participating institutions
This is the 'Intervention for Success' Project Blog for the Office for Students Catalyst-funded collaboration between the Universities of Huddersfield, Coventry, Lincoln and Manchester Metropolitan University; identifying students at risk of underachievement and offering solutions in the form of appropriate, high-quality academic interventions to ensure those students continue and succeed.   The project will run from March 2017 until February 2019.  Project Coordinators at each of the Universities will provide regular updates here.  If you click on the title of each new post, you'll see that you can add comments at the bottom if you want to respond to anything that's been said. 

If you are a member of the project team, you can also access and use our Project Website. To request access, please email Cheryl Reynolds on, stating your role on the project.

GDPR Escape Room Challenge

posted 14 Jun 2018, 05:45 by Cheryl Reynolds   [ updated 14 Jun 2018, 05:50 ]

I’m busily developing resources to support my session on GDPR for collaborative projects that will be delivered at the Avance HE Conference in July.  Here’s the quick starter video for the session, with guidance on compliance.

Flying Start - The Guardian University Awards Winner 2018: Course and Curriculum Design

posted 29 Apr 2018, 04:35 by Jane Wormald   [ updated 29 Apr 2018, 04:36 ]

On April 24th 2018 we were delighted to receive the accolade of winner for 'Flying Start' in the Course and Curriculum Design section of The Guardian's University Awards 2018. Christine Jarvis' vision required significant shift in pedagogy and curriculum design and the judges were impressed by the sheer effort from so many people and also how long it must have taken over the summer months to action on this scale. 
Office for Students (formerly HEFCE) also acknowledged our work with publishing a blog page, written by Cheryl Reynolds that coincided (coincidentally) with the Guardian award.
Dissemination of our work is going at full throttle for Flying Start (see Dissemination page) and we are also well on our way to embedding Lincoln's PAT resources and adding Coventry's resource to an existing Huddersfield resource supporting students on placement. Cheryl and Jane are attending Senior Management Team Meetings in each School to share the resources and our support with ensuring that the PAT role is understood by all PATs and implemented by September 2018.
Three Graduate Teaching Assistants from the School of Art, Design and Architecture have delivered at a conference analysing the experiences of their work on attendance and retention. Likewise, the two Progress Tutors in School of Education have also delivered a presentation at a conference this month.  
Two of our Student Consultants have been in for initial training and for collaborative work to prepare to interview individual students who took part in Flying Start this academic year.
We are currently welcoming our new Evaluator/s - Eric, who is coordinating the qualitative work and Vanessa, who will focus on the remaining statistical work that needs to be done.


Huddersfield Blog 12 - updates

posted 1 Mar 2018, 03:01 by Jane Wormald

Alongside Flying Start there are a number of other initiatives forging ahead. 
Cheryl and I have been asked on two occasions to talk about the whole project to European visitors to the University. Large groups from Denmark and then another from The Netherlands came to the University to hear and see what we were doing. These have become part of our dissemination of the project and the presentation ppts are available from the project site. The University of Utrecht showed interest in the booklet, leaflet and postcards and asked for copies, which was satisfying since, as yet, we haven't had feedback on these products.  
Two of the external dissemination events have been re-scheduled to avoid the strike days of some of the participants and host Universities, but preparation has been done, and they are waiting to go! 
Another initiative in the University dovetails with this project, that of the migration from one VLE to 'Brightspace'. The Brightspace teams are working across the University and in particular with courses identified by low NSS and  high SPSS score data to use the change to enhance the T&L materials and use of the VLE. This is in the form of workshops and a two-day residential retreat to build new content. 
The 'Supporting Students' web page has been handed over to Student Services to maintain and extend to ensure it is sustainable and the materials for the final postcard in the 'at home' series will be added as it is completed this month. 
The Coventry resources have been seen by academics and the LTA in Human and Health Studies and the disability team in Student Services and they are hopeful that they will be able to include/add from the resource in their existing model. Their model is not nursing specific, and they would want to make it non subject specific. However, they were impressed by much of the content. We now await  conformation that time can be allocated to do this task.
Cheryl and I are using Lincoln's PT resources and training sessions to adapt to a Hudderfieldised PAT version. This is coming up in March and so we will be needing to access materials from sessions not yet delivered at Lincoln. Between Cheryl and I, we are attending Lincoln's sessions, which is really useful for us.
The second part of the Flying Start survey is being organised so it is distributed in the two weeks after the Easter break.  

Huddersfield Blog 11 - Flying Start 2018

posted 1 Mar 2018, 02:30 by Jane Wormald

The second round of Flying Start has begun. Following significant interest in the intervention an introductory meeting was convened early this week, before the snow!

We had 35 attendees, including course leaders, tutors, academic skills tutors, admin staff, timetablers and graduate teaching assistants and Students’ Union officers. There has been a mighty uptake in the initiative with all courses in Applied Sciences and the Business School involved this iteration, as well as six (and counting) new courses joining those who did FS last time. Such has been the impact of FS on the teams that were involved, that news spread and has created the potential for a real shift in curriculum development across the University. We will not know whether this has had an impact on retention or differential achievement until the HESA data is available each year, but despite the significant work involved, tutors are choosing (it is not mandatory) to be involved.

The headlines, from the first student survey after the first 2 weeks of term, of 1107 students resulted in significantly higher scores for FS courses in cementing and strengthening relationships between peers and with staff. It showed impact on FS males, with significantly higher levels of self-confidence and engagement than their non-FS peers. Similarly, tutor feedback highlighted the engagement, community feel, confidence raising and stronger relationships than usual.

The introductory session highlighted the basic principles upon which the intervention was based: what Flying Start is, and what it is not (supporting materials available on the I4S website). This was followed by an activity that considered how the aims of FS could be achieved. The teaching teams were then asked to note down the kind of outcomes, skills, qualities, tasks etc that they wanted their students to experience and achieve during the two weeks. These thoughts were then prioritised and initial thoughts on how they may be achieved were considered. The purpose of this activity was to ensure that the joint aims of the initiative were being met, but also could be achieved in subject specific ways. Examples from last year’s FS were shared.

Three more sessions have been planned and will follow the same process as the last iteration in the build of the programmes. 

Coventry blog post 6

posted 7 Feb 2018, 03:49 by Arin Adefila

The Successful Placement App


The Successful Placement App is finally ready to use. We are still proof reading, optimising it and will need to iron out a few glitches with respect to use in Internet Explorer and on mobile devices.


The App provides information and guidance for students, educators and University staff preparing for a placement. In particular, the App aims to support disabled students who face challenges preparing for a clinical placement.

 Link to App is

Lincoln blog 9 - project update

posted 30 Jan 2018, 02:23 by Ben Walker   [ updated 30 Jan 2018, 02:24 ]

There have been a number of exciting recent developments on the Intervention for Success Project at Lincoln.  There seems to be quite a lot of these I am afraid so I have split them up under headings which might make it easier to follow!   


The personal tutor resources for staff continue to be available and ready for use at: The resources have also been adopted for use at Huddersfield and Nottingham Trent University.  Having created generic resources initially (so that they can be repurposed at other institutions), Lincoln templates have now been created and a priority is for Lincoln specific content to be added to these. Once this is done, relevant staff will be made aware through school Senior Tutors and other communications.  

 Tutoring the Tutors – Development for Personal Tutors

The new staff development programme for personal tutors launched as part of the project , ‘Tutoring the Tutors’ is now underway.  Part 1 of 6 (entitled ‘What is the personal tutor role and why is it important?’) took place last week with a pleasing number of attendees, stimulating lots of interesting reflections and receiving positive feedback.  It was great to have Cheryl and Jane from Huddersfield, our partner in the project, in attendance to see how they may run something similar there.  Each session uses Padlet to host the in-session and post-session resources and those for session one can be found here:  There are still places available on the five sessions to come between February and June 2018.  Details and information on how to book on can be found here:

 Student Assistants

We will be meeting our employed student assistants next week to brief them on their role in leading a group of peers in providing comprehensive feedback on the student resources and informing other aspects of the project.  We are really excited by other potential outcomes which could include joint staff and student presentations at relevant conferences. 

Lincoln Higher Education Research Award - “How can I be an effective personal tutor and what is out there to help me do this?”  Staff perceptions of their personal tutor role and the influence of key resources.

The personal tutoring research at Lincoln, which is closely related to the IFS project, is going well with the first of the two data collection stages having been completed (interviews with eight personal tutors across all four colleges of the University on the tutor role and support for this including resources).  Now, it is time for data analysis.  Between January and April 2018, the participants will work through a minimum of one staff resource (to support and develop them in the role) and two student resources with their tutees.  The second set of interviews to take place in April 2018 will include questions to assess any influence and help these may have had on their delivery of personal tutoring.    Further information on the research can be found here:   

Integration into the University of Lincoln’s Personal Tutoring Review

We are making lots of productive links between the project and the personal tutoring review at Lincoln (overseen by Dave Prichard and Garry Wilson, LALT).  Examples of integration include findings from personal tutors on tutoring structure gathered during the staff development programme and interviews being incorporated into the review’s findings.  Likewise, the review’s survey informs the project evaluation.


Lastly, we have submitted proposals to present at three upcoming conferences:

·         UKAT, UK Advising and Tutoring -

·         NACADA (The Global Community for Academic Advising) –

·         EYFE (European First Year Experience) -

 The last one is an exciting joint presentation with our LHERI colleagues on the Learning Gain Project. 

Huddersfield Blog 10

posted 18 Jan 2018, 07:34 by Jane Wormald

SU Commuter Appreciation Week January 2018 - Free breakfasts for students who commute in.
Welcoming commuter students for free breakfastGreeting students with info about free breakfasts for students who commute to Uni.

The first days of the term saw the Students’ Union offering breakfasts to those who have commuted in to University to raise awareness and to find out more from those students who travel long distances each day. The SU Education Officer has had a lot of involvement in the Intervention for Success project, with our Flying Start initiative. The SU continues to develop links with course teams and will be part of the preparations for Flying Start 2018.

Under the banner of ‘Commuter appreciation week’, which ran alongside Re-Freshers Week, the SU organised a range of information stops at breakfast to find and give advice to students who commute. A wall of top tips have been collected from students, a map of from where students have travelled, discussions on safety with Estates and Campus Police Officer, facilities available from Students Services, the Faith Centre, Library and tips from IT specialists on easy ways to record texts to listen to on the journey. The SU were happy to encourage academics to support the initiative and we had 4 academics, 1 GTA, 1 Progress tutor and the Pro-Vice Chancellor as volunteers to support the students. This meant that we got to chat to some of our students about how their journey impacts on their working weeks. The SU Education Officer will be summarising the outcomes of the event.     

Coventry Update 5

posted 12 Dec 2017, 11:17 by Arin Adefila

Literature review by Advantage student - Anila Anad

Anila reviewed literature around resources used to support students with disabilities during placement.

HEFCE Evaluation Workshop 28/11/17 Birmingham

posted 30 Nov 2017, 04:46 by Jane Wormald

Attached are notes I made at the sessions at the Evaluation workshop event. Much of the sessions' input was confirming the importance of the key areas of: accountability, impact, investment (value for money), benchmarks and what works, which will inform how we might design evaluation strategies and overall methodologies. Most groups have started on this process and were somewhat thrown by the high profiling of the Random Controlled Trials workshop. Just one University was using RCT and most thought that the nature of the type of intervention, and ethical responsibility to our students veered us to other forms of collecting data for evaluation. There were examples from two of the HEFCE projects (summarised on the attached).
The second part of the day was focused on 'Scaling- up' with an example from Sheffield University and a talk by Liz Thomas on the challenges to consider. A point that they were strongly forwarding was in relation to reporting the challenges and also anything that didn't work. This is also important information.

Huddersfield blog 9

posted 27 Nov 2017, 03:26 by Jane Wormald   [ updated 27 Nov 2017, 03:28 ]

We are in the process of uploading all the materials that relate to the interventions begun at Huddersfield. These are available on the Project Website under Interventions - Flying Start, Independent study and Graduate Teaching Assistants, Supporting Success: Information for Families and Friends; Dashboard and PATS tbc, Student Consultants; Summer support strategy; Welcome pack for 'at home' students.

Mandy has done an initial analysis for headliners from our student survey on belonging, which is telling us that there is a significant positive difference in the feeling of belonging for male students who were on Flying Start than those males not on FS. For females the difference is not great, but given that the male cohorts of the courses doing FS are largely our targeted students, that is significant. I'll post more details as they emerge.

Mandy and I go to Birmingham tomorrow to The Addressing Barriers to Student Success  Evaluation Workshop and then look forward to meeting you all in Lincoln on Wednesday.    

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