Not Business as usual: building partnerships, building wall tents (conference presentation)

University of Calgary Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning
Conference on Postsecondary Teaching: Courageous Practices: Equity, Diversity and Belonging in Postsecondary Education

Quest is an experiential, outdoor onboarding course required for Business Administration students at our university. Each summer, business faculty partner with senior students to vision, design, and lead a multi-night stay in the wilderness as part of the Quest course. Quest sets the critical foundation for our faculty’s students as partners (SaP) pedagogical approach, which runs throughout our business program. In a systematic review of SaP literature, Mercer-Mapstone et al. (2017) indicate a multitude of reciprocal outcomes that SaP can support within higher education settings. Furthermore, Healey, Flint, and Harrington (2014) note that SaP can support the creation of learning communities between students and staff. While, Coker, Heiser, Taylor, and Book (2017) indicate that in-depth experiential learning opportunities support the development of student higher order thinking improved educational experiences. Each offering of Quest is unique as it relies entirely on the vision created and facilitated by students. Students have always chosen to include building a wall tent camp, which has become a metaphor for building our learning community. In this interactive session, participants will construct mini wall tents as we discuss and demonstrate how to incorporate SaP into programming. Our goal is to facilitate an understanding of what you can build (both physically and metaphorically) when students are partners in learning. Wall tent construction is a novel task, and it can be a powerful metaphor for building community, home, and safety that can support both students and faculty not only their wilderness experiences, but throughout their learning journeys and beyond.

Healey, M., Flint, A., & Harrington, K. (2014). From engagement through partnership: Students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education. York, United Kingdom: The Higher Education Academy.

Mercer-Mapstone, L., Drovakova, S.L., Matthews, K. E., Abbot, S., Cheng, B., Felten, P., Swaim, K. (2017). A systematic literature review of students as partners in higher education. International Journal for Students as Partners 1 (2), 1-23.

Coker, J. S., Heiser, E., Taylor, L., & Book, C. (2017). Impacts of experiential learning depth and breadth on student outcomes. Journal of Experiential Education, 40(1), 5-23. Doi:10.1177/1053825916678265

Project team

Rodney Hulstein, School of Business and Leadership
Colleen Grandy, School of Business and Leadership
Taylor Bradley, BBA student (2024)
Calista Battersby, BBA student (2024)

Partners and funders

YukonU Scholarly Activity Grant