Highfield Campus, University of Southampton, University Road, Southampton, SO17 1BJ
CONFERENCE BOOKING IS NOW CLOSED
Further details of RAISE Conference theme and sub-themes
Since our inaugural conference in 2011 Student Engagement (SE) has not been off the agenda. Whether used to describe extra-curricular opportunities, learning and teaching techniques or policy-driven initiatives, the term itself is at risk of being over-used, misunderstood and even misappropriated. To reclaim its rich research and practice nexus, this year’s conference will clarify the conceptions and purposes of SE we share - as academics, students, education developers, student support and professional services – and identify those which rightly belong to other agendas. This will allow, indeed necessitate, our immersion in the messy and contested as well as the inspiring, humbling and revitalising arena that is student engagement. Our three themes are intended to elicit contributions which cross or transcend disciplinary interests and institutional boundaries, offering interpretations which move the debate on in new and interesting ways.
People: Theme 1 focuses on SE as relational, situated, social, personal and developmental. Whether presenting research, reflection or collaborative practice we are seeking contributions which offer new perspectives on such things as student expectations, preparation, identity, transitional events, social networks, relationships, physical and mental health issues, disability, membership and belonging, particularly among groups less well represented in HE. Crucially, our interest is in how such concepts might be analysed and (re)constructed through a holistic definition of student engagement. This is in contrast to the more traditional approach of decontextualizing and analysing individual attributes or responses which tend to suggest diagnostic or remedial responses.
Places: Theme 2 focuses on the places, spaces, environments and technological systems / resources which impact on and facilitate SE, whether in the university, home, workplace or somewhere between, and whether separated across a table or by a continent. We are seeking innovations in engagement which include the all-important physical places and spaces for learning as well as virtual and distant approaches, as our student body becomes increasingly far-flung, independent and technologically-adept. Our interest is in how we foster and support a sense of belonging and being, wherever and however learning takes place.
Practices: Theme 3 focuses on the academic, curricular (design), extra-curricular, student support and professional practices which promote an engaged stance in every student’s learning journey. We wish to see submissions which move the debate on to territory beyond the good practice (which has to be a given) to the sustainable, systematic, novel, experimental, ground-breaking or unique. Such practice might be collaborative or even led by students. Submissions will be judged on their ability to offer new insights and directions for the many types of practice in HE, or to illuminate where practices impede engagement, from any one of a number of perspectives. Most importantly, we are interested in practice as lived and experienced, not as recorded or reported for other purposes.
Julie Wintrup and the RAISE committee (March '12)