Evaluating Leadership Experience in Student-Led Cohorts

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Charles Bingham, Faculty of Education

Project team: Candace Coulson and Julien Thomas, research assistants

Timeframe: January to December 2011

Funding: $2,940  

Final report: View Charles Bingham's final project report (PDF)

Description: The concept of student-led cohorts harmonizes with SFU’s goal of enhancing student-centred learning. Group cohesion is essential to the success of student-led cohorts, and the cultivation of student leadership is central to group cohesion. This project will examine student leadership and group cohesion within a course of directed readings. Specifically, a cohort of twelve students from various faculties will meet for one semester. Each student will conduct self-directed studies and will share the results with other members of the group. One of the twelve with previous experience in leading cohorts will be designated as the leader and will be charged with building community within the cohort and, in the following semester, with mentoring a student in leading another cohort. The study will focus on this individual, who will keep a reflective journal of his or her experiences as a leader and mentor. A PhD-level RA will conduct student interviews during and at the end of the semester to determine the successes, failures, and challenges of leadership within the cohort. The results will be analyzed by the study author and the RA.

Questions addressed:

  • What are the experiences of student leaders in student-led cohorts in leading and building community within the cohorts?
  • What are the experiences of student leaders in training other students to lead future cohorts?

Knowledge sharing: Results of the project will be presented at a Faculty Council meeting in the Faculty of Education and at a meeting with members of the 2011 Honeycomb Project, initiated by the Centre for Dialogue.