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Curriculum Design Student Panel

Would you like to help shape the OU curriculum? The panel provides a means for staff engaged in module design and production to work directly with students in the early development of activities, materials, and tools. There are opportunities to take part in larger-scale activities open to all panel members such as surveys and themed forum discussions. Small panel activities are open to a selected group of students based on various criteria such as level of study, module and/or qualification pathway and comprise of various kinds of usability and experience testing.

You will work together with staff to co-create and co-design engaging learning and teaching experiences. Based on past student panel feedback, it is an opportunity to practice, and in some cases develop, skills in communication, collaboration, problem-solving and digital literacy./p>

The panel activities are hosted on We-Learn, a site that replicates the Virtual Learning Environment you are familiar with from studying OU modules. Your membership will last for one year and you can opt out at any time if you need to. During the year, you will be invited to take part in activities that may be of interest to you, but all activities are optional, so you can take part in as many or as few as you like. At the end of the year, you will receive a link to an evaluation questionnaire for you to provide feedback about your experience of being on the panel. A personalised certificate of participation will be available to download during the evaluation, and after submitting the evaluation questionnaire you will also receive a digital badge to display on your OU profile. Your feedback on your experience on the panel contributes to future changes that make the panel more effective year-on-year.

Curriculum Design Panel logo

I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the forum - especially in the QOTM [Question of the Month]. I also learned a lot, especially about thinking from others' POV [point of view] at times. I felt I was able to voice my opinion and it would actually be heard and acted upon.

Student Panel Member

Please note this video is now a couple of years old so some people no longer have the same title. The current Students Association leadership can be seen on their website.

Why We Do It

Partnerships with students in curriculum development give the OU the chance to co-create and co-design engaging learning and teaching experiences with them. For students it provides the opportunity to have a direct impact on early development work and to experience professional engagement with a large institution, which may be used as evidence of collaborative professional experience in portfolios, job applications or continuing professional development.


I would highly recommend to any student considering taking part, to do so as I feel I have developed a myriad of skills through participation in the activities. I think I better understand the importance of reviewing my learning and making the time to do so. When applying this skill to my studies I found it provided clarity in respect of my own strengths and weaknesses. I believe this helped me to be better prepared for assignments and make fewer mistakes.

Student Panel Member

The panel was created in 2016 with 461 students. Today it consists of just under 2,000 students across a range of faculties and study levels from Access to Taught Postgraduate. Up to September 2022, members of the panel had completed a total of 149 activities, including two linked with residential schools that needed to move online in 2020 due to the pandemic. In the earlier years, members took part in focus groups on both Accessibility Policy and Learning Design, tested the workload on parts of DD310 Counselling and forensic psychology, contributed to the definition of themes for E309 Comparative studies in primary education, and completed usability testing of the U116 Environment: journeys through a changing world Carbon Calculator prototype activity. More recently, a small group of panel members informed a project team on what developments were needed to use nQuire, a platform which allows non-professionals to engage with authentic research in any discipline. In FASS, there was a synchronous Adobe Connect activity for DD321 Economics for a changing world to test various functionalities such as breakout rooms and information sharing tools. Students engaged with an existing interactive Conceptual & Historical Issues in Psychology (CHIPs) resource for D810 Counselling and Psychology, and in STEM, a small group of panel members tested an interactive resource for SK190 Human biology, a body in balance.