Role Modelling and Strategically Leading – the value of Recognition as a Principal Fellow – Part 1

In the HEA Fellowship blog, we’re continuing to measure the impact that HEA Fellowship has on teaching practices, on students and on the practices and approaches of peers.

Dr. Claire Morgan, PFHEA
Dr. Claire Morgan, PFHEA

Claire Morgan gained her Principal Fellowship recognition in November 2021 and joined a small, but growing number of Principal Fellows at Swansea University.  Claire is Associate Professor in the Medical School, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Science specialising in cancer genetics.

Claire gained her PFHEA through the themes of strategic leadership in establishing/delivering the first NHS funded Genomic Medicine MSc in Wales to educate the healthcare professionals in genomics, Programme Director for the Genetics and Medical Genetics BSc Programmes, her external roles such as external examiner for HEI institutions including Bangor, Aberystwyth, Kings/St George, as well as her advisory role in subject specialist groups.

She shares with us why she applied for Principal Fellow recognition and what this means to her.

My honest answer in why I applied is that the University decided to embed HEA fellowship status into the University’s strategic goals. I therefore applied and obtained Fellowship in 2015 and in 2016 I applied for Senior Fellowship. However, in the process of applying for both FHEA and SFHEA it became more than a “tick box” exercise but one of self-reflection and to examine my own teaching practice. Now as programme director of the UG genetics and medical genetics programmes and the MSc Genomic Medicine programme, I felt I should apply for Principal Fellow to continue my journey of self-reflection but also to act as a role model to my colleagues and the students on my courses and for external recognition that my teaching and leadership is of a high professional standard.

Obtaining PFHEA is a prestigious accolade. It allows my teaching to be recognised and that my efforts and commitment to both students and staff are valued.

In terms of applying, Swansea University doesn’t have an internal route which is accredited, so all applications are submitted direct to Advance HE for scrutiny. Following the retirement of Professor Jane Thomas, Director of SALT and PFHEA holder herself in November 2020, there were no structured support options available internally.

But Claire is self-admittedly “someone who is very independent” and while SALT established an internal TEAMs site for staff interested in applying for PFHEA, she also contacted AdvanceHE and reports that she “had a detailed discussion with Sally Bradley, senior advisor for HEA Fellowships, which was extremely beneficial.”

In commenting on the application process itself, Claire notes

“The application process is challenging on several levels. You have to provide specific details of your leadership and your contribution and what impact that has had at institutional level or beyond, whilst at the same time adhering to stringent guidelines and word counts. You also must “blow your own trumpet” which can be disconcerting for many people – myself included! But what is key to obtaining PFHEA status is how well you can evidence your strategic leadership with specific examples and ultimately the impact of your leadership.”

There are four categories of Fellowship recognition, Associate, Fellow, Senior Fellow and Principal Fellow with these often being mistakenly for things you progress between and/or reflect seniority.

While Claire has gone ‘through the categories’ so to speak, she notes that the key difference between Senior Fellow (SFHEA) and Principal Fellow (PFHEA) is that

“SFHEA is concerned with supporting other members of staff through supervision, mentoring etc through leading academic teams or specific areas of L&T. The PFHEA still encompasses these roles, but PFHEA goes beyond supporting immediate members of your team. You must demonstrate and evidence your leadership across the University and also externally – how you have led changes that has far reaching impact”

The UKPSF which underpins the Fellowship categories was launched in the mid 2000s and re-issued in 2011 following a consultation. Its probably fair to say that Swansea had a slower start that other institutions in adopting the UKPSF and numbers of Fellows remained very low – less than 100 staff holding any category of Fellowship in 2015. The UKPSF though is embedded within framework for reward and recognition, from appointment to promotion.

So, with that timeframe in mind, is having Fellowship recognition changing perceptions of teaching?

“Definitely, no longer are lecturers seen as “just doing teaching”. Having HEA fellowship is formal recognition, either internally or externally,  of your commitment and experience to the educational process and your area of expertise.

Having to apply for PFHEA directly to Advance HE added another level of esteem as my application had to be reviewed externally giving me confidence that my leadership and impact could withstand external scrutiny.”

Helping others to get their Fellowship recognised

The internal route to HEA Fellowship administered by SALT relies heavily on the contributions of those who already hold Fellowship/Senior Fellowship or indeed Principal Fellowship, to support colleagues in preparing their application.  Claire has acted in that role as mentor and assessor and notes that its

“not only a rewarding experience by helping others but has been of personal benefit to me too. Providing feedback on applications and assessing submissions requires discussions with my colleagues, which has allowed me to learn from them and their experiences.

Not only am I able to disseminate my own best practice to others, but I am able to learn from them in turn, and disseminate best practice from other colleagues/departments (as well as an awareness of what may not be best practice) into my own teaching and that of my teaching staff, as a result enhancing student satisfaction, curriculum development and career progression of my teaching team.”

Quite often, those with PFHEA recognition are not teaching/supporting learners but involved in strategically leading policy.  Not for Claire though and when asked if she might stop teaching now she has PFHEA recognition she gave a robust NO.

“This is my job and I enjoy it. I am passionate about genetics and genomics and imparting that information onto students. I also enjoy supporting colleagues and in turn learning from them.”

And, so those thinking about, but perhaps not turned their attention to gaining recognition, she gives this strong advice.

“Just do it – it is such a valuable and rewarding exercise/experience. You cannot “fail”, you get the opportunity to respond to feedback and revise your application. It makes you think about your teaching, why you do what you do and how you can improve, at the same time as obtaining validation and recognition for all your hard work and commitment. There is nothing to lose but so much to be gained.”

Recognition Team Note

For more details about gaining recognition for your teaching through HEA Fellowship, please see the SALT website:
and/or contact for information about joining the PFHEA MS Teams site.

Celebrating 600 Fellows at Swansea University – Adapting To Online Learning

What I actually found was taking what I’ve been doing and seeing how it matched up to the Dimensions (of practice of the UKPSF) and then also by doing that you find the holes in that as well…and so that led, helped, especially with moving everything to to live Zoom lectures, it helped me organise.

Sue Croft, one of our 600 HEA Fellows shares her experience of gaining HEA Fellowship in July 2020, how being able to apply through the presentation route was a useful choice for her and discusses how her experience of adapting to online teaching during the Covid-19 pandemic was used in her application.

Watch her full interview with Darren Minister from SALT’s Recognition Team.

Sue is one of over 150,000 Fellows globally reported by Advance HE (14th October 2021)

Equipment for remote teaching


Equipment for remote teaching

“CIMG1702” by quattrokid73 is licensed with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

When teaching online, recording videos, and communicating with students it is important to consider the audio and video quality to ensure that your instructional content is accessible to students in a consistent and high quality format. A good quality headset will block a lot of background noise and bring focus to your voice. Swansea University have a non-exhaustive list of recommended devices.

(Swansea Resource)


Challenging times or just an opportunity? | Cyfnod heriol neu gyfle yn unig?

Professor Martin Stringer was born in Tanzania educated in the North of England and currently the Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education at Swansea UniversitySouth West Wales. Martin has been in higher education for just over 20 years and in his own words, he joined the profession, primarily through the love of teaching. He affirms that, the engagement with students, challenging their assumptions, and watching their growth in critical skills and knowledge, continues to give him a buzz. Leaving the University of Birmingham in 2015, Professor Stringer joined Swansea University as a Pro-Vice-Chancellor, where he has the massive responsibility for learning and teaching and student experience. He continues to place, increasing student voice and putting students at the centre of all decisions around learning and teaching, and their welfare, at the heart of what he does. The concept of interdisciplinary work and inclusivity is threaded through all the successful projects Martin has been involved in, from his theological work to his responsibilities in his current role as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for education at Swansea. In this episode, Martin talks to us about some of these things.


Martin Stringer

Ganed Yr Athro Martin Stringer yn Nhanzania a addysgwyd yng Ngogledd Lloegr ac ar hyn o bryd yr Uwch Ddirprwy Is-ganghellor Dros Addysg ym Mhrifysgol Abertawe De Orllewin Cymru Mae Martin wedi bod mewn addysg uwch ers ychydig dros 20 mlynedd ac yn ei eiriau ei hun, ymunodd â’r proffesiwn, yn bennaf drwy gariad at addysgu. Mae’n cadarnhau, mae’r ymgysylltu â myfyrwyr, herio eu rhagdybiaethau, a gwylio eu twf mewn sgiliau a gwybodaeth feirniadol, yn parhau i roi gwefr iddo. Gan adael  Prifysgol Birmingham yn 2015, ymunodd yr Athro Stringer â Phrifysgol Abertawe fel Dirprwy Is-ganghellor, lle mae ganddo’r cyfrifoldeb enfawr dros ddysgu ac addysgu a phrofiad myfyrwyr. Mae’n parhau i osod, cynyddu llais myfyrwyr a rhoi myfyrwyr wrth wraidd pob penderfyniad ynghylch dysgu ac addysgu, a’u lles, wrth wraidd yr hyn y mae’n ei wneud. Mae’r cysyniad o waith rhyngddisgyblaethol a chynwysoldeb yn cael ei edafu drwy’r holl brosiectau llwyddiannus y mae Martin wedi bod yn ymwneud â’u gwaith diwinyddol, o’i waith diwinyddol i’w gyfrifoldebau yn ei rôl bresennol fel Dirprwy Is-ganghellor dros addysg yn Abertawe. Yn y bennod hon mae Martin yn siarad â ni am rai o’r pethau hyn.



Inspiration from others | Ysbrydoliaeth gan Eraill

shaking hands through a laptopI attended the University of Edinburgh Learning and Teaching conference on 15th June. They opened their first day to outsiders which was a nice taster of what was to come over the three-day event. Opened by their dignitaries, to be expected, which was interesting and heartening to hear the similarities in our institutions over the last year’s hard graft by staff and students. They too celebrated their HEA fellows and encouraged others to engage with their process.

The two keynote speakers that followed were excellent and generated lots of discussion on the webinar Q&A. The first was “Curriculum Considerations In Supercomplex Times” from Kerri-Lee Krause who is Provost and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Avondale University College, Australia (UoE’s VP is from Australia so there was a connection). This was a very interesting discussion and sharing of her research into transforming the curriculum. She posed 4 questions: Q1 What is Curriculum Transformation? Q2 Why bother about is Curriculum Transformation? Q3 Who is leading Curriculum Transformation? And Q4 How will you engage with Curriculum Transformation? She encouraged us all to answer them either in the chat or just on paper. I tweeted the questions and then added my personal response. I thought that it would be interesting for us as a team to respond, even without listening to @kerrileekrause presentation I think it would be an excellent exercise for us all to consider as we are all academic developers. You can find my tweets @mandyjjack the direct links to each question tweets are above.

The second keynote Rowena Arshad, Professor Emerita and Personal Chair of Multicultural and Anti-Racist Education, University of Edinburgh, “Diversity in Learning and Teaching: Is Inclusion Truly Available?” This was a very powerful address where Rowena discussed a more holistic approach. The key points she discussed:

  1. Inclusive – and the need to considers the diversity of learners, the ethos of the space, the language, curriculum content, and pedagogic approaches.
  2. Antiracist – the challenges of it, the values and structures that perpetuate systematic racism.
  3. Decolonising the curriculum – and the need to critically examine the power and the history. That it isn’t simply adding a varied range of sources in our reading lists. It is not just about adding diversity, but learning from different perspectives, and about a different, more collective vision.

I couldn’t attend in the afternoon, but here is the link to their blog there are some interesting titles and some have useful links within their blurb that may be work a look. If the recording to the keynotes is distributed I’ll add it.


shaking hands through a laptopGwnes i fynychu cynhadledd Dysgu ac Addysgu Prifysgol Caeredin ar 15 Mehefin. Roedd y diwrnod cyntaf ar agor i bobl o’r tu allan a oedd yn rhagflas hyfryd o’r hyn a oedd i ddod yn ystod y digwyddiad dros dridiau. Agorwyd y gynhadledd gan eu pobl bwysig hwy, a oedd i’w ddisgwyl, ac roedd yn ddiddorol ac yn galonogol clywed y pethau tebyg yn ein sefydliadau dros y flwyddyn anodd ddiwethaf o waith caled gan staff a myfyrwyr. Roedden nhw hefyd yn dathlu eu Cymrodorion yr Academi Addysg Uwch gan annog eraill i gymryd rhan yn eu proses.

Roedd y ddau brif siaradwr a ddilynodd hyn yn rhagorol gan ysgogi llawer o drafodaeth yn y sesiwn holi ac ateb. Y cyflwyniad cyntaf oedd “Curriculum Considerations In Supercomplex Times” gan Kerri-Lee Krause sy’n Brofost ac yn Uwch Ddirprwy Is-ganghellor yng Ngholeg Prifysgol Avondale, Awstralia (daw Is-ganghellor Prifysgol Caeredin hefyd o Awstralia, felly roedd cysylltiad). Roedd hi’n drafodaeth hynod ddiddorol gan rannu ei hymchwil ym maes trawsnewid y cwricwlwm. Gofynnodd 4 cwestiwn: C1 Beth yw Trawsnewid y Cwricwlwm? C2 Pam mae eisiau Trawsnewid y Cwricwlwm? C3 Pwy sy’n arwain Trawsnewid y Cwricwlwm? A C4 Sut byddwch chi’n cyfranogi gyda Thrawsnewid y Cwricwlwm? Gwnaeth ein hannog ni i gyd i’w hateb naill ai yn y sgwrs neu ar bapur. Gwnes i drydaru’r cwestiynau ac yna ychwanegu fy ymatebion personol. Roeddwn yn meddwl y byddai’n ddiddorol i ni fel tîm ymateb, hyd yn oed heb wrando ar gyflwyniad @kerrileekrause, roeddwn yn meddwl y byddai’n ymarfer rhagorol i ni oll ei ystyried gan ein bod i gyd yn ddatblygwyr academaidd. Gallwch ddod o hyd i’m trydarau yn @mandyjjack, mae’r dolenni uniongyrchol i bob cwestiwn uchod.

Yr ail brif siaradwr oedd Rowena Arshad, Athro Emeritws a Chadair Bersonol Addysg Amlddiwylliannol a Gwrth-hiliol, Prifysgol Caeredin, “Diversity in Learning and Teaching: Is Inclusion Truly Available?” Roedd hwn yn anerchiad pwerus iawn lle bu Rowena’n trafod ymagwedd fwy cyfannol. Dyma’r prif bwyntiau allweddol y gwnaeth eu trafod:

  1. Cynhwysol – a’r angen i ystyried amrywiaeth dysgwyr, ethos gofod, yr iaith, cynnwys y cwricwlwm ac ymagweddau addysgegol
  2. Gwrth-hiliol – ei heriau, a gwerthoedd a strwythurau sy’n gadael i hiliaeth systematig barhau.
  3. Dad-drefedigaethu’r Cwricwlwm – a’r angen i archwilio pŵer a hanes yn feirniadol. Nid ychwanegu ystod amrywiol o ffynonellau at ein rhestrau darllen yn syml yw hyn. Nid ychwanegu amrywiaeth yw hyn chwaith ond dysgu o safbwyntiau gwahanol ac am weledigaeth wahanol ac y cyd.

Doeddwn i ddim yn gallu bod yn bresennol yn y pnawn, ond dyma ddolen i’w blog mae teitlau diddorol iawn a rhai dolenni hynod ddefnyddiol yn yr wybodaeth a allai fod o fudd ichi. Os bydd y recordiad o’r prif siaradwyr yn cael ei ddosbarthu, bydda i’n ei ychwanegu.[:]

Celebrating 600 Fellows at Swansea University – Senior Fellow Reflections on the value of recognition

Applying for HEA Fellowship] helps you to reflect on things and have confidence in your own teaching rather than just kind of doing the day job.




In late 2020, Darren Minister from SALT’s Recognition Team interviewed Nia Davies, Associate Professor and Senior Fellow of the HEA in Swansea University’s Medical School asking her about why gaining recognition mattered and how she adapted to online teaching.

Introductions – About you, Your Discipline, How long have you been teaching at Swansea?

I’ve been working in Swansea University since 2012, I started as a postdoctoral researcher and then moved over to a full-time research teaching contract in 2016 where I was the first lecturer employed on the new Applied Medical Sciences degree programme in the Medical School. Since then, I have developed the, at first, it was the foundation year for Applied Medical Sciences programme and as of 2020 we’ve now launched that as the Swansea University Medical School foundation year, so it now allows entry into all our undergraduate programmes and I’m the programme director for that. I lecture across all the undergraduate programmes in the Medical School and contribute to some of our postgrad teaching as well. 

Why did gaining Senior Fellowship recognition matter to you?

I was quite a fresh lecturer when I first started, I went through the PG Cert programme and first applied for Fellowship. So, I got that as part of my PG Cert and that really helped me bring my ideas together and acknowledge the pedagogical framework behind teaching in higher education. It’s not just writing a lecture, but the actual thought process that goes into preparing my teaching. When I then got that [FHEA], I got really interested in the pedagogical side of it, but also the leadership. I applied for Senior Fellowship, because I thought that brings together my interest in the science teaching and pedagogical values. But also, I think everybody wants reassurance that they’re doing a good job, and [HEA] Fellowship sort of reinforces that for you. It helps you realize that what you are doing is meeting a framework and that you are. It’s a commitment to the learning and teaching in the school [of Medicine], and not just doing it as a day job, but developing myself as a professional teacher alongside that. So, I guess the Senior Fellowship brought together the fact that I now have responsibility for a programme. I just acknowledged my work and recognize my leadership in the Medical School, not just in teaching, but also in leading colleagues and then the impact of them on teaching. It just reinforces what I was doing as a day job, I guess, just give it a bit of recognition professionally. 


How have you continued to apply the standards of the UKPSF in your work since gaining that recognition during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Wow. So, I’m still mindful of them and certain things like knowing the discipline, subject area and the knowledge values are obviously still very self-explanatory. But it’s also, it’s more the communication of them now that’s had to change. So, I’ve been trying to do a lot more peer observations, reviewing my module review and feedback to make sure that what I’m still doing is meeting the needs of the students. But I guess it’s just reviewing my own delivery and promoting the participation in different ways. We’re having to think about using online tools, as well as the practical teaching that I’m involved in, because we do have some students studying online as well as in blended learning. It is just trying to use some different technologies in my own teaching. I guess that has changed my own, and sort of, contributed to my own CPD, for example, two months ago if you told me, I’d have a YouTube channel by the end of November [2020] I would never have thought it possible. So certainly, my own use of technology in my teaching has, I’d like to say, improved, but certainly increased. Also trying to use new online assessments and things like that, it is just maintaining awareness of the UK PSF but now trying to deliver in a different way. I am much more involved I would say now with some external organizations. I do a lot with the British Pharmacological Society, I’m involved in an organization called ‘Dry Labs Real Science’, as well as SALT [Swansea Academy of Learning and Teaching] just to make sure that what we’re still delivering meets the needs of the students and the UK PSF then as part of that. 


What tips would you offer to someone delivering blended teaching in HE? 

I guess the first one is to kind of be organized with it. It sounds easy, but I think you can be flexible with it, but you do need to be organized, it does take a lot of time to record the lectures and upload them and think about how to engage students a lot more. It’s different delivering a live performance because you don’t get the immediate feedback from students, so definitely think about how you’re going to engage the students. Perhaps a lecture that we’d normally deliver facetoface, won’t translate as well online. We tell our students when they are doing presentations to think about the audience, I think that is very important in blended learning. Think about the students as an audience, think about their engagement, think about formative quizzes. Certainly, my students enjoy the discussions and use of them on Canvas or just using the technologies available to us. But just being organized with it, have time and try to organize things into smaller bite sized chunks, rather than recording full two-hour lectures, as they can get quite sort of daunting to students, think about having some sort of interaction with them. I try to have a weekly Q and A tutorial with my groups at some point. It may be a different year per week, just to maintain a bit of a touch point and allow them to have a bit of discussion, clear up any problems or issues they’re having or any confusion, open the discussion with them and trying to encourage that certainly helps the blended learning I would say. 

For someone not sure about the applying for HEA Fellowship recognition, what words of encouragement could you offer?

I would say definitely think about doing it, it is worth it. It does allow you an opportunity to reflect on what you’re doing, and I think we can be so close to the day job sometimes that we forget about the greater impact of that. It is worth doing because it does allow you that recognition and definitely go for it, have confidence in your own teaching. In terms of putting together the application, I would say make a list of everything, so keep a diary of everything you do, everything you think, just replying to an email or holding another workshop or attending a seminar. It does contribute to that, so you are probably doing much more than you think of. If you make a list and map that to the UK PSF and the criteria for the different fellowship levels, you’ll certainly realize what you’re doing and just have confidence in yourself and in your own application. 

What top tips would you offer to someone preparing a HEA Senior Fellowship application? 

I guess it is again keeping a diary or a log of everything you do. But when you’re preparing the Senior Fellowship, rather than the Fellowship, I would certainly think about your influence on colleagues, how you would help develop the careers, developed other personnel, people and colleagues, rather than just the students. I have a lot of demonstrators, a lot of post grad students involved in my teaching and it’s just recognizing your contributions and some of them have now come on and are actually lecturers as part of our team. It is just recognizing your own leadership and acknowledging that it is leadership. We all see it as something we just do, but certainly recognize it is leadership and have confidence in that when you are preparing your application. Again, just keep a diary and think long term. It’s not just you are doing your Senior Fellowship to tick that box. Think about the criteria of your own job, your own career progression, think about how you want to influence students, how you do that via your modules and your colleagues, as well as your contact with the students themselves. 


Anything else you’d like to add at all? 

No, I think just to say that SALT are really supportive of this, the Fellowship Programme. I think certainly when I got to applying for Senior Fellowship, my own mentor from outside the Medical School was really supportive. And just yeah, I think it’s just really worth it for people to do instead of it’s not just a burden, but it is actually, I think it helps you to reflect on things and have confidence in your own teaching rather than just doing the day job. [:]

Evidencing Learning – TweetChats, ‘Lurking’ and the Value of Reflection

Providing evidence of undertaking Continuing Professional Development (CPD)(1) or Continual Professional Learning (CPL) especially for HEA Fellowship claims (any category) can resort to a list of courses attended (in person/online). While certainly applauding an ongoing commitment to keeping practice up to date and having enough time to engage in numerous CPD opportunities, providing a list (bullet points or in sentence format) does not necessarily evidence the learning.

The important part is to take stock and reflect on ‘how can I apply what I’ve learnt?’ and if you did ‘what did I learn from that experience?’ ‘What worked well, what might need improvement?’ This demonstrates how you use evidence informed approaches and the outcomes from research, scholarship and CPD to enhance your practice (V3 of the UK Professional Standards Framework.)

Evidencing engagement in your Twitter PLN and through Tweetchats have been questions asked of prospective HEA Fellowship applicants. And that in turn has led to a wider consideration of evidencing learning.

  • Is evidence of engagement through responses to the Questions as captured in the Storify/Wakelet sufficient?
  • What if you didn’t actively contribute (2) but afterwards reviewed in greater detail the responses to the questions, refined the answers down to what might you felt was appropriate to your own practice?
  • Does that ‘count’ and if so, how can you evidence it?

Recently, I came across a reflective post using Pebblepad software about evidencing engagement in Tweetchats that I had found a few years ago but had forgotten about!

The recommendations there from David Eddy (@sonofedd) about spending a few moments to jot down your key takeaway message from the Tweetchat is so valuable. As are his observations that if you are engaging/watching, you are building your Personal Learning Network and sharing ideas on effective practice. That’s been so true for me.

As an educator, you can also initiate a subject-based Tweetchat perhaps in lieu of a Q&A session…and perhaps ask all students to produce a ‘reflection’ on key points learnt to enable any ‘non active’ participants to demonstrate their key learning ‘take aways’ – written/audio/video formats perhaps?

This in turn enables participants to demonstrate a great range of ‘deeper’ learning including consolidation, critical thinking and analysis that just ‘contributing’ during the live event may not. It would also address the ‘lurker’, ‘quiet thinker’ or ‘introvert’, acknowledging various ways in which we learn (K3). The ‘reflection’ aspect could address much of the discussion over the past year of trying to demonstrating ‘engagement’ or ‘interaction’ online (synchronously or asynchronously) as a proxy for demonstrating learning (see work of Bozhurt et al, Cain and Honeychurch in the Exploring Further section).

There are a few TweetChats in Higher Education: #LTHEChat and #CoachingHE are ones I follow (not necessarily participate every time), I will look at the curated Wakelet afterwards though if I think the topic may be of relevance to my needs). But there may ones in your specific discipline and so following key people, relevant hashtags and curating tweets, e.g. using Wakelet will help you cope with what can be a high volume of rapid exchanges!

So, returning to the issue of evidencing your own continuing professional learning, perhaps you may want to be selective about what CPD/CPL opportunities you DO engage with and critically review your practice first. What would you like to improve, before choosing CPL activities possibly based on ease/availability? Don’t forget that CPL can be asynchronous or synchronous, individual or a shared learning experience with others (Ferman, 2002). And most importantly, reflect on the impact on your practice afterwards.


(1) A5 of the Dimensions of Practice of the UK Professional Standards Framework
(2) Often called ‘lurking’ or ‘vicarious learning’, this, often “silent engagement”, does not mean that ‘participants’ aren’t learning because they aren’t contributing to the live TweetChat. There are lots of reasons why participants may be hesitant or unable to contribute ‘live’, including imposter phenomenon – Clance and Imes, 1978).

Exploring Further

About Advance HE and the UKPSF – see SALT’s pages: About Advance HE and UKPSF – Swansea Academy of Learning and Teaching

Cain S. (2012) Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World that can’t stop talking, Penguin Books

Clance, P.R., & Imes, S. A. (1978). ‘The impostor phenomenon in high achieving women: Dynamics and therapeutic intervention’, Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice, 15(3), 241-24. Available from: Dr. Pauline Rose Clance – IMPOSTOR PHENOMENON specifically: 4.3.7-6-IP-High Achieving Women.doc (

Bozhurt A.; A. Koutropoulous, L. Singh and S. Honeychurch (2020) ‘On lurking: Multiple perspectives on lurking within an educational community’, The Internet and Higher Education, Vol 44, Article 100709.

Ferman T., (2002) ‘Academic professional development practice: What lecturers find valuable’, International Journal for Academic Development, 7(2), 146- 158.

Honeychurch S. (2018) – (@NomadWarMachine) Reclaiming Lurking | NomadWarMachine Blogpost of 12th September 2018

TweetChat Resources #LTHEchat | The weekly Learning and Teaching in HE chat created by the community for the community – Wednesday 8-9pm – you can access the previous blogposts and wakelets following these chats in the Programme>Archived Tweetchats

CoachingHE Chat: #CoachingHE | SDF – Staff Development Forum

What is a Tweetchat? See What is a tweechat? – Technology enhanced learning (

Teaching in HE during Challenging Times – Swansea University’s 600th Fellow!

Dan Forman photograph

Introduce yourself – who are you?

My name is Dan Forman and I have taught in the Department of Biosciences for over 20 years.

Why did gaining Senior Fellowship recognition matter to you?  Why apply?

If I am honest, gaining recognition as a SFHEA greatly assisted raising my own confidence; I was able to take a step back and see more clearly, and objectively, how I had developed over my career, and recognise the positive impact that it has had for students and colleagues.  It was also useful for my future plans for career development / promotion application.

I would strongly encourage anyone to apply; it is hard work (!) but a great way of celebrating your individual achievements in HE through peer reviewed recognition.

How have you continued to apply the standards of the UKPSF in your work since gaining that recognition during the Covid-19 pandemic?

I have tried to embrace online teaching and learning and have successfully run workshops and presentations for the University and externally to help support and provide training for colleagues and peers in teaching and learning. I have just co-led a workshop at an international ecology conference where we identified the lessons learnt and best practise in teaching and learning that has arisen during the Covid pandemic. I have been working with colleagues to increase awareness of equality and inclusivity in teaching and learning and recently hosted a SAILs webinar for staff on Reasonable Adjustment.

What top tips would you offer to someone delivering blended teaching in HE?

One of the great things about using online approaches to learning is that there is no limit to what you can provide for students to engage with. Don’t over complicate things, however, and provide too much to read, watch, review, etc as this may overload your students.

Plan in-person sessions well in advance and ensure that you have considered a suitable way of capturing / replicating any teaching sessions for those students that may not be able to attend. Communicate clearly with your students as to the purpose, importance and value of these in person activities to the learning experience.

Try to avoid too many pre-recorded lectures, students generally do enjoy live lecture sessions with staff.

Don’t be afraid to ask others for suggestions and ideas as to how best to deliver and assess modules using blended learning and use the support from SALT and SAILs!

For someone not sure about applying for HEA Senior Fellowship recognition what words of encouragement could you offer?

You can do it and you are not alone!

What top tips would you offer to someone preparing a HEA Senior Fellowship application?

Read through some past examples to gain an idea of the approach to take but recognise that everyone’s journey in teaching is different.

Don’t forget that leading and supporting work in the areas of student inclusivity, support and welfare as appropriate as evidence and case studies for SFHEA.

Seek support from a mentor as soon as possible, it is important to gain insight from someone who has been through the experience.

Create a folder / document to collect and store evidence in as you are working through your drafts. If you are not sure if you have the appropriate evidence speak with your tutor and peers to seek support and advice as soon as possible.

Set a realistic amount of time aside for writing your draft application as it will take longer than you think!