Professor Debby Cotton
Qualifications & background
BSc (Hons), 1992, University of East Anglia, Environmental Science, 2.1
DPhil, 1999, University of Oxford, Teaching Controversial Environmental Issues in A level Geography, ESRC Research studentship.
Roles on external bodies
Rhetoric and educational discourse: persuasive texts? Studies in Higher Education 30 (3): 362-364 June 2005
Contemporary perspectives in e-learning research. Studies in Higher Education 33 (1): 105-106 February 2008
Cathy Schofield - Faculty of Science
Tim Cresswell - Faculty of Science
My key interests are around pedagogic research (teaching and learning in higher education), primarily in the following areas:
I also have a keen interest in the use of innovative research methodologies, including the use of the 'think aloud method', and using student-led video diaries in research. I am a member of the PedRIO steering group, and I support staff across the university who are undertaking pedagogic research.
Grants & contracts
2004-5 LTSN Subject Centre for Health Sciences and Practice, funded research project: Using a think-aloud protocol to evaluate an on-line resource for nursing students (with Dr K Gresty, Faculty of Science) £4000
2006-8 Centre for Sustainable Futures (CSF), funded research project on Sustainable Development and Pedagogy in Higher Education (with Dr Ian Bailey, Mr Martin Warren and Ms Susie Bissell, School of Geography/ GEES)
2011-2013 JISC-funded Digital Literacies Project. Strategic Approach to Dissemination of Digital Literacies for Enhancement (SADDLE) project (with external colleagues on behalf of the Heads of Educational Development Group (HEDG)) £10,000
2012-13 Widening Participation-funded research project: Horizon-Scanning Report (with Prof Pauline Kneale and Ms Tricia Nash) £5000
2012-13 Widening Participation-funded research project: Longitudinal Study of the National Scholarship Programme (NSP) (with Prof Pauline Kneale and Ms Tricia Nash) £30,000
i) Peer-reviewed publications
Cotton, D.R.E and Alcock, I. (2012) Commitment to environmental sustainability in the UK student population. Studies in Higher Education. (Available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03075079.2011.627423)
Winter, J. and Cotton, D.R.E. (2012) Making the Hidden Curriculum Visible: Sustainability Literacy in Higher Education. Environmental Education Research 18 (6): 783-796 (Early edition available online at:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13504622.2012.670207)
Cotton ,D.R.E., Winter, J. and Bailey, I. (2012) Researching the hidden curriculum: intentional and unintended messages. Journal of Geography in Higher Education. (Early edition available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03098265.2012.733684)
Ryan, A. & Cotton, D. (2013) Times of change: Shifting pedagogy and curricula for future sustainability in Sterling, S, Maxey, L and Luna, H. (Eds) The Sustainable University - Process and Prospects. Abingdon: Routledge.
Cotton, D.R.E., George, R. & Joyner, M. (in press) Interaction and influence in culturally-mixed groups. Innovations in Education and Teaching International.
Schofield, C., Cotton, D.R.E., Gresty, K., Kneale, P. and Winter, J. (in press) Higher Education Provision in a Crowded Marketplace. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management. 35 (2), 204–216, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1360080X.2013.775928
Abey, S., Lea, S., Callaghan, L., Shaw, S. & Cotton, D. (in press) The development of a questionnaire to assess practitioner capacity to engage in clinical education. Journal of HE and FE.
Pan, W., Murray, P., Cotton, D. & Garmston, H. (2012) Integrating Research-informed Teaching into Sustainable Construction Education. Journal for Education in the Built Environment. 7(1): 94-117
ii) Peer-reviewed conference papers:
Winter, J. and Cotton, D. (2013) Learning development and sustainability: what are the links and how are they communicated? Tenth Annual Conference of the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education. 26-7 March. Plymouth University UK
Cotton, D., Winter,J. and Grant, V. (2012) Transformation, sustainability and HE.What's really going on? AASHE Conference.
Los Angeles, US. October 14-17, 2012,
Cotton, D. & Joyner, M. (2012)The Attainment Gap in Higher Education: using research to enhanceteaching and learning. The International Consortium of EducationalDevelopment (ICED). Bangkok, Thailand. 21-23 August 2012.
Cotton, D. and Winter, J. (2012) Transformative learning in sustainability: student and staff perspectives. The International Consortium of Educational Development (ICED). Bangkok, Thailand. 21-23 August 2012.
Winter,J. and Cotton, D. Embedding education for sustainability into academic practice.The International Consortium of Educational Development (ICED). Bangkok,Thailand. 21-23 August 2012.
Winter, J., Cotton, D. and Grant, V.(2012) Experiencing transformation in sustainability: A student perspective.The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 5-6 June 2012.
Winter, J., Cotton, D., and Grant, V. (2012) Sustainability and Transformation: a student perspective. The Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory (PedRIO) Conference. Plymouth University, UK.
Kneale, P., Cotton, D., Winter, J. and Lake, L. (2012) Changing 21st century teaching and learning: future proofing Plymouth University. The Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory (PedRIO) Conference. Plymouth University UK.
Winter, J., Cotton, D., and Grant, V. (2012) Culture, transformative learning and sustainability in Higher Education. The Eighth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability, Vancouver, Canada
Cotton, D. and Winter, J. (2011) Researching the Hidden Curriculum: intentional and unintended messages. The Annual International Conference of the RGS-IGB. London.
Cotton, D. & Winter, J. (2011) Sustainability and Transformation: Linking formal and informal learning in higher education. World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC), Brisbane, Australia.
Winter, J. & Cotton, D. (2010) What does the campus teach students about sustainability? Sustainability and informal learning in a UK university. American Association for Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Denver, US.
George, R., Cotton, D. and Joyner, M. (2010) Explorations of the BME student experience at a Regional University. Meeting thechallenge: Improving black and minority ethnic student success and attainment Conference, Coventry, UK.
Winter,J. and Cotton, D. (2010) Enhancing staff scholarship through research informed teaching. International Consortium for Educational Development. Barcelona, Spain.
Winter,J. and Cotton, D. (2010) A sustainable campus? Students' perspectives of campus based sustainability in a UK case study. International Conference on Learning and Teaching, Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore.
Winter, J. & Cotton, D. (2009) The Impacts of Research Informed Teaching on Institutional Culture: A UK Case Study. International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) Conference,Bloomington, Indiana, US.
Winter, J. & Cotton, D. (2009) The research-teaching nexus in an era of mass higher education. Society for Research in Higher Education (SRHE) Conference, Cardiff, Wales.
Cotton, D. & Winter, J. (2009) Sustainability Pedagogies: Prospects and Problems. HEA Conference, University of Manchester, UK.
Winter, J. & Cotton, D. The Research–Teaching Nexus: AVehicle for Enterprise? International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) Conference, Liverpool, UK (poster)
Cotton, D., George, R., and Joyner, M. (2010) Exploring the influence of the student experience on gender and ethnicity attainment gaps. Promoting Equity in Higher Education, Nottingham, January 27-28, 2010. (poster)
Winter, J., Cotton, D. and Dyer, A. (2010) A sustainable campus: students' perspectives of campus based learning. The Vice Chancellor's Teaching and Learning Conference. University of Plymouth. 30th June 2010.(poster)
Reports & invited lectures
2012 Invitedcontribution to Guardian Round Table Debate: Qualified to teach? How effective are teaching development programmesfor academics? 7/11/2012. The Guardian, London, UK
2012 Invitedfacilitator SEDA Workshop: Education for Sustainable Development inHigher Education. 11/10/12, Woburn House, London, UK
2012 Invitedcontributor to Guardian web-chat: Do students benefit from green universities?24/5/12, http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/may/24/green-universities-webchat
2011 Haigh, M.,Cotton, D. & Hall, T. CommunicatedGeographies: Research methods and methodologies. RGS Symposium, sponsoredby HERG, Royal Geographical Society Conference, London, UK.
2008: Invitedpanel member. Plenary: Wheredo we go from here? All our Futures Conference, University ofPlymouth, UK.
'Building a Career in a Changing University.' VC's Teaching and Learning Conference, June 2005, University of Plymouth, UK
'Has Assessment Gone Wrong?' VC's Teaching and Learning Conference, June 2006, University of Plymouth, UK
Other academic activities
Member of the Heads of Educational Development Group (HEDG)
Critical friend for:
HEFCE-funded ‘Leading Curriculum Change for Sustainability’ project led by Professor Daniella Tilbury, University of Gloucestershire.
JISC/HEA-funded ‘Open Materials for Accredited Courses (OMAC)’ project led by Dr Helen King, University of BathMember of University Teaching and Learning Committee
Member of Sustainability Executive Committee
Member of Sustainability Curriculum Senior Advisory Committee
Member of Education Ethics Committee
Review panel member HELP CETL Award-holder Scheme, 2009
Experiential Learning CETL Advisory Group, 2009
Review panel member for University Teaching and Learning Strategy, 2008
Review panel member for University Research Strategy, 2008
Review panel member for University HR Strategy, 2008
Review panel member, CEPPL innovation grants, 2008
Chair of the CSF evaluation team, 2007
Pedagogic Research and Development Database: http://pedres.net/
Methodological Innovations: http://methodologicalinnovations.org/