National Teaching Fellow 2015
Dr Karen Henderson has held her current role since 1995 and became a University of the West of England (UWE) Learning & Teaching Fellow in 2012.
She is of the generation that had access to technology for the first time, through calculators at sixth form to computers for her PhD. This has had a major impact on her teaching style and she proactively seeks opportunities to link mathematics and e-technology to inspire her students. Her learning strategy has been to arouse curiosity by bringing mathematics to life, to show how it can be applied in real-life situations and use technology to engage students by energising and supporting their learning processes. This includes using a tablet PC to deliver and record lectures and using clicker technology to enhance student participation in lectures.
Karen pioneered the use of e-assessment in the Mathematics department at UWE and is a leading developer of the fully algorithmic web-based DEWIS e-assessment system. She has designed and implemented a range of e-assessment questions in key STEM fields and supports colleagues using the system at UWE and elsewhere. One of her pedagogical research interests is in the capture of common student errors in order to improve the students' experience of e-assessment.
Karen’s teaching has been commended by students and led to a number of student-led teaching awards, including the UWE Students Union Assessment and Feedback award and Department Teacher of the Year award. She also established and runs the highly successful espressoMaths learning support service. This is a centrally-located drop-by station available to all student and staff members of UWE, providing free help with any Mathematics problem.
Alongside her academic career Karen has gained a number of sporting achievements, gaining 31 England international caps in rugby union. She has innovatively integrated these experiences and enthusiasm to the supervision of several successful final-year projects on the Mathematics of Sport.
Senior Lecturer in Mathematics
University of the West of England