The University of Southampton

Our hopes for this blog

This blog is intended as a discussion, information sharing and interactional space for any researcher or practitioner with an interest in Innovation in Higher Education (HE).

Although innovation comes in many forms and multiple contexts, and often can not be neatly categorised as pertaining to a single area, it is particularly innovation around teaching and learning which will be the focus of this blog.

This includes, but is not limited to, innovation in HE module design, assessment, feedback processes, technology use, curricula, course content and/or educational theory.

We very much hope that you will find this a useful space that you will consider participating in regularly!

This blog is contributed to by:


Lisa Harris (@lisaharris) is Deputy Director of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton, responsible for inspiring innovative educational and research projects and building multi-disciplinary communities of practice. She leads MOOCs in Digital Marketing (#FLdigital) and Power of Social Media (#FLSocialMedia) in partnership with the University’s Institute for Learning, Innovation and Development and FutureLearn. Lisa runs a series of Digital Literacy workshops with a team of student “Digichamps

NicMugshotThumbnail Nic Fair (@nic_fair) is a PhD student at the University of Southampton Web Science Institute and Southampton Education School. He is a module and Lifelong Learning lecturer and MOOC educator, with an MSc Web Science, MA Applied Linguistics and PGCE Adult Education. With almost fifteen years of teaching experience in various contexts, his interdisciplinary research is to develop an analysis framework for Personal Learning Networks, with a focus on understanding their impact on HE teaching and learning, innovation and student engagement.

WP_20140829_008 Sarah Hewitt (@s2hewitt) is also a PhD student at the University of Southampton Web Science InstituteSouthampton Education School and Electronics and Computer Science.  After leaving school at 17, and doing a variety of jobs including graphic designer, she completed a degree in English Literature with Art History (BA Hons) with the Open University and followed it up with a PGCE.  She worked as a secondary school teacher (KS7 – KS13) for 11 years teaching English and Media Studies.  She was appointed Head of Media shortly after completing her NQT year, and has also worked as a Media Studies examiner for one of the main exam boards.  In 2014, she left teaching and studied full-time, achieving an MSc in Web Science in 2015.  Her interdisciplinary research topic is to model and investigate a network of professionals in social media, in this case that network being teachers.

MarkGatenby Mark Gatenby (@M__gatenby) is an Associate Professor in Organisations at the University of Southampton. As Director of Undergraduate Education in Southampton Business School he recently led on a project to redesign the business portfolio towards a more interdisciplinary approach, combining innovations in curriculum, technology-enhanced learning, and alternative learning spaces. He is a member of the Institute for Learning Innovation and Development community of practice, with a special interest in curriculum co-design, open platforms, and student response systems. Mark is interested in the institutional processes of learning design and innovation, collaborative knowledge formation and subject taxonomies.

Carol_Evans Professor Carol Evans is Professor in Higher Education within Southampton Education School at the University of Southampton. She is co-director of the Centre for Higher Education at Southampton (CHES).

She is a Principal Fellow (PFHEA) and National Teaching Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). Carol is an Associate of the HEA and the International Officer for the Committee of the Association of National Teaching Fellows (CANTF). She is also a visiting Fellow at the UCL, Institute of Education, London.

Carol is Editor-in-Chief of the Higher Education Pedagogies Journal (www.tandfonline.con/rhep), and Associate Editor for the British Journal of Educational Psychology Journal. Carol is an editorial board member for the Journal of Educational Psychology and the Thinking Skills and Creativity Journal.

Carol is an Institute for Learning Innovation and Development (ILIaD) Associate, and a University mentor. At Southampton, working with colleagues across the University, she is helping to support the development of assessment and feedback policy and practice. She has established the Researching Assessment Practices Group (RAP) at Southampton to champion the promotion and dissemination of effective assessment and feedback practice.

Carol is passionate about enhancing learning and teaching in higher education, school, and workplace environments. Her current projects include research on individual differences in learning, assessment, resilience, and student engagement in learning. She is especially interested in the role of individual differences in learning. Carol’s main research focus and passion is on how an understanding of Cognitive Styles through the use of the Personal Learning Styles Pedagogy approach (PLSP) can enhance learning and teaching and her research integrating cognitive styles and assessment practice is unique in this respect. Her most recent work has focused on the development of inclusive participatory pedagogies as exemplified by the Personal Learning Styles Pedagogy approach (Evans & Waring, 2009, 2014)

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