Enhancing the student experience webinar banner
Enhancing the student experience webinar banner
Wednesday 31 March 2021 -
15:00 to 17:00

As part of our Higher Education for Employability programme, we organised a live webinar on the topic of ‘Enhancing the student experience”.

The webinar was a joint event of the British Council, Ministry of higher and secondary specialized education of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Higher Education Council of the Republic of Uzbekistan. It brought together higher education professionals and academics from the UK and Uzbekistan so we exchanged knowledge and ideas.  

Webinar outline:

Supporting and improving the student experience is critical to the success of higher education institutions.  Rated Gold in the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework and Top 10 for Postgraduate Student Experience 2020, the University of Derby has adopted the Advance HE Student Success Framework, with the aim to support the broader aspects of learning and teaching in a more holistic, integrated and innovative manner.  

This session explains the University of Derby’s rationale and approaches to delivering on its commitment to the student experience and how through collaboration, sharing and learning from best practice, it is driving forward the agenda to ensure students graduate with the skills, knowledge, experience and attributes to enable them to fulfill their ambitions. The sessions also set out the next steps for the University in embedding the Student Success Framework, and how this approach has positioned the University at the forefront of the sector

The session was led by:

Ben Brabon, Advance HE Associate

Ben is recognised internationally as a pioneer of open online learning – as the convenor of the UK’s first undergraduate credit-bearing MOOC. Previously, as Advance HE’s Senior Adviser and Academic Lead for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, he led Advance HE’s national research project on Building Higher Education Curricula Fit for the Future (2018) which examined the connections between the UK’s Industrial Strategy, 4IR and curriculum development in HEIs across the UK. He has recently held the role of Director of Learning and Teaching & Executive Director of Undergraduate Programmes at the University of Surrey and has worked with the UK’s Quality Assurance Agency, British Academy, British Council, the UK’s Department for Education, Swedish Ministry of Education, and Flemish Ministry of Education in Brussels.

- Fiona Shelton, Head of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, University of Derby  

Fiona works with a dedicated team to engage staff and students in academic debate, discussion and activity generated by creative pedagogic practice and innovation to enhance learning and teaching. 

Fiona has worked in the education sector for 26 years. She graduated with a BEd (Movement Specialist) from Liverpool John Moore's University in 1994, and has maintained an active interest in creative approaches to teaching and learning throughout her career.  She came to the University of Derby in 2003 to work in Initial Teacher Education. In 2008 she was offered the opportunity to work in policymaking, advising the central government on the primary curriculum and additionally to lead a national research project looking at the impact of new curricula ideas on learning.  More recently, she has undertaken roles as the Head of Initial Teacher Education before undertaking the role as Head of Student Experience, where she was responsible for creating the University's Student Experience Framework, through collaboration with staff and students.  Now, as Head of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, she is committed to ensuring an excellent learning experience that promotes student engagement and success.

Her current research is a narrative inquiry of the lived experiences of former pupils in Derbyshire primary schools from 1944 to 2009.  Other published papers include The Student Experience Framework: Enhancing the student experience through a framework for engagement, SEDA, Shelton, F. (2018).  Working with five other countries, Poland, Belgium, Madrid, Greece and Turkey, she is a lead academic in a conference consortium interested in international perspectives in education (IPiE). The successful inaugural conference was hosted at the University of Derby's Buxton campus in October 2018. She is a founding member of the International Perspectives in Education (IPiE) Scientific Committee.

John Hill, Head of Library and Digital Learning, University of Derby

John is working across the University in partnership with staff and students to deliver an excellent Library service and embed and support the development of digital learning. John has over two decades of experience working in Digital and Library services.

John leads and develops University-wide strategies and policies that ensure students have the highest quality Library service and digital-learning experience while studying at the University.

John is currently leading the implementation of an ambitious institutional Technology-Enhanced Learning Strategy (2017-2021) as it reaches its final stages to deliver excellence across four key areas: Digital Practice, Digital Capability, Digital Infrastructure, and a Data and Research-informed approach.  

As part of the strategy John has been researching the future vision of blended learning including published research. Defining the nature of blended learning through its depiction in current research. Higher Education Research & Development. Smith, K. and Hill, J. (2018). 

John has experience of teaching on the subject of digital learning, including 'effective online learning' and 'learning in a digital age'.