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Who Are We?

If you would have any enquiries regarding the work of the Centre for Promoting Learner Autonomy, please contact one of the following Associate Directors.

  Mike Bramhall - Associate Director, Faculty of Arts, Computing, Engineering and Sciences
Mike is a Professor of Engineering Education. He is the Head of Learning, Teaching and Assessment for the Faculty of Arts, Computing, Engineering and Sciences within Sheffield Hallam. He is also the Associate Director of the UK Centre for Materials Education, a Subject Centre of the Higher Education Academy. Mike has interests in the personal and professional development of engineers and has published widely in this area.
  Cathy Burnett - Associate Director, Faculty of Development & Society

I have worked at Sheffield Hallam for the past nine years in initial teacher education and before that as a teacher in primary schools, local authorities and theatre- in-education companies. My most recent research relates to students’ perspectives on the role of new technologies in their lives, with a focus on relationships
between formal and informal learning.

I have had a longstanding commitment to learner autonomy with a particular interest in the use of enquiry-led approaches. During the past year, I have been working alongside Phil Askham, Faculty Teaching Fellow, to investigate the scope of enquiry-based learning across the faculty. I have valued the opportunity to meet and learn from colleagues in different areas and this has provided valuable insights into the breadth of innovative approaches being used in Development and Society.
As Associate Director, I shall be working with colleagues and

students to continue to promote and develop approaches

which support learner autonomy. This will include supporting

curriculum development and establishing networks for the dissemination and development of existing practice.

  Christine O'Leary - Associate Director, Sheffield Business School
Christine is a Principal Lecturer in languages at Sheffield Hallam University and was appointed a Teaching Fellow in June 2007. During a career spanning 23 years which started in the Secondary Education sector, she has taught languages and business to a wide variety of students including postgraduates. Her research since joining Sheffield Hallam University in 1993 has focused on the development of learner autonomy, particularly in relation to metacognition. She has presented papers on the subject at both national and international conferences, and published a number of articles in refereed publications. She is a member of the Scientific Commission for Learner Autonomy of the International Association for Applied Linguistics (AILA).
  Sue Walsh - Associate Director, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing
Sue is an occupational therapist by background having worked for many years in mental health services and is currently a senior lecturer. Since being at Sheffield Hallam University she has become interested in different approaches which can promote learner autonomy including enquiry-based learning, action learning and e-learning. She is also committed to more flexible approaches to learning to meet students' diverse needs and has developed part-time and work-based learning programmes at different levels.