Learning Developer, National Teaching Fellow and Head of the Writing Development Centre, Newcastle University

Twitter: @scholastic_rat

I’m a learning developer, helping students negotiate the complex conventions and practices of UK Higher Education, and reflect on their own learning to become successful independent learners.

This blog is a space for me to figure out what that means!

I was originally a medievalist, with a B.A. in German from the University of Newcastle, an M.A. in Medieval Studies at the University of Bristol, and a D.Phil. from Oxford University on fourteenth century vernacular religious literature for lay women – medieval Widening Participation, in other words! I taught German language and literature at several universities (Newcastle, University College London, Oxford and Cambridge), but became increasingly interested in teaching and learning beyond my own discipline, qualifying as a teacher in 2000.

I’ve worked since as a Learning Developer at Newcastle University and the University of East Anglia (where I was head of their Learning Development Services) and Cambridge University, where I worked on the Transkills project, Digital Humanities project and the New Curriculum for Information Literacy (ANCIL). I have also spent some time as a Researcher Developer (PhD and Postdoc) and Educational Developer (Academic Staff) at Cambridge University and Anglia Ruskin University.

I’m a member of the Association of Learning Developers in Higher Education (ALDinHE). I am co-chair of their Professional Development Working Group and Treasurer of the Steering Group. I’m also a Senior Fellow of the HEA and a Certified Leading Practitioner of Learning Development.

In my spare time, I slave to keep my pedigree fancy rats in the rather luxurious lifestyle to which they have insisted on becoming accustomed. As befits Rats in a Digital Age, they like to consume information in various formats including books and computer wires, but they are less keen on WiFi, as it gives them nothing to get their teeth into.

2 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Helen, this is excellent information. Your blog was sent to me by our State Chair of AALL, Australia. Thank you.
    I’ve also tried to locate this item but the link shows an error. Could you let me know how to access, please? Thanks. Debi

    Webster, H. (2017) ‘Developing the developers: professional training for learning development’, ALDinHE 2017: The Learning Development Conference, University of Hull, England, 10-12 April. Abstract available at: http://www.aldinhe.ac.uk/resources/files/hull17/abstracts/hull17-abstract5-3.pdf

    1. Hi Debi, lovely to hear from you! Glad you’re enjoying my witterings! The link is to the old ALDinHE website where we stored our conference archive, but the site has been revamped and we’re still rebuilding that bit. If you email me at my Newcastle uni address, I’d be very happy to send you the abstract and slides!

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