Understanding Students’ Perceptions of their Role as Value Co-Creators in Higher Education.

Lauren Sinton

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The pedagogical literature surrounding student engagement provides evidence of a drive towards collaboration between higher education providers and students, in relation to curriculum development (Bovill, 2009), teaching approaches (Bovill, Cook‐Sather and Felten, 2011), course design (Moerkerke, 2015), student experience (Dollinger, Lodge and Coates, 2018) and more. However, students often view their role in higher education as being one that is passive (Kahu, 2013), rather than being one that is active, responsible for engaging and integrating their resources, to ultimately co-create a valuable learning experience at university.

According to the services marketing literature, co-creation is “… the benefit realised from integration of resources through activities and interactions with collaborators in the customer’s service network” (McColl-Kennedy et al., 2012, p370). This research aims to apply the concept of value co-creation, through a service dominant logic (SDL) lens, to higher education. SDL is “a lens through which to look at social and economic exchange phenomena so they can potentially be seen more clearly” (Vargo and Lusch, 2008, p9). By viewing the context of higher education through this lens, this research will: identify what higher education students view as the value proposition offered by universities; understand how higher education students perceive their role as resource integrators; critically analyse how students integrate their resources (knowledge, opinions, feedback, etc.) to co-create value in higher education; and explore the pedagogical implications of how students perceive their role as value co-creators. This research will therefore provide empirical support for SDL, further developing the theory (Vargo and Lusch, 2017).

For the purposes of this research, focus groups will be used to collect qualitative data. This tool is appropriate as focus groups are semi-structured but allow individuals to respond in their own words, using their own categorisations and perceived associations (Stewart and Shamdasani, 1990). Focus groups allow for rich data collection, are flexible, and are fast and low cost to conduct. Three focus groups (one per undergraduate year group, to provide a cross section for comparison purposes) with 5 to 8 students in each will be conducted.
The data collected will be analysed using thematic analysis. Thematic analysis is “a method for identifying, analysing, and reporting patterns (themes) within data. It minimally organises and describes your data set in (rich) detail. However, it also often goes further than this, and interprets various aspects of the research topic” (Braun and Clarke, 2006, p6). This method of analysis allows for theoretical freedom and can provide detailed and complex accounts of qualitative data (Braun and Clarke, 2006; Guest et al., 2012), which is appropriate for this study.

It is worth noting that the researcher is currently at the data collection stage of this research. By July 2022, it is expected that this research will be complete, and the researcher will be developing this into a research paper.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2022
Event2022 Academy of Marketing Conference: Marketing: The Fabric of Life - University of Huddersfield , Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Jul 20227 Jul 2022
Conference number: 54


Conference2022 Academy of Marketing Conference
Abbreviated titleAM2022
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • pedagogy
  • Co-creation
  • higher education (HE)
  • service dominant logic


Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding Students’ Perceptions of their Role as Value Co-Creators in Higher Education.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this