Simon Lygo-Baker

Dr Simon Lygo-Baker

Senior Lecturer in Higher Education
+44 (0)1483 689578
17 DK 03

Academic and research departments

Surrey Institute of Education.


University roles and responsibilities

  • Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching and the MA in Higher Education


    Research interests


    Rachel Stead, Simon Lygo-Baker, Antonio Augusto Coppi, Mariana Pereira De Melo (2021)Using play-doh to enhance the perceived learning of veterinary medicine, In: Journal of veterinary medical education48(5)pp. 549-553 Univ Toronto Press Inc

    Teaching anatomy to veterinary students is challenging, and using two-dimensional (2D) representations may limit the opportunity for learners to make the connections required to fully appreciate the complex structures involved and the relationships between them. This research considered the implementation of three-dimensional (3D) modeling using Play-Doh with learners to consider whether they were able to make effective representations that may then support further learning. The evidence from teacher observations and student feedback suggests that, despite some initial hesitation surrounding the use of what some might perceive as a toy in the higher education classroom, the learners believed that the approach allowed improvement in terms of their understanding, knowledge retention and recall. They reported that the approach enabled greater visualization of the structures they were representing. For teachers, the approach has the advantage that the material is cheap, readily available, easily manipulated, can be reused, and needs no sophisticated technology.

    Elizabeth Alvarez, Amy Nichelason, Simon Lygo-Baker, Shelly Olin, Jacqueline Whittemore, Zenithson Ng (2023)Virtual Clinics: A Student-Led, Problem-Based Learning Approach to Supplement Veterinary Clinical Experiences, In: Journal of veterinary medical education50(2)pp. 147-161 Univ Toronto Press Inc

    The COVID-19 pandemic created an abrupt need for effective remote clinical experiences for senior clinical veterinary students. Subsequently, the authors created virtual clinics. This activity was derived from a problem-based learning (PBL) model wherein students designed clinical cases and participated through virtual role play as clients and clinicians. The purpose of this article is to describe virtual clinics and to report data from focus groups of participating students and faculty facilitators from two institutions regarding the positive and negative aspects of the shift in practice. A few common emerging themes included that case rounds were fun and engaging, students could learn at their own pace, and peer-to-peer learning opportunities had perceived value. Themes are reflected against the pedagogical literature to draw out areas that resonated. Students felt this activity was more engaging than listening to a discussion of a case they had no ownership of, and facilitators agreed that the peer-to-peer interactions added to student engagement. Additionally, students developed a deeper knowledge about the underlying disease process and clinical presentation of their case, which required independent and self-directed learning, enabling students to think about a case from a client's perspective. By participating in these activities, students developed skills of classroom-to-clinic transitional value. While virtual clinics should not replace in-person clinical experiences, this activity might be useful to facilitate students' transition from a structured classroom setting to a less-structured clinical experience.

    Elizabeth E. Alvarez, William K. Gilles, Simon Lygo-Baker, Bethany Howlett, Ruthanne Chun (2021)How to approach cultural humility debriefing within clinical veterinary environments, In: Journal of veterinary medical education48(3)pp. 256-262 Univ Toronto Press Inc

    Cultural humility debriefing provides learners with the opportunity to consider how they engage with clients and patients while keeping their own identities and biases in mind. In this article, we invite a deeper understanding of the cultural humility debrief by reviewing its history and uses, describing the state of mind and communication skills required for successful facilitation, and providing a step-by-step process as a framework for veterinary educators to implement effective cultural humility debriefing in practice.This teaching technique is rooted in established communication tools-specifically, permission seeking, open-ended questions, reflective listening, and empathy. Drawing on experience from an inter-professional clinic that serves people who live at or below the national poverty level, this article offers insights to veterinary educators so they can use the cultural humility debrief. By utilizing the outlined debriefing strategies in a clinical setting, it is possible to augment any existing veterinary curriculum and strengthen education around cultural topics.

    Elizabeth Alvarez, Simon Lygo-Baker, Kelly Schultz, William Gilles, Ruthanne Chun (2022)Veterinary and Pharmacy Students’ Expectations Before and Experiences After Participating in an Interdisciplinary Access to Care Veterinary Clinic, WisCARES, In: Journal of veterinary medical education49(5)pp. 610-617 Univ Toronto Press Inc

    This pilot survey study describes student expectations and experiences at WisCARES, a low-cost veterinary medical teaching clinic where students from multiple disciplines collaborate. We hypothesized that prior to the workday, students would describe different expectations of working in an interdisciplinary access to care clinic than what they ultimately experienced. We surveyed 62 students from the School of Veterinary Medicine (46) and pharmacy (16) who spent a clinic day at WisCARES. Before introductory rounds, students completed a short survey consisting of four open-ended questions about their learning expectations; at the end of the day, they reviewed their initial responses and added what they actually learned. Qualitative information was categorized and analyzed using descriptive statistics. Thirteen major themes emerged: diversity, confidence, communication, case lead/case management, financial experience, helping people, teamwork, technical skills, inter-professional experience, mentoring, non-specific positive regard, appreciation for resources, and rounds. Students reported improved confidence in managing and leading cases with specific positive outcomes in communicating with clients, particularly regarding leading financial conversations. Developing greater insight into diversity was a common theme expressed in students' expectations but was less frequently noted as an end-of-day outcome. Veterinary students less frequently described the value of the inter-professional environment and collaboration, but this was a major theme noted among pharmacy students. Student feedback was positive overall. The current study is useful in identifying areas for improving collaborative instruction and access to care professional student learning opportunities.

    Mariana Pereira De Melo, Rachel Stead, Simon Lygo-Baker, A. Augusto Coppi (2023)Students Satisfaction with the Use of PlayDoh® as a Tool to Actively Learn 3D Veterinary Anatomy More Accurately, In: Medical science educator
    Ian Kinchin, Kieran Balloo, Laura Barnett, Karen Gravett, Marion Heron, Anesa Hosein, Simon Lygo-Baker, Emma Medland, Naomi Winstone, Nadya Yakovchuk (2023)Poems and pedagogic frailty: uncovering the affective within teacher development through collective biography, In: Arts and humanities in higher education22(3)pp. 305-321 Sage

    To explore the affective domains embedded in academic development and teacher practice, a team of academic developers was invited to consider a poem and how it reflects the emotions and feelings underpinning experiences as teachers within Higher Education. We used a method of arts-informed, collective biography to evaluate a poem to draw upon and share memories to interrogate lived experiences. Our research is framed using the lens of pedagogic frailty model to see how affective and discursive encounters are produced and impact us. We contend that collective arts-based and biographical approaches can provide alternative ways for ourselves and teachers to examine their own pedagogic frailty.

    Colin Loughlin, Simon Lygo-Baker, Åsa Lindberg-Sand (2021)Reclaiming constructive alignment, In: European journal of higher education11(2)pp. 119-136
    Elizabeth E Alvarez, William K Gilles, Simon Lygo-Baker, Ruthanne Chun (2020)Teaching Cultural Humility and Implicit Bias to Veterinary Medical Students: A Review and Recommendation for Best Practices, In: Journal of veterinary medical education47(1)2pp. 2-7

    Cultural humility, with its concomitant understanding of the importance of the influences of diversity and inclusion, improves health outcomes in the human medical field. Recent changes to the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education requirements in veterinary medicine include teaching the impact of implicit bias on the delivery of veterinary medical services. Because overt enhancement of self-awareness is not fodder for traditional veterinary medical education delivery systems, in this article we review existing literature on the impact of recognition of implicit bias on health care and offer insights on ways to help veterinary students learn this skill, drawing on evidence from an inter-professional intervention called WisCARES (Wisconsin Companion Animal Resources, Education, and Social Services).

    CALVIN JEPHCOTE, Emma Louise Medland, Simon Niall Lygo-Baker (2021)Grade inflation versus grade improvement: Are our students getting more intelligent?, In: Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education46(4)pp. 547-571 Routledge

    The move from elite to mass systems of higher education has been accompanied by concerns relating to the quality of provision and standards, particularly in relation to the increasing proportion of higher grades awarded to students. Bayesian multilevel models were used to investigate the temporal trend of grade attainment in 101 higher education providers across the UK, between the 2009/10 and 2018/19 academic years, to understand if rising grades are due to inflation or a consequence of improvements across the higher education system. The results suggest a much more positive and proactive picture of a higher education system that is engaged in a process of continuous enhancement. The unexplained variables, rather than automatically being labelled as grade inflation, should instead point to a need to investigate further the local institutional contextual factors that inform grade distribution. The deficit lens through which 'grade inflation' is often perceived is a damaging and unhelpful distraction. Measures, such as improved assessment literacy, are suggested as approaches that the sector could adopt to further develop its understanding of grade improvement as opposed to grade inflation.

    R. A. Sporea, P. J. B. Jackson, S. Lygo-Baker (2017)Developing undergraduate teaching materials in collaboration with pre-university students, In: MRS Advances2pp. 1713-1719 Materials Research Society

    In this project we have involved four high-achieving pre-university summer placement students in the development of undergraduate teaching materials, namely tutorial videos for first year undergraduate Electrical and Electronic Engineering lab, and computer simulations of didactic semiconductor structures for an Electrical Science first year compulsory taught module. Here we describe our approach and preliminary results.

    DYNATRA SUBASINGHE, SIMON NIALL LYGO-BAKER, MELANIE BLEVINS Inclusive learning experiences with staff student partnerships and digital learning aids

    Additional publications