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July 2013

By August 14th, 2013 Conference, HEA No Comments
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Poster presentation at this year’s annual HEA conference held at the University of Warwick

Poster description Curriculum development  HEA 2013 Poster V1



June 2013

By July 5th, 2013 Leximancer No Comments
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Great news

Members of the team have a paper published in Quality in Higher Education

Connecting the dots: using concept maps for interpreting student satisfaction  

This paper explores the dynamics of the student experience and satisfaction across the levels of study using automated semantic analysis – a methodology developed as part of the project.


This study utilised concept mapping software to aid interpretation of the qualitative data from student satisfaction surveys. The analysis revealed differences in student priorities and attitudes across the three years of an undergraduate degree. First-year students were more concerned with social and academic integration and demonstrated an emotional response to their engagement with higher education. Comments from second-year students indicated an emphasis on academic progress and development, while final-year students were focused on achievement-oriented learning. Critical aspects of the student experience hidden between survey questions were also revealed. The paper discusses the implications of the findings for understanding the changing interaction between different aspects of student experience and satisfaction. It concludes with suggestions on how this approach to analysis might benefit the work of quality assurance teams and academic developers in other institutions. Elena Zaitseva, Clare Milsom & Martyn Stewart.

April 2013

By April 26th, 2013 Conference, HEA No Comments
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Knowledge transfer event  The Forgotten Year: Enhancing the Second Year Experience

 NFT2The Academic Enhancement Unit recently hosted a half-day national event ‘The Forgotten Year: Enhancing the Second Year Experience’.  Forty five people took part in the event, including twenty three external participants from various universities including Edge Hill, Sheffield Hallam, Leicester De Montfort University, York St John University, University of Lancaster, University of Birmingham, University of Glasgow, University of Leeds, Newcastle University, Canterbury Christ Church, Bradford University  and Huddersfield. Dr Caroline Stainton from the Higher Education Academy also attended.

The 2010-2013 £200,000 research project funded by the Higher Education Academy through the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) has established LJMU’s position in leading the research in the second year student experience.

The LJMU research team shared the project outcomes and the impact of the institutional interventions. The workshops on data analysis, Bb community sites and second year induction gave participants practical insights into how to interrogate and support the second year experience.  External colleagues also had a chance to present their university second year support initiatives. Participants found the dynamic, fast paced event very informative and thought provoking.  

Lisa Ward, Head of the Teaching and Learning Institute at the University of Huddersfield said: “It was… a great day. I really enjoyed it. I was impressed with the workshops and research you are undertaking. I’m also going to talk to staff at Huddersfield about using institutional data, which I found really useful”. This event was a first step in developing a UK community of practice for academic and support staff committed to helping students to negotiate successfully the challenges of the ‘middle’ year of academic study.

 The following presentations were made on the day by the project team and external colleagues

1 M.Yorke Presentation 180413 v1    2 Team 18th April SS V 17 04 (2)    3 P HughesOUuduction_liverpool_ 2013

   4 F K Duah LJMU 18 April   5 Tinker and Hill Liverpool JM 2013 (2)   6 Second year students use of CLaSS (2)

7 E Ragoneses Sophmore Slump PPT   8 A tripartite approach to tackling the Sophomore Slump V1

April 2013

By April 26th, 2013 Conference, Uncategorized No Comments
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Great news the team have abstracts accepted  at

The 6th Annual Conference of the Higher Educational Research (HEIR) Network Event.  This year’s theme is Progressive Partnerships: Engaging Stakeholders in Institutional Research. The event is being held at Birmingham City University.

Abstract   ‘Expect Nothing Less: managing expectation through semantic analysis’  HEIR 2013 -10213 (2)

The European Association of Insitutional Research (EAIR) 35th Annual Conference This year’s theme is the impact of Higher Educationwith the sub title ‘Addressing the Challenges of the 21st Century’ 

Abstract  ‘The Price of Expectation: are we getting it right?’   The Price of Expectation  


March 2013

By April 25th, 2013 Uncategorized No Comments
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Book Proposal

The team’s book proposal (working title ‘Stepping up to the Second Year at University: Academic, Psychological and Social Dimensions’) has been approved for publication in the SRHE/Routledge book series ‘Research into Higher Education’. 

The book, written from an’ institutional research’ perspective, will offer insights into the following questions:

  • In what way do students’ perceptions of their experience shift as they progress through the first two years of study?
  • How do psychological factors impact on student engagement and performance in the second year?
  • What in the second-year curriculum may need greater attention?

The emphasis of the book will be on how institutions, programme teams and professional service departments can fully exploit the evidence they collect (but may not always use) and research their own activities in the interests of enhancing the chances of student success.

December 2012

By April 2nd, 2013 Conference No Comments
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 Dr Elena Zaitseva presented at the SRHE Annual Conference Newport 12th – 14thDecember.

SRHE Conference (2)

SRHE_2012 presentation

November 2012

By April 2nd, 2013 Uncategorized No Comments
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Visit to Bradford

Two members of the project team, Martyn Stewart and Elena Zaitseva visited the Academic Development Unit at the University of Bradford (project’s ‘critical friend’) to share project findings, discuss their transferability, methodologies for data analysis and to find out about student experience initiatives taking place at Bradford.  They met with Ruth Lefever, Research and Student Engagement Officer and Kanja Ibrahim Sesay- recently appointed Student Attainment Officer at Bradford.

The discussionwas focused on using institutional data for enhancement purposes and on how both institutions monitor and enhance student attainment and progression.  The visit also helped the LJMU team to get a better sense of what resources are being developed as part of the project that woud be of interest to other HE institutions and how dissemination of  project findings could be maximised.

November 2012

By December 21st, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments
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The project team held an informal meeting with staff from across the university who are running smaller projects focusing on the sophomore slump. These smaller projects are developing ‘real life’ interventions which will contribute to the overall success of the project. Click here for updates

 Project Update November 2012 Simon Brooman

 Developing A Criminal Justice Community for website

September 2012

By September 12th, 2012 Conference No Comments
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 EAIR_2012 Zaitseva, Milsom, Stewart   EAIR_presentation_2012 Milsom Stewart Zaitseva

The European Association of Institutional Research is a unique association for professionals in the area of higher education management, and for academics researching that area.  This year the annual conference was held in Stavanger, Norway.  Whilst the programe was delivered through a series of named strands the main themes are listed below.

  • Longitudinal monitoring of institutional data to measure the impact of interventions and policy changes, for example Georgia University of Technology
  • Joined up use of data, for example, professional service teams working in collaboration
  • Recognition that ‘para-academic’ roles are here to stay and need a defined career structure
  • More use of data mining involving software recognising patterns in the data , for example, structural equation modelling.  Most institutions presentations involved more sophisticated modelling and mining of data.
  • Analysis of administrator job satisfaction. Findings showed that intrinsic satisfaction is the main determinant of  ’overall satisfaction’.  The strongest predictor for intrinsic satisfaction is teamwork.
  • More systematic use of institutional data  used more systematically to inform policy, particularly in US.
  • Many institutions are struggling with Quality Assurance in terms of its bureaucratic nature, little engagement from academic staff with QA.  Seen as strong administrative function.



July 2012

By September 5th, 2012 Conference No Comments
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More great news the team have an abstract accepted for this year’s SHRE Annual Research Conference in Newport

The theme for the conference this year is What is Higher Education For? Shared and contested ambitions. The conference aims to examine differing perspectives about what higher education is for and explore ways in which research can support and strengthen a shared purpose of higher education.

  SRHE 2012 Zaitseva, Milsom, Stewart

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