Dr Pollyanna Magne

Year of NTFS award: 2021

Institution at time of NTFS award: University of Plymouth

Polly has more than 20 years’ experience in higher education, coupled with an early career in primary and secondary teaching. She has a passion for the transformative power of education. Her expertise is in the training of early career academics and health professionals, and in enhancement activities which underpin the work of more experienced colleagues. Polly works with academics across the globe, to ensure that they are equipped to deliver dynamic teaching, and provide transformative learning opportunities for their students. Polly is an education consultant, external examiner, independent assessor, NTF and Senior Fellow of Advance HE.

Polly’s NTF was awarded for a sustained track record in the design and delivery of transformative learning experiences. As an Associate Professor in Educational Development and Programme Lead of a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP), for most of her career, Polly has worked with upwards of 1,200 academics introducing them to pedagogic theories and sharing effective academic practices.

The impact of her work has considerable reach. This extends from Polly’s leadership of the National Mentoring Project and Widening Participation agenda, which brought students from non-traditional backgrounds into higher education, through to the development of a model to embed learning development skills within disciplinary curricula.

In addition to the endorsement of Polly’s mentorship of academic colleagues on a global level, the NTF also recognises Polly’s leadership of development and implementation of institutional strategy and policies such as teaching qualification frameworks and inclusive assessment strategy. It also acknowledges her work at a National Level on initiatives such as the Academic Professional Apprenticeship.

Polly’s research concentrates on pedagogic practice and includes projects on: effective feedback; dynamic curriculum design; inclusive assessment practice; internationalisation; and critical global pedagogies. Her current research activities focus on ‘Curriculum design: lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic’, ‘Critical Global Pedagogies’ and ‘Programme leadership’.

The first of these aims to explore the ways in which staff made adaptations to the resources, materials, structure and teaching approaches in the era of COVID-19, and identify the lessons learned from the experience of online delivery. The findings will help to frame future approaches to the re-development of curricula using a blend of face-to-face and digital learning.

The critical global pedagogies research stems from Polly’s doctoral thesis which looks at issues around internationalisation and how the curriculum might better support a respectful, curious and intelligent reading of the world and people that we encounter. Polly’s research on programme leadership illuminates some impactful data and suggests a number of factors which need to be addressed in relation to this important, yet often under-estimated and unrewarded role in higher education.

“Education is my absolute passion – it transforms people’s lives and the more we can do to create dynamic teaching and learning environments, whether that’s under a tree, in a half-built classroom, a high-tech lecture theatre, or a digital learning space, the better. NTFs are about having a sustained track record in making a difference through education, so it’s a real honour to be awarded an NTF for my contribution to this.”

My pedagogic expertise: 

  • principles of blended curriculum design
  • assessment design
  • effective feedback practices
  • inclusive practice
  • internationalisation
  • pedagogic strategy.