Student Course Consultant Program: Enhance Your Course Design & Instruction

In an effort to help faculty develop and design courses that are responsive to the variety of student learning and engagement needs and increase overall effectiveness, the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning has trained a team of undergraduate student course consultants. Drawn from the ranks of learning consultants and representing a wide range of concentrations and certificate programs, course consultants work individually with faculty as they think through their course design and instruction. Consultations can focus on a variety of pedagogical decisions including course design, classroom practices, curriculum, assignment design and assessment.

The ultimate aim of these partnerships is to create stronger alignment between learners and the instruction they receive. Instructors can expect to gain a clearer sense of the learning demands of their courses, enhance course coherence and transparency, and pre-empt student difficulties and confusion. 

Student course consultants are available over the summer to partner with instructors as they revamp or re-design their courses—and can continue the partnership into the fall, if faculty wish. Trained in consultation methodology, consultants are non-directive and adapt to the needs and contingencies of individual instructors and their courses. As learning consultants these students have received in-depth training about methods and processes of learning from instruction and bring to discussions a useful conceptual framework for understanding cognitive demands.

Student consultants will share their perspectives as well as their direct experiences and insights and may serve as a sounding board during the design process, providing a student voice and input as faculty request it. The emphasis is less on ‘giving advice’ about course design and pedagogy and more about student consultants who are knowledgeable about learning methods and processes providing thoughtful input on student engagement, learning, and other aspects of their experience that can usefully inform pedagogical decision-making.

Our approach is informed by two innovative, evidence-based programs (See below for more information). We draw from the SaLT model of student-faculty course design collaboration, and utilize TILT tools and resources.

Email Nic Voge, Senior Associate Director, with questions and complete this brief form to request a student course consultant.

Selected Bibliography & Resources:

Pedagogical Partnerships: A How-To Guide for Faculty, Students, and Academic Developers in Higher Education. With Melanie Bahti and Anita Ntem. Elon University Center for Engaged Teaching Open Access Series. (2019). 

Conceptions of students as partners. High Educ76957–971 (2018). Matthews, K.E., Dwyer, A., Hine, L. et al. 

Developing “Students as Learners and Teachers”: Lessons from Ten Years of Pedagogical Partnership that Strives to Foster Inclusive and Responsive Practice. Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change, 4, 1 (2018).

Viewing Teaching and Learning from a New Angle: Student Consultants’ Perspectives on Classroom Practice. With Damon Motz-Storey. College Teaching, 64, 4 (2016), 168-177.

TILT (Transparency in Learning and Teaching) Higher Ed

·       Using a Transparent Framework to Remove Barriers to College Students’ Success (15-min research update and project overview)

·       Designing Transparent Assignments for Equitable Learning Experiences (7-minute research/implementation project overview)

We are learning consultants campaign