The Student Voice Hub (‘the Hub’) is an innovative and ambitious project designed by young people for young people. The Hub aims to bring students, teachers and everyone who is passionate about the opinions and ideas of young people together to create an online community focused on improving student voice, participation and agency.
Student Voice is recognised as a key element of Student Wellbeing. We know that young people who find their own voice in supportive school environments are more likely to develop a confident voice, a capacity to act in the world, and a willingness to lead others.
The Hub is a safe digital space facilitating authentic student voice by providing opportunities for students to collaborate with other students and teachers to discuss issues and ideas important to them. Since launching the platform in July 2018 students have discussed issues ranging from mobile phone bans in classrooms to climate change and mental health. Students create an online profile, making them recognisable and accountable members of the online community. Students are not representing their school in this context allowing them to discuss issues first and foremost as a young person, rather than a student from a particular school.
The Student Voice Hub is constantly evolving and VicSRC is supporting students to grow the online community and make it their own. Where possible all content on the hub is written, moderated and curated by students. An initial usability research study was conducted in December 2018 (4 months post launch) to gain insights into how young people are using the hub. Participants saw value in joining an online community to connect with other students and learn about ways in which other schools are improving student voice. In particular, students enjoyed participating on the forums and polls, stating it made them feel as if their opinion mattered and like they were being listened to.