Be Here, Be Heard: Enabling and Representing Student Voice and Agency

Nira Rahman, Wajeehah Aayeshah – University of Melbourne

Be Here, Be Heard (BHBH) is an on-going student voice and agency project embedded within the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne. This project recognises that student engagement sits within a broader transformative learning pedagogical context. This initiative builds on and extends the experiential nature of student engagement and representation of student voice.

The central objective of BHBH is to include and incorporate student voice to provide student views and insights into diverse learning environments. It also steers the conversation to a solution-oriented approach towards challenges and issues by the students leading to the improvement in pedagogical practices. All of which encourage students to take lead for co-designing student experience and assessing teaching and learning as a reflective process. It supports collaborations between academic staff and students in terms of developing teaching and learning practices.

In this presentation two academics from Arts Teaching Innovation (ATI) along with two students will showcase how BHBH is conducted to bring positive changes, developments, inclusions, and advancements in Arts teaching and learning. This will also include how these academics assist students by providing them a safe space for their discussions and enabling subsequent communications with other faculty members while participating students decide the narrative, and the theme of discussions. Since it started in 2019, it has enabled and ensured student engagement in the teaching and learning settings. Therefore, this presentation will also provide how student voice and agency contributes to meaningful student engagement and experience.