Apps in LD: gifts or gimmicks?




digital, wild card, technology, apps


In ‘one-shot’ Learning Development (LD) teaching, how much space is there for using apps (and similar technologies) creatively? Can they further students’ understanding and enable active learning within workshops; is there even potential for using them in tutorials? What barriers are there to their use, how could we remove these, and indeed should we – is there enough to be gained or are they just a gimmick?


This Wild Card session was an opportunity to collaboratively explore the potential of a selection of apps and technologies which are used in other areas of education, and consider whether they can augment provision in LD. The apps and programmes chosen for this session were used in an international Erasmus+ research project, which worked with lecturers, teachers, students, and school children who observed their strengths and limitations in use (Digital Learning Across Boundaries: Developing Changemakers (DLAB), 2017-2022). This Wild Card session looked to evaluate how these apps might be applied in the LD world by reviewing benefits and barriers to their use in an LD context, and considering how we might maximise any usefulness and contend with limitations or concerns. I wanted to explore how they might support transition through familiarity and links with previous education experiences, and whether the activities which use them might impact on belonging. Participants were encouraged to evaluate and share their thoughts on the apps, and collectively generate a resource of ideas as to their use in LD. This resource could then be shared and drawn on by others.

Author Biography

Amy West, University of Northampton

Amy West is a Learning Development Tutor at the University of Northampton. She has an MA in Education, and holds Fellowship of the HEA and ALDinHE CeP. Amy’s research interests centre on the use of metaphor in learning and teaching.


Digital Learning Across Boundaries: Developing Changemakers (DLAB) (2017-2022) DLAB. DLAB [online]. Available at: (Accessed: 3 January 2023).

Trinkle, D., and Merriman, S. (2006) History highway: a 21st century guide to internet resources. 4th edn. New York: M.E. Sharpe.




How to Cite

West, A. (2023) “Apps in LD: gifts or gimmicks?”, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, (29). doi: 10.47408/jldhe.vi29.1117.

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