Digital technologies for promoting “student voice” and co-creating learning experience in an academic course

Ina Blau, Tamar Shamir-Inbal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


“Student voice” (SV) refers to listening to and valuing students’ views regarding their learning experiences, as well as treating them as equal partners in the evaluation process. This is expected, in turn, to empower students to take a more active role in shaping their learning. This study explores the role played by digital technologies in creating a space for SV in academia. The qualitative study was conducted in an academic course, which combines face-to face, synchronous lessons with a variety of asynchronous self-directed and group learning activities. The participants were 54 Master’s students in education. We analyzed the pedagogical design of the course, as well as interpretations of teaching, learning, assessment, and the role of technology as experienced and presented by the students. The findings demonstrated that students functioned as co-designers of the course content, co-creators of teaching and of their own learning experience. Students perceived the requirements of active learning, teamwork, and community participation (i.e., an advanced way of conveying SV—leadership; Mitra International handbook of student experience in elementary and secondary school, Springer Publishers, The Netherlands, 2007), as both challenges related to overload and stress, and benefits related to the gains of meaningful learning, innovative pedagogical design, and diverse instructional methods. The equalization effect of the digital environment, which diminishes status cues changed the power dynamic, promoted students’ active participation and their pedagogical partnership with the instructor. Based on the findings, our conceptualization of SV and its implications for academia includes: (1) co-design of content, (2) co-teaching, (3) co-creation of learning experience and outcomes, and (4) embedded co-assessment for learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-336
Number of pages22
JournalInstructional Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature.


  • Active participation and engagement
  • Added value of technology and embedded assessment
  • Online equalization effect
  • Student voice as listening, collaboration and leadership
  • Student voice in higher education
  • Students as co-designers of content, teaching, learning and assessment
  • Teamwork and learning community


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