Maria Dolores Iglesias Mora - Staff Spotlight

Maria’s Journey

I have extensive experience in teaching and curriculum development at all levels in Higher and Further Education institutions in Spain, Japan, and the UK.

During the almost 30 years I have been involved in education, I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with students and colleagues from diverse multicultural backgrounds. Something I value greatly. Living and working in Japan in particular, really opened my mind to different ways of viewing the world and allowed me to reflect upon my place in the global arena. Being a Spanish national living in the UK I have also had to adapt and flourish within an overseas environment.

Being a second language learner myself has reinforced the use of the communicative approach. Innovation and creativity can be demonstrated in the materials development that I have been involved with all these years. Having a reflective practitioner perspective enables me to show a sympathetic approach to the students’ way of learning by mainly focussing on how to enhance classroom dynamics through one-to-one, pair or group work, encouraging the active participation of students in a positive learning environment.

All the above have allowed me to facilitate students’ learning through a variety of engaging activities; develop blended learning resources, as well as adjust my methodology to my student’s needs; thus, allowing me to continuously learn and improve personally and professionally.

Silenced by history: Herstory- A collaborative student-led project in ThingLink.

‘Silenced by history: Herstory’ has a Global reach, and it is very much a student-led initiative that encompasses the skills of students from different subject areas across the School of Humanities Language and Global Studies.

The students were given complete independence to identify and gather information about the often-forgotten tales of ordinary, yet at the same time, extraordinary women from across the Globe. They really enjoyed finding out about these remarkable women. Many told me how inspired they were by them, and that they couldn’t wait to tell others about it.

IWD22 MAria Dolores

We understand you have conducted extensive research, particularly surrounding the covid-19 situation, please can you tell us a bit about these?

During the above process, due to Covid-19 restrictions, we mostly worked collaboratively via Teams, where I facilitated the meetings and training on the digital tools.

We communicated and shared ideas via a private Teams Chat. Students also carried out peer reviews and helped each other with some of the recordings.

The decision making was always done by the students, from designing the images to selecting, editing, and presenting the information.

After that, the students were invited to take part in a case study in which I will be assessing the impact of their participation in Herstory. This research is still ongoing.

Exciting Upcoming Projects

‘Silenced by history: Herstory’ will be showcased during the public engagement activity organised at the MET space next 19th June at Preston City centre.

The intention is to continue promoting and potentially upscaling this project with the view to expand representation within and/or beyond UCLan and to maintain the longevity of the digital platform by disseminating more stories in order to:

  • give visibility to women’s stories that may not have had the recognition they deserve
  • empower other women/men through storytelling
  • promote cultural heritage for future generations through local, national, and international exhibitions
  • encourage intercultural understanding and awareness

I also have a few other projects in mind, one of them working in collaboration with the Immersive Lab at UCLan to create original interactive virtual language learning environments. I have already shot some 360-degree footage in Spain. It looks incredible.

Parallel to this, I am currently completing with a colleague some research that investigates the role of mentoring in early-career academics’ attempts to publish. The findings will be included in a co-publication and will be expected to contribute to the growing body of research on mentoring in academia.

Being a UCLan graduate (Erasmus Exchange student for my BA and an MA graduate) really drives me to show my students how passionate I am about this institution and the great projects they can be involved in to help them go above and beyond their studies. This work will not only improve their knowledge and student experience but will also demonstrate to employers their enhanced transferable skills.