Academic & Digital Development

Biographies

Dr Amanda Sykes

Senior Academic & Digital Development Adviser

I have worked in Learning Enhancement and Academic Development for ten years, first as an Effective Learning Adviser and then as an Academic Developer. Throughout this time, I have been the College contact for the College of MVLS, but have also worked with colleagues from across the University on a range of projects involving course development, design and delivery. My main focus in recent years has been in assessment and feedback and I developed the University’s Assessment and Feedback Toolkit.

Areas of responsibility

I currently teach on the PGCAP and MEd LTHE; convene the PGCAP course 2e (Assessment and Feedback on Higher Education), and I am the College contact for the College of MVLS. My remit continues to focus on the development of assessment and feedback across the University. 

Who should contact me

You can contact me to talk about any aspect of course development, design and delivery, and, in particular, any questions you have around the design of Intended Learning Outcomes, Programmatic Assessment, and Assessment and Feedback. I also have significant experience in the use of PeerWise, classroom response systems (e.g. YACRS) and Aropä to enhance students’ learning.

Dr Michael McEwan

Head of Subject for Academic & Digital Development

I have a PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of St Andrews and much of my early career involved modelling solar phenomena such as coronal loop oscillations. 

I have taught in HE since 2003, originally teaching maths, physics and statistics, mainly for international students. I gained an MEd from the University of Glasgow and moved into academic development around six years ago.

I am interested in the scholarship of teaching and learning (particularly developing my own scholarship, but also supporting the development of others). I have recently researched perceptions of assessment and issues around transition (particularly for international students).

Areas of responsibility

My main responsibility is as Head of Subject for Academic and Digital Development. Within that role I also coordinate Our MEd in Academic Practice and the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice. This involves oversight of 13 courses, around 200 students, and around 7 lecturers each semester. I also coordinate and teach on several of these courses. In particular, I run a course on Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and contribute to a course on Assessment and Feedback in Higher Education as well as Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.

Who should contact me

You may want to contact me if you are a new member of academic staff or have recently been enrolled on the Early Career Development Programme and you want to enrol on the PGCAP. Similarly, if you are interested in developing your scholarship of teaching and learning profile then you may wish to get in touch.

Dr Janis Davidson

Senior Academic & Digital Development Adviser

I joined the Academic and Digital Development Team in 2016, having worked for several years at the University of Liverpool within educational development.

My background is in adult and community education, and my PhD was a life history study of progression from this type of educational provision.

Areas of responsibility

Currently I coordinate RET (Recognising Excellence in Teaching), the University’s framework for continuing professional development.

In addition, I contribute to teaching across all LEADS programmes and I convene PGCAP Course 2a (Developing Effective Supervision Practices).

I am the LEADS contact for the College of Social Sciences.

Who should contact me

Please contact me if you have any questions about applying for RET Fellowship.

Also, I am happy to support colleagues who are interested in developing their scholarship of learning and teaching, especially those interested in taking life history or narrative approaches to this work. 

Dr Vicki Dale

Senior Academic & Digital Development Adviser

I have over 25 years’ experience working in UK higher education, supporting e-learning development and evaluation, and academic development in learning and teaching. I have qualifications in Archaeology (BSc Hons, University of Glasgow, 1992), Archaeological Computing (MSc, University of Southampton, 1994), Veterinary Education (PhD, University of Glasgow, 2008), and Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (MEd, University of Glasgow, 2018). I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and Certified Member of the Association for Learning Technology (CMALT).

My specialist areas of expertise include curriculum design, particularly in the context of blended and online learning and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs); innovations in learning, teaching and assessment; and e-learning evaluation, particularly in terms of learner experience research. I am co-lead for the ALT Scotland group and Secretary for ELESIG, the learner experience research SIG.

Areas of responsibility

I teach and assess on the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP), and provide academic development and support at point of need for staff in terms of designing blended, online and active learning.

I am the Academic and Digital Development contact in LEADS for the College of Science and Engineering.

Who should contact me

You may wish to contact me about:

  • Blended and online curriculum design
  • E-learning evaluation, particularly in terms of learner experience research
  • Pedagogical aspects of technology-enabled active learning (TEAL) spaces and Active Learning Classrooms
  • Learning, teaching and assessment innovations in the College of Science and Engineering
  • Student, staff and institutional transitions to blended learning

Dr Nathalie Sheridan

Academic & Digital Development Adviser

I have a PhD in Education from the University of Strathclyde (2011), MPhil in Education (University of Glasgow, 2005), and first degree in Erziehungswissenschaften (educational sciences TU Dresden, Germany, 2004). I have over 11 years work experience in Higher Education, and more than 20 years’ work experience in the culture education sector.

My focus has been creative learning and teaching processes, marginalised learners and identity negotiations in L&T.

Areas of responsibility

I convene the MEd Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, and I teach and assess on the Postgraduate Certificate of Academic Practice (PGCAP). 

Who should contact me

You may wish to contact me if you need to collect evidence about the impact of learning and teaching strategies, if you want to explore new pedagogies, if you have identified an issues relating to learning and teaching and want to explore approaches for improvement. 

Dr Amanda Pate

Academic & Digital Development Adviser

I have taught in Higher Education since 2001, having worked as a Lecturer and Programme Leader at the University of the West of Scotland, and also as an Associate Lecturer for the University of Stirling and the University of Central Lancashire. My subject specialisms include practical, professional and theoretical aspects of Journalism, Media, and Communication. I have a PhD in experiences of equality among women in Journalism, an MA in Journalism, with a specific focus on the use of the Freedom of Information Act, and a BA (Hons) in Political Science from the University of Liverpool. My background is in news journalism.

In terms of academic development, I have a Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Academic Studies from the University of Strathclyde, and I subsequently gained Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2007. I was awarded Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2014, having taken a long-term interest in innovative approaches to pedagogy (including e-learning), as well as in the mentoring of those new to teaching and learning practice.

I joined the University of Glasgow in August 2017 as an Academic and Digital Development Adviser for the Learning Enhancement and Academic Development Service (LEADS).

Areas of responsibility

My main areas of responsibility are GTA Statutory Training and the Developing as a Teacher (DAT) programme, both of which have a focus on early-career teaching practice. I also teach on the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) and the MEd Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (MEd LTHE). I am involved, too, in supporting staff to adopt innovative approaches to using Moodle for teaching, learning and assessment.

Who should contact me

Please contact me if you are an early career teacher interested in GTA training delivered by LEADS, or in the DAT programme, which will lead to RET AF. You may also wish to contact me to discuss pedagogically sound approaches to using Moodle and Mahara for teaching, learning and assessment of blended and distance-learning courses.  

Dr El Spaeth

Academic & Digital Development Adviser

I have been working in Higher Education for over 8 years, supporting and advising staff on good teaching practice and technology use.

I have a PhD in Clinical Psychology (University of Edinburgh, 2015), an MSc in Music and the Community (University of Edinburgh, 2010), and a BA (Hons) in Music (University of Nottingham, 2007). Having completed the PGCAP (University of Edinburgh, 2015), I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

My PhD focused on emotions, and I am especially concerned with how we can teach in ways that are emotionally respectful.

Areas of responsibility

I teach and assess on the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP), and give advice on integrating technologies into teaching effectively.

Who should contact me

Anyone who would like to discuss ideas for using technology in their teaching.

Kimberly Wilder

Academic & Digital Development Adviser

I am a California transplant who has been working in Higher Education since 2005. I started out as a research librarian, moved to teaching academic writing to EFL and academically underprepared students, and moved into Academic Development in 2015 to focus on assessment and feedback practices. I am just about to complete my PhD in Higher Education Assessment (Edinburgh Napier University, expected 2019). I have an MSc in Education: Literacy, Theory and Practice (University of Edinburgh 2013), an MA in Rhetoric and Composition (San Diego State University 2011) and a BA in Literature and cultures of the English-Speaking World (University of California, Merced 2009).

My research centres around assessment and feedback practices within HE, Critical Theory and Critical Pedagogy, and the learning and teaching of academic writing.

Areas of responsibility

My main areas of responsibility are to assess on the Postgraduate Certificate of Academic Practice (PGCAP) and to aid staff in the creation of teaching material for GTA trainings.

Who should contact me

Please contact with if you have questions around assessment and feedback practices, are interested in incorporating Critical Pedagogy into your teaching, or are interested in resources to help support GTAs.

Nicole Kipar

Deputy Director (Academic and Digital Development)

I joined LEADS in June 2017, having previously worked as academic programme leader at Heriot-Watt University from 2006-2017, and before that at Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent from 2001-2006. I have a wealth of operational and strategic experience in academic development, as well as undertaking evaluation research in Higher Education.

I have been extensively involved in enhancing curriculum design in HE over the years, and greatly enjoy critical discussions about understanding student learning and effective approaches to teaching, particularly when embedding technology. My interests are in socio-material learning theories, transnational education, and distance teaching: minimising transactional distance while fostering peer-supportive learning environments. 

Areas of responsibility

I have overall operational and strategic responsibility for the staff-facing activities within LEADS, and lead the development, delivery and review of LEADS’ teaching and staff development provision for those who support student learning.

Who should contact me

You might want to contact me if you:

  • have queries about ADD as a service
  • would like to explore areas of curriculum development, assessment and feedback, teaching approaches that support student learning, and embedding learning technologies