, but we did not know at the time that we would be a part of a group that would collaborate with Dr. Andrews to develop lab activities for his course. The approach that has been utilized here is becoming more widespread: the students as partners approach. A study conducted by Green (2019), states that students as partners challenges the notion that students simply consume knowledge, but rather, they are viewed as co-producers of knowledge. Below, group members highlight certain experiences from the partnership.
Kalina: My favorite part of the experience was presenting at the STLHE conference. Our advisor let us take the lead, allowing us to create the proposal and develop the presentation. It was my first experience at an academic forum of this caliber which allowed me to see how much work goes into the research process. We also submitted our findings from this project to a journal, where I was able to see how the peer-review process works, as well as all the effort that goes into having a paper published. The paper has now been accepted for publication, which is very exciting because most of us are still doing our undergraduate degree and will now graduate as published authors. Overall, the best part of this experience has been forming relationships with group members, as well as working with our supervisor. I’ve been able to collaborate with some great students to make meaningful contributions to higher education.
Bradley: Working firsthand with faculty as students as partners to develop curricula pulled away the mysterious curtain that shrouded the seemingly secret pursuit of developing and implementing the most effective version of course content for an Undergraduate level course. Frequently we had to move on the fly to make alterations to the content to adjust for unforeseen obstacles. The amount of time and thought that went into making these decisions was always greater than I anticipated. Whenever one problem was solved two more would appear. The perspective change from when I was the student in the class, to when I was collaborating with my supervisor to improve the course, is perhaps the greatest change I experienced from working as students as partners.
Emma: As a second-year undergraduate student in the Human Kinetics program, I loved learning from the outstanding faculty and more senior students. They have been incredibly welcoming and supportive of my academic development. My favourite aspect has been collaborating on our most recent project. I believe that this initiative is very important and will have a significant impact on students. I am eager to continue to work on this project and am grateful to Dr. Dave Andrews for being an incredible mentor to us all.
Robbie: Throughout the partnership, I enjoyed working to find solutions to problems as we encountered them, as it gave me an opportunity to grow as an individual. With the bulk of my contribution to the partnership being communicated electronically, it was necessary to maneuver the technology to produce my best possible work. I am very grateful for the opportunity to have learned from teaching professionals and fellow students, and I am excited to continue my growth as a team member across numerous contexts.
Megan: Personally, this partnership has been nothing but a great experience. First, an aspect of the partnership that greatly contributed to its success was the level of comfort within the faculty-student relationship. Dr. Andrews ensures all students he collaborates with feel valued, respected, and comfortable. He is also very considerate of our courses and responsibilities and is constantly checking up on us. Moreover, given that the group consisted of individuals that were all studious and very passionate for anatomy, we collaborated very well. Through this partnership, not only was I able to obtain great research experience, but I was also able to cultivate friendships along the way.
Green, W. (2019). Engaging “Students as Partners” in global learning: Some possibilities and provocations. Journal of Studies in International Education, 23(1), 10–29. https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315318814266
Emma Drouillard is an undergraduate student in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Windsor. She is interested in anatomy as she wants to be a physiotherapist. As a student in the Outstanding Scholars program, she has assisted in the development of diverse anatomy images as a part of the Human Anatomy Instructional Practices Project.
Kalina Georgieva is an undergraduate student in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Windsor. She is interested in research in anatomy curriculum development, and as an Outstanding Scholars student, has contributed to designing anatomy lab activities and developing curricula for first-year Kinesiology students.
Bradley D. Mangham is an undergraduate student in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Windsor. He is an Outstanding Scholar with research interests in anatomy instruction and education.
Megan Murtagh is an undergraduate student in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Windsor. She is an Outstanding Scholar who has experience designing anatomy course and lab curricula for both face-to-face and online delivery to first-year Kinesiology students.
Robert Oates is an undergraduate student in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Windsor, where he has developed anatomy lab activities for first-year students in collaboration with faculty and peers.