Teaching

I have been a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2016. I am a member (and now co-organiser) of the University of Edinburgh (UoE) Experienced Teacher Network (the remit of which is to contribute to strategic thinking on learning and teaching at the University), a member of the Edinburgh Teaching Award Assessment Panel, and have sucessfully mentored colleagues through Levels 2 (Fellowship) and 3 (Senior Fellowship) of the Edinburgh Teaching Award.

I am an experienced teacher at both postgraduate and undergraduate level. I was Programe Director for the MSc Environment, Cultural and Society (2017-2020) and Course Organiser for the core course Values and the Environment.

I am committed to delivering research-led, student-centred, and innovative teaching based on the principles of experiential (also known as ‘active’) learning. My Honours option course Space, Place and Sensory Perception (2015-present) (SPSP) is designed to be as sensorially engaging as possible in its pedagogy; real world examples are used whenever possible, the students’ personal experiences are foregrounded, every attempt is used to cultivate their curiosity, and they are encouraged to explore and question the world around them in playful and adventurous ways. The course employs a range of creative and participatory teaching and learning methods (e.g. ‘immersive’ tutorials, props, practical experiments, film screenings, mini-field excursions, experiential visits, an assessed essay ‘thinking hats’ workshop), draws upon the expertise of invited scholars, and practitioners and artists. I have written about my approach in the Journal of Geography in Higher Education.

The course is consistently praised by the students for its range and scope, depth of subject content, uniqueness, opportunities for hands-on experiences, the creative freedom offered by the assessments, and for bringing a personalised dimension to their University curriculum. My use of assessed blogs for Space, Place and Sensory Percpetion is used as an example in the University of Edinburgh Academic Blogging Service Blogging in Teaching and Learning and Introduction to Blogging for Remote and Hybrid Teaching workshops for academic staff. I was also involved in the consultation process for each of these workshops.

My UoE Principal’s Teaching Award Scheme (PTAS) funded research on assessed blogs (with Dr Hazel Christie) was recognised by the Higher Education Academy as being of high pedagogic value and included in their 2017 Transforming Assessment in Higher Education case study series. The findings of this research have been published in the Journal of Geography in Higher Education, Teaching in Higher Education, and Research in Post-Compulsory Education (in press). Details of the project are also available via LSE Blogs, the UoE Teaching Matters blog, and the UoE Teaching Matters podcast series.

I have been invited to speak about my pedagogy at national and international symposia and conferences.