Disrupting the 'sage on the stage'





This presentation explored the creation and sharing of resources with students via social media as a way of challenging the authoritative nature of traditional academic skills content (Price et. al, 2017; Gordon and Melrose, 2011). The concept of the ‘Sage on the Stage’ has been replaced in recent years with a more active, student-centred learning environment (Roberts, 2016). Audiograms are bitesize audio-visual explorations of student questions about academic skills, created and distributed collaboratively with our Student Peer Mentors. It had been anticipated that the peer mentors would take the lead in the audiogram creation, drawing on a range of student voices and researching, writing, and recording responses to them in the format of an advice columnist, so that the advice was given student to student. 

While the student peer mentors had a sense of teamwork around the audiograms’ creation, they felt varying degrees of ownership. Ultimately, the audiogram creation was led, co-ordinated and produced by a staff member. However, desired student outcomes were addressed through collaboration, problem-solving and reflective production (Al Qasim and Al Fadda, 2013; Fernandez et al., 2015; Forbes, 2015 cited in Hopkins, 2020). The peer mentors also acted as coaches who can assist new students with time management, study skills and goal setting (Parsloe and Wray, 2004 cited in Gordon and Melrose, 2011). Student Peer Mentors needed active support and supervision to achieve this. However, the results of the work bring a less formal and more engaging approach to the subject matter.

Author Biography

Anne-Marie Langford, University of Northampton

Anne-Marie Langford has been a Learning Development Tutor at the University of Northampton for a year. Prior to this she worked in heritage education creating in-person and online learning experiences for audiences from Early Years to adults. These experiences included sessions, trails, exhibitions, resource packs, and videos. She worked in a wide range of heritage environments from historic houses to multidisciplinary museums teaching across a wide range of subjects from Art History to Zoology. She has a strong interest in co-production and participatory consultation in creating learning experiences.


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Morrison, C. D. (2014) ‘From “Sage on the Stage” to “Guide on the Side”: A Good Start’, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 8(1). Available at: http://digitalcommons.georgiasouthern.edu/ij-sotl/vol8/iss1/4 (Accessed 2 May 2022).

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Price, S., Wallace, K., Verezub, E. and Sinchenko, E. (2019) ‘Student learning assistants: the journey from learning advice to creating community’, Journal of Further and Higher Education, (43)7, pp.914-928. https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877X.2018.1425379.

Roberts, E. (2016), ‘Active learning in higher education as a restorative practice: a lecturer’s reflections’, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, Issue 10, November, pp.1-15. https://doi.org/10.47408/jldhe.v0i10.292.

Stowar, J. (2022) ‘Finding the balance: the positives and negatives of moving student mentor training online’, The Aldinhe Conference. University of Northampton, Northampton 14-15 June.




How to Cite

Langford, A.-M. (2022) “Disrupting the ’sage on the stage’”, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, (25). doi: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.987.