Students as Producers: Collaborating toward Deeper Learning
by Derek Bruff, CFT Director
If you’ve been following my work, you know that I’m a proponent of engaging the students in the courses we teach not only as consumers of information, but also as producers of knowledge. My Vanderbilt Center for Teaching colleagues and I have been sharing this “Students as Producers” approach to course and assignment design for several years through our various programming for faculty and other instructors. I’ve blogged about the approach frequently, and it comes up regularly on the educational technology podcast I host, Leading Lines. Until recently, however, I had not written anything formal about our “Students as Producers” work. That changed this week!
I’m excited to share the publication of Scholarship in the Sandbox: Academic Libraries as Laboratories, Forums, and Archives of Student Work, published this week by the Association of College and Research Libraries. Back in 2017, I was invited by the editors of this new volume, Amy S. Jackson, Cindy Pierard, and Suzanne M. Schadl, to contribute an introductory chapter on Vanderbilt’s “Students as Producers” work. I was happy to accept that invitation, since I had been looking for an appropriate venue to write about that work. Scholarship in the Sandbox explores the ways libraries are increasingly supporting student scholarship of various kinds, and collaborating with faculty and others to do so. My chapter (“Students as Producers: Collaborating toward Deeper Learning”) provides a bit of a framework and rationale for adopting a “Students as Producers” approach in higher education, and subsequent chapters in the volume share strategies and examples from librarians at a range of institutions. Scholarship in the Sandbox is available now in paperback and PDF from the American Library Association store.
Thanks to Amy, Cindy, and Suzanne for their work putting together this fantastic new resource! And thanks to the Vanderbilt colleagues whose teaching stories I share in my chapter — Holly Tucker, Steve Baskauf, Tim Foster, Gilbert Gonzales, Larisa DeSantis, Mary Anne Caton, and Kevin Murphy — for designing such enriching learning experiences for your students and for continuing to inspire us at the Center for Teaching!