SEDA Spring Teaching Learning and Assessment Conference 2018

Understanding and improving the student experience: making a real difference in the new age of metrics

10 May 2018 - 11 May 2018

Location: Doubletree Hotel by Hilton, Leeds




The world of post-compulsory education now seems to be dominated by the search for appropriate metrics as a proxy for quality and the inevitable awards/ranking/league tables to accompany them. The TEF is the obvious example in UK Higher Education with Chris Husbands (chair of the TEF panel) claiming that it “amounts to a compendium of evidence on teaching more detailed than that on any other university system in the world” (THE, 22/6/17). The same issue of THE demonstrates the range of opinion about the value of TEF – from “peddling pyrite that is more likely to distract than it is to represent real value” (page 5) to a “benefit to all those who will engage with UK higher education in the years to come.” (page 31) 

Whatever our personal opinions on the TEF outcomes and process, there is no doubt that it has focused attention on the ‘student experience’. This conference will focus on how we can both understand and improve that experience in ways which may offer more fundamental educational advantages than the simple metrics of systems like the NSS and the TEF. As a result, it will be of value to academic staff, programme/course leaders, educational developers, and support staff across a very wide range of institutions. This will also benefit colleagues in Further Education where new systems of measurement and review are also under discussion. Our general theme is of course relevant to everyone in post-compulsory education and we particularly welcome contributions from outside the UK which can offer a comparative perspective.


  • Assessment and feedback.
  • Applications of learning technologies.
  • Learning analytics and student feedback systems.
  • Approaches to curriculum design and updating.
  • Induction and transition.
  • Student attributes and performance measures.
  • New methods of curriculum delivery (and their evaluation).
  • Online and hybrid course systems.
  • Different ways of conceptualising and managing the student experience  (e.g. Temple et al, 2014 - see

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