ALDinHE Conference 2021

University of Northampton

ALDinHE 2021: The Learning Development Conference

University of Northampton

7th, 8th and 9th April 2021

Join us in Northampton for three days of stimulating discussion and inspiring sessions!

(Please note the conference will be held just after Easter this year, from Wednesday-Friday to accommodate UoN’s teaching schedule.)

This year we have four broad strands we encourage you to consider aligning with:

  • Advocacy for Learning Development
  • Creativity for change
  • Embracing diversity
  • Digital equality

The conference will offer plenty of CPD opportunities, including research development, CeP/CeLP guidance, opportunities to learn more about ALDinHE’s work, and the chance to get involved with a working group.

The deadline for proposal submission is Friday 13th November 2020 by 5pm.

Guidelines for presenters

The review panel will expect your proposal to show how your session:

  • Includes up-to-date content that shares research and/or practical experience in the field of learning development
  • Highlights initiatives that illustrate best practice and address challenges in the field of learning development
  • Supports the development of new materials, resources, and approaches to learning development
  • Is likely to elicit a good level of interest
  • Is complete, accurate, and clear
  • Has clearly defined take-aways for participants

Please submit via this link

Choosing a session type

This year, we particularly welcome creative and imaginative proposals which aim to make effective use of Northampton’s unique and innovative space. You may choose to submit a proposal for a:

(some text has been adapted from SEDA guidelines

Northampton has redesigned itself to focus on small-group teaching.  As such, we are introducing new initiatives for 2021:

  • Expert practitioner mini-keynote on Thursday
  • Wild Card – we invite colleagues to submit a weird and wonderful proposal for presentation!

This year, we will also have provisions in place for an online conference should we need to cancel the physical conference. Details for online conference provision will be sent out when/if necessary.

Sessions that were accepted for the 2020 conference must be resubmitted to be considered.

  • If you have not changed your accepted 2020 session, it will automatically be accepted.
  • If your session has changed (e.g., adding content, changing presentation type), it will be reviewed as a new session.

60-minute interactive workshops

250 word abstract + session plan
Is your topic comprehensive enough to fill a 60-minute session?
Are there enough and opportunities for active involvement of participants?
How will you make it interactive and engage participants?
Think about what the objective is and make sure your abstract shows how you are going to achieve it.

Workshops should provide participants with a tangible take-away of information; this doesn’t have to be paper based – it can be an idea, an inspiration, or an action point.

20-minute paper presentation

250 word abstract
A paper presentation can be used to present the findings of some research that you have been working on. Many people engaged in research take the opportunity of presenting papers at a conference as a preliminary to getting a full piece of work published, but that isn’t always the case.
Abstracts for conference papers should meet the review criteria and the conference themes. The review panel will want to know what is important about your research and why delegates will be interested. The ALDinHE conference has a strong practice orientation so reviewers and delegates will want to know ‘what is the value of your findings and can it be used to inform practice?’
If you are not engaged in research activity, you can use the paper presentation format to report on interesting examples of practice or developments in service provision.
Please note, the paper presentation slots are 20 minutes presentation plus 5 minutes Q & A/discussion.

5-minute lightning talk

100 word topic outline
These are short presentations delivered in a Pecha Kucha style. This style of conference session has been introduced in the last few years and has proven very popular. Presentations have to be delivered within a five minute time period, with questions and discussion taking place after all the presenters have finished.
If you are interested in presenting a short lightning talk at the conference, the outline should make it clear that your topic can be delivered in such a clear and concise way.

Expert practitioner mini-keynote

150 word outline of your area of expertise + 3 prompt questions
This will take place during the Tuesday morning plenary and will run in a ‘speed dating’ style. We invite you to present your area of expertise (5 minutes) and prepare 3 discussion prompts of contention or debate (10 minutes) for a small group. After 15 minutes you will move to another group and repeat the process. There will be 3 iterations in total.
A 30-minute plenary will follow, led by the ALDinHE chair.


100 word topic outline
If you haven’t created a poster before (experienced colleagues very welcome too), this is an ideal opportunity to submit a poster proposal. The possibilities are wide open and we would like to see poster proposals that show:

  • Particular aspects of your work – solo or team – that you are especially enthusiastic about and want to share
  • Projects or initiatives where you would like to share ideas and get feedback
  • Research, including accounts of research in progress
  • Presentations about themes or concepts that you are exploring
  • Student development or staff development, in the context of student learning development
  • Student perspectives, including posters by students about their experience of student learning development
  • Any aspect of your work where you are keen to share ideas and build links with colleagues at other universities or colleges

Poster presenters are invited to be on hand during Tuesday and Wednesday lunchtimes to discuss their poster with delegates.
Please note, posters are reviewed.

Resource swap shop (not reviewed)

100 word outline
This will take place on the Monday afternoon and is designed to be an informal opportunity for practitioners to share Learning Development resources. You are invited to bring a favourite resource you have discovered or created yourself. You will briefly introduce your resource and outline how you use it and why it is particularly effective.
Please note, the resource swap shop proposals are not reviewed but you will be contacted prior to the conference with details of how the swap shop will run.

Wild card

250 word outline
We invite you to be creative and imaginative and submit a proposal with a difference. We particularly welcome proposals which make effective use of Northampton’s innovative campus space.

New for this year – proposal mentoring!

If you haven’t presented at the ALDinHE conference before, you can request a mentor to guide you through the submission* process and preparation processes. A mentor could support you in terms of:

Preparing a proposal

1) Discussing the format of previous ALDinHE conference sessions

2) Talking through your ideas for a submission

3) Offering informal feedback on an abstract draft

4) Discussing how to approach any requested revisions

The deadline to request a proposal mentor is Friday, 30th October by 5pm. This will give us enough time to ensure we can find you a suitable mentor and that your mentor can help you with your proposal.

*Please note that a conference mentor does not guarantee that a submission will be accepted.

Preparing your session

1) Providing feedback on draft slides

2) Watching a practice run of your session online and giving you feedback

3) Technical aspects of poster preparation

If you would like to request a mentor, please contact

Fee waiver scheme

We will once again be opening a fee waiver scheme for those whose institutions will not fund the cost of a conference place. These will be on an application-only basis. Further details will follow separately.

Get in touch

The ALDinHE conference is a supportive and welcoming environment that promotes creative collaboration between learning developers and is always popular, with a regular attendance of around 150 delegates from the UK and beyond.

We look forward to receiving your proposals.

Please submit via this link

Please address any queries to


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