Personal growth: using the LJMU herb garden to enhance student learning outcomes, confidence and well-being


  • Sally-Ann Starkey Faculty of Science
  • Wendy Johnston Faculty of Science
  • Ella Gledhill Faculty of Science
  • Sophie Vine Faculty of Science
  • Katy Broadfoot Faculty of Science



Experiential active learning has been shown to develop student skills, knowledge, abilities and confidence in their specific areas of study, whilst also preparing them for future work and their careers.

University campus-based projects can provide excellent opportunities for experiential outdoor active learning, whilst also having the potential to provide both educational, health and wellbeing improvement benefits for students, staff and the wider university community.

At last year’s Student at the Heart conference (2022) we presented our projected plans to engage students in nature based outdoor campus-based projects to enhance learning, health and well-being outcomes. This project has now physically commenced, and a range of activities have been undertaken and a range of resources developed for use within the LJMU community Activities and resources for campus-based staff and students developed as part of the herb garden project will be shared and discussed as part of the session. Longer term implications and the sustainability of this project and WRL opportunity, will also be examined.

This presentation will:

  • Provide an updated overview of the herb garden project that has been undertaken and further developed this year here at LJMU
  • Outline the experiential active learning tasks undertaken by students as part of the project,
  • Discuss the critical learning and holistic personal outcomes for students and staff as a result of their participation.

The student’s voices, engagement and attendance will be pivotal and central to this presentation. The students we have worked with this year will present alongside us, so that they can share their balanced, judicious reflections, thoughts and feelings about their WRL hybrid learning experience in the campus herb garden.

Presentation links to the new LJMU strategy aims of:

  • Education and Student Experience: transforming lives and futures - examples of enhancing graduate employment prospects, diversifying, responsive support, delivering outstanding teaching and learning, providing an excellent student experience beyond the curriculum and supporting communities
  • Research and Knowledge Exchange: curiosity, creativity and impact - examples of teaching inspired by research, evidence-based service development, knowledge exchange, and student-led research

Personal growth: using the LJMU herb garden to enhance student learning outcomes, confidence and well-being PowerPoint. Only LJMU Staff and students have access to this resource.