Cathy is a Principal Teaching Fellow in the School of Health Sciences. She is a Registered Nurse and Nurse Educator with extensive clinical and leadership experience in critical and high dependency care.
During the 16 years of working within higher education, Cathy has successfully lead and managed both undergraduate and postgraduate health care programmes. She has been working at the University of Surrey since September 2010 and has undertaken the role of Programme Director for the professional preparation nursing programmes, when she was accountable for the development, leadership and quality of this large programme.
Recently, in the role of Associate Dean for Education, Cathy was responsible for helping to shape the strategic direction of Learning and Teaching across the Faculty and at an Institutional level, ensuring that the Faculty had appropriate means and support to develop and share innovative pedagogic approaches.
Cathy is the Lead for Student Experience in the School of Health Sciences. She has a particular interest in Integrated Programmatic Assessment and the assessment and feedback practices used within both the academic and clinical practice settings.
University roles and responsibilities
- Lead for Student Experience, School of Health Sciences
- Chair - School of Health Sciences' Student Staff Liaison Committee
- Chair - OSCAR Regulatory Panels
- Module Leader - Supporting Education in Practice
- External Examiner - The University of Manchester
Affiliations and memberships
Nominated by the School of Health Sciences for the Vice Chancellor’s Learning and Teaching Award. University of Surrey. June 2013
Cathy has a particular research interest in assessment and feedback practices and how feedback is given and received within both academic and clinical practice settings. Cathy has recently been working in partnership with a nursing student to explore students' experiences of receiving verbal feedback within the practice learning environment. This has led to co-created opportunities to develop resources to prepare students for seeking out and using feedback whilst learning in clinical environments.
Cathy's latest work focuses upon supporting students' development of self-regulated learning. The opportunities afforded by an integrated programmatic assessment approach to learning and teaching is being explored. This represents a move away from using assessments solely as a means of assessing student ability at one point in time, to using assessments which are designed to guide and support student development in an on-going manner. The aim is to enable students to become independent learners by developing their autonomy, self-evaluation skills and confidence as independent learners. This is key to the preparation and well-being of students for the programmes and careers they will progress into.
Recent work has focused upon the use and value of annotations in the form of in-text comments, as a means of feedback on students work. This research was presented at The European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI) conference in August 2019.
An evaluation of the role of formative feedback following real-time immersive simulated practice, and the impact of this pedagogic approach in terms of students' learning gain has indicated positive gains, but also highlighted barriers to learning associated with simulated practice. This work is being used to inform our current practices across the School of Health Sciences
As one component of the feedback process, annotations on student work should focus upon providing explanations and guidance which encourage students to use the comments to develop their abilities to act as self-regulated learners; thus promoting what Carless (2015) refers to as the new paradigm of feedback practices. This is contrary to the old paradigm in which annotations merely serve to transfer information, characterised by evaluative statements and corrective advice. It is argued that it is not only the content of the message, but also the language used, which has an impact upon the sustainability of this form of feedback practice. This study analysed annotations in the form of 1760 in-text comments, added by markers to 52 summative essays. Findings indicated that the majority of comments were directed at the level of task performance rather than relating to the process (i.e. giving students advice about their future work and regulation of their actions). Additionally, there were positive correlations found between grades and words expressing a positive emotional tone, as well as negative correlations between grades and words which had connotations of sadness, risk and were phrased as questions. It appears that all annotations encourage the old paradigm as they focus upon the delivery of information, which minimises the potential upon student learning. It is argued that markers’ practices could be modified to incorporate appropriate language and direction which could have a more positive impact upon students learning, maximising the benefit of in-text comments.
Module Lead - Supporting Education in Practice
Innovations and Leadership
Transitions in Care
Clinical Leadership and Consolidated Practice
Dissertation supervisor for undergraduate students
NET18 Conference, AdvanceHE
The Society in Europe For Simulation Applied To Medicine. 24th Annual Meeting, Bilbao.
Pedagogika, 141(1), pp. 94–112, 2021 https://doi.org/10.15823/p.2021.141.5