Resource in a Box: why create Learning Development resources for post-16 students?

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePoster


The Resource in a Box project (University of Northampton, 2019) was started by the institution’s Schools Engagement team, to create a resource for local secondary schools to access in their own classroom. Members of the Learning Development team were brought on board to create boxes to develop academic skills; these boxes were shortlisted for a Changemaker Award 2020. The poster focuses on one of the Learning Development boxes. It explores the intended benefits of the resource for post-16 students and schools, as well as the process of making it, as experienced by the Learning Development Tutor.

The concept aligns with the vision for social innovation through links with Widening Participation schools. This enables a diverse student base to engage with university-style learning and concepts in their familiar school setting. It is hoped it will encourage curiosity and confidence within students: those who are already planning to apply for university and those who are not, or are undecided. This is also an opportunity to advocate Learning Development within schools, and build confidence in future students that academic skill support is available at university. It may aid transition for students, through developing self-efficacy in academic skills (van Rooij et al., 2017). The project fosters communication between schools and the university, and enabled useful discussion with post-16 teachers.

The poster explores the advantages of the resource and the process, including those for students and for school and university staff. It also notes the challenges of creating resources which are to be used off-site, without university staff input, and for a broad range of users. As data collection is ongoing (and currently paused due to school closures) there will be a summary of the feedback collected so far.

University of Northampton (2019) Resource in a Box. University of Northampton [online]. Available from: [Accessed 27/04/20].
van Rooij, E.C.M., Jansen, E.P.W.A. and van de Grift, W.J.C.M. (2017) Factors that contribute to secondary school students' self-efficacy in being a successful university student. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 22(4), pp.535–555.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2020
EventUniversity of Northampton Learning and Teaching Conference 2020 - University of Northampton, Northampton, United Kingdom
Duration: 16 Jun 202016 Jun 2020


ConferenceUniversity of Northampton Learning and Teaching Conference 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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