The Pedagogic Innovators (#pin) project is born

pin_NEWI am extremely excited about my new project around pedagogic innovators in higher education or short #pin as part of my National Teaching Fellowship award.

The logo… (as you can see, this was important for me)… when I was searching for a concept to visualise what pedagogic innovators mean to me personally, I came up with the image you see here which I plan to use as the project logo. This image says a lot to me and perhaps I will analyse this in a later post but even the colours and shape, every curve and point, have a meaning. In a way I used the research method I plan to collect data in the context of #pin to create a visual identity for the project. Now I need a few badges 😉 and just writing this here gave me another idea. Ok, let’s briefly introduce the project:

Colleagues from Manchester Metropolitan University as well as colleagues from other institutions nationally and internationally will be invited over three academic years to participate in this study. I am therefore very interested in collaborating with further researchers in other institutions, organisations and countries who are interested in exploring with me pedagogic innovators.

This study will investigate

  • The beliefs, attitudes and values of higher education teachers as pedagogic innovators.
  • Conceptions of pedagogic innovation in the context of their practice, their curricular design and students’ development.
  • Enabling and prohibiting factors of becoming pedagogic innovators for academics and other professionals who teach or support learning in HE

Visual data collection methods will be used, such as drawings and models.  These methods have been shown to enable a wider spectrum of expression and reflection (Gauntlett, 2007, 2011; Cousin, 2009). No judgement will be  made about the artistic value of these. It is definitely about what the drawings and artefacts represent and not how they look like. There will also  be a survey to provide an alternative way to participate and the plan to organise focus groups as well to collect some of the data.

What will the drawings, photos, the survey and the transcript be used for?

The drawings, photos, survey and transcript will be analysed to identify key themes related to the study aims  objectives and research questions. A visual gallery of contributions will be created, anonymised, unless contributions have come via social media channels. The data will assist the researcher in gaining an insight into conceptions of pedagogic innovation as well as the pedagogic innovators, the people, as expressed and visualised by the participants themselves. Any areas of development will be included within an action plan how an institution and the sector can nurture, support and maximise on pedagogic innovators.

There will be opportunities to participate via social media as well. See such an opportunity a bit further down.

The findings of the project will be valuable because

  1. The findings will be used to create knowledge assets to better understand and support pedagogic innovators in the future and maximise on their contribution within an institution and the sector.
  2. In an increasingly complex and challenging world, there is an urgent need to understand how higher education can better promote and support pedagogic innovation. The findings will be used in anonymised reports to enhance our collective understanding of academics’ perceptions of pedagogic innovation in the context of teaching and learning in higher education, and contribute to open access literature so that the wider community of professionals can benefit.
  1. The results at MMU will be compared and combined with data sets from other universities, nationally and internationally, so that comparisons can be made across the higher education sector and the overall generalisations from results will be more secure.

4 November 2015

At 8pm UK time,  an #LTHEchat will be offered in collaboration with #BETTchat to discuss pedagogic innovators in higher education. This will signalise tha launch of my project and I am really looking forward to make a start discussing pedagogic innovators with colleagues. I have the pleasure to work with my dear colleague Sue Beckingham @suebecks on this chat.

The storify of this #LTHEchat is available here. I will be analysing this in NVivo soon. Thanks to the #LTHEchat, six colleagues from other institutions in the UK have expressed interest in joining this project as co-researchers.

This research project has ethical approval and the information sheet and statement of consent can be found at

Participating in the #pin activities during this #LTHEchat #BETTchat means that you have read the information sheet and the consent statement included in the above document carefully and are giving me your consent to participate in this study. The online open survey can be accessed at htt

If you are interested in becoming a #pin research collaborator, please get in touch! 

See you on the 4th at 8pm UK time.


Jan 2016:

— The following collaborators have joined

Dr Alison James, London College of Fashion
Neil Withnell, University of Salford
Chris Rowell, Regent’s University London
Barbara Thomas, HE consultant
Prof. Norman Jackson, Creative Academic

— The #pin project has been connected to the programme of work being coordinated by Prof. Norman Jackson and Creative Academic for World Creativity and Innovation Week.

If you would like to complete the survey linked to the #pin project please click here.

Feb 2016:

5 Feb 16 MMU focus group workshop using wet feltmaking, see info here



ps. And then I just found an excellent example of how #pin drawings could be showcased in a gallery. See the below! How many drawings and artefacts can we collect? And who would be willing to host these?


Cousin, G. (2009) Researching Learning in Higher Education. An introduction to contemporary methods and approaches, Oxon: Routledge.

Gauntlett, D. (2007) Creative Explorations. New approaches to identities and audiences, Oxon: Routledge

Gauntlett D. (2011) Making is Connecting. The social meaning of creativity, from DIY and knitting to YouTube and Web2.0, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s