Article review

McDonald, A., McGowan, H., Dollinger, M., Naylor, R., & Khosravi, H. (2021). Repositioning students as co-creators of curriculum for online learning resources. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 37(6), 102-118.

Repositioning students as co-creators of curriculum for online learning resources discusses a pilot implementation of the Recommendation in Personalised Peer Learning Environments (RiPPLE) platform with a large group of first-year health students (n = 2095) studying across multiple locations at La Trobe University. RiPPLE is an online peer learning and recommender platform which allows students to co-create, peer assess and recommend learning resources. The peer assessment component allows students to provide feedback and rate the resources submitted by their peers. Unlike other products designed to improve student online engagement and experience, RiPPLE also supports the co-creation of “any given subject” by both staff and students.

Referencing research on the benefits and barriers of engaging students in the co-creation of content and course delivery, the article argues benefits of co-creating content. It suggests students may experience improved understanding of assessment, more in-depth engagement with learning and increased motivation, engagement and peer learning if engaged in co-creating learning activities or resources. Staff may gain a greater appreciation of students’ needs and points of view as well as the potential to eventually reduce workload. Barriers include discomfort with changes to roles of staff and students and concerns regarding quality of co-created products and potential impacts on time and budget as activities are initially set up.

The authors discuss the features of the RiPPLE platform claiming it goes beyond supporting co-creation by allowing students to peer assess and recommend created resources to one another. Other features include an algorithim which identifies resources requiring academic judgment so staff can manage the integrity of included resources and assess the overall value of the platform use by their students.

After discussing RiPPLE’s features, the study explored ways in which different students in the study engaged with the platform to co-create learning resources, and how these influenced student satisfaction and academic performance. Results suggest students with higher levels of preparation for study at university (those with higher ATAR scores) gained most benefits from RiPPLE and tended to be more likely to use it. The article concludes by indicating a range of implications and recommendations. While focussing on one platform, the article provides some useful insights and points to consider if using peer-learning or co-created content with students.

Review by Dr Ann Luzeckyj

Posted in
Article review

Leave a Reply