National Teaching Fellow 2012
Dr Christine Dearnley is passionate about widening participation and improving the student experience and outcomes. Her practice is guided by a strong philosophy of learning, which encompasses student autonomy and empowerment within a supported framework and is underpinned by the sound evidence base and model of student development that her research has generated.
She works with a diverse student body and believes that her success often lies in both pastoral and academic support. Student comments such as ‘You believed in me and I will always be grateful’ support this view.
Chris has an extensive portfolio of research and development in learning, teaching and assessment, and has inspired institutional change in several areas. Under her leadership the School of Health Studies transformed its marking and feedback processes, incorporating student self-assessment in all assessments, with clear dividends in student performance and satisfaction. This work is now providing role models and exemplars for a wide range of subject areas, both in Bradford and nationally.
Chris led the Mobile Enabled Disabled Students (MEDS) project, which identified the benefits and challenges that mobile technologies present to disabled students. A key element of MEDS was the collaborative working and learning together among the project team. A disability adviser said:
“Working with Chris has been a highly motivating experience. It is refreshing to work with an educator so in tune with and willing to incorporate the social model of disability within their teaching and learning practice. Her mentorship and research advice has been invaluable for my own teaching and learning development.”
Further work examined how disabled students were prepared for practice placement; outputs include new institution-wide processes and documentation for supporting disabled students in preparation for practice/work-based learning.
Chris led an evaluation of peer review within the University and developed an institution-wide process for supported peer review of teaching. She has also led innovative curriculum developments, incorporating both technology and work-based learning to increase student engagement and directly improve the student experience and outcomes. She has a sustained publication record disseminating outcomes of her enquiries and innovations in learning, teaching and assessment.