What is the Institute of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (ILT)?

ILT logo

The Institute of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (ILT) is a central unit with membership across all schools and services, created to support, promote and research effective and innovative learning and teaching practices.

Our mission:

To enable transformational learning experiences through inspirational teaching. This is achieved by developing capability in learning design, innovation and excellent teaching practice, underpinned by the latest pedagogic research.

Our vision:

  • Our learners are competent, resourceful and ethical problem solvers, capable of imagining and deploying creative approaches to address tomorrow’s challenges.
  • Our graduates are knowledgeable, socially responsible, digitally proficient and highly employable global citizens – the Changemakers of the future.
  • Our colleagues are outstanding at research-informed teaching and supporting learning, ensuring flexibility and pedagogic innovation for maximum benefit to staff and students.
  • Our researchers generate evidence on excellent teaching for optimal student learning and attract funding for research and enterprise activities.
  • We support our Education with Others (EWO) partners to deliver equivalent student experiences to those of our students at Northampton.
  • Employers and other key external stakeholders actively engage with every stage of our academic process: from programme design to implementation, evaluation, work-based learning opportunities and course redesign.
  • Our quality assurance and enhancement systems provide robust, evidence-based benchmarks to ensure positive and rewarding experiences for staff and students.

Areas of interest

The ILT has interests in the three areas outlined below:

Intellectual Capital:

  • professional development for staff
  • research and enterprise

Student Experience:

  • retention, progression, completion and success
  • graduate employability
  • internationalisation

Learning and Teaching Enhancement and Innovation:

  • programme design and redesign
  • learning and teaching innovation
  • learning and teaching policy and practice
  • QA and QE


First Year Experience (FYE)

First Year Experience logo

The First Year Experience project is a three year project to enhance student progression onto their second year of study. It is underpinned by our principles of student success, which include an integrated and collaborative approach.

The project aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • To reduce withdrawal rates by 4% in three years (from 11.3% to 7.3%)
  • To reduce the rate of ‘continuation without progression’ by 2% in three years (from 4.2% to 2.2%)
  • To improve the rate of student retrieval and success after a period of intercalation

The project emerged from a series of Addressing Progressing workshops held in our faculties. It will be overseen by a Steering Group consisting of the Project Academic Lead and the five Work Package leaders, with the opportunity for visitors to attend Steering Group meetings as appropriate.


ChANGE logo

The ChANGE Project (Changemaker Attributes at Northampton for Graduate Employability) continues the work of EmbedCM across our curricula. It looks at how we can enhance our students’ digital capabilities by considering how academic staff teach, develop and assess their acquisition and development of transferable and lifelong learning skills. This will better equip them for work in a changing and constantly developing 21st century working environment.

Our academic staff are moving to a blended model of learning and teaching which makes full and appropriate use of technology-enhanced learning initiatives and flipped classroom approaches. The ChANGE project ties in with this redesign work and forms part of our ongoing review of the University Modular Framework (UMF).

Assessment and Feedback Portal

High quality, meaningful assessment and feedback is key to our student experience. The Assessment and Feedback Portal brings together guidance around three key areas –  Policy and Procedure, Design and Practice, with resources on the following topics:

  • introduction to assessment
  • principles of good feedback
  • assessment policy and procedure
  • feedback policy and procedure
  • assessment design
  • effective feedback practice

Download our latest collection of Outside the Box Assessment and Feedback examples.

Academic Integrity

Students promoting Academic Integrity

We support the development of students’ academic practice. This is achieved through collaborative academic integrity campaigns sponsored by the Students’ Union and Student and Academic Services, and through Academic Integrity Officers (AIOs), who provide support across the faculties.

The ILT helps the faculties to address academic integrity within teaching practice. This work is underpinned by a thorough annual review of the Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy and input from the Academic Integrity Working Group.

The initiative provides resources in the following areas to staff:

  • Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy
  • flowchart showing the procedure for cases of suspected academic misconduct
  • list of Academic Integrity Officers (AIOs) for each School
  • Academic Integrity Officer (AIO) Role Description
  • Academic Integrity Development Opportunities
  • Skills Hub: guidance for students

For more information about ILT’s research, visit the main ILT website.

Staff development opportunities

C@N-DO Professional Development Framework

Changemaking @ Northampton – Development Opportunities (C@N-DO) is a flexible professional development scheme for enabling positive change. It has been designed for all members of staff who are involved in teaching or who play a role in supporting learning and teaching.

C@N-DO offers you a pathway to professional development in the form of recognition and qualification and provides a range of practical workshops, support, peer review and scholarship towards professional recognition as Associate Fellow, Fellow and Senior Fellow of the HE Academy (HEA).

Find further information about C@N-DO and the HEA.

Conferences and funding opportunities

Find out more about our conferences and the funding opportunities available.


ILT provides a central point of support and reference for all of our staff and services. We work closely with representatives from all four faculties as well as Library and Learning Services, specifically the Learning Technology Team. In particular, we liaise with the Learning Designers whose role is to work with staff as we move to a blended model of learning and teaching across all programme and subject areas.

ILT Staff

Ale Armellini, Ming Nie, Shirley Bennett and Rachel Maxwell

As a largely ‘virtual’ institute, it employs only a small number of staff directly (shown left-right in photo):

Professor Alejandro (Ale) Armellini – Director of Learning and Teaching, Ale.Armellini@northampton.ac.uk

Dr Ming Nie – Research Assistant, Ming.Nie@northampton.ac.uk

Ms Shirley Bennett – Head of Academic Practice, Shirley.Bennett@northampton.ac.uk

Dr Rachel Maxwell – Head of Learning and Teaching Development: Policy and Practice, Rachel.Maxwell@northampton.ac.uk

Working with ILT

If you are interested in working with ILT please contact any of the ILT staff above.


Select a recent output below or view all research outputs on NECTAR.