Teaching Tuesdays@CSU

Teaching Tips & Links for SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING

Issue 79 - The Co-Creation Buzz

November 26, 2019

Co-creation is a many-faceted concept in higher education. It can refer to cross-disciplinary course and subject design, with or without student involvement or it can refer to student-teacher and student-student learning design and delivery. This week’s bulletin focuses on the latter.

Bovill et al. (2016) suggest that “one way to conceptualise co-creation is occupying the space in between student engagement and partnership, to suggest a meaningful collaboration between students and staff, with students becoming more active participants in the learning process, constructing understanding and resources with academic staff.”

Our first article provides an example of one approach using student-led lessons. The second article links to an in-depth article on the theories supporting co-creation of learning. A third article is based on one concept of co-created assessment.

This week's topics:

  1. Student-led Lessons Rather than Student Presentations

  2. Co-creation and Curriculum Frameworks
  3. Assessment Co-creation

See below for details of Professional Learning opportunities this week at Charles Sturt University.


1. Student-led Lessons Rather than Student Presentations

By Perry Shaw

Source: https://www.teachingprofessor.com/topics/teaching-strategies/active-learning/student-led-lessons-rather-than-student-presentations/

Reading time: 1 minute (3 minutes for original article).

QUOTE: “The problem is that while the student presenters learn much, in most cases the presentations are something of a purgatory for the remainder of the class.”

Dr Shaw outlines an example of his learning-oriented lesson design that involves teams of students in ‘non-lecture’ lesson design.


  • Length is approximately 45 minutes.
  • Must not be in the form of a lecture.
  • Use strategies to engage classmates with the content.
  • Team to discuss lesson plan with lecturer ahead of the class.
  • All team members involved in development and leading the class.


  • Introduce the issue – no more than three minutes.
  • Break the class into small groups of no more than four students and provide succinct and relevant literature – 20 minutes.
  • Conduct a forum for each group to defend their perspective – 10 minutes.
  • Present a brief case study related to the topic – 10 minutes.
  • Concluding remarks.

The first use of this technique requires guidance and scaffolding but Dr Shaw’s experience is that students quickly embrace and adapt to this mode of learning.


  • Deep embrace of the content.
  • Growth in student ability to communicate and development of perspective-taking skills.
  • Training in teamwork.
  • Student creativity approaches to teaching.
  • More learning, engagement and enjoyment for students and teacher.

Note: this technique can be adapted for the online environment, for example in synchronous Adobe Connect sessions that utilise break-out rooms for each group.

The PROFESSIONAL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES AND RESOURCES section below has details about how to get FREE access to our Magna Publications quality Learning & Teaching resources subscription.


2. Co-creation and Curriculum Frameworks

Source: Bovill, C., & Woolmer, C. (2019). How conceptualisations of curriculum in higher education influence student-staff co-creation in and of the curriculum. Higher Education, 78(3), 407-422. doi: 10.1007/s10734-018-0349-8 (approx. 7000 words – 25 minutes reading time).

Reading time: 2 minutes

I have included this paper for those of you who would like to explore a more in-depth academic approach to the subject of co-creation.

The authors discuss the concepts of co-creation of the curriculum and co-creation in the curriculum. They build on their own research and reference four key curriculum theoretical frameworks.

Their definitions are supported with examples from different institutions:

Co-creation of the curriculum - “co-design of a programme or course, usually before the programme or course takes place

Co-creation in the curriculum - “co-design of learning and teaching within a course or programme usually during the course or programme

The frameworks

  1. Constructive alignment (Biggs, 1996)
  2. Academic staff definitions of curriculum (Fraser and Bosanquet, 2006)
  3. Knowing, acting and being (Barnett and Coate, 2005)
  4. What counts as valid knowledge and ‘framing’ (Bernstein, 1975, 2000).

They explore the question “How do curricular conceptualisations influence co-creation?” with reference to these four frameworks.

Under the heading “Theory into practice: the importance of context”, the authors then explore the utility of these frameworks in a range of contexts. The table associated with this section provides a handy cross-reference of the focus, benefits and challenges of applying these frameworks.

QUOTE: “Academic staff who consider the curriculum in terms of Fraser and Bosanquet’s category D or in terms of Barnett and Coate’s balance between developing knowing, acting and being, are perhaps best placed to conceive of co-created curriculum possibilities, because students are considered integral to the curriculum process and to knowledge co-creation.”

QUOTE from the conclusion: “Where staff are new to the idea of co-creation, it may be wise to take small steps towards co-creating the curriculum in the first instance (Cook-Sather et al., 2014).”


There is an extensive reference list accompanying this article. I have only included the ones referenced in this brief summary. Also, check out the 12 articles in the reference list that are co-authored by Bovill & Woolmer, the authors of the article.

Barnett, R. & Coate, K. (2005). Engaging the curriculum in higher education. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Bernstein, B. (1975). Class, codes and control: towards a theory of educational transmission. London: Routledge.

Bernstein, B. (2000). Pedagogy, symbolic control and identity: theory, research, critique. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Biggs, J. (1996). Enhancing teaching through constructive alignment. Higher Education, 32(3), 347–364.

Cook-Sather, A., Bovill, C. & Felten, P. (2014). Engaging students as partners in learning and teaching: a guide for faculty. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Fraser, S., & Bosanquet, A. (2006). The curriculum? That’s just a unit outline, isn’t it? Studies in Higher Education, 31(3), 269–284.


3. Assessment co-creation

Source: Doyle, E., Buckley, P., & Whelan, J. (2019). Assessment co-creation: an exploratory analysis of opportunities and challenges based on student and instructor perspectives. Teaching in Higher Education, 24(6), 739-754. doi: 10.1080/13562517.2018.1498077 (approx. 7000 words – 25 minutes reading time).

Reading time: 2 minutes

This paper discusses the outcomes and conclusions of investigations into student-created assessment questions in a tax subject. The background information includes literature analysis of the constructivist perspective in co-creation (see the quote above in today’s introductory paragraph).

Some of the suggested forms of co-creation include “student involvement in evaluating course content and learning and teaching processes; redesigning the content of courses; researching learning and teaching; undertaking disciplinary research; designing assessments such as essay questions or choosing between different assessment methods; and grading their own and others’ work (Bovill et al. 2016).”

“Some of the key benefits identified in the literature include:

  • enhanced student engagement, motivation and learning;
  • enhanced meta-cognitive awareness and a stronger sense of identity;
  • enhanced teaching and classroom experiences;
  • enhanced student-staff relationships and
  • the development of a range of graduate attributes (Cook-Sather, Bovill, and Felten 2014).”

Concerns about student involvement in assessment include whether students should have a role in assessment at all and consideration of external accreditation requirements. The added complexity of introducing co-creation of assessment formed the motivation for the study reported in this paper.

The study was based on a summative ‘assessment for learning’ approach that involved groups of students developing multiple choice questions (MCQs) in response to each of the topics within a third-year undergraduate tax subject. The detailed assessment design is included in the paper. Reference material on the use of MCQs for assessment and effective design of MCQs for deep learning is also included.

The majority of students reported that the exercises assisted their understanding of the topics. Most enjoyed the assignment and agreed with its weighting within the subject. The bank of questions developed were useful as a study tool for students. Students appreciated the relevance, creativity and utility of the process. Lack of clarity around the task description reinforced the need to adequately scaffold these new types of assessment procedures, provide clear and adequate instructions and provide useful feedback, always good pedagogical practice.

The subject instructors considered that the assessment task was effective in promoting learning with an improvement in grades compared to previous cohorts. Increases in workload were largely related to the lack of clarity around assessment instructions and scaffolding, also identified by the students and able to be addressed with the aid of educational designers and other colleagues.

In conclusion, the authors found that the assessment co-creation technique was a useful pedagogical tool that allowed the ongoing creation of up-to-date assessment tasks in the evolving taxation environment.


Bovill, C., A. Cook-Sather, P. Felten, L. Millard, and N. Moore-Cherry. 2016. “Addressing Potential Challenges in Co-Creating Learning and Teaching: Overcoming Resistance, Navigating Institutional Norms and Ensuring Inclusivity in Student–Staff Partnerships.” Higher Education 71 (2): 195–208.

Cook-Sather, A., C. Bovill, and P. Felten. (2014). Engaging Students as Partners in Learning and Teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.


Implementing the CSU Value INSIGHTFUL in your teaching.

In living the value of Insightful we act respectfully and perceptively to seek to understand why people think and behave in the ways that they do. Through an open-minded approach we reveal people's underlying attitudes, beliefs and motivations. An insightful approach means we remove ambiguity, we are each clear and agreed about our goals and actions, and we better position ourselves for success.


Monday Morning Mentor

The highly popular Monday Morning Mentor Fall (USA) series is on again. Charles Sturt University staff who have accessed these webinars have enjoyed the topics and the format of these 20-minute video presentations.

The next topic is titled

How Do I Design Effective Combinations of Gamified Elements to Encourage Deeper Learning?

It becomes available on November 26 (AEST).

Access details will be published in What's New and on Yammer.

Staff with a Charles Sturt Magna Publications login can access the webinar directly from their Mentor Commons account.

Alternatively, contact

Ellen McIntyre emcintyre@csu.edu.au


Follow Teaching Tuesdays on Twitter.
Our Twitter feed includes links to further hints, tips and resources in the broader field of teaching in higher education.



1....Teaching support resources at Charles Sturt
2....Links to previous bulletins

3....Professional Learning at Charles Sturt
4....Bonus resource - LinkedIn Learning

5....Magna Publications Subscriptions


1. Teaching support resources at Charles Sturt

You have access to a range of quality CSU resources to help you incorporate educational resources and techniques into your teaching. Check out the following:


2. Links to previous bulletins

Charles Sturt University Learning & Teaching Newsletters

Division of Learning and Teaching: DLT News

FoBJBS Newsletter: BJBS-News

FoA&E Newsletter: NeXus

Click below to download a list of Teaching Tuesdays@CSU topics

4. Bonus resource - LinkedIn Learning

All Charles Sturt University students and staff members have access to LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com). This online subscription library provides high-quality instructional videos with the latest business, creative and software skills and an extensive range of teaching tips.

NOTE: All Charles Sturt University Lynda.com accounts were transferred to LinkedIn Learning accounts on July 8.Watch introductory videos for LinkedIn Learning from the links in Issue 64 of Teaching Tuesdays@CSU.


5. Magna Publications Subscriptions

All staff with a Charles Sturt email address have FREE access to our subscription to these high quality learning and teaching resources.

Video seminars: Mentor Commons (20 minutes) and Magna Commons (40-90 minutes) also include the presentation handouts, full transcripts and supplementary resources that are available for download if you don't have time to listen to the seminar.

Text-based resources: The Teaching Professor (for teaching staff) and Academic Leader (for those in academic and administration leadership roles).

How to subscribe: There is a single Charles Sturt subscription code to access all four of these resources. Staff with a Charles Sturt University login can obtain the code and subscription instructions from this What's New link.

Alternatively, contact:

Ellen McIntyre elmcintyre@csu.edu.au or

Matthew Larnach mlarnach@csu.edu.au


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Teaching Tuesdays@CSU Contacts

Learning Academy, Division of Learning & Teaching, Charles Sturt University

Teaching Tuesdays@CSU bulletins are edited by Ellen McIntyre
Lecturer, Academic Development in the Learning Academy at Charles Sturt University

Kogi Naidoo

Dr Kogi Naidoo, FHERDSA and PFHEA, is Associate Professor and Director of the Learning Academy, Division of Learning and Teaching at Charles Sturt University, playing a strategic role contributing to and enhancing teaching, the curriculum and assessment practice, meeting both staff and student needs.