After many years of working in the financial sector, Karen’s career focus changed. Following eight years of part time study she completed her Open University English Language and Literature degree and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, before progressing to a Masters degree in Education.
Passionate about helping students to become confident and autonomous learners she found her dream job working at Arts University Plymouth as a Learning Development Advisor. This partly involves breaking down previous educational barriers to learning and working in partnership with students to find individualised strategies that align with their specific requirements.
Karen is a co-facilitator of the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDinHE) Neurodiversity and Inclusivity Community of Practice. Its 40 plus regular members meet bimonthly and are in the process of collating information concerning good practice and institutional training to create Open Educational Resources (OERs) which will be of benefit to the wider community.
Karen provides academic support to students throughout the university via 1:1 and small group sessions. She delivers a variety of workshops to cohorts of students (including specific requests from academic staff) and also spends a proportion of her time embedded within the Extended BA, Distance Learning and Postgraduate programmes. She regularly co-delivers short courses on The Art of Writing, The Art of Research, and Creative Writing.
Karen also has a keen interest in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and since completing a grammar course she provides two six week courses to assist students with their written communication. In collaboration with the Library, a Conversation Cub has also been established.
She is a member of the university’s Making Learning Research Group and Neurodiversity Action Group and facilitates the Neurodivergent Staff Network and Dyslexic Students’ Community of Practice.
ALDinHE Certified Practitioner
HEA Online Professional Development Course for External Examiners
Bickle, E., Bishopp-Martin, S., Canton, U., Chin, P., Johnson, I., Kantcheva, R., Nodder, J., Rafferty, V., Sum. K., and Welton, K. (2021) Emerging from the third space chrysalis: experiences in a non-hierarchical, collaborative research community of practice, Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 18(7), 135-158.
Collaborative book chapter awaiting publication.
Karen has presented at the TALON Take5 Symposium: Collaboration in Higher Education and at the Liverpool Learning Summit 2022: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion