The Student Experience Brought to You by … Students!

This is a reposting of an article about our Student Experience Lab in the New England Journal of Higher Education. Written by Student Experience Lab Director Chris Flanagan, the article details our yearlong design studio with Utah State University. 

Why students should play a designer role in the creation of new (and better!) school experiences.

Choosing a school is only the first step in planning an academic career. After making a selection, students must match interests and passions with an academic program and make important decisions about which courses to take and when to take them. Yet many students struggle with these choices and have little knowledge of the long-term consequences of their decisions.

Often, students have limited information about how elective courses or extracurricular activities fit with their chosen majors and/or programmatic or personal objectives. Many are frustrated that work-based or extracurricular learning is not counted or credited. Upon graduation, many have no idea how to represent the competencies and capabilities they’ve gained, and potential employers have little to go on in assessing candidates.

So what changes must be made to allow for a coherent and goal-focused educational experience for students?

This was the problem statement and design challenge presented to a group of undergraduate students, ranging from freshmen to graduating seniors, at Utah State University (USU) in January 2011.

Guess what? They solved the challenge and then some.

Student voice gets a makeover

What if we put students in the driver’s seat of a new kind of R&D to transform higher education? One that provided a platform for engaging students more fully in a real world effort that also involved faculty, administrators, support services and more? Could we improve a student’s education experience? Could we take it a step further and transform higher education itself? ...Continue article

What's happening at BIF? Get updates by email.