Students' voices in Higher Education research

Antonia Weber, Taiga Brahm, Sabrina Pensel, Tim Riplinger, Yannic Steffens, Sarah Catharine Cornelius, Karl-Heinz Gerholz, Dominic Orr, Rachel Katherine Shanks

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


In Higher Education research, the student voice is often represented via evaluation, questionnaires and agents like the educational researcher. In the same vein, the student’s individual perspective is often overlooked in research on learning with media and (educational) technologies (e.g. Brooks, 2016, Zawacki-Richter, 2015). The students are instead replaced by their role in the organization or an (implicit) expectation how they should learn with digital media and technologies (Persike & Friedrich, 2016).This collaboration space aims to explore ideas for research which is able to include the students’ experience on learning with media and technologies and their subjective sense making of it (without agency of the research team). The collaboration space is based upon a comprehensive research project about the obstinacy of studying with media and technologies. The research design of the project contains both established quantitative and qualitative methods. In total, six German universities will be involved in the research: Online-based questionnaires will be used to explore students’ self-efficacy when studying with digital media (Pumptow & Brahm, in prep.). Furthermore, a logfile-analysis of different learning-management-systems will shed light on the patterns of learning within these systems (Schulz& Breiter, 2013). The subjective sense making of studying with media will be reconstructed via the qualitative approach of the documentary method (Bohnsack, 2000) including e.g. group discussions. The overall goal of the research project is to integrate the students’ voices, experiences and their own research to make it productive for higher education research (Dickinson & Fox, 2016). We seek to collaborate with researchers on the field of student voice, media education and higher education to discuss the following research questions:1) Which qualitative methods would be suitable to explore thestudents’ voice in higher education?2) Which experiences with the student voice in higher education research are available (e. g. action research or others)?3) Which value can the integration of the student voice have for higher educationalresearch?

Reference list
Bohnsack, R. (2000). Rekonstruktive Sozialforschung: Einführung in Methodologie und Praxis qualitativer Forschung. Opladen: Leske + Budrich. Brooks, C. D. (2016). ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students andInformation Technology, 2016. Research report. Louisville, CO: ECAR. Dickinson, L. & Fox, A. (2016). Who owns the student voice? A study of students' perceptions of student voice in higher education. Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change. 2 (1). Retrieved from Persike, M. & Friedrich, J. (2016). Lernen mit digitalen Medien aus Studierendenperspektive. Arbeitspapier Nr. 17. Berlin. Pumptow, M. & Brahm, T. (in prep.). Student’s self-efficacy when using digital media. Paper in preparation.Schulz, A. H.; Breiter, A. (2013): Monitoring User Patterns in School Information Systems Using Logfile Analysis. In:Passey, Don; Breiter, Andreas: Visscher, Adrie (Hrsg.): Next generation of Information technology in Educational Management. 10th IFIP WG 3.7 Conference, ITEM 2012. Bremen, Germany, August 2012. Revised Selected Papers. S. 94–103. Heidelberg: Springer. Retrieved from (2017-12-04). Zawacki-Richter, O. (2015). Zur Mediennutzung im Studium – unter besonderer Berücksichtigung heterogener Studierender. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft,18(3), 527–549

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2018
EventEuropean Association for Research on Learning and Instruction Special Interest Group on Higher Education: Topography of research on higher education: promoting deep conversations - University of Geissen, Geissen, Germany
Duration: 29 Aug 201831 Aug 2018


ConferenceEuropean Association for Research on Learning and Instruction Special Interest Group on Higher Education
Abbreviated titleEARLI SIG4
Internet address


  • Mobile learning
  • student voice
  • learner experience


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