Skip to main content

About this book

Edited collection featuring essays from exceptional National Teaching Fellows. Presents the cutting-edge of pedagogical thinking on the most important topics in higher education today, including student engagement, assessment, internationalisation and employability. Destined to become a 'must-read' guide for anyone involved in higher education.

Table of Contents

Introduction: inspiration, innovation and excellence

Introduction: inspiration, innovation and excellence

Tim Bilham is Director of Studies for postgraduate medical and healthcare programmes at the University of Bath and Honorary Associate Postgraduate Dean in the Severn Deanery School of Primary Care. A practitioner in distance and e-learning, having graduated in mathematics and engineering, he has worked across disciplines including technology, management, science and social science. He directed major international development projects that established two Colleges of Open and Distance Learning in Africa. Tim is a Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellow reviewer and UK Professional Standards Framework consultant. Currently he is taking an MSc in Sustainable Development and experiencing at first hand how it feels to be a part-time, distance, mature student.
Tim Bilham

Crossing boundaries



1. The liquidity of knowledge: learning across disciplinary divides

Heather Barnett is a visual artist, researcher and educator working with biological systems and scientific processes. With interests ranging across medicine, psychology, perception and visualisation, her projects have included microbial portraiture, cellular wallpapers, performing cuttlefish and self-organising installations. She is Senior Lecturer in Photographic Arts at the University of Westminster, London, where she leads the Broad Vision project.
Heather Barnett

2. Mixed cultures: microbiology, art and literature

Joanna Verran is Professor of Microbiology at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research, which focuses on the interactions between microorganisms and surfaces, is interdisciplinary, and she also uses other disciplines in her teaching to communicate important principles of microbiology to a wide range of audiences, including the general public.
Joanna Verran

3. Blending approaches to teaching in art and design: case studies from glass and ceramics

Kevin Petrie is Professor and Head of Glass and Ceramics at the University of Sunderland. He studied Illustration at the University of Westminster, Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art and gained a PhD from the University of the West of England. Kevin has lectured around the world.
Kevin Petrie

4. New learning ecosystems: blurring boundaries, changing minds

Helen Keegan is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Interactive Media at the University of Salford. Her expertise lies in curriculum innovation and the development of new pedagogies through social and participatory media, with a particular focus on creativity and interdisciplinarity. She works across the sciences and media arts, developing partnerships and creative approaches to learning and collaboration.
Helen Keegan


5. Learning to love learning

Peter Ovens is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Cumbria and previously Principal Lecturer in Professional and Curriculum Development at Nottingham Trent University, where he worked on Inquiry Into Learning. He has used action research approaches in personal, professional and curriculum development projects in early years and primary school settings and Patchwork Texts in curriculum development and assessment contexts in higher education.
Peter Ovens

6. Crossing the boundaries of academic writing

James Elander is Head of the Centre for Psychological Research at the University of Derby. With a longstanding interest in student learning, he has a special interest in the development of academic writing.
Lin Norton is Emeritus Professor of Pedagogical Research at Liverpool Hope University. She continues to actively research aspects of pedagogy with a specific focus on assessment. Lin is an associate editor for Psychology Learning and Teaching and is on the editorial board of Innovations in Education and Teaching International.
James Elander, Lin Norton

7. Beyond competence: enabling and inspiring healthcare students

Faith Hill is Head of the Academic Unit for Medical Education at the University of Southampton and holds the title of University Director of Education — the professorial equivalent for outstanding educators. An active and inspiring medical educator, she has developed a highly innovative programme of staff development for clinicians and academics throughout the Faculty of Medicine and the South Central NHS.
Faith Hill

8. ‘Disability matters’: the role of personal tutors for inclusive teaching and learning

Suanne Gibson’s specialist areas of teaching and research are disability, special educational needs and critical pedagogy. She leads the BA Education Studies at Plymouth University, tutors and lectures undergraduate, Masters and PhD students and has published widely in the area of special education needs and teaching and learning in higher education. In 2013 she was awarded an International Scholarship with the Higher Education Academy for her work on ‘inclusive pedagogy’. Her work currently focuses on questions of the nature, importance and complexities of ‘relationship’ in inclusive education.
Suanne Gibson

Learning differently


Approaches to Teaching

9. Designs on learning: the role of cross-university collaborative undergraduate research symposia

Kirsten Hardie, Associate Professor at the Arts University at Bournemouth, is a graphic design historian and cultural theorist, who works internationally across disciplines in research areas which include notions of taste and design (including a passion for the investigation of all things flocked); creative pedagogic practice, including role play; and teaching without talking. Her activities include External Examinerships, peer review and collaborative project work. She is the current Chair of the Committee of the Association of National Teaching Fellows.
Kirsten Hardie, Annie Grove-White

10. Innovative approaches to learning design: harnessing new technologies for learning

Gráinne Conole is Professor of Learning Innovation at the University of Leicester. Her research interests include the use, integration and evaluation of Information and Communication Technologies and e-learning and the impact of technologies on organisational change. She regularly blogs on www.​e4innovation.​com and has published or presented over 1000 conference proceedings, workshops and articles, including in the use and evaluation of learning technologies. Her latest book is entitled Designing for Learning in an Open World.
Gráinne Conole

11. Scaffolding problem-based learning

Derek Raine is Professor of Interdisciplinary Science and Director, the πCETL and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Science at the University of Leicester. His research has included astrophysics, quantum physics and complex systems. As Director of Teaching he introduced problem-based learning into physics and what is now called the ‘flipped lecture’. He was awarded the Bragg Medal of the Institute of Physics and is an MBE for contributions to Science Education.
Derek Raine

12. Developing subject-specific knowledge, digital creativity and soft skills: a games-based approach to teaching and learning

Rachel McCrindle is Professor of Computer and Human Interaction and Director of Enterprise in the School of Systems Engineering, University of Reading. She has won a number of national awards for her Knowledge Transfer projects (KTP), as well as the KTP Academic Excellence Award (2010), the Higher Education Academy Engineering Teaching Award (2010) and a University of Reading Teaching Fellowship in 2012.
Rachel McCrindle

Teaching Difficult Topics

13. Teaching with assessment, feedback and feed-forward: using ‘preflights’ to assist student achievement

Brian Whalley is Emeritus Professor at Queens University Belfast, where he spent most of his working life in the School of Geosciences. He is now Visiting Professor at the University of Sheffield. Although retired, he continues his research in glaciology and mountain geomorphology. He has interests in fieldwork and Technology-Enhanced Learning, is currently engaged in an ‘Enhancing Fieldwork Learning’ project and is a trustee of the Field Studies Council.
Brian Whalley

14. Ongoing challenges in cross-disciplinary teaching: a case study from statistics

Paul Hewson is an Associate Professor in Statistics at Plymouth University. He worked in the medical device industry and local government prior to taking an MSc in Applied Statistics and a PhD in Statistics (part time). He researches applications of Bayesian Statistics and currently edits the journal Teaching Statistics.
Paul Hewson

15. Demystifying statistics: bring your imprimatur … to the laughter

Andy Field is Professor of Child Psychopathology at the University of Sussex. He has published over 70 research papers and 17 books about either children’s emotional development or the teaching and learning of statistics, including the bestselling, award-winning ‘Discovering Statistics using SPSS/R/SAS’ textbook range. Various teaching awards, including from the British Psychological Society, and his website, that pokes fun at the apparent ‘scariness’ of statistics by housing it in ‘statistics hell’ (based on Dante’s Inferno), reflect his unorthodox teaching of statistics.
Andy Field

16. Performing critical thinking?

Stella Jones-Devitt is Head of the Centre for Leadership in Health and Social Care at Sheffield Hallam University. She is renowned for her commitment to critical thinking and in using innovatory approaches that animate learning and inspire creative and critical thinking.
Stella Jones-Devitt


17. Best practice in assessment and feedback: neglected issues

Peter Hartley is now an independent higher education consultant and Visiting Professor at Edge Hill University, previously Professor of Education Development at Bradford and Professor of Communication at Sheffield Hallam University. His national projects (JISC/HEA) have included e-portfolios, employability skills, work-based learning, computer-aided assessment and audio feedback. He has promoted the use of new technology, including educational software — The Interviewer and Interviewer Viva — and Making Groupwork Work with the LearnHigher CETL. He co-edited and contributed to Learning Development in Higher Education (2010) and led the NTFS Group Project on Programme-Focused Assessment (PASS).
Peter Hartley

18. Assessment strategies for developmental and experiential learning: successes and challenges

Anita Peleg is Senior Lecturer in Marketing at London South Bank University. Prior to academic life she worked in export marketing, public relations and market research, expertise that she has brought to her specialist teaching areas. Her research interests focus on marketing education and she has presented and published papers on graduate employability, skills development, marketing ethics and moral education at seminars and conferences in the UK. She recently co-authored a chapter on ‘Ethics and Social Responsibility’ in a new book, Marketing: Theory, Evidence, Practice.
Anita Peleg

19. Developing and assessing professional competence: using technology in learning design

Luke Dawson is Professor of Dental Education, Oral Diseases and Director of BDS programmes at the University of Liverpool School of Dentistry. He is interested in how early-stage clinicians develop expertise and how this can be enhanced through the development of innovative technology-supported ‘assessment for learning’ designs.
Luke Dawson, Ben Mason

International Issues

20. Building curriculum internationalisation from the bottom up

After several years teaching overseas, David Killick joined Leeds Metropolitan University in 1991. Having held several roles there, he now provides institutional leadership in academic development. David is committed to internationalisation in higher education, and has presented and published widely on cross-cultural capability and global perspectives in the curriculum. His current research interests are focused on links between internationalisation and equality and diversity in higher education.
David Killick

21. New horizons and old challenges for distance learning: bridging the access gap in african universities

Basiro Davey has been developing distance learning at the Open University, UK for more than 35 years, specialising in health sciences, infectious disease and public health. Since 2009 she has mentored Ethiopian and more recently Nigerian academics in distance-learning pedagogy and curriculum design in intensive writing workshops in Africa.
Basiro Davey

22. Kinds of international: internationalisation through engagement with one another

Jane Spiro is Reader in Education and Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at Oxford Brookes University. She has run programmes worldwide in academic literacies, language teacher education, creative writing, literature pedagogy, testing and assessment, including in Hungary, Poland, Mexico, India and China. Her publications include: Storybuilding (2007), Creative Poetry Writing (2004), Changing Methodologies in TESOL (2013) and stories for and about language learners published in Germany, Italy and the UK.
Jane Spiro

Engaging students


In the Process of Learning and Discovery

23. Doing, being and becoming: an occupational perspective on enabling learning

Rayya Ghul is passionate about people’s potential for transformation and positive change. After 20 years as an occupational therapist in mental health settings she joined the Allied Health Department at Canterbury Christ Church University as a lecturer in occupational therapy and is now Programme Director for the Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching (Higher Education). She is widely recognised for her work on transformative learning and the Contexts of Participation Critical Thinking Tool.
Rayya Ghul

24. Learning together through student-lecturer collaborative enquiry

Will Curtis joined the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of Warwick in 2013 where he leads the 2+2, part-time degree and certificate programmes. His research interests include post-16 learning cultures and identities, further education transitions, Finnish higher education, assessment and feedback and radical democratic education. He has written five books for undergraduate students and is currently Secretary of the British Education Studies Association.
Will Curtis

25. Creating space for student autonomy and engagement through partnership and letting go

Colin Bryson, Director of the Combined Honours Centre at Newcastle University, has had a long career working in UK universities as a lecturer and educational developer. He has been researching on student engagement for some years and is currently the Chair of RAISE. He adopts the model of students as partners in every way he can.
Colin Bryson

26. The student-professional

Laura Ritchie is Teaching Fellow in Music at the University of Chichester, UK and a performing cellist. Her research interests lie in self-efficacy beliefs and the self-regulation of musical learning. Laura has an unquenchable optimism and thrives on enriching the lives of others through her teaching and music.
Laura Ritchie

Its Wider Influence

27. Wanted! Agents of change: enabling students to make change happen in their professional world

Duncan Reavey is Principal Lecturer in Learning and Teaching at the University of Chichester, UK. As well as teaching full-time in primary and adventure education, he is also a Forest School Leader and enjoys stirring things — his latest CPD workshop is called ‘Dare you to do it!’ Taking risks in university teaching and learning.
Duncan Reavey

28. Authentic partnerships: inspiring professional identity and ownership in students

Ruth Matheson is a Senior Lecturer in Academic Professional Development at the Cardiff Metropolitan University Learning and Teaching Development Unit, Wales. Responsible for the promotion of good practice in learning and teaching, she contributes significantly to partnership working with students and staff, enhancing curriculum design, capturing the student voice and delivering pedagogic development with programme teams.
Ruth Matheson

29. Learning from the real

Mary Hartog joined Middlesex University in 1990, having worked in local government in management and organisation development. She is currently Head of Department, Leadership, Work and Organisations, in the Business School. She led an innovative Masters programme in self-managed learning on which she based her PhD and continues to enjoy teaching, especially on in-company programmes and as an organisational coach.
Philip Frame is a business school academic and a Senior Teaching Fellow at Middlesex University. He has co-chaired SEDA’s papers committee and has acted as an external assessor and examiner for a range of universities. He was instrumental in developing the Association of National Teaching Fellows as the immediate past Vice-Chair. His interests include induction/transition, diversity management, the impact of national teaching awards and employability.
Mary Hartog, Philip Frame, Chris Rigby, Doirean Wilson

30. Looking at the mirror in the suitcase: encouraging students to reflect on their professional learning journey

Anna Lise Gordon taught modern languages in schools in London and Surrey and was a Local Authority Advisory Teacher for modern languages before moving into initial teacher education at St Mary’s University College, London. She is currently PGCE Secondary Programme Director, leads the MFL PGCE programme and is a member of the national Executive Council for the Association for Language Learning. Her current research focuses on resilience of early career teachers.
Anna Lise Gordon

Employability: moving on


31. SOARing to success: employability development from the inside out

Arti Kumar MBE has worked with employers, staff and students over several years to develop and author innovative approaches and resources that enable individuals to become effective and productive, personally, socially and professionally: for example the SOAR model is influential in the UK and overseas. She is an Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) Lifetime Achievement Award winner and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and the National Institute for Careers Education and Counselling (NICEC). She currently works independently on projects, and coaches and trains.
Arti Kumar

32. Telling tales: the use of story to enhance employability

Beverly Leeds is a Principal Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire, and her research interests include storytelling to enhance employability, perceptions of time in e-learning and the use of technology to support work-based learners. She has project-managed a number of educational research projects that have produced widely-used Re-Usable Open Educational Resources (OERs).
Beverly Leeds

33. Authentic assessment and employability: a synergy?

Jane Thomas is Deputy Head of Learning and Teaching and Professional Practice at the College of Human and Health Sciences, University of Swansea, Wales. Previously a nurse, she has worked across a range of programmes with responsibility for assessments, admissions, placements and quality and externally is an assessor for the UK Public Health Register. Her role as University Director of the Swansea Academy of Learning and Teaching (SALT) involves her in pedagogical practice from strategy to delivery, developing students’ and teachers’ full potential.
Jane Thomas

34. Getting ready for action: student engagement in an employability project

Jamie Thompson was a Probation Officer for nearly twenty years. He is now Principal Lecturer and Teaching Fellow in the Department of Social Work and Communities at Northumbria University. He believes that the student experience of higher education should be transformative and that universities need to articulate more clearly a focus on increased student self-awareness, personal and professional growth, relationships, collaboration and individual change. He has a particular interest in exploring ways to work creatively across disciplinary boundaries to engage learners and bring added value and meaning to our increasingly highly codified degree curricula.
Jamie Thompson, Laura Bullerwell, Catherine Foster, Russell Jackson, Nichola Larkin

35. English language learning for international employability

Angela Goddard is a Professor of English Language, whose particular interest is language and creativity, particularly the creativity of everyday language users. Her work in the UK has involved every phase of education, including Chair of English Language A Levels for a UK national exam board and Editor of the Routledge Intertext series, which supports student research on a wide range of language topics.
Angela Goddard, Alastair Henry

36. Engaging with and owning the enterprise agenda

Pauline Kneale is Professor of Pedagogy and Enterprise and Pro Vice-Chancellor of Teaching and Learning at Plymouth University. Previously she was Professor of Applied Hydrology with Learning and Teaching in Geography at the University of Leeds and Director of the White Rose CETL for Enterprise 2005–10. The CETL (Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning) was a partnership between the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York.
Pauline Kneale

Conclusion: Sustaining excellence

As I write this concluding section, looking out upon the North Cornish coast, I am contemplating the nature of sustainability and of excellence in learning and teaching.
Tim Bilham
Additional information