Breaking down barriers: Creating a community of learning development at the University of St Andrews

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPresentation


In this presentation we outline a collaboration to deliver an integrated in-sessional academic and learning development provision for students at the University of St Andrews. Staff from the student (learning) development team in the Centre for Educational Enhancement and Development, and the Academic English Service, situated in the International Education Institute, have partnered to bring previously segregated provisions together for academic year 2023/24.

Historically both units have provided separate in-sessional one-to-one tutorials dictated by students’ first language or stage of study, but with overlap in some skills areas such as writing development. Each service had different parameters in terms of who could access the tutorials and how often they could do so. Due to the restrictions of each provision, and the siloed nature of the services, we identified that students were often not accessing the most appropriate form of tutorial, and that some tutorials were not being used to best effect.

This academic year we have reimagined the provision to proffer a new Academic Development Community with the aim of creating a more effective and inclusive resource. In this presentation we will further unpick our motivations for pursuing a unified service and reflect on the changes we have made. We will share the results of qualitative and quantitative student feedback on the newly aligned provision, and the perceptions of focus group participants on the unified service and relationship with contributing units. Combining the feedback collected thus far with our own professional reflections we will explore the outcomes of these changes, as well as the challenges encountered in our collaborative approach. We will conclude by sharing the future directions of this collaboration.
Period12 Jun 2024
Held atALDinHE, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionNational