I am as passionate about teaching as I am research, having been involved in formal teaching since 2009. I started out teaching adults in non-academic settings, but have more recently been involved in a wide range of academic teaching activities at The University of Sheffield. In 2016, I became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) in recognition of my sustained track record in Higher Education teaching (my reflections on the process can be found here).
I am currently Module Leader for EDU6357 – Qualitative Methodologies in Educational Research on the MA in Education at The School of Education, The University of Sheffield. I lecture on the school’s Study of Education programme and am an Academic Tutor and Supervisor on the MA in Education. I also teach undergraduate students on EDU107 – Child Psychology at The University of Sheffield. I have previously taught masters students on PSY6121 – Research Methods in the Department of Psychology, The University of Sheffield.
Some student feedback on my undergraduate seminar teaching:
“Fiona is a fantastic seminar tutor. Uses very effective approach in her way of teaching. Really benefitted from her seminars. Always used a friendly approach. Puts you at ease, if you’re confused” – BSc Student, EDU107 (2016)
“I found Fiona’s seminars enjoyable, interesting, stimulating. Her way of teaching and getting the class thinking and working was very good” – BSc Student, EDU107 (2015)
“The teaching and the way seminars were used to bridge between the content of lectures and the assignments. Felt easy to ask questions and have them explained until they were understood rather than brushing over them like some would. Very useful and well taught, I really enjoyed these seminars and felt I benefited from them” – BSc Student, EDU107 (2015)
“Fiona was the best seminar tutor we had” – BSc Student, EDU107 (2015)
Some peer observation feedback on my undergraduate seminar teaching:
“Fiona presented herself as both friendly/approachable and as professional and authoritative, which is often a difficult balance to maintain – as a result, she had the respect of her students while creating an inclusive environment”
Tutor, Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (2016)
Some student feedback on my postgraduate teaching, supervision and course leadership:
“Strongly recommend every MA student should attend this course” – MA Student, EDU6357 (2016)
“I received my provisional result last week and I am really delighted with the result. Thank you very much for all your guidance and I have really learned a lot from working on the dissertation with you!!!!” – MA Dissertation Supervisee, School of Education (2014)
“Fiona was very helpful in responding to questions which were concerning us. She is great! ‘More practical’ works!” – MA Student, EDU6357 (2016)
Teaching in non-academic settings
Teaching was also an important part of my role prior to working in academia. As a Research Consultant, I regularly delivered training to adult learners, including delivery one-to-one bespoke training sessions with clients in the arts sector.
Case study: Bringing Data and Segmentation to Life for Arts Council, England
A personal highlight of my teaching career prior to returning to academia was designing and delivering an innovative national learning programme for Local Authority Arts Officers on behalf of Arts Council England (ACE) (‘Bringing Data and Segmentation to Life’). ACE had previously used advanced statistical modelling to produce a bespoke audience segmentation model, representing how the English adults engage with the arts (Arts Audiences: Insight). They identified two key market segments (‘Dinner and a show’ and ‘Family and community focused’) where they believed there was significant room for growth, since people in these groups engaged only once or twice a year with the arts. This innovative project stemmed from ACE’s desire to learn more about the individuals in these groups and to educate Local Authority Arts Officers in how to successfully engage with the groups. I conducted face to face interviews with 8 representatives of each ‘audience segment’ to gain a deeper understanding of their preferred artforms, motivations for engaging and how and why their engagement with different artforms changes at key transition points in their lives e.g. starting a family or retiring. I then designed and delivered four interactive workshops (Leeds, London, Bristol and Birmingham) in which I trained 50 Local Authority Arts Officers to engage with the ‘segments’, using conventional training techniques, interactive techniques and video clips. I then gave the delegates the opportunity to work alongside representatives of the two ‘segments’ to come up with targeted content and marketing concepts. Some responses from learners and ‘segment representatives’ on the day are captured here.
Some delegate feedback on my teaching:
“I’ve got three pages of notes of which at least one of those is action points! Segmenting our data not just demographically but behaviorally is probably my number one thing to look at when I get back to the office” – Neil Jones, Marketing Manager, Cambridge City Council (2011)
“There have been some very interesting ideas coming out of today’s discussions – some very practical ideas that I think I can take forward in the way that I market to both of the audience segments. There have been some super ideas coming out of the day which I’m sure I will be able to take forward in my work” – Gill Vickers, Arts Development Officer, North Lincolnshire Council (2011)
“I learned new methods of integrating with potential audiences and how we can use those methods to increase our sort of engagement with the activities that we do both within the theatre and on our outreach activities” – Clare Freeman, Events and Evaluation Officer, East Lindsay District Council (2011)