Pilot 1 - Georgia Sullivan

“I'm Georgia from Pilot 1. So far we have had one team meeting and divided up some tasks for a lit review and a few other introductory tasks!

So far, Pilot 1 has met twice at Wordsmith's cafe, where we have had productive discussions, drawing from our respective experiences. In the first meeting, we agreed to conduct research into how UQ and other institutions recognise and incentivise student-staff collaboration. We first examined UQ's current incentivization for students and staff. Unfortunately, from the resources examined, we found no focus on partnership between students and staff. Thus, we concluded that significant work will need to be done for the development and structure of student partnership. We continued our research into the methods other institutions may employ. This ensured our research scope, when seeking out the best aims of practice in this area, was widened.

Personally, as a student working with UQ academics and professional staff, this experience has opened my eyes to completely different perspectives. This is particularly important when considering incentivisation (a central factor in our pilot program), as there is no way we could successfully develop a model, or evaluate the existing structure, holistically, if we do not include a sample of student, academic, and professional staff perspectives. Already, I have learned a lot from my peers, and am reassured I will continue to do so.”


Pilot 4 - Yvonne Oberhollenzer

“We had our first community of practice meeting yesterday. Twenty-five staff and students joined us for a discussion about the challenges and opportunities of working in partnership. In particular, we brainstormed strategies related to staff and students working together to negotiate assessment within courses – something that is challenging for both staff (in terms of policy constraints that make it hard to negotiate assessment) and students (who may experience a different approach to teaching and learning than they experience in other courses). I really enjoyed the candid conversations and felt like we’ve started a supportive and fun community who will bring significant expertise to the table as we consider different issues and ideas over the coming months.”

Information about the community of practice is available here.

Comment from Fadia

“Yvonne, I completely agree with you, I found the conversations and ideas really insightful. For me, this first meeting was also a great representation of the commitment that Staff-partners have in relation to SaP. I felt that staff really want to build more meaningful partnerships that authentically contribute to the students’ learning/development (It’s just not a discourse). As a student, it was really nice to see that interest.”


Pilot 8 - Nicholas CarahIMG_7924.jpg

“Filming went well with Pilot 8. We’re creating a ‘platformed’ version of part of our course (a bit like a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)). Students are creating videos by taking ideas from the course and unpacking them in relation to their own media cultures and practices, in a sense helping other students navigate connections between their lives, and uses of media and the ideas in the course (a first year course called Media & Society).”

Below are photos of partners Kirsty, Heather and Bingxi during the shoot. Here they were shooting a video that walked through the individual advertising preferences Facebook assigns, and sells to advertisers.




Pilot 9 - Leanne Coombe

“On reflection...

Our team encountered some significant challenges early on in our project (undertake the evaluation of the other pilot projects). The first of our meetings was consumed with fact-finding and seeking information about the expectations of the evaluation and the focus of the other pilots. On reflecting about this meeting, a team member recognised that one of the staff on the project was involved in multiple pilots, and plays a lead role within the team from ITaLI. This would have potentially created a conflict of interest within their role as an evaluator, and also bringing a unique power dynamic to the team that had ultimately dominated the first meeting.

This issue was raised at the second team meeting and a very robust conversation took place in which all members made thoughtful contributions. As a consequence of this discussion, all agreed there was indeed a conflict of interest, and it was therefore decided that this staff member would not continue as an active team member but would work with the team as and when requested by them to provide an advisory function. The whole discussion was a real indication of the true partnership approach we are all taking here and it was heart-warming to see everyone actively reflecting on the values of partnership.”


Greetings from Pilot 2! 

A team meeting snap of some of the team “up with birds” at 8:00am on a Friday.




Pilot 10 - Bindi Nguyen

“The project is about embedding explicit communication skills into the learning and teaching resources of SCIE1000. By the nature of course redesign work, the team has spent most of their time so far on forming an comprehensive project plan. This meant meeting with SCIE1000 course coordinators and UQ learning designers to: understand what the vision for SCIE1000 is, defining what effective communication is, look at education literature detailing how to best teach communication skills and define the logistical-limits and content-priorities of the project. This long, discussion-heavy process of contextualising the project and distilling it down into action-step milestones is finally over! We are now moving onto the next step: prototyping worksheet and drafting the communication-skills reference material to be placed in the SCIE1000 workbook.

I have learnt a lot from, and have thoroughly enjoyed, coordinating and contributing to meetings featuring experts from different fields who are then coming together to dissect a common vision. I am grateful to be a part of an intensely stimulating project and team!”



Pilot 4 - Yvonne Oberhollenzer

“We had our second community of practice meeting today with even more students and staff than last time! We had great conversations about how UQ leaders perceive partnership and we brainstormed ideas for how to develop and refine the proposed ‘Students as Partners’ program for next year.”

For a summary of the 2nd UQ SAP Community of Practice meeting please click here.


Comment from Sophie Blatcher

“This was my first Community of Practice meeting. Although I couldn’t stay for the whole duration, I found it very engaging and relevant to my personal experience as a student partner. It was also interesting to hear from other student partners, and staff, about their specific pilot experiences. As Zarese and I work as a duo, with me frequently working independently, it was a reminder that group projects can often face many more challenges, especially when working around each others’ schedules.”




Pilot 4 - Fadia Khouri Saavedra


Community of Practice meeting 3 student panel

Fadia reflecting on the third and final Community of Practice meeting:

“It was a terrific semester, full of amazing stories, great activities, and fun! We have all created a wonderful community together that will keep enhancing our partnerships and contribute to building a strong network of student and staff partners at UQ. Enjoy the meeting notes, Sybilla’s presentation and the holidays.”

For a summary of meeting 3 please click here.

Read the presentation on Intentional Peer Support and Storytelling here.

Yvonne Oberhollenzer and Fadia Khouri Saavedra posing after a successful Community of Practice meeting 3, and teams brainstorm together during the meeting.