In an era of turbulent change, this timely and relevant study allowed us to find out more about the LD community within the UK HE sector. The research involved interviews/focus groups with 55 LD practitioners across 28 UK HEIs during spring/summer 2023. By using a transformative approach to research, it enabled us to examine change from a positive perspective, exploring LD practice through the lens of the Appreciative Inquiry 4D model and four key research questions:
Discovery: What are the existing strengths of LD practice?
Dream: What could LD become?
Design: As a collective, how can we achieve that dream?
Destiny: How can I/our team contribute to achieving that dream?
Through the words of participants, we will argue that LD’s position within the ‘third space’ (Whitchurch 2008) is something to be valued and that change can be implemented from within that space. We will also argue that to instigate change, learning developers themselves must be the change makers.
Join us to find out what we learnt on our research journey with you, the voices of Learning Development. We look forward to sharing and discussing the findings and how the different voices contributed to the vital conversation around the future of LD within HE.
We thank the Society for Educational Studies for funding the research.
Whitchurch, C., 2008. Shifting Identities and Blurring Boundaries: The Emergence of “Third Space” Professionals in UK Higher Education. Higher Education Quarterly, 62 (4), 377-396.
- Ed Bickle – Learning Development lecturer – Bournemouth University
- Steph Allen – Principal Academic in Learning Development and Academic Integrity – Bournemouth University