Helen Pokorny

Principal Lecturer

+44 20 7911 5000 ext 66022
35 Marylebone Road London NW1 5LS
By appointment

I'm part of

Leadership and Professional Development | Department

Connect with me

  • MA Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
  • MBA (Henley Management College)
  • Fellow Higher Education Academy

Biography

I am a Principal Lecturer and the Academic Lead for the University's Professional Recognition & Enhancement Scheme for Teaching (PRESTige). This scheme provides a focal point for the development of a community of practice around teaching and supporting learning. As a vehicle for disseminating good practice it contains different routes leading to recognition of professional practice in teaching in Higher Education.

This includes a qualification route through the MA in Higher Education (incorporating the Higher Education Academy accredited PG Certificate in Higher Education) and a portfolio based route to Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. I led the development of this flexible learning MA HE online course in professional development.

I am an experienced educational developer with a range of learning and teaching activities and curriculum development projects undertaken. I have researched students' experiences of feedback, group work assessment, using e-portfolios, action learning sets, academic literacies, raising the attainment level of Black and Minority Ethnic students, student engagement and attendance, widening participation and the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

My work on RPL derives from over a decade working with students and staff in higher education facilitating and researching this process. I am a founder member of the Board of Directors for the Prior Learning International Research Centre (PLIRC) based in Canada. With colleagues at the University of Westminster, I am working to promote practices in mindfulness and contemplative pedagogies. In 2011 I was awarded a University Teaching Fellowship Award for my achievements in Learning and Teaching. I am currently leading an interdisciplinary and cross institutional project researching students' sense of belonging in London universities.

My subject background is in Business and Hospitality studies. Across my career, I have developed courses in these subjects and led the development of cross disciplinary degrees. Since 2002 I have been in an educational development role, and currently I teach on a range of modules on the MA Higher Education.

This includes modules facilitating the development of teaching and assessment practice, curriculum development and supervising educational research projects. My approach is to provide a practice-based learning experience and to encourage participants to take back into their practice the ideas and interventions they develop on the course.

I have a number of different research interests currently including the recognition of prior learning, student sense of belonging and online professional development. Through the Prior Learning International Research Centre (PLIRC) I have been able to work with leading international researchers in the field of RPL. We have produced a number of texts which set out international and theoretical research agendas, and take these into research-based practice. The most recent being Pokorny, H. and Whittaker, R. (2014) Assessing Prior Informal Learning: Exploring the Student Experience in Wihak, C. and Harris, J. (eds) 'Recognition of Prior Learning - Research-based Practice.' PLIRC/NIACE.

The work on student sense of belonging has been undertaken with colleagues at Queen Mary University London and London Metropolitan University. It has extended into a University of Westminster based interdisciplinary project undertaken with colleagues in Westminster Business School and the Faculty of Life Sciences. We are particularly interested in the experiences of students in the capital.

2017

RPL as Pedagogical Pragmatism (2017)
Pokorny, H., Fox, S. and Griffiths, D. 2017. RPL as Pedagogical Pragmatism. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning.
Commuting, transitions and belonging: the experiences of students living at home in their first year at university (2017)
Pokorny, H., Holley, D. and Kane, S. 2017. Commuting, transitions and belonging: the experiences of students living at home in their first year at university. Higher Education. 74 (3), pp. 543-558.

2013

Portfolios and meaning-making in the assessment of prior learning (2013)
Pokorny, H. 2013. Portfolios and meaning-making in the assessment of prior learning. International Journal of Lifelong Education. 32 (4), pp. 518-534.

2012

Assessing prior experiential learning: issues of authority, authorship and identity (2012)
Pokorny, H. 2012. Assessing prior experiential learning: issues of authority, authorship and identity. Journal of Workplace Learning. 24 (2), pp. 119-132.

2010

Complexity, cues and relationships: Student perceptions of feedback (2010)
Pokorny, H. and Pickford, P. 2010. Complexity, cues and relationships: Student perceptions of feedback. Active Learning in Higher Education. 11 (1), pp. 21-30.

2009

E-portfolios and personal construct theory: the case of computing students (2009)
Chalk, P., Holley, D., Pokorny, H., Andrew, D. and Wilson-Medhurst, S. 2009. E-portfolios and personal construct theory: the case of computing students. Investigations in University Learning and Teaching. 5 (2), pp. 103-110.

2008

Learning (and staying) together beyond the classroom: experiences of action learning sets (2008)
Griffiths, D., Ingle, J., Massey, A. and Pokorny, H. 2008. Learning (and staying) together beyond the classroom: experiences of action learning sets. Investigations in University Learning and Teaching. 5 (1), pp. 42-51.

2007

Reflective writing and reusable learning objects (2007)
Pokorny, H. 2007. Reflective writing and reusable learning objects. Investigations in University Learning and Teaching. 4 (2), pp. 126-131.

2005

Widening participation in higher education: student quantitative skills and independent learning as impediments to progression (2005)
Pokorny, M. and Pokorny, H. 2005. Widening participation in higher education: student quantitative skills and independent learning as impediments to progression. Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology. 36 (5), pp. 445-467.

2016

Enhancing Teaching Practice in Higher Education (2016)
Pokorny, H. and Warren, D. (ed.) 2016. Enhancing Teaching Practice in Higher Education. Sage.

2014

Exploring the learner experience of RPL (2014)
Pokorny, H. and Whittaker, R. 2014. Exploring the learner experience of RPL. in: Harris, J., Wihak, C. and Van Kleef, J. (ed.) Handbook of the Recognition of Prior Learning: Research into practice Leicester NIACE. pp. 259-283

2011

England: accreditation of Prior Experimental learning (APEL) research in higher education (2011)
Pokorny, H. 2011. England: accreditation of Prior Experimental learning (APEL) research in higher education. in: Harris, J., Breier, M. and Wihak, C. (ed.) Researching the recognition of prior learning: international perspectives NIACE. pp. 106-126

2010

Exploring the 'myths' of enhanced learning through group work assessment (2010)
Pokorny, H. and Griffiths, D. 2010. Exploring the 'myths' of enhanced learning through group work assessment. in: Kemp, P., Atfield, R. and Tong, R. (ed.) Enhancing learning through assessment in in business and management, hospitality, sport, leisure and tourism Newbury Threshold Press.

2011

Notions of belonging: the student perspective (2011)
Chalcraft, D., Johnson, L., Pokorny, H. and Volpe, G. 2011. Notions of belonging: the student perspective. London London Metropolitan University.

2010

Improving the degree attainment of Black and minority ethnic students: investigating practice (2010)
Pokorny, H., Johnson, L., Halford, A. and Colgan, F. 2010. Improving the degree attainment of Black and minority ethnic students: investigating practice. London Higher Education Academy Website.
Look who’s here: engagement and attendance initiatives (2010)
Pokorny, H., Johnson, L., Djebbour, Y. and Curran, J. 2010. Look who’s here: engagement and attendance initiatives. London Higher Education Academy Website.

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