Online 4 - 6 April 2022

In recent months we have adopted many new and innovative ways of supporting our students and their learning. Necessity has been the driver which has accelerated the pace of change, resulting in us quickly making changes that might ordinarily have happened over a longer period of time. Some of these changes will have had a positive effect, others may have been less successful at addressing the varying individual challenges that many students have faced. They may have produced anticipated benefits and revealed other unexpected benefits. Whatever we have tried in recent months, we have adopted new ways of doing academic advising and personal tutoring, and learned much from the experience which can help us reimagine how we do advising and tutoring in the future.

Based on our collective recent experiences, this conference will explore how we might reimagine advising/tutoring so that it is more relevant to students, more effective at helping all students and institutions to achieve their intended outcomes, and more efficient in its operation. The conference will focus on five key themes:

  • Digital technology - how can our experiences of the widescale adoption of digital technology and the pivot to online learning inform the future role of technology in advising and tutoring?
  • Identity – how can advising and tutoring support student and cohort identity development?
  • Community – how can advising and tutoring support learning communities, and build the sense of belonging that is important to student success?
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion – what role does advising and tutoring have in enhancing equality and inclusion in higher education, and in enhancing success for all students?
  • Student-Centred Transformation – higher education is transformative, but how can advising and tutoring empower students and give them agency in the transformation that they experience through their education?

Delegate registration will open early in 2022.

Keynote Speakers

A portrait of Ed Foster

Opening Keynote

Ed Foster   Head of Student Engagement & Analytics, Nottingham Trent University

Ed is Head of Student Engagement & Analytics at Nottingham Trent University (NTU). His team implements learning analytics throughout the University making data available for students, tutors and professional support staff. During the pandemic, Ed used learning analytics data to set up a call centre to contact students who appeared to need the most support. The approach has been developed and he now directs a calling team who reach out to students who appear to have disengaged from their studies. The callers act as first responders and using a coaching approach try to build the students’ confidence and re-engage them with tutors or professional services.

Ed has directed a number of research projects looking at student retention and success from the perspective of engagement and belonging, and, more recently, from the perspective of learning analytics and early warning systems. This work included one of the original “What Works? - student retention and success” studies and three Erasmus+ programmes with a range of European institutions. Ed blogs (badly) at


A portrait of Sean Bridgen, April Dukes, Don Gillian-Daniel, Robin Greenler

Closing Keynote

Sean Bridgen, April Dukes, Don Gillian-Daniel, Robin Greenler   National Science Foundation INCLUDES Aspire Alliance

In the U.S. the NSF INCLUDES Aspire Alliance aims to promote a more diverse STEM faculty nationally. The Alliance combines professional development focused on preparing academics to be equitable and inclusive with change at an institutional level to promote the use of systemic policies and practices that support success for all students and staff. Aspire is part of the National Science Foundation’s Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) program.

Our vision is to increase the learning, persistence, and completion of students from underrepresented groups (URG) in colleges and universities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to increase their contributions to the U.S. STEM enterprise. Academics play a central role in the success of URG undergraduate students. When URG students are taught by URG academics, they achieve at significantly higher rates. Research also reveals that inclusive teaching, mentoring and advising leads to enhanced performance, self-efficacy and STEM identity, which foster persistence.

Dr. Sean Bridgen is the Associate Director for External and Institutional Partnerships at NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising and  a faculty member in the Department of Special Education, Counseling, and Student Affairs at Kansas State University. Prior to his appointment at NACADA, Sean worked on college campuses for over 20 years in various roles in academic advising and registrar’s offices.

Dr. April Dukes is the Faculty and Future Faculty Program Director for the Engineering Educational Research Center (EERC) and the Institutional Co-leader for Pitt-CIRTL (Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning) at the University of Pittsburgh. April leads local professional development courses and facilitates workshops on instructional and mentoring best practices for both current and future STEM faculty.

Dr. Donald L. Gillian-Daniel engages faculty, staff, graduate students and post-docs in learning how to teach more equitably and inclusively both in person and online. All of Don’s grant funded work promotes more diverse, equitable and inclusive campuses, including the NSF INCLUDES Aspire Alliance, the Inclusive STEM Teaching Project, and the NSF ADVANCE-funded ACCESS+ initiative.

Robin McC. Greenler works with faculty and future faculty to support the development of equitable and inclusive approaches to teaching and learning in STEM fields. Robin is a co-lead of the NSF Aspire Alliance National Change Initiative, is Assistant Director for the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) and has been part of developing several education-related MOOCs.