What is Partnership-Based Learning?

Partnership-based learning is where educators and students collaboratively and cooperatively seek to foster active learning, student success and the enhancement of learning and teaching. Partnership-based learning encourages educators and students to learn together by engaging in critical reflection, exploring assumptions, thinking creatively and critically, and transforming learning and learning environments of which they are a part. 

We can create partnerships with students by: 

  • Co-learning, co-designing and co-developing our courses and programs (curriculum design & pedagogic inquiry, learning, teaching and assessment inquiry) 
  • Co-researching and co-inquiring (subject-based research & inquiry) 
  • Scholarship of teaching and learning (quality enhancement) (Healey et al, 2014) 

What are some examples of practice?

There are a variety of ways to design learning environments that support effective communication, collaboration and learning, including: 

  • building an engaging and inclusive learning community 
  • using an appropriate mix of communication forms , tools and channels  
  • incorporating student feedback into the design and delivery of courses. 

What digital tools might be useful?

Digital tools that enable connecting and collaborating include: 

Course Design Standards


We work in partnership with our students to create collaborative learning environments.

Why is Partnership-Based Learning important?

Partnership-based approaches have been shown to be positively linked to student engagement and learning outcomes. These approaches create conditions that foster authentic engagement with learning and have the potential to lead to transformative learning experiences for educators and students (Healy et al, 2014). 

Jarvis, Dickerson and Stockwell (2013, p. 220) found that:  Staff-student partnership in learning and teaching has a significant impact on learning and teaching development and enhancement, learning to learn, raising the profile of research into learning and teaching, and employability skills and attributes”. 

Where could I learn more?


Jarvis, J., Dickerson, C., & Stockwell, L. (2013). Staff-student partnership in practice in higher education: the impact on learning and teaching.Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 90, 220-225. 

Healey, M., Flint, A. & Harrington, K. (2014). Engagement through partnership: Students as partners in learning and teaching in Higher Education.  United Kingdom: Higher Education Academy.