Sharing experiences and the co-creation of knowledge through personal stories – tools for critical thinking: student perspectives


  • Helene Balslev Clausen Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Vibeke Andersson Aalborg University, Denmark


Sharing experiences, personal stories, problem-based learning, critical thinking, employability, student instructors, co-creation of knowledge


Highlighting students’ voices and sharing personal learning experiences with peers can be useful teaching tools. We introduce student instructors and their stories to create learning processes among student instructors and the peers they are teaching. We argue, furthermore, that peer learning can add to employability skills once students are outside the university setting by enhancing students’ critical thinking skills. We are inspired by Kolb’s learning circle, but we also wish to expand on his arguments by adding sharing experiences as an equal concept in learning processes. We use our own knowledge and experiences as lecturers (Helene Balslev Clausen and Vibeke Andersson) and student (Theresa Schaltz) to set the scene for experiential learning. In our case, peer learning is based on our Creative Learning Lab, which forms the backdrop for student instructors’ sharing experiences through personal stories (Andersson & Clausen 2018). Creative Learning Lab is an initiative which puts students at the center, and which includes external stakeholders in academic work. This study uses interviews with student instructors and students. In addition, we use observations from the student instructors (represented by Theresa Schaltz). Our main findings show that, by using students’ personal stories, experiences are shared with the students instructors, and this adds to the deep learning processes and co-creation of knowledge. Our key findings show that motivation increases among students during peer learning.