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Dr Emma Gillaspy

Senior Lecturer in Digital Learning
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As an academic developer and executive coach, Emma supports others in finding their unique paths to excellence, improve the learner experience and transform curricula. Emma blends appreciative inquiry-based coaching with heutagogy and social learning to work holistically with the lifewide experiences of learners, empowering them to achieve their potential.

In Emma's current role as Senior Lecturer in Digital Learning, she facilitates the adoption of blended learning approaches within health care professional curricula through coaching and academic development. Emma also works with students as learners, mainly across masters and doctoral education. Emma supports other educators in finding their own path to teaching excellence and work strategically to improve the student experience through curriculum development and innovation, particularly focusing on the use of creative pedagogies.

Emma is passionate about transforming education through developing self-determined learners. As an award-winning educator, academic developer and executive coach, Emma supports others in finding their unique paths to teaching excellence and works strategically to improve the student experience and transform curricula. Emma activates the passions of learners and empowers them to reach their potential through a unique blend of appreciative inquiry-based coaching, heutagogy and social learning. She works holistically, incorporating learners’ lifewide experiences, not just their working identities. Emma uses creative materials and non-linear learning technologies to support this approach which enables non-verbal ways of knowing to emerge, leading to congruent development aligned with learners’ core values and beliefs. Emma breaks down institutional and disciplinary silos working at the interfaces to create a more collaborative and inclusive environment across Higher Education.

Emma is a ‘rebel with a cause’, disrupting outdated educational systems and practices to put learners in control of their own futures. Emma previously worked as Digital Teaching and Learning Manager at the University of Salford in 2015 where she held both technology enhanced learning and inclusivity lead roles for the School of Health and Society. From 2008-2015, Emma focused on facilitating postgraduate and postdoctoral education for early career researchers. She provided both strategic and operational leadership for regional institutions in the field of researcher development as Vitae North West Hub Manager. Emma sat on regional and national committees to shape researcher development policy and practice. Before moving into the field of academic and researcher development, Emma worked in the NHS as a Clinical Molecular Geneticist following graduation from a PhD studying the genetics of osteoarthritis.

  • PhD Genetics of Osteoarthritis, University of Manchester
  • BSc (Hons) Genetics, University of Manchester
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, University of Salford
  • Institute of Leadership and Management Level 7 Certificate in Executive Coaching, University of Manchester
  • Institute of Leadership and Management Level 5 Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring, University of Manchester
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Step I Practitioner, OPP
  • 2018 Winner: AdvanceHE Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE)
  • 2018 Shortlisted: SEDA Educational Initiative of the Year awards for #creativeHE
  • 2018 Winner: University of Salford Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Awards
  • 2017 Highly Commended: SDF Developing Excellent Practice Awards for #coachingHE
  • 2017 Winner: University of Salford Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Awards
  • #creativeHE (co-host)
  • #coachingHE (co-founder)
  • #101creativeideas for HE (curator)
  • #experientiallearning
  • #heutagogy
  • #edtech
  • #socialmedia
  • #blendedlearning
  • #curriculuminnovation
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy