Change Leader Award – Alumni

Welcome to the alumni pages of the Institutional Change Leader award. 

Following the successful completion of the first running of the course, we are proud to celebrate the achievements of the participants. The course has two alumni: (1) those who completed the Jisc-recognised module ‘Effective Practice as a Change Agent’ [the first module of the full course] and (2) those who completed the SEDA-accrediated Institutional Change Leader course. Below are profiles of some of the successful participants:

Alumni of the SEDA-accrediated Institutional Change Leader award:

Dr Sarah Hayes, Aston University

Dr Sarah Hayes, Aston University

Sarah Hayes is a Lecturer in the Centre for Learning Innovation and Professional Practice (CLIPP) at Aston University, and a Senior Fellow of the HEA. She has taught PG Cert, through to MEd during the last two years. Prior to this, Sarah taught Sociology, writing modules for undergraduates such as Technology & Social Theory and Tattoos, TV & Trends: Understanding Popular Culture and teaching Research Methods at all levels. Sarah’s PhD thesis: The Political Discourse and Material Practice of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) was a Marxist-based analysis of UK policy discourse for TEL in Higher Education during the last 15 years, through corpus-based Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). It revealed a presupposition that technology alone has enhanced learning, where policy texts conceal the human labour involved. It recommended explicitly writing the actions of people back into policy, to acknowledge the humans involved. Sarah’s recent work is published in Open Review of Educational Research, Sage, Springer and Libri . Sarah recently completed a literature review for the QAA on MOOCs and the Quality Code which will be published in August 2015 and she is a member of the JISC Scaling Up Online Learning project.
Dr Catherine Hack, Ulster University

Dr Catherine Hack, Ulster University

Catherine Hack is a lecturer in the life and health sciences and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She has extensive experience of on-campus and distance learning teaching which has led to an understanding of the diverse needs, motivations and learning styles of students and the need for student- centred delivery to promote independent and life-long learning.
Theodora-Petra Negrea, University of BradfordMy name is Theodora and I am a student at the University of Bradford. During my first year at university, I was offered the chance to work on a change project and was successful in implementing it not only within the Faculty but within the University as a whole. I later used this experience in my CAN portfolio and was able to get the SEDA accreditation as a result. I am looking forward to continue working in change implementation.

Alumni of the Jisc-recognised module ‘Effective Practice as a Change Agent‘:

Megan Robertson, Aston University

Megan Robertson, Aston University

My passion is e-learning, and I am currently striving to bring an 'Aston Experience' to distance undergraduates, this being the precursor to the Degree Apprenticeship scheme announced earlier in the year.

My route to get to this position as an e-learning specialist started off with a degree in Botany, then a complete career-change to become a programmer in a software house. When this new-fangled Web thing came along, I embraced it early and after some freelance web development took a job at an FE college, South Cheshire College, as the webmaster. Spotting the potential to do more than say "we are here!" but to use it to support and enhance learning, I built an early 'teaching intranet' before going on to be ILT Champion at the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College. A couple of short contracts and rather too much unemployment later I am now happy at Aston University.
Jane Chandler, University of PortsmouthI'm Associate Dean (Academic) in the University of Portsmouth Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries. I am passionate about finding better ways of teaching HE students and improving the the courses they study.
Gordon McLeod, University of GlasgowI've worked in learning technology services for many years, most recently at Glasgow University Vet School, and lead on the use of Moodle, Mahara and other tools to enhance learning. As well as supporting staff and students I also convene the campus Information Services Committee, TELT Partnership (staff/student), and represent school and college on a range of other committees.
I have many years experience in managing eLearning development teams and developing web and multimedia resources and interactive tools, and have a passion for developing learning materials that are genuinely engaging. I chair MacHara (the Scottish Mahara User group), participate in online forums and am an enthusiastic twitter user (as @LearnTribe).
In my previous role I developed the technical capabilities of staff and students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RSAMD) to use Moodle and Mahara effectively as part of an institutional curriculum review, and themed, structured and administered both platforms. I also lectured on the institutional PG Cert Learning & Teaching programme, and managed the development of Broadcast, the Conservatoire's social media digital platform.
Prior to joining RSAMD I was the Learning Innovation Officer with Skills Development Scotland and learndirect Scotland, managing the national Learning Bytes e-learning programme, and developing European and national partnership projects to address barriers to learning.

CAN 2018 Resources

Student Panel CAN18 aOn this page we will be uploading presentations and photos from the CAN 2018 conference held on 19 and 20 April at the University of Winchester.  Please visit our Storify of the conference here for an overview of the 2 days.

The full programme from the conference, with abstracts, is available here.

Below is the list of the sessions from the conference where we will add presentation links as they are sent to us.

Day 1, Thursday 19th April 2018

Keynote – Partnership at the University of Winchester and Winchester Student Union

Colette Fletcher, Assistant Vice-Chancellor, University of Winchester& Tali Atvars, Student Union President, Winchester Student Union

1.1 Animation, autonomy and a social learning space: The beginnings of learning partnerships  Dr Cindy Becker

1.1 Understanding racial segregation in the classroom through a staff/student collaborative research project  Dr Jim Lusted and Carjez Best-Bryan

1.2 Designing Academic Opportunities for Students  Amy O’Sullivan and Emily Stow

1.2 How are we feeling today? – evaluating confidence levels of students engaging with a new study mentoring scheme  Karen Croft

1.3 Learning analytics in the student-centred university: perspectives and partnerships  Sarah Parkes, Helen Bardy, Penny Keeling, Rae-Ann Preece

1.3 Getting the blend right: listening to the student voice to enhance the online learning experience  Dr Agnieszka Herdan, Dr Dawn Reilly, Dr Liz Warren

1.4 Engaging with students’ feedback on feedback: a staff-student co-design approach to the development of a VLE feedback portfolio  Dr Naomi Winstone, Emily Papps, Roger Rees, Dr Emma Medland, Irina Neculescu, Jasmine Law, Simran Nagpal, Adrian Garncarek

1.5 Increasing Student Engagement in the UK Engagement Survey  Juliet Williams, Stuart Sims

2.1 A mobile app and VR game to enhance learning and teaching: collaborative research with students  Dr Julie Prescott, Dr Duncan Cross, Pippa Illif, Dan Edmondson, Yves Fuala

2.1 Staff and student partnerships for promoting digital inclusivity and innovation in the curriculum at City and Islington College  Kerry Vandersteen, Rebecca Morris, Julie Thornton, ArjonKucaj

2.2 A C0-Constructed Curriculum: A Model for Implementing Total Institutional Change in Partnership with Students  Amy Barlow, Dr Harriet Dunbar-Morris, Angel Layer

2.2 “Involve me and I learn” – co-creating problem-based learning  Nedelin Velikov, Mark Jalleh

2.3 A SMASHing approach for developing staff and student digital capabilities within a Community of Practice  Sue Beckingham, Corran Wood, Jess Paddon, Abby Butler, MattyTrueman, Callum Rooney

2.3 Creative video creation for student assessment  Matt Howcroft and Lewis Dunne

2.4 The human element in the online assessment process  Dr Caroline Stockman

2.4 Can you escape the digital challenge?  Mark Hall

 2.4 BUSINESSi: A student newsletter building bridges Camille Charles, Dr Michael Wynn-Williams

2.4 Developing Student Quality Reviewers Abbie King, Sandra Lusk, Jenny Marie

2.4 Postgraduate Student Ambassadors as Agents of Change: their lived experiences retold to enhance support, networks and sense of belonging within the community of learners Monica Dinu, Ruth Heames


Partnership in Professional Doctoral Reflexivity; Action Research as a Driver in the Co-Construction of Knowledge  Dr Catherine Hayes, Sr John Fulton, Professor Alastair Irons, Stephen Capper

Engagement and Partnership in the Development of Critical Thinking Skills  Hilary Wason, Cheryl Whiting

Student-Staff workshop to make seminars for ‘Research Methods and Analysis’ more interactive and engaging for adult nursing students  Tine Panduro, Karen Sprod, Marion Waite, Jon Revis

Architects of their experience: the role, value and impact of student academic representation systems in Higher Education in England  Dr Abbi Flint, Hannah Goddard, Ellie Russell

3.1 Can a digital platform enable alumni to peer-mentor students on an online distance learning programme? Rational, Design and Evaluation  Roger Harrison, Sarah C Willis, Brenda Tibingana-Ahimbisibw, Maureen Finn, Isabella Fairclough, Samantha Howard, Alana Mcnulty

4.2 Postgraduate Education is Changing, How Can Universities & SU’s Keep Up? Views From a Postgraduate Sabbatical Officer  Ieuan Smith

3.2 Creating a Textbook Marketplace at the University of Liverpool  Joe Schulkins, Ananda Mohan

3.2 The Art of Listening: Diversifying Assessment and Rethinking Feedback at the University of Reading  Dr Madeleine Davies, Bethany Barnett-Saunders

3.3 Partnerships, Peer Learning and Pizza: developing peer support with students as partners  Neil Ford

3.3 Facilitating a community of practice, evidencing student engagement and encouraging advanced learning skills with Slack  David Watson, Student Representative

3.4 Students as Partners in Staff Research  Dr Sabine Bohnacker-Bruce, Tina Newman

4.1 Translator, signpost, colleague, friend: approaches to hearing and challenges of responding to, the student voice  Emma Lester

4.1 Course Committees – can we work together to make them better?  Rebecca Rock, Stephanie Hargreaves, Dinh Vu (Kiki)

4.3 How student staff partnerships can be adapted to support innovation and inclusivity  Samuel Geary, Ethan Connor

4.3 Navigating the emotions in partnerships: Reflections on challenges for staff and students  Dr Ana Baptista

4.4 Publishing your work on Student Partnership  Rachel Forsyth, Simon Walker, Tom Lowe

Closing Remarks – Stuart Sims


Day 2, Friday 20th April 2018

Keynote- Alienation as vice and virtue: understanding the difference, and making a difference

Professor Tansy Jessop, Professor of Research Informed Teaching, Southampton Solent University

5.1 Students Shaping Strategy: Student Voice in the Learning and Teaching Strategy Cassie Shaw, Emily Jordan

5.1 Closing the student feedback loop with Unitu David Watson, Anish Bagga

5.2 TEL Champion scheme: using technology to improve education, research and student life Hannah Watts, Student Representatives

5.2 Researching and conveying the students’ voice to inform practice and policy on improving digital capabilities Aggie Molnar, Alyssa Pandolfo

5.3 A Case Study into Student Experiences of Using Online Material to Support Success in A-Level Economics Natalie McGuinness

5.3 Experiences of UCL ChangeMakers Student Fellows Maisie Harrison, Manuela Irarrázabal, Octavian Maxim, Saul Wodak

5.4 Developing digital teaching practices through staff-student partnerships Alexandra Patel, Mark Van Der Enden, Bethany Cox

5.4 Stopping “Fake News”: A digital mentor scheme to provide peer support and develop digital capabilities  Ruth Clark, Adam Fennell, Kath Hartley, Molly Schofield, Robert Davies

5.5 Improving learning and teaching through student-staff collaborative observation Vanessa Cui, Samuel Geary, Matthew O’Leary, Ilana Pressick, Nathalie Turville, Andrew Walsh, Stacy Rogers and Aneesa Bibi.

6.1 Innovating the Partnership: Student Staff Co-Creative Encounters in Self-Expression Tina Newman, Student Play Champions

6.2 Doing Induction: A Student Perspective Sarah Graham, Ruth Payne

6.3 Cooking up a perfect storm: Workshop on co-creating student-staff projects in digital learning  Anna Agnethe Back, Gloria Kabati, Jack Sherry, Jaime Summers, Madeline Grove, Anne Preston, Tania Fonseca,James Beardmore, Robert Stanley, Tara Shirazi

6.4 Digital Capabilities for a Changing World Sarah Knight, Helen Beetham, Student Representatives

6.5 ‘No person is an island’: a staff-student collaborative research project on group assessment as a mode of assessment Gareth Bramley, Joseph Harrison, LuutscheOzinga, MadawiAlahmad, Katrina Pinfold

6.5 The challenges of realising inclusive partnership for all via the curriculum Professor Colin Bryson


Partnership in Professional Doctoral Reflexivity; Action Research as a Driver in the Co-Construction of Knowledge Dr Catherine Hayes, Sr John Fulton, Professor Alastair Irons, Stephen Capper

Engagement and Partnership in the Development of Critical Thinking Skills Hilary Wason, Cheryl Whiting

Student-Staff workshop to make seminars for ‘Research Methods and Analysis’ more interactive and engaging for adult nursing students Tine Panduro, Karen Sprod, Marion Waite, Jon Revis

Architects of their experience: the role, value and impact of student academic representation systems in Higher Education in England Dr Abbi Flint, Hannah Goddard, Ellie Russell

7.1 Student Technology Mentors and staff working together to build digital capabilities Lucy Bamwo, Samantha Clarkson, Sahar Khajeh and Bronwyn Scholes

7.1 Digital Capabilities and Employability: Perspectives from Students, Staff and Employers Sam Jenkins, Natalie Norton, Neil Curtin, Laia Auge Poch

7.2 The Candid Student Voice in Academic Development  Joe Thorogood

7.2 Clear and collaborative communication: how Cardiff Met embeds student partnership across the institution Leaun Gardiner, Alex Smith, Sophie Leslie

7.3 Can students contribute to the recruitment of staff?  New approaches to partnership working at the University of Worcester Dr Sarah Pittaway

7.3 Making it worth your while; staff-student partnerships for more flexible learning Jasper Shotts, Reece Taylor-Long

7.4 Exploring ‘Sense of Belonging’ – Muslim Students at the University of Winchester Maisha Islam, Tom Lowe, Gary Jones

7.4 Students as Partners at Newman University John Peters, Leoarna Mathias

ATCV2827Student panel (and organisers)



Closing Remarks
Sarah Knight

Achievements of the Change Agents’ Network

I’ve been in a rather fortunate position having been commissioned to undertake an evaluation of the Change Agents’ Network (CAN) by the Advisory Group, looking back over the last three years of its operation and helping to inform its future. I’d like to focus this blog post on key achievements and the best way to start is probably to report a few of the many feedback comments that have been received:

  • Jisc CAN has been instrumental in changing my perspective on student engagement and seeing how it can be useful, powerful, and ultimately necessary. On a local scale, it has helped to drive projects forwards
  • A fantastic opportunity to network, learn from others and share effective practice. The range of opportunities/activities with which to engage is very helpful and I think helps to build a momentum.
  • The CAN has helped me gain a deeper understanding of how to lead change in an institutional setting, appreciating the complexity of factors that influence a well-executed change project and to be more aware
  • CAN is a great way of crystallising thinking around student-led change within an institution and setting a context and framework for existing good practice.
  • The Change Agent Network has galvanised an isolated local trend into a national movement. By having the opportunity to see good practice from throughout the sector we have developed our internal thinking

What has surprised me most is the extent of the CAN activities, the degree of engagement between students and staff and the impact it is having in supporting institutions in educational innovation and change for ultimately enhancing the student experience. Let’s look at these activities in more detail:

Networking events

Two major two-day full-capacity networking events took place in 2014-2015 each with a high proportion of students attending. I attended both events and was inspired by the enthusiasm and the positive feedback from both students and staff from FE and HE, who found the opportunity to share ideas, gain inspiration and identify good practices overwhelmingly positive as can be judged from quotes such as these:

  • “Thank you for the fantastic opportunity you and your team at Jisc at this week’s conference. It was absolutely brilliant and the Student Fellows, new to CAN, who attended spoke very highly of the event, how it was inspiring, active and great to engage with similar students doing change agent work elsewhere.” Student
  • Absolutely amazing projects presented! I’m still trying to write a consistent piece of feedback for these two days. A lot of ideas to implement and more than anything, great amount of inspiration. Event objectives – checked! Student
  • I’ve been to a lot of conferences over the years but this by far has been one of the most informative. Well done Jisc Staff


The series of themed webinars have been equally popular, attracting 459 registrations overall for the 5 events in 2015 and the recordings of these are available on the CAN web-site. The webinars have particularly focused on grass roots work which participants really value hearing about, as can be judged by a selection of the feedback:

  • This is my second Jisc Webinar I have participated in – have found both very worthwhile and enjoy them. A very interesting and informative end to the current series of CAN webinars – all excellent.
  • Really useful information that I can take away for my own practice
  • Interesting content, well delivered
  • Informative and useful ideas for networking and sharing best practice
  • It was well run, with interesting content and a chance to engage with it.

There is a new series of themed webinars for 2016 which kick starts hearing about “‘Growing a whole institution culture of commitment to student engagement” at the University of Lincoln.

Change Leader Award

A considerable amount of work has gone into the development of the Change Leader Award which has been accredited by SEDA and is now in its second cohort, with 130 registrations from students and staff. The award supports staff and students working in partnership on technology-related curriculum innovation projects. Key feedback includes:

  • This course gave me the chance to look into much further detail at the implications of implementing change and at how to ensure shareholders are convinced of the benefits of it.
  • This course has helped me to understand how to increase the impact my work.
  • I found the course a very supportive framework, with excellent tutors and real enthusiasm which kept me focused on what was needed to achieve a successful student-staff partnership. Thank you!
  • It’s not just given me ideas, it’s inspired a whole new approach!

The Change Leaders course has been particularly effective at raising awareness of the vital need for professional approaches to managing educational innovation and change. See the CAN Alumni page for details of the participants who have successfully completed the course.

Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change

The new peer-reviewed CAN online Journal of Educational, Innovation Partnership and Change has been oversubscribed with article proposals and has published two issues resulting in over 2,400 abstract viewings and over 1,000 downloads of individual PDF articles (March – September 2015). The Journal is also available in EPUB/Kindle formats. Feedback includes the following:

  • I have just read a very timely article for my institution which has given me a valuable insight into transformational projects within an institution and I will be sharing it with colleagues that probably need to read it more closely than I
  • We would like to check if we would be able to host the published version (our) repository
  • As a contributor, one piece accepted for publication. As a reader, interesting ideas and perspectives that have altered our practice model
  • Interesting articles that I perhaps otherwise would not have come across

Student-staff partnerships toolkit

The CAN team have put considerable effort into listening and learning from the network and distilling all this into a range of online resources including in-depth case studies and a toolkit “Developing successful student-staff partnerships” which provides a valuable set of key principles to follow and top tips for implementing student-staff partnerships which have been distilled from sector good practices. These are made available as a set of Viewpoints discussion cards for use in change processes, based on the established Viewpoints change model (developed as part of the Jisc Curriculum Design programme). Feedback on the resources includes:

  • What a huge amount of work that has gone into this project. This is an excellent collection of resources and I am looking forward to using them at the college. I really like the format and methods
  • I found the cards to be a comprehensive framework, especially valuable if you are planning a institutional based project. This workshop was introducing partnership to the group for the first time and I was encouraging them to keep their project idea small, and I found the cards catered for this also
  • The early guides and workshops discussions were paramount to my formative ideas and convincing me to plough on with new ideas. I would not have set up a CAN, nor approached student engagement in the same way
  • The good practice examples helped us convince the decision makers to let the original research partnership go ahead

Find out more about CAN achievements

If you would like to find out more about the evaluation of the Change Agents’ Network evaluation, there is a 11-page summary report available.

I’ll be publishing a further blog post soon which looks at how the Change Agents’ Network can enhance its activities and continue to support institutions in our changing sector environment.

Details of the Change Leader Award

SEDGRNWelcome to the course information page. On this page you will be able to find out more about the course, how it is assessed and the content. If you would like to discuss any aspect of this course, please email:  The course is delivered as two modules: ICL01 and ICL02 and has been designed to support those working in partnership to deliver change. It is suitable for those in FE and HE. Please follow the link below to listen to an AudioBoom about the course.


As part of the course we are developing our alumni, please click the link below to meet some of them:


The course has the following specialist outcomes as well as being aligned to the SEDA values and development outcomes.

On completing this course successfully a successful participant will be able to:

  • Identify the drivers underpinning staff and/or students working as change agents to deliver change and explore the impact on the student experience
  • Consider how they and their institution should respond to staff and/or students working as change agents to deliver change in order to contribute to an enhanced student experience
  • Reflect on how they are implementing and developing their practice in light of the needs and challenges arising from working as/with staff and students as change agents to deliver change
  • Evaluate their effectiveness and contribution to the student experience within the context of staff and/or student change agents to deliver change

For an overview of the course, please see:

Module 1: Effective practice as a Change Agent

This module is formative and provides information and knowledge around effective partnership work and change leadership. It is an online module, delivered using Moodle, and assessed via online MCQ. It is a requirement to complete all the assessment and score 100% in the MCQs – these MCQs can be taken as many times as required. This module is divided into five individual sections:

  • Becoming a Change Agent
  • How people Learn
  • Working with Stakeholders and institutional processes
  • Planning, running and evaluating a project
  • Effective Communication

Indicative Content: Theory of project planning, design and evaluation. Stakeholder identification and engagement. Strategies for effective project monitoring, reporting and management of project outcomes and outputs. Communication and dissemination strategy. Identification of development needs, role of CPD in practice. Strategies and best practice for self-evaluation and reflection. Ethical practice and the law, promoting inclusivity. Drivers for student-led change. Barriers when working as a change agent and strategies to overcome these. The digital literacies skills required for managing and leading change in a digitally enabled institution

There is also an additional section entitled ‘Learning Online‘, for those who have not undertaken an online module before.

The module is interactive and has been designed to promote engagement and discussion. It requires approximately 18 hours of activity.

Module 2: Defining, Developing, Delivering and Evaluating Change

Welcome image for the second moduleThis module is assessed by portfolio and should be taken whilst completing a change project (unless being completed to gain recognition for prior work) and is linked to project planning, evaluation and professional development. Each participant is provided a tutor, who will guide them through the process. This module also is also taught using Moodle, which provides a collaborative space for participants to share and discuss their projects. Importantly, participants through the completion of this module, will be able to identify their current skill set and develop a CPD strategy. If this module is taken retrospectively, it will serve as a vehicle to understand and evaluate the activities undertaken as well as support future CPD. This module required approximately 30 hours of activity. This module is pass/fail.



NB – Course content is subject to change, following the completion of annual monitoring. 

“Mission Employable” – students driving change in developing student employability at the University of Southampton

I read with fascination a case study recently published in the Change Agents’ Network Journal of educational innovation, partnership and change entitled ‘Mission Employable’: Creating a student-led employability strategy for the Faculty of Humanities, University of Southampton. The case study exemplifies an effective faculty-based approach to students driving change in pursuit of enhancing student employability (and exploiting technologies) and is particularly interesting in view of the fact that developing employability in humanities students is possibly not as clear-cut as, for example, with STEM students. The approach included the formation of a faculty working group and the “Mission Employable” brand. External employer engagement was achieved via an external advisory board and the Humanities Alumni Network. Four student interns were recruited, two of whom collaborated with faculty and careers staff to create content for a compulsory undergraduate first year employability module and launching the alumni network and external advisory board. The third intern helped to develop a faculty-wide peer mentoring scheme to support new students and to develop student mentoring skills. The fourth intern focused on research and evaluation together with the development of a reflective tool for use by students (reflecting on their employability related activities). The four interns also contributed towards a university wide initiative to showcase curricula, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and demonstrate student employability skills (see

It is particularly interesting that the Alumni network chose LinkedIn to support engagement between students, staff and alumni – I’ve often felt that this network is rather under-exploited by institutions in pursuit of employer engagement and developing student employability.

A key lesson learnt is the importance of encouraging students to think about career-planning much earlier whilst simultaneously gaining valuable experience, by enabling them to lead, shape and run events for themselves and their peers. Another key lesson learnt by the team is the importance of students reflecting on their experiences, and recording/articulating how they have developed. These activities are supported by an online quiz and students producing a case study to showcase their employability skills.

If you would like to find out more about this initiative, you can read the case study Mission Employable’: Creating a student-led employability strategy for the Faculty of Humanities, University of Southampton” in our Journal of educational innovation, partnership and change

Furthermore, Dr. Eleanor Quince and Charlotte Medland from the University of Southampton will be running a Change Agents’ Network webinar on “Mission Employable” on the 30 June (12.30-13.30). You can register for the webinar at