Exploring learning development from the perspectives of black students

Sheryl Mansfield, Kate Ikonte, Beth Garrett

Research output: Contribution to JournalConference Article/Conference Proceedingspeer-review


There has been little research into student perceptions of learning development tutorials despite learning development having existed in most institutions for over twenty years. Analysis from annual demographic data from tutorial attendance at the University of Northampton shows that over 25% of tutorials are attended by students identifying as Black. More Black women use the LD provision than Black males and even fewer Black males under the age of 20 use the service. This mirrors the findings of Coulson and Loddick (2020) who acknowledged, in research on learning development and student attainment, that students from a Black ethnic background, particularly females, were more likely to attend tutorials. However, there has been little research into the reasons for this.This presentation concluded the findings of an internally funded collaborative project to explore the perceptions of Black students and learning development.Due to the nature of investigating a sensitive topic, it was deemed essential that a project assistant was employed who has lived experience and identifies as Black. The project assistant predominantly conducts the research with Black students and gains their perspectives during focus groups or interviews. The project has been planned to ensure that the project assistant influences the research by offering autonomy to design the project and recruit participants. It is hoped that this project will offer a unique perspective to inform learning development practice and provision. By the time of the conference the project will have finished and we will be able to offer an insight into the findings.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Learning Development in Higher Education
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2023


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