Students as Partners is a hot topic in the area of teaching innovation which aims to break down the traditional role of teachers and students to allow the formation of true partnerships, shaping education inside and outside of the classroom.

Imogen McNamara and Michelle Huckel (both 3rd year students) have been involved with various Students as Partners activities at the Waite over the last couple of years. Imogen has capitalised on her skills of video editing and production to partner with two academic staff, Kerry Wilkinson and Beth Loveys, to co-create new learning resources for future students. Both Michelle and Imogen are part of the inaugural cohort of student peer mentors. They have helped an academic staff member, Beth Loveys, to create a student centred peer mentor program to support their peers.

Imogen and Michelle were invited to attend the Students as Partner Roundtable in Brisbane to share their experiences of working with staff to create curriculum, build a peer support network and build confidence in undertaking research as an undergraduate.

Imogen commented:  “The students as Partners Conference highlighted to me the amazing things, both in teaching and research, which can be achieved when teachers and students are united to conquer a common goal. It was great to be invited to be a guest student panellist and share some of my experiences and ideas along with the success we have had here at Waite with the wider national and international Students as Partners community.”

The highlight of the Students as Partners Roundtable conference for Imogen, Michelle and Beth was the key note address by Dr Catherine Bovill who gave her whole presentation without using slides or any other visual aids! Michelle and Imogen presented a poster on the role that relationship building plays in building confidence in student’s ability to conduct authentic research. There was plenty of opportunity for sharing ideas and learning how other universities are getting involved with Students as Partners projects.

Michelle remarked: “Attending the Students as Partners conference was a great opportunity to appreciate that University culture is changing with students having the opportunity to be more involved.”

The International Students as Partners Roundtable will be held at The University of Adelaide July 10th-12th 2019. For more information visit:

Michelle, Beth and Imogen (L to R) presented a poster in Brisbane about the importance of staff- student relationship building in developing student confidence in their ability to conduct research

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