Parallel Sessions 4: 11.30 – 12.30

PAPERS (25 minutes each)

11.30 – 11.55

12.05 – 12.30

Impact of Machine Translation software on students’ interaction and participation in class

Louise Frith

University of York


Machine Translation Software (MST)  has been in use by students with English as a second language since 2000. In recent years its use has increased. There are many studies into its use in HE (Groves & Mundt, 2021; Jolley & Maimone, 2015; Clifford et al, 2013 ). This year, at the University of York, I am undertaking some research into PGT English as a Second Language (ESL) students’ use of machine translation software in the classroom. This will be of interest to all Learning Developers who teach ESL students. It is known that students use the software for reading and completing assignments, but there is less known about how students use the software within class to understand and engage with the class content. Although the software can be a helpful tool to enhance students’ understanding of the class content, it can also be a barrier to full participation in class-based discussion and interaction. The aim of the session is to enable the learning development community to share experiences of supporting students who use MTS to support their studies. This session will explore some of these issues- in relation to academic skills sessions and invite participants to share their ideas on how learning developers respond to this challenge.


Clifford, J., Merschel, L. & Munné, J. (2013), “Surveying the landscape: What is the role of machine translation in language learning?”, The Acquisition of Second Languages and Innovative Pedagogies, vol. 10, no. 10, pp. 108-121.

Groves, M. Mundt, K (2021) A ghostwriter in the machine? Attitudes of academic staff towards machine translation use in Internationalised Higher Education, Journal of English for Academic Purposes, Volume 50,

Jolley, J. R., & Maimone, L. (2015). Free online machine translation: Use and perceptions by Spanish students and instructors. Learn languages, explore cultures, transform lives, 181-200. Lincoln: University of Nebraska.

Location: Portland Building 3.31a

“Tell me what you want, what you really, really want…” – What students want after non-submission of an assignment

Samantha King, Alison Loddick, Tim Curtis and Deepak Bhachu

University of Northampton


Non-submission of summative assignments has an impact on a significant minority of students but is not well understood (Prinsloo, 2019). At the University of Northampton, nearly 10% of all undergraduate assignments overall are not submitted (Coulson and Loddick, 2021). Students who fail to submit initially are offered a second submission point, but their grade is capped at 40%: data suggests that addressing this could close 50% of the GEM (Global Ethnic Majority) attainment gap. A study was initiated in partnership with academic staff which aimed to understand why students fail to submit and how they recover from this. A survey was distributed to around 3000 current students who had failed to submit at least one summative assignment on time during their degree course. Nearly 200 students responded to the survey giving their reasons for non-submission and how they overcame them as well as suggesting additional areas for support. Last year at ALDCon22, we explored the reasons why students failed to submit on time (Loddick et al., 2022). This year we will report on strategies students used to recover from non-submission and what further support the institution could offer.

As a subsequent phase of the research, interviews are planned with foundation students who did not submit their first assignment in the current academic year (22/23). This will allow us to present additional information on the challenges facing students as they transition into university. An important role of Learning Developers is to facilitate students’ transition into HE and their transformation into independent, confident learners as they complete their university journey. This research gives an insight into barriers and promoters of successful transition and transformation. Learning Developers will be able to use the findings of this research to inform their practice around facilitating transition and transformation.

Coulson, K. and Loddick, A. (2021) Non-submission of assessments – the impact on the BAME attainment gap. Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDinHE) Conference [Online], 7-9 th April 2021.

Loddick, A., King, S., Curtis, T. and Bhachu, D. (2022) Insights from a study on non-submission of assignments: How can students best be supported?. Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDinHE) Conference, 14-15th June 2022.

Prinsloo, P. (2019) Tracking (un) belonging: At the intersections of human-algorithmic student support. Pan-Commonwealth Forum, 9-12 September 2019, Edinburgh, Scotland

Location: Portland Building 3.31a

Students as partners: enhancing employability skills through running transition book clubs

Gianna De Salvo

Queen Mary University of London


As part of the Get Ahead Transition project at Queen Mary, we ran book clubs to help students build a sense of belonging before attending university. I would love to share my experience of how it went and how this initiative could be replicated elsewhere. 

The book: The psychology of effective studying was selected because of the author’s application of evidence-based, cognitive science research to tackle challenges such as conquering procrastination, mastering academic reading and note-taking and producing high quality written assignments. The fact that there were also bite-sized YouTube videos that summarized some of the concepts was a bonus, especially for those students who wanted to join in the discussions but didn’t want to read the whole chapter.

We weren’t sure if students would engage with the book as they might find the ‘study skills’ topics boring, but nearly all who attended the book club sessions had not only read the chapters but came prepared with many questions and insights. The fact that book was study skills based also seemed to freely open discussions about what studying at university is like and led to the book club leaders frequently being asked about their personal experiences as current students. The discussions were so engaging that the leaders suggested the book club sessions be extended by an extra 30 minutes to allow time for Q&A next time.  

What we didn’t quite expect was how much the book club leaders got out of running the groups. They not only enjoyed helping the students but commented on how much the experience helped them enhance their leadership, communication and technical skills. In their last meeting with the team, we worked with them on how to highlight the professional skills gained from the experience to future employers. Afterwards, the leaders qualified for two university awards.  


Penn, P (2020), The psychology of effective studying: how to succeed in your degree, Routledge, NY.

Location: Portland Building 1.51

Establishing faculty-based peer-led Pomodoro® online study communities

Amy May

University of Nottingham


The University of Nottingham Libraries’ Learning Development (Academic Skills) team started hosting ‘Study With Us’ (online study community utilising the Pomodoro® Technique) sessions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as a means to provide an online community and a connection to the University for students during lockdown periods. Post-pandemic, these sessions continue to be hosted once a week during term time with an average attendance of 12 (min. 4, max 23. Oct 22 – Jan 23). There has been a demand for an increase in the frequency of the sessions from the existing participants. The team have limited resources and would struggle to host any additional sessions on a regular basis.

Following some initial research with the current Study With Us community, to discern the actual requirements for additional sessions, there was some demand for faculty specific sessions to be hosted. Therefore, we teamed up with the Faculty of Engineering to work with their peer mentors to establish the efficacy of running a regular peer-led Pomodoro online study community specifically for engineering students with the aim of establishing if this model was suitable to be rolled out across all five faculties and hence cater for the increase in demand for the study sessions. The aim of the session is to share: the research so far; an evaluation of the process of setting up the initiative with the faculties and the peer mentors; some initial analysis of the experiences of the session participants to establish the success, demand for and future direction of Study With Us at the University.

Location: Portland Building 1.51

Preparing Sixth-Form students for the transition into Higher Education: Developing key research skills through the EPQ

Emma Thompson

University of Southampton


The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a Level 3 qualification which allows students to develop an independent research project on a topic outside of their A-Level studies, culminating in either a dissertation or artefact final product (both research-based, with a written component) (AQA, 2023). The University of Southampton Learn with US Transition Programme provides free interactive workshops and guidance to sixth-form students in state schools undertaking the EPQ, particularly targeting schools that meet our widening participation (WP) criteria (The Learn with US Transition Programme, 2023).

The persistence of long-standing awarding gaps at university, especially for WP and minoritized students, demonstrates the importance of improving equality, diversity, and inclusion at all stages of the student lifecycle, including the transition into Higher Education (Matheson, 2018, pp. 7-8; Harrison and Waller 2018, pp. 931-34). Research from the University of Southampton observes that higher proportions of students with an EPQ achieve first class and 2:1 degree awards compared to the proportion of students that don’t have an EPQ. In addition, exploratory analysis of our most recent research (as yet unpublished) indicates that the EPQ may also contribute to reduced awarding gaps for students from underrepresented backgrounds in HE.

Our approach to developing interventions targeted to specific milestones of the EPQ project can be used to inform practice for other Learning Developer practitioners, including:

  • Embedding interactive activities into workshops to maintain interest and build confidence;
  • Emphasising the transferability of research skills in a range of contexts;
  • Encouraging students to direct their own learning through developing dialogue and asking questions, instead of providing a ‘right’ answer;
  • Linking up to post-entry academic skills support to enable a smooth transition to university (Cripps et al., 2018, pp. 328-33; Stephenson and Isaacs, 2019, pp. 396 and 399-406; Stoten, 2014, pp. 71-75; Gill, 2018, pp. 303-04 and 316-17).

Feedback from students and teachers consistently demonstrates that this approach develops key research skills, and student confidence in viewing themselves as potential members of a university community (Cripps et al., 2018, pp. 328-29).


AQA (2023) What is the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)?. Available at: (Accessed: 21 February 2023).

Cripps, E., Anderson, C., Strauss, P., and Wheeler, R. (2018) ‘Fostering Independent Research Skills and Critical Enquiry Among School Students: A Case Study of a School-University Partnership to Support the Extended Project Qualification’, Research for All, 2(2), pp. 323-34.

Gill, T. (2018) ‘Preparing Students for University Study: A Statistical Comparison of Different Post-16 Qualifications’, Research Papers in Education, 33(3), pp. 301-19.

Harrison, N. and Waller, R. (2018) ‘Challenging Discourses of Aspiration: The Role of Expectations and Attainment in Access to Higher Education’, British Educational Research Journal, 44(5), pp. 914-38.

The Learn with US Transition Programme (2023) Talks and Individual Guidance for Project Qualifications. Available at: (Accessed: 21 February 2023).

Matheson, R. (2018) ‘Transition through the Student Lifecycle’, in R. Matheson, S. Tangney, and M. Sutcliffe, (eds.) Transition In, Through and Out of Higher Education: International Case Studies and Best Practice. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 5-16.

Stephenson, C. and Isaacs, T. (2019) ‘The Role of the Extended Project Qualification in Developing Self-Regulated Learners: Exploring Students’ and Teachers’ Experiences’, The Curriculum Journal, 30(4), pp. 392-421.

Stoten, D. W. (2014) ‘The Extended Project Qualification: An Example of Self-Regulated Learning in Sixth Form Colleges’, International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, 3(1), pp. 66-77.

Location: Portland Building 1.66

Exploring learning development from the perspectives of Black students

Kate Ikonte, Sheryl Mansfield and Beth Garrett

University of Northampton and Student Union, University of Northampton


There has been little research into student perceptions of learning development tutorials despite learning development existing in most institutions for over twenty years.  Analysis from annual demographic data from tutorial attendance at the University of Northampton, shows over 25% of tutorials are attended by students identifying as Black. More Black women use the LD provision than Black males and even fewer Black males under the age of 20 use the service. This mirrors the findings of Coulson and Loddick (2020) who acknowledged in research on learning development and student attainment that students from a black ethnic background, particularly females, were more likely to attend tutorials.  However, little exploration into the reasons why have been researched. This presentation will conclude the findings of an internally funded collaborative project to explore the perceptions of black students and learning development.   Due to the nature of investigating a sensitive topic, it was deemed essential that a project assistant is employed who has lived experience and identifies as Black. The project assistant will predominantly conduct the research with Black students and gain their perspectives during focus groups or interviews. The project has been planned to ensure that the project assistant influences the research by offering autonomy to design the project and recruit participants. It is hoped that this project will offer a unique perspective to inform learning development practice and provision. By the conference the project will have finished and offer an insight to the findings.


Loddick, A. and Coulson, K. (2020) “The impact of Learning Development tutorials on student attainment”, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, (17). doi: 10.47408/jldhe.vi17.558.

Location: Portland Building 1.66

Addressing the awarding gap, fostering belonging: developing enhanced academic skills support for our Birmingham Scholars

Polly Harper and Leanne Campbell

University of Birmingham


In academic year 20/21, the University of Birmingham launched the ‘Birmingham Scholar’ programme as part of its Access and Participation Plan (University of Birmingham, 2019). This is a university-wide programme, supporting undergraduate students from under‐represented backgrounds, to achieve their full academic potential.

This presentation will explore the central role of our Academic Skills Centre team in supporting the Birmingham Scholar programme, since its initiation. Alongside the support we provide to all our taught students, our team also run a centralised, enhanced programme of academic skills and peer support for all Birmingham Scholar students.

Currently, this includes tailored workshops and online guidance, enhanced opportunities for personalised one-one support and a dedicated, cross-discipline Peer-Assisted Study Scheme to aid with first-year transition and belonging at university. Through this enhanced programme, we aim to improve student success for our Birmingham Scholars by increasing their academic confidence, fostering a sense of belonging, and developing future skills along the way.

Attendees at our session will learn about:

–           the development and delivery of our enhanced academic skills support offer so far, including evaluation of its successes and challenges.

–           preliminary quantitative evidence which suggests the Scholar programme may help to reduce awarding gaps by improving degree outcomes for Scholars who engage with the programme.

–           our future aims for the programme. These include goals to increase engagement with college academic Access and Participation leads to further embed and target our academic skills offer, provide a more holistic range of support by collaborating more widely with colleagues in areas such as Careers Services, and foster further opportunities for peer-to-peer support.


University of Birmingham (2019) Access and Participation Plan 2020-21 to 2024-25. Available at: (Accessed: 6 January 2023).

Location: Portland Building 1.44

Better student outcomes at University of Portsmouth – How data informed targeted intervention can support student success

Harriet Dunbar-Morris, Tom Lowe, Natalie Dutka-Bowskill and Dom Owen

University of Portsmouth and University of Portsmouth Students’ Union


Learning Developers are increasingly asked to conduct targeted work with certain student groups and areas of academic provision to respond to an increasingly outcomes and targets focused higher education sector. This paper offers an example of practice from the University of Portsmouth Students’ Union (UPSU) and University of Portsmouth (UoP), where a funded pilot to better support student outcomes has run since 2022, to address the above challenges. This substantial investment of increased staffing, student-staffing and non-staffing resource in UPSU, has led to supporting targeted solutions to improve student outcomes, in partnership with course teams and students. This project offers an example of a cross university enhancement project for Learning Development teams and will share best practice in approaching timely and targeted intervention. This presentation will also share recommendations to the Learning Development community, introducing Portsmouth’s timely response framework to support future targeted response activities when working collaboratively across a university. In the pressured context of English Higher Education Regulation from the Office for Students, recently produced national student outcomes benchmarks, by programme and by university (B3 Measures), have threatened fines could be given to universities where there are lower metrics in retention, graduate outcomes and student satisfaction. It is therefore critical for timely intervention, with data sources feeding quickly into actionable staffing resources in time for relevant intervention, which will increasingly include the work of Learning Developers. Therefore, this presentation will highlight our story from the Student Outcomes Project and disseminate a framework for data-informed intervention to support universities during a time of accountability and emphasis on student success.

Location: Portland Building 1.44

Tales of a three-year journey to integrating academic and information literacy skills in an education course

Silvina Bishopp-Martin

Canterbury Christ Church University


This session will explore the journey to integrating academic and information literacy skills into CCCU’s BA in primary education. The session will begin by presenting a rationale for the project and the principles underpinning it, in particular, by referring to the Academic Literacies approach. The presentation will subsequently introduce the staged approach taken to fully integrate learning development work into the curriculum, including concrete examples of what that integration looked like for a range of modules. The presenter will also introduce staff and student feedback from the ongoing project, and a range of future steps which will be taken to continue the process of integration. A key aspect of the session will include reference to: (a) how this process has allowed students to navigate academic expectations at different points in the course; (b) staff’s perceptions on the value of the collaboration needed to realise this project.

Location: Portland Building 1.67

The “Master’s Dissertation Fair”: reflections on impact and future development

Georgia Koromila and Sonia Hood

University of Reading


Every year in early spring, postgraduate taught (PGT) students start preparing for their dissertation project. At the University of Reading, this time coincides with the end of teaching, including the Library seminars supporting skills development. Acknowledging that our sessions were ill-timed to support effectively our PGT students at a challenging stage in their degree trajectory, the Study Advice and Academic Liaison teams at the University of Reading Library trialled in June 2020 a week of webinars tailored to PGT level and focusing on elements of the dissertation. The Master’s Dissertation Fair was born! The popularity and positive reception of the initiative took us by surprise and motivated us to continue running the Master’s Dissertation Fair as an annual tradition ever since.

In this paper, we share our reflections on the successes and lessons learnt from the first three iterations of this programme, focusing on its Study Advice component. We review the student feedback collected post session and we explore what the impact was on our one-to-one service in supporting PGT students with dissertation projects over the summer. We also discuss how this initiative impacted our team, as it provided a (rare for us) opportunity to plan and develop collaboratively a coherent and complementary set of sessions. Finally, we explore how this reflection on impact can inform our planning for a more holistic approach to PGT support. For example, are there opportunities to use new formats beyond the webinar? What else could we do to improve our reach and inclusivity?

Location: Portland Building 1.67

The highs and lows of written feedback

Eva Shackel

Bath Spa University


In-person, dialogic feedback tends to be prioritised in learning development (Babcock and Thonus, 2018) and is generally regarded as the most effective option (Hattie and Clarke, 2019). However, there are times when written feedback is more convenient (Burke and Pietrick, 2010). As students’ reactions to written feedback cannot be easily gauged (Dison and Collett, 2019), it is difficult to know if it is being given in the right quantity, depth, and format, to be most helpful (Nicol, 2010).

This presentation outlines research conducted to find out how students feel about the written feedback they receive from a UK university writing centre where written feedback is offered to students on placement. Examples of this feedback will be provided to the audience for a sense of what this looks like, as the format and tone can vary between institutions.

249 students who had sent an essay for email feedback were invited to complete an online survey using Google Forms, for which there was a response rate of 22%. This was followed by semi-structured interviews with 11 students, to explore responses in more depth.

Most students requested written feedback due to its convenience, however some students who identified as neuro-diverse preferred written feedback over in-person feedback as it allows them to process information in their own time. That written feedback could help foster inclusion in this way was an unexpected finding. Additionally, rather than finding the feedback overwhelming, the detailed nature of the feedback increases the students’ perception that the university cares about them. This made them feel valued and important and improved their sense of belonging.

This talk will conclude by looking at how the findings of this research have informed the team’s written, and verbal, feedback.


Babcock, R.D. and Thonus, T. (2018) Researching the writing center: towards an evidence-based practice. Oxford: Peter Lang

Burke, D. and Pietrick, J. (2010) Giving students effective written feedback. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Dison, A. and Collett, K.S. (2019) ‘Decentering and recentering the writing centre using online feedback: Towards a collaborative model of integrating academic literacies development’, Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics Plus, 2019(57), pp.79-98. Available at:

Hattie, J. and Clarke, S. (2019) Visible learning: feedback. London: Routledge.

Nicol, D. (2010) ‘From monologue to dialogue: improving written feedback processes in mass higher education’, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 35(5), pp. 505-517. Available at:

Location: Portland Building 2.33c

Inhabiting the in-between space: LD and EDI policy

Emma Kimberley and Anne-Marie Langford

University of Northampton


From highlighting power relations (Sinfield, Holley and Burns, 2006) to embracing pedagogies of discomfort (Dhillon, 2018), Learning Developers have interpreted and responded to key challenges around inclusion with practical solutions. The LD community, with its roots in initiatives such as the widening participation agenda (Samuels, 2013), has often had to find practical ways to work against the ‘deficit premises’ inherent in its inception (Johnson, 2018). In contrast to this, equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) policy across the HE as a whole has been criticised for gestural approaches and for focusing on policy statements rather than engaging with challenges faced by a diverse student body (Tate and Bagguley, 2017). Learning developers are acutely aware of the tensions between the managerialist impulses of neoliberal HE and ALDinHE’s strongly held community values of social justice and “emancipatory practice” (ALDinHE, n.d.).

This paper explores how learning developers understand and work with the challenge of EDI through a focus on LD voices. It will review literature from the field, as well as the responses of practitioners to a qualitative survey, to explore how learning developers have conceptualised and practiced EDI. It considers the areas covered, the challenges that remain and the actions Learning Developers can take in their own practice to embrace diversity and ensure equity.


Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (n.d.) About ALDinHE. ALDinHE [online].

Dhillon, S. (2018) Whose wellbeing is it anyway?, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. doi: 10.47408/jldhe.v0i0.460.

Hill, P., Tinker, A., Catteral, S., (2010) From Deficiency to Development: the evolution of academic skills provision at one UK university. Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education.

Johnson, I. P. (2018) Driving learning development professionalism forward from within, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. doi: 10.47408/jldhe.v0i0.470.

Samuels, P. (2013) Promoting Learning Development as an Academic Discipline, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, (5). doi: 10.47408/jldhe.v0i5.146.

Sinfield, Holley, D., and Burns, T. (2009). A journey into silence: students, stakeholders and the impact of a strategic governmental policy document in the UK. Social Responsibility Journal, 5(4), 566–574.

Tate, S. A. and Bagguley, P. (2017) Building the anti-racist university: Next steps. Race Ethnicity and Education 20, pp.289–99.

Location: Portland Building 2.33c



Location: Portland Building 2.33a

Integrating education for sustainable development in Learning Development practice within a university humanities department

Rhiannon Parry Thompson

University of Portsmouth


This talk focuses on a Learning Development (LD) approach to the integration of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in the production and delivery of self-directed and classroom LD resources within a university humanities department. It is partly a response to a recently published framework for ESD in higher education (Advance HE, 2021) which encourages students and staff, across disciplines and service areas, to identify their potential in advancing sustainability in their institutions and wider communities.  ESD as “a lens that permits us to look critically at how the world is and to envision how it might be and equips us to deliver that vision” implements and embeds pedagogies, enabling students to discern their roles in addressing “integrity, social justice and economic prosperity” (Advance HE, 2021). 

The role of universities in contributing to the United Nation’s Global Sustainable Development Goals (UNDP, 2022) through research, teaching, skills development, and civic engagement, in positioning ESD strategically across the curriculum, and student expectation around ESD and SDG learning opportunities (SOS-UK, 2020) provide additional context for this session.

The talk includes a succinct overview of ESD in higher education and informed by my practice, a concise explanation of the distinctive role of LD in contributing to the integration of ESD within the formal and informal curricula. This is illustrated by presenting self-produced materials (or, reflecting participatory practice principles, co-produced with students or colleagues), based on a range of sustainability themes, and focusing on such skills areas as critical reflection; communication; collaborative learning and research. The observed impact on students from different subject areas, working collaboratively to apply academic skills to real-world challenges is addressed. Embedded high-impact ESD in LD fosters students’ green literacy skills, enabling them, when they transition out of Higher Education, to build, and maintain environmentally-just communities and workplaces.

A comprehensive resource document, with example material, will be hosted on Learn Higher.

Why inclusive learning shouldn’t always be fun

Steve White

University of Southampton


“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion’ (Muhammed Ali).

A recent blog post on the SEDA educational development forum led to an interesting discussion of whether learning should be fun (Saunders, 2022). As learning developers, it makes sense to make learning activities enjoyable for students where we can. However, this lightning talk contends that some aspects of learning are unlikely to be and perhaps even cannot be fun. Indeed, we may limit the inclusiveness of our approach if we fail to address this idea in our work. As such, it is important for learning developers to be clear with students that some aspects of their learning experience may involve struggle and discomfort. Whilst it’s pleasant for us when students end interactions with learning developers feeling reassured and with a smile on their face, it may at times be more helpful to see them leave with a look of grim determination. For example, Threshold Concepts scholarship identifies dimensions of learning which may require transformation of one’s understanding but also elements of one’s identity. Wrangling with troublesome knowledge within often uncomfortable liminal states of ‘in-betweenness’ is therefore necessary for students to progress in their understanding or ability (Land, Meyer & Smith, 2008).

Drawing on recent educational and learning development discourse, I argue that recognising that learning cannot always be fun is important in creating an inclusive learning experience for students. Indeed, students can take comfort, confidence and even a sense of belonging from understanding that their peers and lecturers struggle with some aspects of learning. At times we may need to “suffer now” in order to gain satisfaction and achievement in the longer term, and we need to be up front about this in our interactions with students.


Land, R., Meyer, J., & Smith, J. (2008). Threshold concepts within the disciplines. Sense Publishers.

Saunders, R. (2022). Should learning be fun? The SEDA blog. Available from: [Accessed 16 Dec 2022]

Untangling the complexities of higher education referencing styles

Ralitsa Kantcheva and Ed Bickle

Bangor University and Bournemouth University


The aim of this lightning talk is to reignite the debate about the non-functional proliferation of referencing styles in numerous subject areas and its implication on student transition into, and through higher education (HE). Whilst the Harvard referencing system for example is widely adopted across the UK HE sector, there is no singularly prescribed approach or benchmark (Neville 2016) when creating related referencing guides. This proliferation has partially been fuelled by the expansion of publishing media and the case-by-case solutions and additions to referencing styles and guides offered by UK HE institutions.

This talk will highlight the impact of this piecemeal approach on students’ understanding of academic integrity, ability to use subject specific referencing styles and guides correctly, and the potential impact of this upon their academic confidence. We will also highlight the importance of understanding and correctly applying referencing systems and the impact this may have on student transition into and through HE. We will discuss Neville’s (2007) argument that with different referencing styles being deep-rooted within disciplines, resistance to change can be strong. This lightning talk will offer a chance to consider the role of learning developers (LDs) in relation to this shift in academic writing practice. Join us in exploring the future role of referencing systems within HE practice and the support LDs can offer to students when navigating the complexities of HE referencing styles.


Neville, C., 2007. The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education.

Neville, C., 2016. The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism. Third Edition. London: McGraw-Hill Education.


Equality, diversity and inclusion: Learning from laying our cards on the table

Matthew Sillence, Hanh Doan and Amanda Clark

University of East Anglia and

University of Hertfordshire


In this showcase, we present a card resource for learning developers who work with staff or students to set up an inclusive learning environment. These are often personal interactions and need to be explored respectfully (Love, Gaynor, and Blessett, 2016; Mahmood, Gray and Benincasa, 2022). The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) cards were created by the University of Hertfordshire and comprise 26 topics and illustrations, ranging from ‘belonging’ to ‘trust’, and exist in both a physical and digital format. Resources used as games can encourage participation, reflection, and transformational thinking (Peabody and Noyes, 2017; Clark, Dickerson, and Jarvis, 2022), which are all important for encouraging respectful conversations about EDI issues.

A collaborative project with the University of East Anglia to explore the use of the cards was funded by ALDinHE. Full ethics approval was gained from both universities before beginning. It recruited staff and students at Hertfordshire and East Anglia who worked with EDI issues and gathered reflections from facilitators and participants who used the cards in different  learning contexts, such as academic support staff development exercises and student representation workshops. They reported that the card prompts allowed for personal storytelling and they suggested further topics for the cards set.

 This session, led by learning developers and teaching staff, explores the idea of the ‘brave space’ (Arao & Clemens, 2013, p. 142; Palfrey, 2017) and why ‘serious play’ is important in learning (Rieber, Smith and Noah, 1998, p. 29). It discusses where and when the cards can be used; a physical or digital space; the curriculum or disciplinary context; and stage of the learner’s journey. The EDI cards and new guidance booklet will be available for delegates to take away.


Arao, B., Clemens, K., (2013) ‘From Safe Spaces to Brave Spaces: A New Way to Frame Dialogue around Diversity and Social Justice’, in L. M. Landreman (ed) The Art of Effective Facilitation: Reflections from Social Justice Educators. Sterling, VA: Stylus, pp. 135–150.

Clark, A., Dickerson, C., Jarvis, J., (2022) ‘Creating inclusive learning environments’, LINK, 6(1). Available at:,-issue-1,-april-2022/creating-inclusive-learning-environments

Love, J.M., Gaynor, T.S., Blessett, B., (2016) ‘Facilitating difficult dialogues in the classroom: A pedagogical imperative’, Administrative Theory & Praxis, 38, pp. 227–233. Available at:

Mahmood, F., Gray, N.A. and Benincasa, K.A. (2021) ‘Facilitating discussions of equity, diversity, and inclusion through an open conversational format: Graduate students’ perspectives’, Journal of Chemical Education, 99(1), pp. 268–273. Available at:

Palfrey, J. (2017) Safe Spaces, Brave Spaces: Diversity and Free Expression in Education. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Available at:

Peabody, M.A., Noyes, S. (2017) ‘Reflective boot camp: Adapting LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® in higher education’, Reflective Practice, 18(2), pp. 232–243. Available at:

Rieber, L.P., Smith, L., Noah, D. (1998) ‘The value of serious play’, Educational technology, 38(6), pp. 29–37. Available at: Portland Building 2.33a

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