National Teaching Fellow 2007
Sue Bloxham is Professor of Academic Practice and Head of the Centre for Development of Learning and Teaching at the University of Cumbria. Sue commenced her academic career teaching youth social policy on courses for youth and community workers where she was responsible for teaching innovations based on active learning and opening up educational opportunities to under-represented groups. She is adept at challenging practices which research suggests do not enhance student learning and has introduced innovative assessment methods to enable students from diverse backgrounds to demonstrate their learning. For instance, she replaced unseen exams with case study exams, speeches, press releases or posters and she set intrinsically worthwhile assessment tasks such as implementing and evaluating a teaching innovation or making a radio documentary about welfare policy for teenagers.
Sue gained her NTF for the sustained effort she has made to develop learning, teaching and particularly assessment in her own institution. Since moving into educational development, she has been the main force behind the University's learning, teaching and assessment strategy. Her work on promoting assessment through a good practice guide for staff was commended by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) institutional audit in 2003. She has since made that work available to a national and international audience through co-authoring Developing Effective Assessment in Higher Education: a practical guide which was published by the Open University Press in 2007.
She is an active researcher in the field of assessment, collaborating with lecturers in action research projects on marking, feedback, and preparing students for assessment. Sue has delivered keynote lectures at various conferences and staff development events on issues associated with assessment.
Sue also supports the development of effective pedagogy for teacher education through her role as ESCalate Subject Centre Manager for initial teacher education which is hosted by the University of Cumbria. A former student says: “Sue has been a role model for me, and my experience of her teaching encouraged me to move into HE teaching. If I impact as positively as Sue on half as many students I will feel that I have had a very successful personal career.”
Directorof Educational Research
University of Cumbria