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Hard to reach and hard to teach: lessons from other sectors

07 Feb 2020 | Kathy Wright Our next Innovation in Teaching Practice workshop looks to borrow and adapt techniques from other education sectors to engage those ‘hard to reach’ students. Kathy Wright, Assistant Director of Knowledge, Innovation and Delivery at Advance HE and one of the workshop leaders explains more.

We know that student engagement is a real issue in higher education. The 2019 Advance HE UK Engagement Survey (UKES) suggested that only 40% of undergraduate students engaged with staff on learning evaluation and academic performance, while less than a third discussed ideas outside of their course with teaching staff.

How then, can teachers possibly teach an entire cohort effectively if the vast majority of them will not engage with their learning? These students are impossible to teach if they can’t be reached.

This is not an unsolvable riddle however.

Young people are increasingly digital and creative. To engage with them effectively they need to be taught and communicated with in an increasingly digital and creative way.

Hard to reach and hard to teach: Lessons from other sectors takes place in London on 25 February, and seeks to bridge this divide between HE educators and students by introducing a range of digital and alternative teaching methods to creatively challenge today’s students.

Higher education can, and should, be ‘authentic’, yet at the same time should not be afraid of borrowing and adapting ideas more commonly found in other educational contexts.

In this interactive one-day workshop we look at practices employed by those who have undergone teacher training in other education sectors, such as school and Further Education, and seek to apply these to a HE context.

We explore ideas for large and small group teaching that help to structure and align curriculum content, engage learners in the class, develop questioning techniques in the classroom and help to create pacey and accessible sessions. 

The session will address how to plan and prepare for student engagement and how to structure lessons to ensure learner involvement. It will also consider the role of learning behaviours and how we might support learners to develop these over time.

It is perfect for any lecturer interested in extending their practical toolkit of teaching strategies, or looking for fresh ways to engage with and inspire their students.


The workshop ‘Hard to reach and hard to teach: Lessons from other sectors’ will be led by Dr Warren Kidd, Principal Fellow and an experienced teacher educator and textbook writer on teaching strategies and techniques, and Kathy Wright. Kathy has 40 years of experience in school teaching and teacher education programmes in three universities and extensive UK and international staff development experience in modelling practical approaches to enhancing the student experience.

Click here to find out more and book your place on ‘Hard to reach and hard to teach’.

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