AdvanceHE define evaluation as “the means by which a course or a curriculum change can be monitored to see if, in fact, it is what it claims to be and if it achieves, in students, the intended outcomes. For an evaluation to take place in any measured way, the purposes of a teaching innovation and the expected outcomes in terms of student learning and attitude changes must be specified.

There is not currently a clear indicator of personal tutoring effectiveness at a national level for undergraduate or postgraduate taught programmes as provided by sector-wide student voice measures. National surveys (NSS; PTES) explore student perceptions and experiences of personal tutoring indirectly through questions linked to ‘Academic Support’. Individual institutions may include questions on student experience in end programme or module evaluation survey, continuous module dialogue, bespoke focus groups, or student reviewer schemes. It can be hard to understand how students interpret and respond to broad survey questions and if their responses are based on personal tutoring experiences or something else.

At present, there is also no clear model that sets out how we might evaluate the effectiveness of personal tutoring in relation to learning outcomes and other learning gain measures. These measures are also defined differently in varying institutional contexts. 

At the 2023 UKAT Annual Conference we ran a problem-solving session to explore ’how can we evaluate the effectiveness of personal tutoring at a national cross-institutional level?’.

This new UKAT Special Interest Group aims to continue the dialogue and exploration of how we can evaluate our work in personal tutoring and advising.

Professional Development Opportunities:

  • Reflect on your own personal tutoring and advising practice, and how to evidence impact in support of an application for professional recognition through UKAT.
  • Identify personal and community professional development needs in evaluation and measuring impact; with potential to contribute to UKAT training material, online learning modules and workshops in this area.
  • Existing UKAT Online Learning Modules that may be of interest:


This SIG welcomes anyone who is interested in the evaluation of personal tutoring as a member. The benefits of joining the SIG are:

  • Have a voice in defining UKAT’s approach to evaluating personal tutoring and advising.
  • Reflect on your own and institutional practice (and development needs).
  • Networking opportunity for UKAT members involved and/or interested in measuring the impact of personal tutoring and enhancement.
  • Contribute to a developing area of educational research in the UK.


To develop a framework for the evaluation of personal tutoring and advising in the UK, by

  • Defining a set of principles and transferable learning outcomes for personal tutoring and advising.
  • Investigating novel approaches to measuring impact and effectiveness against these learning outcomes.
  • Supporting UKAT’s strategic goal of Professionalism and work around individual and institutional recognition for personal tutoring and advising.

Forthcoming Events and Activities

This is a new SIG. Activities and initiatives will be decided by the SIG membership. These may include:

  • Workshop and problem-solving sessions.
  • Research and collaboration cross-institutions with potential conference presentations and publications.
  • Networking and social events.


Picture of Peter Fitch

Peter Fitch