Research Meets Practice


The 'Making Connections: Bringing together research around E-Learning and Retention' conference, hosted by Middlesex University with the support of the Higher Education Academy, took place at the Grange Holborn Hotel on Thursday 6th November in Central London. The day included thoughtful keynote presentations from Professor Ormond Simpson, Open Polytechnic of New Zealand and Dr. Martin Oliver, Higher Education Academy and London Knowledge Lab.


The conference attracted around 80 delegates from higher education institutions across the UK. Discussions focused on the different ways in which institutions and academic and support staff are currently enhancing the student experience through the use of e-learning and the impact these have had in student retention. Delegates engaged with a number of presentations and workshops which addressed the following themes:

  • E-learning and new technologies
  • Student retention and progression
  • Innovative approaches to supporting students using e-learning

Some of the conference presentations are already available for you to view and download here. We hope to make all of them available soon.

Kyriaki Anagnostopoulou, Head of e-Learning in Middlesex University and Deeba Parmar, Senior Research Fellow in the same institution, presented the results of their HEA-funded research project ‘Making Connections: Using e-learning data to improve retention rates in higher education’ . One of the deliverables from this study, the ‘Practical guide: bringing together e-learning & student retention', was also launched at the conference and is available to download from the navigation panel on the left.

Participants' comments:

  • 'I now feel I can move forward with some of my ideas on working with students'
  • 'Made me realise I am not alone in my approach'
  • 'It's given me the energy to with engage with colleagues to enhance student learning'
  • 'It encouraged me to take a more imaginative look at retention'
  • 'Excellent - more please!'

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Registration - Deeba Parmar, Karen Ridout
and Kyriaki Anagnostopoulou


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Prof Barry Jackson, Kyriaki Anagnostopoulou
and Deeba Parmar




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Conference Participants

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Closing Remarks