Little things that make the difference

Margaret Harris, James Moir, Veronica Bamber, Michael Allardice

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

12 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding the student experience is something that should concern all parties involved in the education partnership. It is however, an area that is very much dominated by examination of what can be done strategically to enhance the experience rather than what we as practitioners in education can do ourselves. This seminar, hosted at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh but run jointly by QMU, The University of Dundee, and the project facilitators for Responding to Student Needs and The First Year Enhancement Themes, attempted to take a more specific look at that very area. In this seminar we asked academics, support staff and others about the little things that they do everyday that they believed makes the difference between students being successful or not, i.e. that makes a difference to the student experience. The results are interesting and show clearly that the individual elements of supporting students academically or personally really cannot be considered as separate entities, but rather, they need to be considered as intertwined and interdependent.
This report, providing information from the seminar, is divided into 4 parts. Part 1 provides details of information given by participants prior to attendance. Part 2 provides information from the seminar itself, including the facilitators’ interpretation of the main themes arising from the day. Part 3 provides practical suggestions arising from the comments made by participants and Part 4 provides the feedback from participants and discusses what should come next.
The report is designed with a wide audience in mind but in particular we hope that Part 1 and Part 3 will be of practical use to all staff members working in HE who are endeavouring to make a real difference to the student experience. Whilst we offer examples and suggestions, we do not expect readers to adopt everything that is here. May we suggest however, that small changes may indeed make the difference!
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQAA Enhancement Themes Web site
PublisherQAA Scotland Enhancement Themes
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2010


  • responding to student needs


Dive into the research topics of 'Little things that make the difference'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this