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Why student engagement matters

Woburn House, London
7 October 2008 10:00-16:00

There has been a recent upsurge in interest in student engagement as can be noted with the themes of major conferences and publications. This workshop will focus on the nature of student engagement and why it is so salient in the quest to enhance student learning and their higher educational experience. The workshop is based on SEDA Special No 22  and is led by the authors of that publication, Len Hand and Colin Bryson. Len and Colin take the view that engagement is a concept which encompasses the perceptions, expectations and experience of being a student – involving dynamic social construction and becoming.

Aims and outcomes
The workshop will adopt an interactive approach which will draw on the experience of the participants together with sharing the scholarship and empirical research of the workshop leaders. This will provide an opportunity to:

  • Explore the meanings and nature of student engagement.
  • Consider research on engagement, particularly the voices of the students.
  • Make sense of the diversity of higher education contexts and influences on engagement.
  • Reflect on the tensions in enhancing engagement.
  • Develop better policy and practice with a view to fostering engagement through approaches most relevant and applicable to the participants’ roles e.g. in curriculum or assessment design, staff development or enhancing student transitions or peer support.

The workshop is suitable for all those working in higher education whether in a teaching role, or academic management or development. The content will be adjusted to fit with the participants’ interests

Len Hand and Colin Bryson
Len and Colin worked together at Nottingham Trent University and have been researching the issue of student engagement for some time. Their initial study drew on the voices of students within a business school, and they subsequently explored issues around staff conceptions of student engagement. Their most recent and comprehensive study has been working with colleagues to explore the dynamic and diverse nature of engagement by conducting longitudinal, qualitative research on individual students drawn from a range of subjects and disciplines.  Colin has recently taken up a post at University of Newcastle.

The cost will be £85.00 and will include a copy of SEDA Special 22 and lunch. 

Contact Name:
Ann Aitken
Contact Telephone:
020 7380 6731
Contact Email:

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