Parallel Sessions 5: 13.30 – 14.30

WORKSHOPS (60 minutes)

Why students engage in simulation and how it prepares them for work

David Biggins, Debbie Holley, Ben Goldsmith, and Jacqueline Priego

Bournemouth University and University of Portsmouth


“In the future, learning will take the shape of a story, a play, a game; involving multiple platforms and players; driven by dialogue and augmented with technology, an interplay of immersive experiences, data, and highly social virtual worlds” (Lee et al., 2021).

Employers seek graduates who demonstrate attributes that organisations require to develop in the future. As students transition out of HE, they should have the ‘abilities and capabilities to maintain employment’ (Asiri et al., 2017 p. 2). The transition out of university can be perceived as particularly stressful, with uncertainty about what is required for a successful career  (Jackson and Tomlinson, 2020). This is exacerbated in the post COVID environment when, even as the graduate job market has started to recover, students’ confidence about finding a job after graduation remains low (Curnock Cook, 2022). Our simulation methods are aligned to supporting these transitions, and in the theories that underpin their move, the focus is ’on becoming’ professionals in their field. Simulations can be designed for cognitive absorption, the psychological concept of flow and deep absorption in learning (OU, 2022); a meta analysis  Premised on the innovation of best learning moments the student tasks shared in this workshop engender deep involvement, through memorable learning activities. This reflects the ‘ways of working’ of the LD community, and evidence suggests that reflective practice, learning complex skills and scaffolding learning are the transferable aspects of these technologies (Chernikova  et al 2020).

Widening participation research has provided evidence that students’ movements in and out of experiences such as care, work and studies are fluid, non-linear and context-dependent (Priego-Hernández & Holley, 2021). With the move to hybrid learning, students want their learning materials to be well-designed. However, 43% of students do not perceive their learning materials to be engaging/motivating (Jisc, 2022). Immersive technology and simulation may offer the solution to this disconnect, as simulations offer an immersive and embodied experiences (Bayne 2004; Bayne et al 2019.  Signature pedagogies (Thomson et al., 2012) for professions can provide a means for institutions to achieve the requirements of OfS’s B3 (2022) which is now assessing student continuation; degree outcomes, including differential outcomes for student characteristics, and, framing this workshop, graduate employment and progression to professional jobs and postgraduate study.

Learning Developers have a pivotal part to play operationalising actions that result into students’ graduate outcomes, and responding to this, our workshop invites participants to experience three types of simulation, a) a business game, b) a mass casualty evacuation and c) a community project responding to a scenario.


Asiri, A., Greasley, A. and Bocij, P. (2017). A review of the use of business simulation to enhance students’ employability.

Curnock Cook, M., (2022). A student futures manifesto; Final report of the Student Futures Commission, UPP Foundation. London.

Chernikova, O., Heitzmann, N., Stadler, M., Holzberger, D., Seidel, T. and Fischer, F., (2020). Simulation-based learning in higher education: a meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 90(4), pp.499-541. Available at: Bayne, S., (2004). The embodiment of the online learner. In Beyond the comfort zone: Proceedings of the 21st ASCILITE Conference (pp. 105-115).

Bayne, S., Evans, P., Ewins, P., Farrell, K., Gallagher, M., Ghazali-Mohammed, Z., Knox, J., Lawson, T., Manches, A., Menzies, J. and Odai, L., (2019). Centre for Research in Digital Education Annual Report 2019.

Health Education England (HEE) (2020). Enhancing education, clinical practice and staff wellbeing. A national vision for the role of simulation and immersive technologies in health and care. Available at”

Kukulska-Hulme, A., Bossu, C., Charitonos, K., Coughlan, T., Maina, M., Ferguson, R., FitzGerald, E., Gaved, M., Guitert, M., Herodotou, C., Prieto-Blázquez, J., Rienties, B., Sangrà, A., Sargent, J., Scanlon, E., Whitelock, D. (2022). Innovating Pedagogy 2022: Open University Innovation Report 10. Milton Keynes: The Open University. Available at:

Lee, M. J. W., Georgieva, M., Alexander, B., Craig, E., & Richter, J. (2021). State of XR & Immersive Learning Outlook Report. Immersive Learning Research Network; Walnut, CA.

Jackson, D., and Tomlinson, M., 2020. Investigating the relationship between career planning, proactivity and employability perceptions among higher education students in uncertain labour market conditions. Higher Education, 80(3), 435-455.

Jisc Student Experience Report. (2022). Available at:

OfS. (2022). Condition B3: baselines for student outcomes indicators. Available at:

Priego-Hernández, J., & Holley, D. (2021). “More than just saving the government care costs”: Re-presenting student carers’ narratives. In N. Harrison & G. Atherton (Eds.), Marginalised communities in higher education: International perspectives. Routledge for the Society for Research into Higher Education.

Thomson, P., Hall, C., Jones, K. and Green, J.S. (2012). The signature pedagogies project. Culture, creativity and education.

Session Outline:

Target theme: The impact of Learning Development on transformation and transitions into, through, and out of HE.

3 mins:        Introduction to the presenters and the topic. Session outline

7 minutes: Theories of embodiment (Bayne et al 2002, 2014)  grounded in bodily interaction with the environment are offered as an entry point to the scenarios. Participants can then explore these potential ways of enriching ways of teaching and learning.  The transitions literature from the Curnock Cook (2022) student futures manifesto underpins this section.

Three tables needed simultaneously. Max of 10 per table. Every participant visits all 3 tables

  • 8 plus 2 minutes to move tables – David’s business simulation game in which teams of 5 run a business and make decisions on raw material purchases, production and selling prices and see how these decisions pay against competing teams. Participants will be asked to make a set of decisions.
  • 8 plus 2 minutes to move tables – Debbie’s and Ben’s ‘Goliath mass casualty evacuation’ health perspective, supported by videos viewed via Google Cardboard.
  • 8 plus 2 mins to move tables. Jacq’s exercise presents an assessment task through scenario-based learning. Attendees will be invited to make a poster proposal for a community project on a social issue.

15 minutes to debrief and add to a Padlet (if we go virtual) or to a knowledge tree (if we are face to face)

Invitation to share experiences and to co-host an LD@3 on simulation and immersion and/or contribute to the ALDinHE  #Take5 blog

Location: Portland Building 3.31a

Moving through the Third Space: Being, becoming and progressing as a Learning Developer

Nicola Grayson and Cathy Malone

University of Salford and University of Leeds


Our journeys into Learning Development (LD) are myriad and disparate; we come together in our work with students, but few of us travelled the same paths to get here. However, we can reflect and support one another in friendship and along the way to define what moving forward might mean for us individually and collectively.

In a sector marked by employment precarity, third space professionals (those working between the academic and professional spheres of a university seem particularly vulnerable in contractual terms (Whitchurch, 2008). Our workshop will explore some of the personal implications of progression within this space through a communal consideration of the diversity of professional roles occupied by key figures in our community. Together we will explore how and why those who make a third space shift continue to self-identify as learning developers.

We will begin by sharing our LD origin stories with one another and will seek to capture some of these diverse journeys using a ‘friendship as method’ approach (Heron, 2020) which draws on the collegial friendships that are formed at a conference. We will then spend some time working together to identify elements of our work that make us happy; this will help us to shape our idea of development and growth as centred around the work we enjoy and the values we hold dear. With an idea of what constitutes a ‘positive destination’, we will then explore options for progression as shaped by our desired links to the work we value in Learning Development.

We will end by sharing stories from those who have successfully navigated progressive movements within the ‘third space’. Reflecting on these transitions, we will explore commonalities and links between the roles they occupy and those of Learning Developers which centre around our praxis in supporting students and their learning. We share concrete steps attendees can take and provide insights into how to manage a ‘third-space shift’ whilst remaining integrally connected to our ever-invaluable LD community.


Heron, E. (2020) Friendship as method: reflections on a new approach to understanding student experiences in higher education, Journal of Further and Higher Education, 44:3, 393-407, DOI: 10.1080/0309877X.2018.1541977

Whitchurch, C., (2008) Shifting identities and blurring boundaries : the emergence of Third Space professionals in UK higher education. Higher Education Quarterly , 62 (4) pp. 377-396.

Session outline:

Introduction to session – 5 mins

Icebreaker Find a partner. Introduce yourselves -4 mins

Paired conversations around minimal prompts                     

Becoming, Happiness, Progression 20 mins

Sharing from the sector: Stories of journey from Learning to Academic Development – 15 mins

How you can position yourself to make this move?

Share concrete steps gathered from discussion with those who have made this move successfully and those in positions to recruit to such roles .

Invite discussion and questions – 10 mins

Links to capture reflections and conversations and contribute to JLDHE conference proceedings via collaborative writing

Location: Portland Building 1.51

Seen and heard: What role can learning development play in LGBTQ+ inclusion?

Beverley Hancock-Smith and Zara Hooley

De Montfort University


An inclusive approach to teaching LGBTQ+ students in university is vital. LGBTQ+ people are more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers (Miranda-Mendizábal et al, 2017; Craig et al, 2020; Friedman et al., 2011).  They suffer minority stress (Meyer, 2003) and are more likely to have experienced early trauma (Craig et al, 2020; Wang et al., 2021). Particular attention is needed for the most vulnerable LGBTQ+ students such as bisexual and transgender individuals (Gnan et al., 2019). Whilst literature exists on LGBTQ+ inclusive teaching (Mikulec, 2016; Moore, 2014), there is a considerable research gap specifically addressing the pedagogical potential of learning development as a vehicle for this. 

Building on the foundation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and decolonisation, Trauma-Informed Pedagogy (TIP) acknowledges the barriers to learning faced by trauma-experienced students and promotes inclusive approaches (Baker, 2022). Using the TIP framework, the session invites delegates to consider how the trauma-informed educator can create and maintain a safe, inclusive and empowering learning space. We will invite delegates to reflect on their own inclusive practices in relation to LGBTQ+ students and how we can best support the needs of a group who can remain largely invisible. Using case studies, we will explore how TIP approaches can be applied in a learning development context to benefit not only LGBTQ+ students, but the student body as a whole.


Baker, K. (2022). Mays Imad on Trauma-Informed Pedagogy. The National Teaching and Learning Forum. Vol. 31, Issue 2.

Craig, S. L. et al. (2020) ‘Frequencies and patterns of adverse childhood events in LGBTQ+ youth’, Child Abuse and Neglect, 107(April), p. 10462.

Friedman, M. S. et al. (2011) ‘A meta-analysis of disparities in childhood sexual abuse, parental physical abuse, and peer victimization among sexual minority and sexual nonminority individuals’, American Journal of Public Health, 101(8), pp. 1481–1494.

Gnan, G. H., et al. (2019) ‘General and LGBTQ-specific factors associated with mental health and suicide risk among LGBTQ students’, Journal of Youth Studies.  22(10), pp. 1393–1408.

Meyer, I. H. (2003) ‘Prejudice, Social Stress, and Mental Health in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Populations: Conceptual Issues and Research Evidence’. Psychological Bulletin, 129(5), pp. 674–697.

Mikulec, E.A. and Miller, P.C. eds., 2017. Queering classrooms: Personal narratives and educational practice to support LGBTQ youth in schools. .IAP: North Carolina.

Miranda-Mendizábal, A., et al (2017) ‘Sexual orientation and suicidal behaviour in adolescents and young adults: Systematic review and meta-analysis’. British Journal of Psychiatry, 211(2), pp. 77–87.

Moore, A. R. (2014). Inclusion and Exclusion: A Case Study of an English Class for LGBT Learners. Tesol Quarterly, 50(1), P 86 – 108.

Wang, Y. et al. (2021) ‘Methods of attempted suicide and risk factors in LGBTQ+ youth’, Child Abuse and Neglect. 122(April), p. 105352

Session outline:

Introduction (15 mins)

Understand how trauma impacts learning  

Introduction to trauma-informed pedagogical approaches

Meet the LGBTQ+ students: video profiles of LGBTQ+ DMU students (5 mins)

Case studies of TIP within academic disciplines (10 mins)

Knowledge café exploring (20mins):

How we can best support the needs of a group who can remain largely invisible

Practical application of TIP for LGBTQ+ students

Practical application of TIP in LD contexts

Plenary and call to action (10 mins)

Location: Portland Building 1.67

Generating Threshold Concepts for impactful Learning Development: Exploring a new perspective on our work

Steve White

University of Southampton



  • Spark discussion and reflection on participants’ LD practice
  • Generate a list of threshold concepts for learning developers to help illuminate our distinctiveness as a profession

Threshold Concepts (TCs) represent pivotal “eureka” moments in learning, where a person makes a leap in understanding or ability “akin to a portal, opening up a new and previously inaccessible way of thinking about something” (Meyer & Land, 2003, p.1). Crossing these thresholds can be transformative, integrative, and irreversible, but also troublesome. Discussion of TCs may provide a novel way of surfacing the core challenges of learning development work – whether in terms of helping students to progress, or informing how we operate within the university context.

Research in Learning Development has identified ‘generic’ TCs which students might need to support their studies. However, it is also interesting to consider whether we as Learning Developers can collectively identify TCs which increase our impact when working with students, academics and other stakeholders. This session contextualises the idea by first looking at TCs for student development. This activity aims to enhance participants’ understanding of TCs. Crucially, participants then move on to consider what TCs might underpin our work as LDs, reflecting on the ALDinHE values and key concepts in teacher training. Discussions might help surface tacit knowledge about LD pedagogy, ways of building relationships in HE or influencing wider teaching practices or course design. As a takeaway from the session, participants can generate a list of TCs which could inform their LD practice (e.g. in approaches to educational interventions or LD training/recruitment) Outcomes from the study will inform a potential publication or Take5 blog post (with participant consent). By examining our role through the lens of TCs, looking at ourselves as ‘students’ of LD, we might gain new insights to inform our practice and research.   


Brown, M. E. L., Whybrow, P., & Finn, G. M. (2021). Do We Need to Close the Door on Threshold Concepts? Teaching and Learning in Medicine.

Dubicki, E. (2019). Mapping curriculum learning outcomes to ACRL’s Framework threshold concepts: A syllabus study. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 45(3), 288–298.

Edwards, C. (2011). Investigation of the relevance of the notion of a threshold concept within generic learning development work. Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, 3.

Kandlbinder, P., & Peseta, T. (2009). Key concepts in postgraduate certificates in higher education teaching and learning in Australasia and the United Kingdom. International Journal for Academic Development, 14(1), 19–31.

Kiley, M. (2009). Identifying threshold concepts and proposing strategies to support doctoral candidates. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 46(3), 293–304.

Meyer, J. H. F., & Land, R. (2003). Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge: Linkages to ways of thinking and practising within the disciplines. In C. Rust (Ed.), Improving Student Learning – Ten Years On. OCSLD. 

Thomson, P. (2018). Threshold concepts in academic writing. Patter. Available from: [Accessed 1 Sept 2022]

Session outline:

15 minutes

  1. Interactive intro to TCs (if I can get enough juggling balls!) (circulate consent forms on use of participate contributions)
  2. Brief review of TCs – elements, uses, criticisms

15 minutes

3. Groups discuss TCs for students, each group choosing a research-based prompt:

  • Generic TCs for undergraduate students in LD contexts (Edwards, 2011)
  • TCs for postgraduate research students (Kiley, 2009)
  • TCs for academic writing (Thomson, 2018)
  • TCs in Information Literacy (Dubicki, 2019)

4. Plenary feedback to consolidate idea of TCs – leading toward discussion of TCs for Learning Developers which might inform our interactions with students, university colleagues, or influence on wider teaching and learning processes

30 minutes

5. In groups discuss TCs for LDs with prompts:

  • ALDinHE values
  • Key concepts in PG Certs in HE (Kandlbinder & Peseta, 2009)

6. Plenary feedback: share outcomes as group, and facilitator records for future Take5 blog or publication. Not what students need to know, but what we as LDs need to know/do in order to help students grasp their TCs.

Location: Portland Building 1.44

Do institutional or subject referencing style choices create barriers for students with Specific Learning Disability?

Fiona Watkins

University of Northampton


Models of information literacy (1,2) are explicit: critical thinking and ethical information use are essential skills within Higher Education (HE). Referencing is key to this, demonstrating how students select and apply information to create knowledge (3,4).  

Within HE there has been an increased focus on inclusivity and accessibility (5, 6, 7). Growing numbers of students are declaring a disability (8) and reports suggest they are increasingly dissatisfied with their courses (9).  Proportionally, students with disability achieve lower grades than students without (10). Suggesting needs and expectations of students with a disability are not being met within HE provisions. 

The presentation discusses an ethically approved small-scale mixed-methods study carried out as part of a MA in Special Educational Needs and Inclusion. The research investigated student perceptions of referencing, whether adherence to specific referencing styles is a barrier for students with dyslexia and began investigating the impact of referencing styles on reading comprehension.   
The largest disability declared with HE is Specific Learning Disability (SpLD) (11), which includes dyslexia (12). Students with SpLD report lower confidence with academic writing than non-SpLD students (13). Academic literacy skills are arguably intertwined with a sense of legitimacy and belonging (14) it is therefore vital to consider ways of improving inclusion for all students (15).  

The presenter observed that students with SpLD spent more time and energy on referencing than their non-disabled peers. This perception is corroborated by others (16) and when combined with slower reading speeds (17, 18, 19) reduces time students have for critical subject engagement (20).  
Attendees will gain an understanding of how students view referencing and whether the choice of referencing system disadvantages students with dyslexia.  They will also take part in a reading comprehension test giving a taster of the next steps for research which requires collaborative partners. 


1. Coonan, E., Geekie, J., Goldstein, S., Jeskins, L., Jones, R., Macrae-Gibson, R., Secker, J. & Walton, G. (2018) CILIP Definition of Information Literacy 2018. CILIP Information Literacy Group [online]. Available from: [Accessed 11/11/2022].  
2. SCONUL (2011) The SCONUL seven pillars of Information Literacy: Core Model for Higher Education. SCONUL [online]. Available from: [Accessed 11/11/2022].  
3. Buckley, C. (2015) Conceptualising plagiarism: using Lego to construct students’ understanding of authorship and citation. Teaching in Higher Education. 20(3), pp. 352-358.  
4. Angelil-Carter, S. A. (1995) Uncovering plagiarism in academic writing: developing authorial voice within multivoiced text [online]. MEd. Rhodes University. Available from: [Accessed 05/07/2021].  
5. Equality Act 2010 London: HMSO.  
6. United Nations (2015) The 17 Goals. Sustainable Development Goals [online]. Available from: [Accessed 02/01/2022].  
7. Department for Education and Department of Health. (2015) Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 – 25 years. Statutory guidance for organisations which work with and support children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities. London: Department for Education.  
8. Advanced HE (2018) Equality in higher education: students statistical report 2019. Advanced HE [online]. Available from: [Accessed 08/11/2020], p. 76.  
9. Office for Students (2020) NSS Characteristic analysis data. NSS 2020 Sector Analysis. Student Information and data [online]. Available from:  [Accessed 28/11/2020].  
10. Advanced HE (2018) Equality in higher education: students statistical report 2019. Advanced HE [online]. Available from: [Accessed 08/11/2020], p.73.  
11. Advanced HE (2018) Equality in higher education: students statistical report 2019. Advanced HE [online]. Available from: [Accessed 08/11/2020] p. 78.  
12. American Psychological Association (2013) Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington: American Psychiatric Association.  
13. Kinder, J. & Elander, J. (2012) Dyslexia, authorial identity, and approaches to learning and writing: a mixed methods study. British Journal of Education Psychology. 82(2), pp. 289-307.  
14. Gourlay, L. (2009) Threshold practices: becoming a student through academic literacies. London Review of Education. 7(2), 181-192.  
15. Office for Students (2020) NSS Characteristic analysis data. NSS 2020 Sector Analysis. Student Information and data [online]. Available from: [Accessed 28/11/2020].  
16. Sanders, J. (2010) Horray for Harvard? The fetish of footnotes revisited. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning. 12, pp. 48-59.  
17. Hendricks, M. & Quinn, L. (2000) Teaching referencing as an introduction to epistemological empowerment. Teaching in Higher Education. 5(4), pp. 447-457.  
18. Sanders, J. (2010) Horray for Harvard? The fetish of footnotes revisited. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning. 12, pp. 48-59.  
19. Serry, T., Oates, J., Ennals, P., Venville, A., Williams, A., Fossey, E. & Steel, G. (2018) Managing reading and related literacy difficulties: University students’ perspectives. Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties. 23(1), 5-30.  
20. Wengelin, A. (2007) The word-level focus in text production by adults with reading and writing difficulties. In: Rijlaarsdam, G., Torrance, M., van Waes, L. & Galbraith, D. (eds) Writing and cognition: Research and applications. Oxford: Elsevier, pp.67-82.  

Location: Portland Building 3.31b

Helping students to learn how to critically evaluate a source: How effective are the tools we use?

Edward Powell and Sonia Hood

University of Reading


What does evaluating a source involve? What aspects of the source are being evaluated? On what basis do we determine a source’s strengths and weaknesses? And how do we explain this to students who are learning the basics of critical analysis?

The Study Advice team at the University of Reading recently developed a new online guide introducing students to critical analysis. The guide includes a selection of exercises and visual and mnemonic tools that cover the basics of critical analysis, including Bloom’s Taxonomy (Anderson et al, 2001), the Seven Pillars of Information Literacy (SCONUL, 2011), C.R.A.A.P. (Blakeslee, 2004), B.E.A.M. (Bizup, 2008), and the University of Plymouth’s (2006) Model to Generate Critical Thinking, along with a new resource called S.P.E.A.R. that focuses on how to analyse and evaluate an individual source. We developed the latter after noticing in one-to-one appointments that students appeared to find this aspect of critical analysis particularly difficult to understand. Moreover, we felt that existing tools like C.R.A.A.P. and the Seven Pillars did not provide enough clarification of how to identify a source’s strengths and weaknesses.

In this workshop, participants will consider how well these tools work in helping students understand how to evaluate a source’s analysis and, by extension, its claims. This process can differ significantly across the disciplines. As such, we will also explore how to better capture the full breadth of critical analysis at degree level, without overwhelming students who are new to the concept with its full complexities.


Anderson, L. W. Krathwohl, David R., eds. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. New York: Longman.

Bizup, J. (2008) BEAM: A Rhetorical Vocabulary for Teaching Research-Based Writing. Rhetoric Review, 27:1, 72-86. Available at: (accessed 13 January 2023)

Blakeslee, S. (2004) The CRAAP Test. LOEX Quarterly, 31:3, 6-7. Available at: (accessed 13 January 2023)

SCONUL (2011) The SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy: Core Model. Available at: (accessed 13 January 2023).

University of Plymouth (2006) Model to Generate Critical Thinking. Available at: (accessed 13 January 2023)

Session outline:

[Room will be set up in group tables, with each table assigned a broad discipline area: Natural Sciences; Humanities; Social Sciences; Business Studies, etc]

10 mins: Introduction to the University of Reading’s Critical Thinking guide and personal interest in what it means to critically analyse a source, especially across disciplines

15 mins: Discussion in groups: ‘A student from your table’s assigned discipline area wants your help to understand how to critically analyse and evaluate a source. What do you tell them? What tools and resources do you use?’

15 mins: Exercise in groups: ‘Here are the tools that we have included in our Critical Thinking LibGuide: how useful are they in clarifying how to identify a source’s strengths and weaknesses? What other tools would you recommend?’

15 mins: Closing: ‘How could we improve on what we have? What aspects of critical evaluation do these tools not cover? What subjects or writing genres are under-covered?’

5 mins: Plenary

Location: Portland Building 1.66

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