The student advocate: providing a student voice and catalysing the adopting of reflective practices

Ian Jamie, Sharon Fraser, Caroline Haklani

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The Student Advocate program attempts to both strengthen the voice of students and to increase the engagement with reflective practice by staff. The method has similarities to both Peer Assisted Learning and Peer Observation in that a senior student attends lectures in a junior unit. The role of the senior student, the Student Advocate, is to speak on behalf of the students in the lecture, to gather opinions from the students concerning their learning experience, and to take this information to the staff involved in the unit to provide timely feedback on their teaching practices. Having a student gather comments may allow more candid feedback to be obtained than might otherwise be the case. In addition, having a person other than the lecturer gather the feedback reduces the effort required by the lecturer and therefore makes the uptake of reflective practices as easy as possible. This project is being evaluated in a 100-level Chemistry subject. The outcomes to date suggest that while this system has some benefits, the cost-to-benefit ratio is not sufficiently favourable to warrant a large-scale implementation of it. However, in conjuction with other schemes, such as Peer-Assisted Learning, the Student Advocate scheme may prove to be useful.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCelebrating teaching at Macquarie
Place of PublicationNorth Ryde, NSW
PublisherMacquarie University
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)1864087935
Publication statusPublished - 2002
EventCelebrating Teaching at Macquarie - Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 28 Nov 200229 Nov 2002


ConferenceCelebrating Teaching at Macquarie
CityMacquarie University, Sydney, Australia

Bibliographical note

Publisher PDF allowed as per publisher agreement.


  • student learning
  • reflective practice
  • peer assisted learning
  • peer observation


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