The Co-creation of Exam Support: Students as partners in the research, planning, design and quality assurance of learning resources.

Nicola Jane Grayson, Jennie Blake, Megan Stock


This case study outlines the role of students as partners in the co-creation of workshops for the University of Manchester Library’s award-winning ‘My Learning Essentials’ (MLE) skills programme. It focuses on a new workshop – developed, piloted and delivered in 2017 and called ’Academic Writing for Exams’ – and situates it within the context of the wider MLE programme. The process of developing new workshops is outlined, to illustrate how student members of staff (the Library Student Team) contribute to the creation of new learning resources. The study reveals the extent of the Library’s partnership with students, in relation to researching the topic area, producing high-quality slides and materials and participating in the quality-assurance processes for all new and refreshed resources. The aim is to share best practice and explore how a student/staff working partnership can be mutually beneficial and lead to the design of excellent, inclusive and relevant academic skills support. The study includes valuation data from the live workshop and reflects on the partnership and the process, with a view to developing current practice for the future.


Skills support; Pedagogy; Exams; Feedback; Partnership

Full Text:



Andrews, J. and Clark, R. (2011) Peer Mentoring Works! How Peer Mentoring Enhances Student Success in Higher Education. Birmingham: Aston University.

Blake, J. and Illingworth, S. (2015) ‘Interactive and Interdisciplinary Student Work: A Facilitative Methodology to Encourage Lifelong Learning.’ Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 17(2), 108-118. doi: 10.5456/WPLL.17.2SI.107

Blake, J., Wass, V. and Walmsley, L. (2011) ‘Inertia and the Learning Journey: Choice, Resources, and the Student Experience.’ In: Vanthournout, G., Donche, V., Gijbels, D., Evans, C., Cools, C. and Pedrosa de Jesus, H. (eds.), Education, Learning, Styles, Individual Differences Network (ELSIN). Antwerp, Belgium: ELSIN, 57-65.

Blake, J. (2010) Self Portraits and Perpetual Motion: The Student Experience of Informed Choice and Feedback. Paper presented at the ELSIN, Portugal.

Clark, R. and Andrews, J. (2012) ‘Peer mentoring in Higher Education: a reciprocal route to student success.’ In: Andrews, J. and Clark, R. (eds.), Compendium of effective practice in higher education retention and success. Birmingham, UK: Aston University, 71–75.

Fisher, D. and Frey, N. (2013) Better Learning Through Structured Teaching: A Framework for the Gradual Release of Responsibility, 2nd edition. Alexandria, Virginia: ASCD.

Jones, R and Blake, J. (2013) ‘Skills Development at the University of Manchester Library.’ SCONUL Focus, 58, 35-36. Available at: (Accessed: 1 April 2014).

Jones, R. and Grayson, N. (2016) ‘Changing the dialogue: the story of the award-winning Alan Gilbert Learning Commons.’ In: Priestner, A. and Borg, M. (eds.), User Experience in Libraries: Applying Ethnography and Human-Centred Design. Abingdon: Routledge, 121-136.

Hattie, J. and Timperley, H. (2007) ‘The Power of Feedback.’ Review of Educational Research, 77, 81-112. Available at: (Accessed: 14 March 2018).

Thomas, L. (2012) Building student engagement and belonging in higher education at a time of change: Final report of the What Works? Retention and Success Programme. Available at: (Accessed: 14 March 2018).



  • There are currently no refbacks.