#LTHEchat 215 Developing Being, Belonging, Becoming to Support Student Success. Led by Dr Harriet Dunbar-Morris, @HE_Harriet.

Image courtesy of University of Portsmouth, shows a member of staff supporting students.

Having reached the end of last academic year, which could be described as tumultuous to say the least, the focus of universities up and down the country has since been on the support that students need in preparation for the start of the new academic year.

It is the experience of ‘freshers’ that is often under the spotlight, not least in the media, in the first semester, and there is knowledge out there to guide our approach. Meehan and Howells (2018)[1] evaluated first-year students’ transition into university and found that the values of ‘being, belonging and becoming’ were important. Their work showed that three things matter to students: the academic staff they work with; the nature of their academic study; and the feeling of belonging. These are even more important when we are providing teaching in a blended format, which is why at Portsmouth we have developed a ‘Blended and Connected’ approach[2], a mix of online – synchronous and asynchronous – and face-to-face learning; but note that all important ‘Connected’ in the name of our approach. Moreover, whilst as a sector we need to consider what new students, many of whom have had a rather disrupted education at school or college in the last year, need, we must also not forget current students. It has been necessary to prepare for our second-year university students too, who need a different level of support for progression and transition than would be required in normal circumstances, as they experienced a first year unlike ever before. Then there are our third-year students who are preparing for a transition to work or further study in a changed world.

So ensuring students feel a sense of belonging and connection makes a difference to their experience of higher education. This was key to our approach to delivering learning and teaching during the pandemic, and it is at the heart of our offer for 2021-22. We have looked at research, but also modelled our own response on an evidence-based, data-driven approach in which the student voice is absolutely central. We have developed an approach which sees the value of students in active collaboration to change the institution. For example, our Student Experience Committee, which includes staff (drawn from academic and professional services teams) and student representation, has been refocused to act as a research group[3]. It is through this committee that our Being, Belonging, Becoming group emerged. This group has worked to ensure that we planned, around students, the learning, teaching and student experience for 2021-22. It has brought together academic and professional services staff and the Students’ Union in a joint endeavour to plan, in an integrated way, the progression, pre-arrival, induction and transitions of our students and applicants.

What sorts of things did we plan: a variety of events, online and face-to-face, over Welcome Month; access to Welcome Ambassadors and peer-support; early access to online modules to provide an introduction to learning in higher education, studying online, resilience and wellbeing, and academic integrity; continued use of a template in our Virtual Learning Environment; and a key role for Personal Tutors – more on that in a moment.

Image courtesy of University of Portsmouth, shows a Welcome Ambassador

What we have endeavoured to do is to help our students to help themselves: we give them opportunities to develop as students, develop skills and attributes, and provide support to help them make the most of all that we offer. Our students are well and truly placed in the driving seat of their journey.

The Student Experience Committee had also overseen the development of the new Personal Tutoring and Development Framework by a staff-student working group, and, as part of that, the development of an example Personal Tutoring Curriculum[4].

Given the central role and relationship that personal tutors have with students, they are key to ensuring students feel a sense of Belonging, and they also have a role in developing Being and Becoming. As Thomas (2012) summarises:

“personal tutors can improve student retention and success in the following ways:

  • enabling students to develop a relationship with an academic member of staff in their discipline or programme area and feeling more connected
  • helping staff get to know students
  •  providing students with reassurance, guidance and feedback about their academic studies in particular.” (Thomas, 2012, p 43)[5]

The example, spiral, Personal Tutoring Curriculum supports tutors on undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses, in each year and for a variety of session types (individual, group, online or face-to-face) to cover some key themes, several of which support connectedness and student success. For example, at Portsmouth, among the key themes that we outlined and expected students to have exposure to in our Framework, and which are drawn from Lochtie et al (2018, pp 124–127)[6], I would highlight:

  • getting to know you;
  • getting connected;
  • enhancing your future.

One of the changes we made in our Framework and which is supported by our Personal Tutoring Curriculum was to encourage students to see tutoring differently from how it might have been experienced at school or college – to engage with personal tutoring even if they were not having issues. Our approach is more developmental and provides students with the tools to help themselves; which is at the centre of our approach at Portsmouth: ‘My personal tutor has been fantastic and really helped me grow not only academically but personally as well.’ (Student, NSS 2020). We therefore included solution-focused coaching (Lochtie et al, 2018, pp 136–152) as an element of the personal tutoring curriculum when it is appropriate.

So, having highlighted some of the things we have put in place at Portsmouth to develop Being, Belonging, Becoming to support Student Success, it is over to you. How can you support Student Success in your institution? What role does Being, Belonging, Becoming have in your offer; and are they ‘Connected’?


[1] Catherine Meehan & Kristy Howells (2018) ‘What really matters to freshers?’: evaluation of first year student experience of transition into university, Journal of Further and Higher Education, 42:7, 893-907

[2] https://sites.google.com/port.ac.uk/preparingforteachingonline/principles-of-blended-learning

[3] Dunbar-Morris, H. Using a committee as a student staff partnership research group to implement data-driven, research-informed practical applications to benefit the student experience. Journal of Academic Development and Education (accepted for publication).

[4] https://personaltutoring.port.ac.uk/developing-your-tutees

[5] Thomas, L (2012) Building student engagement and belonging in higher education at a time of change: final report from the What works? Student retention & success programme. London: Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

[6] Lochtie, D, McIntosh, E, Stork, A and Walker, B W (2018) Effective Personal Tutoring in Higher Education. St Albans: Critical Publishing.


Dr Harriet Dunbar-Morris PFHEA @HE_Harriet is Dean of Learning and Teaching and Reader in Higher Education at the University of Portsmouth. In August 2021 she was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by AdvanceHE.


Q1 Think back to your own start to higher education. What helped you feel a sense of belonging and connection at your institution?

Q2 Think about what else universities and their staff, both academic and professional services, do. What do you understand by developing students’ Being and Becoming (as well as Belonging)?

Q3 What activities has your institution provided for the Covid-impacted student generation to develop their Being, Belonging and Becoming? Think of specific examples related for example to pre-arrival, induction and transition from year to year and to work or further study.

Q4 What is the role of the Personal Tutor in supporting connectedness and student success?

Q5 If your institution were to design a Personal Tutoring Curriculum what themes and/or activities would be central to it?

Q6 How do you enable students to help themselves?

Find the Wakelet at https://wke.lt/w/s/1qK1dz

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#LTHEchat 214: Lifelong Learning – Instilling the Desire to Continue to Learn. Led by Matt Cornock @mattcornock & Sandra Huskinson @FieryRed1

Photo by designer 491 Canva Pro

Last year we ran a #LTHEchat on learning design and how we think about planning and designing activities for learning. The final question on how we can ‘design in’ ways to support learners how to learn was an area worthy of further exploration. This is particularly the case as new ways of teaching and learning have developed further as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, including fully online programmes, hybrid and hyflex pedagogy, and a focus on small group face-to-face teaching. For many students, these ways of learning are new, not just for first year undergraduates, but also for returning students who have not had on-campus exposure to typical ways of learning in disciplines due to a variety of restrictions. 

This #LTHEchat will provide space to discuss ways of learning in subject areas, but also focus on how these ways of learning extend beyond the curriculum and formal learning programmes. Empowering students to continue learning after they have graduated is an important part of higher education, influenced by both policy and economic drivers, but also providing opportunities for innovation in programme design. Active Learning pedagogy, situated learning, critical thinking and reflective practice all contribute to enabling students to identify and address learning needs throughout their professional careers. These professional learning needs can be addressed through formal programmes, such as online degrees taken alongside work, or informal, ad hoc learning, from simply watching videos to completing self-study open access short courses. However, we would argue that for students to navigate, build and take ownership of their own personal learning environment, that intersects both formal and informal settings, requires deliberate approaches to be embedded within curriculum and programme design. 

We hope this discussion will provide reflection on current practice and spark interest in the interplay between ways of learning in higher education and professional learning. 

Further reading

Coldham, S., Armsby, P. and Flynn, S. (2021) ‘Learning For, At and Through Work’, in Pokorny, H. and Warren, D. (eds.) Enhancing Teaching Practice in Higher Education. 2nd Ed. London: Sage.

Kirschner, P.A. and Hendrick, C. (2020) ‘The culture of learning’, in How Learning Happens. Abingdon: Routledge.

Wheeler, S. (2019) Digital Learning in Organisations. London: Kogan Page.


Image of Matt Cornock

Matt Cornock, MEng MA SCMALT @mattcornock | http://mattcornock.co.uk Matt has worked for over 15 years in both higher education and professional learning sectors, supporting colleagues in technology-enhanced learning and leading learning design for professional development programmes. He is a senior leader in digital education and is a Senior Certified Member of the Association for Learning Technology. He has led the implementation and evaluation of learning technologies and innovation in learning and teaching both at department and institutional level. Matt’s independent research interests focus on learning design, online education and professional learning

Image of Sandra Huskinson

Sandra Huskinson Ba(Hons) MSc @fieryred1 Sandra is an educational consultant. She has a background in multimedia design studying a Bretton Hall College, University of Leeds and University of Nottingham. She has held a variety of roles including medical artist, design manager and works as a freelance elearning and multimedia consultancy for a variety of organisations.


Q1. Think back to your own education. What examples can you provide of when you were motivated to learn beyond the curriculum?

Q2. What teaching activities are typical in your subject? Think about what makes these distinct to your discipline, e.g. specific approaches you use in your subject.

Q3. How do you enable students to learn from those teaching activities? Think about support you have in place for learning how to learn.

Q4. How do you embed opportunities for students to reflect and develop their approach to learning as part of curriculum design?

Q5. What ways do you enable students to identify their own learning needs and set learning goals?

Q6. How might you design in to programmes the opportunities for students to go beyond the curriculum and to address personal learning goals?

Find the Wakelet at: https://wke.lt/w/s/U8gQ-g

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#LTHEchat 213: Belonging – does it matter in the student experience? Led by Jenny Crow @JennnCrow

Photo by Caio from Pexels

Within the UK, the next weeks bring the start of a new academic year, which can bring up a mixture of thoughts and feelings for both staff and students. The start of a new year can also be a time to reflect or potentially introduce new things. Araújo et al (2014) talks about “academic, social and cultural adjustments” students undertake when starting at University. The start of the 2021/22 academic year also brings additional challenges. Many students will be adjusting and re-adjusting due to a wide range of learning experiences impacted by the pandemic.

Rovai (2004) found that low sense of belonging could lead to students dropping out especially in a blended and online context, this could be relevant to this year, as many students will be in this situation of taking some learning on-campus and some online. In 2019, 5 institutions launched the Developing Sense of Belonging in online distance learning toolkit, although the toolkit was aimed at online distance learning the principles can be translated to other students. One of the first things the toolkit asks viewers to do is try and consider what their students are feeling and what it is like from their perspective. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs framework (1943) was initially posed as a theory of motivation. Later in 2013, a meme was then shared on the BBC website that included Maslow’s framework plus an added addition. Whether the addition in this case is in the correct place could be up for debate.

Image source BBC, 2013

The author of the meme might not have discovered Milhein (2012) which had already applied Maslow’s framework to an online learning context and had included internet access in the first level (Physiological). The author later shared the importance of staff involvement in creating an environment of belonging and acceptance through communication, collaborative activities and feedback. However, without the initial levels of Physiological and Safety being met first then belonging was more challenging, consequently Wi-Fi is important to belonging!

Finally, not all students are the same and therefore experience different levels of belonging. Booker (2016) shares the importance of considering that some students can feel a lack of belonging that could be linked to ethnicity and gender. Singh (2020) gives some practical tips, such as creating a culture with lack of judgement, sharing of videos and explaining of local language terms – all of which can assist students from different backgrounds to feel like they belong.

In this week’s #LTHE tweet chat we are going to explore what belonging means and how it is put into practice in a learning context.


Araújo , N. et al., 2014. Belonging in the first year: A creative discipline cohort case study. The International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education, 5(2), pp. 21-31.

Booker, K., 2016. Connection and Commitment: How Sense of Belonging and Classroom Community Influence Degree Persistence for African American Undergraduate Women. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 28(2), pp. 219-229.

Maslow, A. H., 1943. A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review.

Milheim, K. L., 2012. Towards a Better Experience: Examining Student Needs in the Online Classroom through Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Model. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 8(2), p. 159.

Rovai, A. P. & Jordan, H., 2004. Blended Learning and Sense of Community: A Comparative Analysis with Traditional and Fully Online Graduate Courses. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 5(2).

Singh, G., 2020. Supporting black, asian minority ethnic (BAME) students during the COVID-19 crisis. Shades of Noir.

This Week’s Host: Jenny Crow

Jenny Crow (@jennncrow) is the Digital Education Team Manager in the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow. Her role involves leading a small team in the College of MVLS, who build content for fully online MSc programmes as well as providing digital education support for staff and students involved in these programmes. Additionally, Jenny is undertaking a part-time PhD at the University of Glasgow. Her topic is analysing sense of belonging for online distance students and whether technology can impact sense of belonging. Her research projects include virtual tours, virtual graduations, virtual worlds and virtual students (robots). Jenny has over a decade of experience in digital education / learning technology and is a proud CMALT holder. Jenny is passionate about creating an excellent student experience and introducing strategies so to encourage all students to be part of the University. Jenny enjoys outdoor sports, travelling and drinking nice coffee.

Jenny Crow - dressed in white and blue, with right hand raised. Standing againts a blue, purple and pink background.
Jenny Crow


Q1. What does sense of belonging mean to you?

Q2. How do you enable sense of belonging within your students?

Q3. How do you support your students at a distance?

Q4. Has COVID-19 changed the way you approach belonging?

Q5. How do you evaluate sense of belonging?

Q6. How does digital technology influence sense of belonging?   

Find the Wakelet at: https://wke.lt/w/s/Ohp50K

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#LTHEchat 212 Adapting to the New Normal: Hybrid, Hyflex &Dual Mode teaching and Learning. Led by Danielle Hinton @hintondm & Rachelle O’Brien @rachelleeobrien

Image captured from Thingllink showing a lecture theatre and students joining remotely

All of us teaching and supporting learning have experienced 18 months like no other. We’ve experienced an emergency online pivot followed by many of us being required to deliver fully online, whether that was real time – synchronous, flexible – asynchronous or a combination of both. It’s been such a steep learning curve for the whole community, in all our various roles (student, teacher, researcher, educational / academic development, digital, careers, library, English Language support and more). Coming to the start of the new academic year in the UK, many of us potentially need to design and deliver small and large(r) group real-time, synchronous face-to-face and online sessions.

There are three main labels that are used in the literature and the wider educational community to define and make sense of this new world – Hyflex, Hybrid and Dual Mode. You and your institution may use these (perhaps with slightly different meanings) or a variety of other terms. We’ve distilled their main characteristics as follows:

  • Attendance Options: “students [have] the option of attending sessions in the classroom, participating online, or doing both. Students can change their mode of attendance weekly or by topic, according to need or preference.” – a Northern Illinois University definition who use the term Hyflex. The University of Hong Kong uses the term Dual Mode. 
  • Attendance Both Online and In-Person: “Students have some learning online and also attend in-person synchronous classes. Online learning may be synchronous or asynchronous. (Online may be called remote learning or extended campus(” – Sue Beckingham defines this as Hybrid.
  • Attendance Defined by the University – Need and Location: There may be two distinct portions of a student cohort. Students that are on-campus will attend in-person unless there is a need to join online (isolating due to Covid, other illness, accessibility). Students off- campus for any reason (especially those based overseas or in the workplace) will access the same session remotely online. Some Universities define this as Hybrid.

Stephen Brookfield in his book “Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher” proposes four lenses to help support critical reflection around teaching and supporting learning: (1) autobiographical, (2) students’ eyes, (3) colleagues’ experiences, and (4) scholarly literature (2017) . It’s important that we turn to these as many of us now enter this new phase of simultaneous teaching in-person and online.

Autobiographical Lens

We’ve all had experiences, recent and in the past as learners. What helped engage you as a learner? What are the values, beliefs, knowledge (including tacit) and skills that we are bringing with us? What signature pedagogies (techniques and activities) are important to us and our discipline and how can we continue them (Shulman, 2005)? For us – active, authentic and social learning and assessment is vitally important. What about you?

Student Lens
Let’s not forget to look at this educational challenge through the lens of the student. Our learners 

  • have had nearly two years of interrupted schooling and / or life transitioning into and through to HE / FE at whatever level
  • they don’t know what their learning environment will look like (how do I…). 
  • they’d like to know that they are important and known, especially where they may become one of hundreds
  • they need support transitioning into disciplines (or parts thereof) with its own language, way of reading, listening, thinking and writing. 
  • are going to be on an emotional rollercoaster ride as they navigate all of the above and the next phase of the pandemic
  • especially international, mature and differently abled and may need more tailored support.

Colleague and Scholarly Literature Lenses

Let’s not forget that some US, Australian and Hong Kong institutions and UK innovators have been at this for a while. We have many pandemic experiences both individually and institutionally to draw on. Finally we have  a rich body of scholarly knowledge, research and practice built up over the last 20 years around online and distance learning that will help us towards success in the coming year. Raes et al (2020) writes:

“It is stated that this type of learning environment requires radical shifts in the teachers’ pedagogical methods in order to accommodate to the new technology (Cain 2015; Ramsey, Evans and Levy 2016). More specific, Weitze (2015) provided an adequate description of the influence technology has:

“Although technologies are physical tools and not theoretical thinking tools or concepts, they change not only the way we carry out a task, but also the way we think about the task” (McLuhan 1964; Hasse and Storgaard Brok 2015 as found in Weitze 2015, p. 1). The synchronous hybrid learning environment requires a new kind of setup that highly influence the pedagogic and learning design (Weitze, Ørngreen and Levinsen 2013), and thus demands other methods of teaching and different activating learning activities (Bower et al. 2015). This means that the teacher or trainer has to adapt his/her teaching approach, but simultaneously has to maintain comparable learning standards (Grant and Cheon 2007; Lightner and Lighnter-Laws 2016)”. 

So, how can we draw on the wisdom of the community and the lessons in the literature and practice around online, blended and distance learning to help those that teach and support learning to survive and thrive in this new normal? 

Join us on Wednesday 15th September on

  • Twitter (8pm BST and thereafter) for our traditional #LTHEchat.
  • Padlet (all day) for an #LTHEchatFringe discussion. Designed to cater for those that don’t have Twitter accounts or who can only participate in normal work hours. Go to https://padlet.com/hefi1/e6t48ua86n0ivy66 

References and Further Reading

Hybrid / HyFlex and Dual Mode references and resources 

General References

  • Brookfield, S.D., (2017) Becoming a critically reflective teacher. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Gurung, R.A., Chick, N.L. and Haynie, A., (2009) Exploring signature pedagogies: Approaches to teaching disciplinary habits of mind. Stylus Publishing, LLC..
  • Raes, A., Detienne, L., Windey, I. and Depaepe, F., (2020) A systematic literature review on synchronous hybrid learning: Gaps identified. Learning Environments Research, 23(3), pp.269-290. https://t.co/wUI5nf1Jbd?amp=1 
  • Shulman, L.S., (2005) Signature pedagogies in the professions. Daedalus, 134(3), pp.52-59. https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/0011526054622015 

Chat Hosts

Danielle Hinton – Educational Developer, Higher Education Futures institute (HEFi), University of Birmingham) @hintondm

I provide support for the enhancement of teaching and learning practice, promote innovation in the curriculum, and facilitate the career-long professional development of Birmingham academics and professional staff in regards to teaching and supporting learning. I am particularly interested in active learning (including enquiry and problem based learning), the emotions of learning and teaching, enhancement of learning through technologies, distance learning and serious play in Higher Education. I am a Senior Fellow of the HEA and am currently working on the design and delivery of a fully online PGCHE programme.

Rachelle O’Brien – Senior Digital Learning Designer in the Durham Centre for Academic Development (DCAD) @rachelleeobrien

As a Senior Digital Learning Designer in DCAD, myself and my colleagues (Candace and Mark) provide specialist pedagogic advice and work with academics to design engaging and inclusive learning. Operating at the level of the programme or whole department we work to ensure an active, blended and consistent learner experience across modules and programmes. We also provide development opportunities around the design of innovative learning activities within a module, programme or at an activity level. 
I have worked in education for over 10 years, and have particular interests in digital education, play and games. Recently this interest has led me to develop and deliver multiple Escape Rooms for use in education across the sector both nationally and internationally. I am a recent graduate of the MSc in Digital Education from University of Edinburgh, a Certified member of the Association for Learning Technologists and is a Senior Fellow of the HEA.

Midlands Academic Practice network @MidAcPracUK
The Midland Academic Practice (MAP) Network is a peer run practice enhancement group with members from Higher Education institutions right across the Midlands (UK) region from Northampton to Lincoln. Members usually have an academic development remit in their role. Meetings run 2-3 times per year either online or in person and include a CPD development opportunity offered by the ‘host’ organisation.  There are also some ad-hoc events in between and chance to build relationships and contacts with other members.

#LTHEchat Questions

Question 1. What does synchronous teaching of in-person and online students look like for you and your institution?
– What terminology, pedagogies and technology are or will be used?
– Will you be supported?
– What size cohort or groups and sessions are you expecting?

Question 2. Learners who are making the transition into and through Higher / Further Education have faced two wildly disrupted years. How might we support these learners generally and in this new & different way of learning?

Question 3. Designing for active learning. How can we can adapt our teaching approaches & maintain comparable learning standards, especially in large #DualMode #HyFlex #Hybrid classes. What approaches, techniques and activities have worked, or not worked for you?

Question 4. Thinking about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (#EDI). How can we support student belonging, being seen, heard and included and associated emotions of learning in synchronous (in-person and online) teaching and supporting learning?

Question 5. What strategies and guidance should we consider when planning for the first synchronous (in-person and online session) teaching and supporting learning session? Be sure to mention your particular context.

Question 6. We’re all in this together. #DualMode #HyFlex #Hybrid might feel completely new, or you may have a lot of experience with it. Please make a recommendation or key consideration to bare in mind over the next year (pedagogical, technical or administrative wise).

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#LTHEchat 211: Student Engagement led by Dr Chris Headleand @ChrisHeadleand

Image of students feet looking down at the message 'Passion led us here'.
Photo by Ian Schneider @goian on Unsplash.

Dr Chris Headleand @ChrisHeadleand is an Associate Professor and National Teaching Fellow with over 20 years’ experience in a variety of teaching and learning roles. I am currently the director of Teaching and Learning at the School of Computer Science at the University of Lincoln. My research interests include Virtual Reality, Student Engagement, Serious Games, and Learning Communities.

Chris Headleand

The focus of this weeks #LTHEchat is Student Engagement. This is a term that we use extensively in Higher Education, but often in a range of different contexts.  We use the term to describe everything from “being engaged” (i.e. paying attention) in lectures to tangible inclusion of student’s voices in institutional decision making, to simply “turning up” or “logging on”. The range of available definitions can make discussion and debate challenging.

I explain my philosophy in this THE article:


Expressly, I caution against describing the act of “being engaged” as “student engagement”, and I use a cooking analogy to explore the difference.

“If we make a dish, an “engaged diner” would be focused on the meal and the dining experience. As chefs, we have prepared something they enjoy, and they are motivated to eat it. By comparison, “diner engagement” would be inviting the diner to join you in the kitchen, asking them to help you plan the meal, maybe getting their tasting notes as you prepare the dish and perhaps even giving them access to the spatula.”

Headleand 2021 / Times Higher Education

Defining these qualities differently is essential as they are inherently different qualities and activities. If we want to understand the student experience better, we should explore its various facets. As a rule, I prefer the following definitions, as they separate out different ways people define “engagement”.

Student Commitment: A holistic measure of a  student’s personal engagement in their learning environment. 

Student Motivation: A student’s enthusiasm and interest directed towards specific topics or learning activities.

Student Participation: The process by which students are encouraged to actively take part in a learning activity.

Student Engagement: The practice of involving students in education beyond the typical threshold requirements of their programme of study.

I am also concerned about how we measure the concept of being engaged. Often in the pedagogic literature, engagement is measured rather bluntly using attendance as the metric. Does this actually help us measure how engaged someone is? If I went to the cinema to watch a film and fell asleep during the intro, would I have “engaged” with that? But if not engagement, then how should we tangibly measure engagement?


But if not attendance, then what measure should we use?

In this LTHETweetChat we will discuss the academic realm of student engagement. Specifically how we define it, what benefits it brings, and how we should measure it.

6 Questions

Q1 Lets start with a fun one. What is the most engaged you have ever felt? Either as a student or professional. What made that experience feel “engaging”, or why was being “engaged” important to your experience?

Q2 Student engagement is a term used ubiquitously. How would you normally define student engagement if you were explaining it to someone new to education? What other definitions have you heard?

Q3 Using this definition (Student Motivation)

“A student’s enthusiasm and interest directed towards specific topics or learning activities.”

How do you encourage motivation in your students? How do you develop enthusiasm in learners?

Q4 Using this definition (Student Participation)

“The process by which students are encouraged to actively take part in a learning activity.”

How do you create an environment where students want to actively participate? What are your key strategies?

Q5 Using this definition (Student Engagement):

“The practice of involving students in education beyond the typical threshold requirements of their programme of study. “

How do you facilitate, support and develop *Student Engagement* in your institution?

Q6 Pick one of the previous definitions (Student Motivation, Student Participation, or Student Engagement) how can we measure or quantify these in an educational setting? How should (or could) these be monitored?

Link to the Wakelet: https://wke.lt/w/s/kAK70K

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Prize day for the #LTHEchat #AdvanceHE_chat community – everyone’s a winner

Win Prizes Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

From Wimbledon to the Euros, from graduations to the Sewing Bee, the start of summer heralds the celebration of some wonderful examples of human endurance, creativity, athleticism and imagination.  Whilst we recognise and applaud these inspirational examples of individual and collaborative efforts, we thought it was also time to reflect on and celebrate all of our small wins over the last year.  From surviving whole days of online meetings to remembering it was #tweetchat day – let’s pat ourselves on the back and celebrate everyone’s successes: our colleagues, our students and our own.

“Everybody has won, and all must have prizes”

Bring your gifs, emoji, bitmoji to congratulate your colleagues on all their wins – big and small, before we float down the lazy river into summer with a nice slow-paced tweetchat to end this academic year.

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#LTHEchat 210: Re-Thinking Responsibility: The role of Higher Education

“The Principles for Responsible Management Education have the capacity to take the case for universal values and business into classrooms on every continent.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

This week’s hosts

@DrClaireMay @drsustainable @DrJLouw2

This week we welcome an #LTHEchat takeover by three members of the Principles for Responsible Management Education UK and Ireland Regional Chapter @PRME_UKI who share a common interest in promoting responsible management education.

Dr Claire May @DrClaireMay is the Co-Chair of the PRME Chapter UK and Ireland 2021 conference “Crises and the Re-Thinking of Responsibility” hosted by the University of Lincoln 5-7th July 2021.  She is an Associate Professor in marketing, specialising in sustainability and is the College lead for PRME.

Ardley, B. and May, C. (2020). Ethical marketer and sustainability: Facing the challenges of overconsumption and the market, Strategic Change 29(6):617-624

Dr Alex Hope @drsustainable is a past Vice-Chair of the PRME Chapter UK and Ireland, and current Co-Chair of the PRME Working Group on Climate and Environment. He is Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Business and Law, Northumbria University where he is responsible for teaching and learning.

Molthan-Hill, P., Hope, A., & Welton, R. (2020). Tackling Climate Change through Management Education. The SAGE Handbook of Responsible Management Learning and Education, 165.

Hope, A., Croney, P., & Myers, J. (2020). Experiential Learning for Responsible Management Education. The SAGE Handbook of Responsible Management Learning and Education, 265.

Dr Jonathan Louw @DrJLouw2 is Chair of the PRME Chapter UK and Ireland and also organises the popular annual PRME Responsible Business and Management Writing Competition. In his day job he is a Principal Lecturer (Learning and Teaching) at Oxford Brookes Business School.

Louw J, (2015). ‘”“Paradigm Change” or No Real Change at all? A Critical Reading of the UN Principles for Responsible Management Education.”‘ Journal of Management Education 39 (2) pp.184-208


#LTHEchat 210 is hosted by Claire, Alex and Jonathan on behalf of the UK and Ireland Regional Chapter of PRME and asks us to consider “Re-Thinking Responsibility: The role of Higher Education”

The United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) were developed in 2007 to provide a global point of reference for all those committed to the nurturing of ethical, responsible and sustainable mindsets in university students and graduates. Some 900 signatories form a worldwide movement supported by a global Secretariat in New York. While the home of PRME is in business schools worldwide, many of its members pursue these commitments into other faculties, programmes and curricula.

Regional PRME Chapters, such as the UK and Ireland Chapter, help to advance the Six Principles (see below) within a particular geographic context, rooting PRME in different national, regional, cultural, and linguistic landscapes. They function as platforms for localized engagement from higher education institutions, and in cooperation with Global Compact Local Networks, develop projects and initiatives that support the Sustainable Development Goals regionally.

PRME recently held its annual Global Forum, an online sharing of insights and good practices drawing in over 2000 educators from all continents. Ahead of PRME’s UK and Ireland Annual conference on 6 and 7 July, this week’s #LTHEchat seeks to draw into conversation all those engaged in education and research linked to help frame a set of debates that will be pursued at our conference, to be hosted online by the University of Lincoln.

This year’s conference theme, ‘Crises & the Re-thinking of Responsibility’, is an acknowledgement of PRME’s ongoing role in the shaping of debates and practices and in inspiring universities to continuously re-think their purpose and practice. The declarations of a ‘Climate Emergency’, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the racial inequalities highlighted in 2020-2021 give rise to opportunities for reflection on the consequences of business as usual, the role and response of universities and the construction of the future. We aim to facilitate questioning and critique, reflecting on the purpose of education as well as practical applications of this in terms of advancing our pedagogy and creating effective research and collaborative partnerships. 

The questions we shall address in #LTHEchat 210 are linked to our three conference themes.

Theme 1: Advancing pedagogy; challenges and opportunities

Under this theme we particularly recognise that as responsible educators critically engaging with the UN SDGs we may need to move beyond the boundaries of our subject.

Theme 2: Partnerships with purpose; breaking boundaries

This theme recognises the importance of effective partnerships within the university sector and with organisations, social movements etc. outside the sector in order to realise the UN SDGs.

Theme 3: Creating a vision of socially and environmentally responsible education

Here we hope to draw out some of the more challenging questions regarding rethinking and purpose in this time of crisis.  What does it mean to educate responsibly in the context of social and environmental challenges such as: the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, loss of biodiversity, plastic pollution; decolonisation of the curriculum; continuing racial and other inequalities; and the accelerated use of artificial intelligence (AI)?

More information

If you would like to attend our Lincoln conference on 6 and 7 July, you can find more information here: http://prmeuki2021.org.uk/ The deadline for registration is 2nd July.

Useful Resources


Principle 1 Purpose: We will develop the capabilities of students to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society at large and to work for an inclusive and sustainable global economy.

Principle 2 Values: We will incorporate into our academic activities, curricula, and organisational practices the values of global social responsibility as portrayed in international initiatives such as the United Nations Global Compact.

Principle 3 Method: We will create educational frameworks, materials, processes and environments that enable effective learning experiences for responsible leadership.

Principle 4 Research: We will engage in conceptual and empirical research that advances our understanding about the role, dynamics, and impact of corporations in the creation of sustainable social, environmental and economic value.

Principle 5 Partnership: We will interact with managers of business corporations to extend our knowledge of their challenges in meeting social and environmental responsibilities and to explore jointly effective approaches to meeting these challenges.

Principle 6 Dialogue: We will facilitate and support dialog and debate among educators, students, business, government, consumers, media, civil society organisations and other interested groups and stakeholders on critical issues related to global social responsibility and sustainability.

International Journal of Management Education – Special Issue on PRME (2020)

PRME UK and Ireland Website

PRME Global Website

The UN Sustainable Development Goals

6 Questions:

Q1 In the context of sustainability, what does responsible education mean to you? #LTHEchat

Q2 Can you share examples of working beyond your academic discipline to promote engagement with ethics, responsibility and sustainability? #LTHEchat

Q3 In the context of the SDGs what are the competencies & mindsets a university needs to be a good local, regional, national and international partner? #LTHEchat

Q4 What is a purposeful partnership or SDG project that has given you the greatest pride or had the most impact? #LTHEchat

Q5 If HE is to accelerate its contribution to shaping a more just and sustainable world, what is stopping us? What should we not be afraid to do? #LTHEchat

Q6 What is the purpose of a business school within the context of these challenges? #LTHEchat


You can revisit this TweetChat #LTHEchat 210 via its Wakelet https://wke.lt/w/s/DEMtcn

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#LTHEchat 209: Implementing the Science of Learning in Higher Education

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This week’s Host

Dr Carolina Kuepper-Tetzel is a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Glasgow. She is an expert in applying findings from Cognitive Psychology to education and an enthusiastic science communicator. She obtained her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Mannheim and pursued postdoc positions at York University in Toronto and the Center for Integrative Research in Cognition, Learning, and Education (CIRCLE) at Washington University in St. Louis. Before joining the University of Glasgow, she was a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Dundee. Her expertise focuses on learning and memory phenomena that allow implementation to educational settings to offer teachers and students a wide range of strategies that promote long-term retention. Carolina is convinced that psychological research should serve the public and, to that end, engages heavily in scholarly outreach and science communication. She is a member of the Learning Scientists and founded the Teaching Innovation & Learning Enhancement (TILE) network. The TILE Network brings different disciplines and sectors together to discuss how to overcome prevailing issues in education with research-based approaches. Carolina is frequently invited to give CPD workshops and keynotes on learning and teaching worldwide. Carolina was awarded Senior Fellow of HEA. She is passionate about teaching and aims at providing her students with the best learning experience possible. In her free time, Carolina enjoys going on family trips to explore the beauty of Scotland, listening to her vinyl records, reading books, or watching movies and series. You can follow her work via Twitter: @pimpmymemory.. 


This week welcomes the Learning Science Tweetchat community (#LrnSciChat) to the Learning & Teaching Higher Education Tweetchat community (@LTHEchat) for an exploration of Implementing the Science of Learning in Higher Education. This mash up will provide fertile ground for fruitful discussion and we hope to support the productive mingling of these two exciting communities. Please explore the Learning Science Site (Teaching Innovation & Learning) in preparation for a lively evening. (note: the questions will be hosted under the #LTHEchat site).


Q1 – What is the Science of Learning and why may it be important for Higher Education? Provide examples of the science of learning.

Q2 – One promising learning strategy is ‘spaced practice’. What is it and how can it be implemented in the classroom?

Q3 – Another effective learning strategy is ‘retrieval practice’. What is it and how can it be implemented in the classroom?

Q4 – How would you evaluate the effectiveness of your implementation of a new teaching activity in your classroom?

Q5 – What are potential hurdles when implementing the Science of Learning in Higher Education?

Q6 – Share/discuss resources that support the implementation of the Science of Learning in Higher Education?


You can revisit this TweetChat, harvested using #LTHEchat, via its Wakelet. https://wke.lt/w/s/6Q-v5i

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#LTHEchat 208: An #LTHEchat with students

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Young and Lee (2020) suggest that higher education understands student voice as a ‘feedback loop’ that universities are constantly racing to close.  Institutions are peppered with student voice initiatives, Mendes and Hammett (2020) suggest that student voice is both ubiquitous and orthodox in HE, but how many of them actually create meaningful dialogue and change?

Bourne and Winstone (2020) discuss the importance of ‘surfacing’ student voice in an authentic way.  Whilst large scale, formalised surveys might be a sector wide expectation it is vital that as practitioners we find a way to value and legitimise authentic student voice. Why don’t we start by reconsidering the word “voice”? Dialogue seems to sit much more naturally and suggests a conversation rather than a monologue.  

When strong and productive relationships are built with students, dialogue becomes concomitant.  Ahmadi (2020) refers to students as “hidden treasures,” drawing on the work of Bovil et al (2016) to consider them as co-creators, designers and agents for change.  

Join us for an LTHEchat with a difference.  A group of Edge Hill University students will join the discussion to share the student perspective in real time. 


  1.  What does student voice look like in your institution?
  2.  How do you engage students as partners? What has worked well and what hasn’t?
  3. How does student feedback impact the ‘power dynamic?’
  4. The sector faces increasing commercialisation and marketisation.  How do we help students to be scholars rather than consumers?
  5. How do we embrace the ‘loop’ and communicate thinking and actions in response to student feedback?
  6. What would the perfect feedback system look like to you? Be as creative as you can with your answer. 

This week’s Host: Sarah Wright

Sarah Wright

Sarah Wright is a Faculty Senior SOLSTICE Fellowship Lead. Her role has seen her develop projects on the use of social media and online teaching, as well as lecture engagement and seminar design.  Sarah is an Apple Distinguished Educator, has written for the Times Educational Supplement,  contributing on a range of educational issues and sat on the Board of Management for NAACE, the national association for educational technology. Last year, she co-chaired the National Conference for Social Media in Higher Education and is now proud to sit on the editorial board for the journal.  Sarah is a Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching where she also enjoys reviewing for ‘Impact’ journal.  Sarah was shortlisted for the Guardian Excellence in Teaching award in 2019 and the Educate North award in the same category.  She was proud to win the Student Led Staff Award for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching.


You can revisit this TweetChat via its Wakelet

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#LTHEchat 207: Using Social Media in Teaching and Learning

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This week’s Host: Dr Mohamed Saeudy

Dr Mohamed Saeudy (@DrSaeudy) is a senior Lecturer in Accounting and Finance and Director of Research Centre for Contemporary Accounting, Finance and Economics (Res CAFE). His research area is sustainable accounting and finance. He helps design many postgraduate courses to develop accounting and finance tools to manage the contemporary challenges of sustainable development such as big data, data analytics, climate change, modern slavery, UN SDGs, human rights and ecological biodiversity. He develops social media tools e.g. blogs to explore how organisations could make business opportunities and profit from considering social and environmental activities. He also developed innovative academic courses on DBA, Green Accounting, Sustainable Finance and Financial Entrepreneurship. These courses covered many contemporary topics ranging from corporate governance to sustainable business strategies and policies. In addition, Dr Saeudy provides professional consultancies for many business organisations in the UK and overseas in the field of sustainable business solutions, entrepreneurial finance, green finance, risk management and virtual business innovation.


This session aims to consider how social media could be used to support academic practices during and beyond the Covid-19 conditions. It aims to explore some practical approaches to using Social Media in a satisfying and sustainable way. I am looking forward to exploring future opportunities for using social media beyond the Covid-19 conditions to support the student experience.  

Image by Dr Mohamed Saeudy

The power of using social media during and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic

One of the most contemporary topics in the HE sector is to understand the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic for people’s everyday lives. This pandemic created new normal realities for the decision-making of educators, students, customers, managers, shareholders, lenders, suppliers, and employees. A growing range of issues have a bearing on this new world, including human wellbeing, remote learning, value for education, online teaching and increased expectations on HE institutions with regard to student satisfaction, staff wellbeing, and creating effective online communications. In order to address these challenges, many universities are increasingly turning to offer short courses and online blended learning degrees. Often these degrees intend to help academics and students to get more involved with many social media platforms to build up effective online capabilities and conduct their institutional communications. 

Challenges and opportunities

In response to the growing recognition that universities must respond to the Covid-19 conditions, a number of social media platforms have been used over the last year to guide and manage student learning at a different level. These include using social media platforms in teaching and learning and supporting student engagement. There are several benefits that could be achieved from using social media in teaching and learning such as exploring the leading edge and contemporary topics and enhancing digital pedagogy. However, there are also some challenges from the risks and toxic side of using social media. Furthermore, the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) presented another valid level of challenges that should be considered to control social media communications.

Recommended links:

A quick guide to managing organisational social media accounts

Call for Participants – Digital Inequality in Education: Pasts, Presents and Futures

How has the pandemic changed internet use in the UK?

See also:

Balakrishnan, V., 2016. Key determinants for intention to use social media for learning in higher education institutions. Universal Access in the Information Society, Volume 16, pp. 289-301.

Crawford, J. et al., 2020. COVID-19: 20 countries’ higher education intra-period digital pedagogy responses. Journal of Applied Learning and Teaching, 3(1).

Manca, S., 2020. Snapping, pinning, liking, or texting: Investigating social media in higher education beyond Facebook. Internet and Higher Education, , Volume 44.

Niu, L., 2019. Using Facebook for academic purposes: Current literature and directions for future research. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 56(8), pp. 1384-1406.

Purvis, A. J., Rodger, H. M. & Beckingham, S., 2020. Experiences and perspectives of social media in learning and teaching in higher education. International Journal of Educational Research Open, Volume 1.

LTHEchat 207 Questions

  1. What are the main social media platforms that could be used in teaching and learning in HE? And how do you use them?
  2. What benefits can academics find in using social media in teaching and learning?
  3. What are the main roles of using social media in supporting Education for Sustainable Development?
  4. How can you integrate social media into your curriculum design and planning?
  5. What are the main limitations and challenges of using social media in teaching and learning?
  6. How could social media help us to further build up online capabilities and competencies during the Covid-19 pandemic?


You can revisit this TweetChat via its Wakelet

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