In 2007 a joint writing project was established between groups of second year BA Education Studies students working collaboratively across the universities of York and Plymouth. The project would involve students in the production a book for which they would collectively have responsibility for compiling, editing and producing. The York tutor has a special interest in the history of the book, experience of publishing previous books of student work and a National Teaching Fellowship in recognition of these projects. The Plymouth tutors have also held two Teaching Fellowships, the first of which explored the value of conflict in learning and the second enabled the collaboration between York and Plymouth. This paper tells the story of the collaborative project from the Plymouth perspective. At intervals throughout the project, semi-structured conversations between the tutors and students at Plymouth were recorded. Drawing on some of the themes identified in these conversations, this paper focuses on critical insights into cultures of knowledge, learning and assessment that emerged over our rich time together.
Our students acted as peer reviewers of the original paper compiled by their tutors. Their review takes the form of a series of comments on the tutors’ manuscript, written at the end of the year and enabling them to look back on the whole experience. All reviewer comments have been incorporated into the body of the paper. The extracts from the structured conversation data, presented here in text boxes, were selected by the tutors to highlight the issues that arose during the course of the project. This multi-layered presentation reflects the spirit of the project, illustrating the rich impact of our collaborative work.