Students as Partners in Teaching

by Alison Maloney

In 2023, in a postgraduate accounting course, characterised by dense content and diverse student demographics, Elizabeth Marsland – lecturer and practicing CPA – sought to bridge the gap between theory and practice, providing students with accessible resources to navigate complex accounting problems.

Recognising the limitations inherent in traditional online teaching methods, Elizabeth used her Echo360 e3 tech grant to delve into the realm of dialogue-videos, where she created ‘worked example’ videos, physically sitting side by side with students as they worked through tasks, and discussing where they were making errors and how to resolve them.

To avoid any ethics challenges raised by the University, Elizabeth partnered with students from the previous year, leveraging their insights and experiences to create engaging and relevant content. Other educators have also been looking at dialogue style in their videos with Nugraha et al. (2023) reporting that ‘…with a dialogue between a tutor/teacher and a tutee student. The presence of the tutee and dialogues provide cues that enable the observer student to pay more attention to the video.’

Said Elizabeth, “at the heart of the project lay a commitment to student-centered learning. By working with past students, I aimed to create worked example videos that resonated with the current cohort. This collaborative approach not only enriched the learning experience but also fostered a sense of community and belonging among learners.”

To some, this might sound like a lot of work, however Elizabeth says “I’m almost embarrassed how little time I put into this project: we’re probably looking about 7 hours to produce these 12 videos. And now I’ve got this lovely resource that I can keep adding to.”

Central to the success of the project was the incorporation of interactive elements, such as dialogue between participants and embedded polls in the final recordings. These features of EchoVideo not only facilitated active engagement but also provided valuable feedback to students, enabling them to assess their understanding and track their progress effectively

The impact of the worked example videos was profound, with students praising their accessibility, step-by-step approach, and ability to reinforce key concepts. Students perceived that these videos enabled them to learn more efficiently and saved them time. 

Feedback revealed a significant improvement in exam performance among students who engaged with the videos and participated in the polls.

There were also unexpected benefits for Elizabeth: a reduction in workload with not a single request for review meeting before exams as students felt they had what they needed at their fingertips, and the built-in polls allowed them to test their own knowledge; and an opportunity to reconnect with past students and share their lived experience with current students. In fact, current students also asked to be considered for the next round of worked example videos so they could support Elizabeth’s upcoming cohorts of students.

By harnessing the power of technology and collaborative learning, Elizabeth feels that she was able to create a more holistic educational experience that empowered students to succeed in both their academic and professional endeavours. 

The success of the worked example video project is testament to the potential of innovative teaching methods to transform education. As educators we must continue to embrace new approaches and leverage technology to create engaging and impactful learning experience for our students. Other innovative educators with great ideas you might find inspiring include;