Director of Professional Development
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- MA Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
- MBA (Henley Management College)
- Fellow Higher Education Academy
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.