10 Aug 2020 - 10 Aug 2020

Resources from previous Events

Please click here to access resources from previous events.

LD@3 – Troubling transitions into and through higher education: creative and critical approaches

Date and Time: Monday 10th August 2020 15.00 – 16.00

Location: Online via Google Meet

Presenters: Karen Gravett, University of Surrey


Student transitions are a key part of policy and practice both in the UK and internationally. However recent researchers have begun to acknowledge that research and practice within this important area may be underpinned by unquestioned assumptions of what ‘transition’ as a concept might mean. Moreover, these assumptions can also involve deficit narratives, where students are ‘supported’ to fit into institutional goals. Likewise, the discourses surrounding transition often depict homogenous, linear, journeys that students are expected to undertake, that involve discrete stages (‘the ‘first year experience’) and that must be ‘smoothed’, ‘bridged’ and made ‘successful’, with the help of institutional initiatives. In this session I draw upon data from a longitudinal research study that took place at two institutions. The study used creative methods including, story-mediated interviews with students, and concept map-mediated interviews with staff, in order to explore how we might experiment with new ways of thinking and doing transition. Findings highlighted that students’ learning development is not a linear process, and that students’ experiences were fluid, messy and diverse. I explore how we might further understand the individuality of students’ experiences, and consider the implications for policy, research and practice. 

Dr Karen Gravett is a Lecturer in the Department of Higher Education at the University of Surrey. Her work focuses on learning and teaching in higher education, including staff and student learner identities, academic literacies, and higher education discourses. Karen is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and co-convenor of the Society for Research in Higher Education Learning, Teaching and Assessment network.


LD@3 – Developing consensual assessment to evaluate writing development: success and pitfalls

Date and Time: Wednesday 26th August 2020 15.00 – 16.00

Location: Online via Google Meet

Presenters: Ursula Canton and Daniela Zahn, Glasgow Caledonian University


Like many learning and writing developers, we see writing as a complex social act, and our teaching and conceptual thinking is strongly influenced by the concept of academic literacies. Writing, in this understanding, is difficult to define, complex, situated and not easy to capture by most rubrics-based writing tests that do not take this into account. This dilemma led to our search for an instrument that would allow Learning Developers to evaluate the impact of their teaching on students’ ability to communicate well with their readers. Such an instrument already exists for creativity, where Amabile (1982, 1996) has demonstrated consensus, even if there is no universal definition of what makes a thing creative. It could be argued that successful writing is similar: based on experience readers can recognise texts that work better (or not so well) in different situations. Following conceptual work (Canton. 2018), we conducted a first study that suggests that some tacit consensus exists (Zahn, Canton et al. 2020). Here we present the insights gained from a second, ALDInHE-funded study and reflect on the challenges along the way of developing our instrument.

ALDinHE 2021: The Learning Development Conference

2021’s #ALDcon will be held just after Easter on the 7th, 8th and 9th April 2021 at The University of Northampton.


Regional Symposia

As well as the annual conference, ALDinHE hosts several one-day events, known as Regional Symposia, throughout the year, to encourage building local communities and networks of practice, as well as inspiring others to host future events.

Whether you are new to Learning Development or an old hand, Regional Symposia are a fantastic and accessible opportunity to learn from and share practice with each other, and contribute to your own research and professional development.

Interested in hosting, attending or presenting at a symposium?
Contact one of the regional coordinators:

Madeleine Mossman –
Dr Alistair Morey –



ExploreLearn Higher

LearnHigher is a network for promoting and facilitating the development and dissemination of high quality, peer-reviewed resources for learning development in the higher education sector.

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