Intervention for Success

Intervention for Success is a 2 year project funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Catalyst Fund as part of a national £7.5 million programme of support to tackle barriers to student success. The project is one of 17 focusing on this subject across 64 institutions.

Working in collaboration with Huddersfield University (lead), Manchester Metropolitan University and Coventry University, the University of Lincoln Intervention for Success project will work to make effective use of data analytics and develop interventions which personal tutors can deploy to enable students to continue and succeed.

A key part of this project will be the development of a suite of online materials which could be utilised by any academic, at any university. This is anticipated to include a range of stand-alone electronic resources, guidance notes for a personal academic tutor mentoring scheme, and supplementary workshops.

More information can be found on the press release released by the University of Lincoln.

Please also see our partner, University of Huddersfield’s twitter.


Ben Walker
Senior Lecturer


February 2018

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 re-purposed 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 with Part 1 of 6 (entitled ‘What is the personal tutor role and why is it important?’) taking 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.

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.

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:

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

Ben Walker

October 2017

Quite a few things have happened since our last blog. Our personal tutor resources for staff and students are now ‘live’ and being used by personal tutors and students. They can be found here.

Resources can be duplicated and adapted by staff for use with their particular cohort of students. We have continued to request feedback from both staff and students on content, format and relevance of topics and what we have received has, overall, been highly positive. Both staff and students have highlighted the need for resources to be Lincoln specific, something we avoided in the first instance since we knew they were to be used across partner institutions. However, as a result, we are creating duplicates of all the resources so we can ‘Lincoln-ise’ them in terms of branding, images and content. Whilst ‘call outs’ in meetings (in our Senior Tutors’ forum and project steering group for example) and emailing feedback forms have garnered some feedback, we have found targeting individuals to be more successful. For example, I am regularly meeting a tutor to talk through one staff resource at each meeting. In the light of this feedback, we’re continuing to amend the resources (changes happen ‘live’ within Sway). We’re keen to receive any feedback from others too and the links below can be used for this:

Staff Feedback Form
Student Feedback Form

The staff resources in particular will inform a personal tutor staff development programme we are planning to start in January 2018 (session dates to follow). Members of the LHERI team are welcome to attend (and facilitate!) just let us know.

From an institutional perspective, we continue to integrate the project work into the Lincoln personal tutoring review through hosting the resources on our portal and regularly meeting with the managers overseeing the review. In addition, we have requested to go into all the University’s schools/colleges to talk to the personal tutors about tutoring, the resources, the project and the staff development programme to follow, something we have already done with the Lincoln Business School.

I’ve also planned a Lincoln based research project with themes closely related to the HEFCE project. It will focus on tutors’ views on the effectiveness of their role in the first instance with a planned second phase bringing in students’ views and students’ progress/performance. It will look at the relationship between the intervention of the resources to assess their influence. I had been considering such a project anyway when, last month, the research institute in which myself and Alison are based put out a call for HE research funding awards. My manager Karin suggested I apply. Nothing like a funding application to change thought to action I guess and undergoing that process certainly made me sort out my aims, objectives, methodology, ethics and all the rest, thanks Karin.

Lastly , Alison and I are presenting on the project at the fourth national tutoring seminar at Sheffield Hallam University this week, our first time talking ‘officially’ about the project to staff outside our university and the core team. This is organised by the CRA and linked to their personal tutoring award accredited by SEDA. Acronym translations: Centre for Recording Achievement and Staff Educational and Educational Development Association respectively. Should be interesting. One or two of the other presentations look like they could be really useful for us, so more to follow on that.

What with continuing to tackle the challenge of tracking and monitoring the usage of the resources, adding more interactive content to them and meeting with our student consultants, I think it’s fair to say that there’s enough to keep us busy!

Ben Walker