Tensions of student voice in higher education : Involving students in degree programme curricula design
Tuhkala, Ari; Ekonoja, Antti; Hämäläinen, Raija (2020). Tensions of student voice in higher education : Involving students in degree programme curricula design. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, Early online. DOI: 10.1080/14703297.2020.1763189
Published inInnovations in Education and Teaching International
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This paper considers the direct involvement of students in degree programme curricula design, specifically four computer science teacher students designing new curricula for the Faculty of Information Technology of the University of Jyväskylä. They participated in a project to make recommendations for the 2017–2020 master’s and bachelor’s programme curricula. We examined how these recommendations were implemented in the new curricula and what hindered student voice. The project led to major changes: making basic studies in mathematics optional, adding three new courses, and defining new learning goal descriptions for two master’s programmes. Several factors hindered student voice: insufficient perceived expertise, doubts about project significance, negative attitudes towards student involvement, and lack of personal interest. Hence, despite the project leading to considerable changes, the students themselves expressed rather critical attitudes towards student involvement in curriculum design. Consequently, promoting student voice in higher education curricula design is a more tensioned phenomenon than has been discussed in earlier research. ...