National Teaching Fellow 2009
Ellen Roberts began her career as a civil servant working in central government and is currently on secondment to the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at the University of York. Throughout her career, Ellen has demonstrated a deep commitment to supporting and enabling professional development within the public service sector. Ellen is responsible at York for innovative e-learning Masters programmes for managers in public policy and management, which recruit from over 40 countries, in both developed and developing parts of the world. The programmes harness a creative approach to teaching and learning, using online technology to explore new ways of engaging students.
Ellen's commitment is to providing programmes that are both academically challenging and professionally relevant, enabling students to connect theory, evidence and practice in ways that directly benefit their work and organisations. They meet the needs of students from a wide range of social and cultural backgrounds, many of whom have no previous experience of university.
Together with her colleagues she has developed a distinctive, highly interactive and supported approach to e-learning, which generates exceptionally high levels of student commitment and motivation. Crucial to this has been her personal approach to supporting students. In feedback, one student commented: "Find yourself lost in the dark and there's Ellen with a torch! Ellen's passion for the e-Masters courses shines through and it's contagious. She is responsible for many of us having the confidence to embark (and stay) on this journey." The success of her programmes is recognised internationally and Ellen has been involved in disseminating her experiences at fora in the UK and US as well as in supporting colleagues in the development of new programmes at the University of York.
In recognition of the success of these programmes, the university has awarded Ellen and her team a Vice-Chancellor's Teaching Award.
The programme details are at
Programme Director, Online Masters Programmes in Public Management, Department of Social Policy and Social Work
University of York