Constructing an academic skills toolkit for embedding academic practices


  • Pamela Thomas London South Bank University
  • Nazmin Khanom London South Bank University
  • Simon Lambe London South Bank University
  • Bisi Adelaja London South Bank University
  • Mohamed Mehbali London South Bank University



academic skills toolkit, academic skills, embedded learning development, academic staff, teaching and learning, activities


This case study explores the successes and challenges experienced while creating the Learning Development Toolkit (LDT) for use by academic staff at London South Bank University (LSBU). Based on similar initiatives at Queen Mary University of London (2016) and the University of Derby (2021). LSBU’s LDT is a database of formative academic skills activities which are available for academic staff to adapt and deliver during lectures and seminars. The case study opens by explaining LSBU’s institutional context, including our Educational Framework, and the Centre for Research Informed Teaching’s (CRIT) role in supporting various features: employability, embedded learning development, pedagogy, inclusivity and assessment. The case study also discusses LSBU’s student profile, namely that we have a large proportion of students from non-traditional academic backgrounds. As such, the LDT’s activities have been designed to enhance students’ criticality, analysis and confidence in their academic writing in a more general sense. The LDT is freely available to academic staff on LSBU’s intranet, but our team can advise on its implementation by discussing ways to tailor activities to a given session with individual academics. The LDT has five key areas: critical thinking development, quantitative analysis development, reading development, reflective development and writing development. The case study describes the elements within the LDT and explains how it was developed, tested and revised. It discusses the difficulties faced with building the LDT within LSBU’s existing IT framework but outlines how it ultimately succeeded in generating a comprehensive database of tasks to support student .

Author Biographies

Pamela Thomas, London South Bank University

Pamela Thomas is a Learning Developer in the Centre for Research Informed Teaching at London South Bank University, a Senior Fellow of AdvanceHE and Associate Member of the Institute of Leadership and Management. She is responsible for embedding learning development in course curricula using an academic literacy approach to support student writers to navigate and negotiate their way through the academic writing process within their subject-specific discipline.

Nazmin Khanom, London South Bank University

Nazmin Khanom is a Learning Developer in the Centre for Research Informed Teaching at London South Bank University. She is a Fellow of AdvanceHE, a MA in Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching and most recently achieved a second MA in Academic Practice in Higher Education. She has been teaching in further and higher education for over 15 years and specialises in the implementation of embedded academic skills and curriculum development in the Institute of Health and Social Care.

Simon Lambe, London South Bank University

Simon Lambe is an Associate Learning Developer within the Centre for Research Informed Teaching at London South Bank University. He is a Senior Fellow of Advance HE, an Associate Fellow of the Institute of Historical Research and an Associate Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Professionally, he has used his expertise to support students in higher education to enhance their writing and academic skills. He has also worked extensively with academic staff on developing teaching quality and curricula across the university. He is particularly interested in peer-assisted learning (PAL), learning technologies and learning and teaching theory and practice.

Bisi Adelaja, London South Bank University

Adebisi Adelaja is a Learning Developer in the Centre for Research Informed Teaching at London South Bank University. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a member of the Association for Learning Technology and the Institute of Leadership and Management. Her 17 years' experience of teaching in further and higher education has involved facilitating students from a variety of subject disciplines to become independent learners. Adebisi's current research interests include examination of how far computerised forms of learning support critical thinking.

Mohamed Mehbali, London South Bank University

Mohamed Mehbali is a Learning Developer in the Centre for Research Informed Teaching at London South Bank University (LSBU). He is a Senior Fellow of AdvanceHE.
He is accredited as the Professional Development Lead by the National Centre for Excellence in the teaching of Mathematics (NCTEM), is a Member of Sigma Network for Excellence in Mathematics and Statistics Support and a Member of the Institute of Mathematics. Since 2015, he leads the Maths and Statistics support provision at LSBU in numeracy skills to nursing students, maths to engineering students and data analysis across all programs.


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How to Cite

Thomas, P., Khanom, N. ., Lambe, S., Adelaja, B. and Mehbali, M. (2022) “Constructing an academic skills toolkit for embedding academic practices”, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, (24). doi: 10.47408/jldhe.vi24.832.



Case Studies