The Knowledge Market is an interdisciplinary peer-to-peer collaborative service that brings together similarly-aligned academic programs to help students develop their intellectual skills, habits, and identities.
We view the GVSU campus as a community of students, all with their own unique processes, purposes, and goals. The Knowledge Market should enable students to achieve their academic goals toward full participation in our campus community as well as in larger academic, professional, and global contexts. Because students have different expectations, processes, and audiences, the Knowledge Market must provide services that support and enhance one another, such as:
- One-to-one consultations to support any student on campus working on any project
- Utilize an inquiry-based Socratic approach to guide students to discover their own knowledge, ideas, and opinions rather than direct or instruct students towards specific answers
- Cross train staffs so they can knowledgeably communicate, collaborate, and connect students with other Knowledge Market partners
- Collaboratively develop new programming, resources, and trainings to adapt to student needs
- Participate as an equal stakeholder in an administrative and philosophical collaboration with other Knowledge Market partners
The Knowledge Market is founded on the principles that life-long skills can be cultivated through the social act of sharing power, skills, and information and that a person’s peers can, with proper training and support, provide them with valuable assistance in developing life-long skills. Therefore, we value:
The core value of peer-to-peer mentoring is a collaborative conversation aimed at improving/revising a project, regardless of the genre, type, or status of the project. Peer consultants are trained to work with students, adapt to expectations and desires, and help determine realistic and attainable goals as well as provide feedback that will empower them to make progress toward that goal. Additionally, consultants are expected to collaborate with other members of their staff and other participating peer mentoring programs in service to students. Best practices, administrative decisions, and mutual understanding comes from the dependable and consistent collaboration among the administrators and consultants from all individual services. It is essential that the partnering services of the Knowledge Market not only cooperate effectively in the space, but that all services uphold decisions and compose changes together in a deliberately collaborative way.
In order to effectively service all GVSU students, it is essential that the peer mentoring programs reflect the diversity of the students they serve, academically and culturally. In order for a peer-to-peer model to lower hierarchical barriers and empower collaboration, Knowledge Market partners should both staff and train peer mentors to be inclusive and respectful of differences and to focus on similarities, especially as it relates to a shared goal of developing a plan for improving a draft or project. The diversity of staffs promotes interdisciplinary conversations, which are continued in administrative meetings and shared trainings between Knowledge Market staffs. Ongoing training and communication between programs shapes the culture of collaborating programs and promotes diversity of ideas.
The Knowledge Market considers power to be an instrumental feature in one’s belief of their own capacity to approach, complete, and succeed in any project; therefore, the Knowledge Market values our role in the empowerment of emerging, practiced, or expert scholars. Through our pedagogically sound consulting techniques, consultants provide students with the time and space to celebrate success, identify concerns, develop helpful strategies, and grow a personalized voice and style to continue building self-efficacy and skills beyond the walls of the Knowledge Market. Just as Grand Valley strives for excellence, the Knowledge Market values time and space for students to practice critical thinking; we believe this perspective is essential to a student’s confidence and personal success in skill development.
In guiding students towards improving their work and developing skills for later projects, the primary tool used by peer mentors is conversation. Whether communicating one-to-one with students, assisting consultants from other staffs, or addressing policies/training at the administrative level, communication is the hallmark of a peer mentor service. Additionally, the concept of the Knowledge Market was founded based on the idea of aligned services that are in communication with one another about overlaps and intersections between services. Essentially, communication is both the service we provide and the means by which we operate.
In order to adapt to student needs and ever-changing assignments and modes of communication, Knowledge Market partners must include ongoing training support that challenges, informs, and connects peer mentors with one another. Rather than expect peer mentors to know specific content information, the focus on critical thinking, inquiry-based conversation, and adaptation to student needs/expectations allows consultants to guide students towards revision while valuing student knowledge and expertise in their subject area.