Dr Joseph Allison

Dr Joseph Allison

Visiting Specialist

Doctoral College Administration - Student Administration (Academic Registry)



Joe joined the Learning Development team in 2007, following a number of years teaching and training in the private sector. In 2013 he became team leader.

Leading a small but effective Learning Development team has been very rewarding. As a small team we have to be innovative and creative in collaborating with colleagues, and meeting the needs of the students. 

Our approach is to try and get academic skills embedded within programmes as much as possible, so that we can gain a greater understanding of the expectations being placed on the students, and provide more developmental models of learning 

As Learning Developers we do not provide the answers, as these often differ between programmes, but we generally know what questions to ask so that students can identify their own areas for development. 


University of Plymouth (2019) Professional Doctorate in Education 

University of Plymouth (2006)   PGCE (PCET)
University of Plymouth MSc. Coastal and Ocean Policy (2001)

University of Southampton BSc. Marine Science (2000)




Research interests

Currently undertaking a professional doctorate in education (EdD), looking at critical thinking across four different disciplines (Medicine, Education, Law and Criminology, and Environmental Science), and how any different understandings impact on the disciplinary knowledge practices and teaching-learning interactions. Drawing on a theoretical framework made up of Bernstein's pedagogic device, and Bourdieu's theories of field, capital and habitus.

Studying in HE
Critical thinking
The student experience
'Skills' for learning

Grants & contracts

2010 CEBE: innovative projects in teaching and learning. Implementing and evaluating the integration of critical thinking into Project Based Learning (PBL) in Environmental Building. £5,135, 1 December 2009 – 31 January 2011  



Pan, W. & Allison, J. (2010) ‘Exploring project based and problem based learning in Environmental Building education by integrating critical thinking’. International Journal of Engineering Education, Vol. 26(3), pp 547-553

Allison, J. & Pan, W. (2012) 'Implementing and evaluating the integration of critical thinking into problem-based learning'. JEBE, 6(2), in print.



Other academic activities

Pan, W. and Allison, J. (2011) ‘Evaluating a Process Model of Integrating Critical Thinking into Project Based Learning in Sustainable Building’. International conference on Engineering Education, August 21st – 26th, 2011. Belfast.

Allison, J. and Dawson, J. (2011) The complexities of defining critical thinking. The Learning Development in Higher Education Symposium. April 18th – 20th, 2011, Queens University, Belfast.

Dawson, J. and Allison, J. (2010) ‘ Critical thinking resource: embedding and evaluation’. Celebrating Partnerships: The Learning Development in Higher Education Symposium. 29-30 March 2010, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham 

Allison, J. and Gentle, C. (2010) ‘From Memorisation to Critical Analysis: the international learner’s journey through educational cultures’ [Poster]. Exhibited at, University of Plymouth VC’s Conference: internationalisation. 30 June 2010

Allison, J. and Gentle, C. (2010) ‘Email feedback on student writing: reading between the lines’ [Poster]. Exhibited at, 29-31 March 2010, The Learning Development in Higher Education Network Symposium