Co-creating The Learning and Teaching Journey with Postgraduate Research Students Who Teach


  • Amrit Dencer-Brown
  • Theodore Carlson-Webster
  • Benedetta Piccio
  • Corin Anderson
  • Oluwatosin Adewale
  • Stuart Taylor



10th Anniversary special issue


Post-graduate research students (PGRs) often have teaching roles during their studies with little formal training or support (Lueddeke, 1997). Previous support at Edinburgh Napier University consisted of voluntary, unpaid on-campus Learning and Teaching (L&T) training over three days (pre-pandemic). During lock-down, this course transitioned online to a voluntary 3.5-hour workshop and a follow-up Moodle course.

To have a student-centred approach (Pedersen & Liu, 2003; Hannafin & Hannafin, 2010) and understand the needs and wants of PGRs who teach, we aimed to co-create with students (Cook-Sather, Bovill & Felten, 2014) effective PGR support and evaluate its impact.

Students were employed as partners (Matthews 2018; Dollinger et al. 2022) to assess support needs and explore options available for PGRs at 11 other UK Universities. Based on the assessment findings, a new programme was co-designed between the student-partners and L&T academics: three 1-hour online workshops and three corresponding peer-led discussion sessions. The student-partners also created a Microsoft Teams workspace for students to build community: sharing their own L&T experiences, practice, and engagement with relevant theories.

These findings support our plans for upcoming mandatory and paid introductory teaching workshops, as a foundation for this longitudinal development of peer-relations and practice. This new structure and format has cultivated a community of practice constructed by students, for students (Wilson, Wilson & Witthaus, 2020).

An autoethnographic approach has been taken with the student interns and lecturers as both researchers and participants (Wall, 2008; Méndez, 2013; Cooper & Lilyea, 2022), by means of writing a narrative based on self-reflection on the process. This will be analysed by thematic coding (Gibbs, 2008) to discuss the experiences, thematic ideas, emotive language, and feelings expressed by students interns and lecturers in this co-creation journey.


see paper