Helena Gillespie

Helena Gillespie


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Personal profile


Helena Gillespie is Professor of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and Academic Director of Widening Participation at UEA. She is also a Principal Fellow of the HEA (PFHEA). 

Helena previously held the university wide role of Academic Director of Learning and Teaching Enhancement and before that was Associate Dean for Learning Teaching and Quality in the Faculty of Social Sciences. Helena also teachers in undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Helena’s research into teaching and learning in Higher Education has been funded by both HEFCE and the HEA, and projects have resulted in publications in peer reviewed journals and conference presentations. Her international work is with UEA's partners as part of the Aurora Network on a project to widen participation in study abroad. Helena is a member of the committee organising the Annual Conference of Diversity Abroad in New Orleans, LA in March 2020. 

Before going into Higher Education, Helena’s professional experience was as a teacher and senior manager in primary schools and she maintains contact with the school sector through School Governor roles. She leads the university network for Governors which promotes strong links between UEA and the local educational community.

Key Research Interests




Arico, F., Gillespie, H., Lancaster, S.; Ward, N. and Ylonen, A. (2017) Lesson in Learning Gain: insights and critique, Higher Education Pedagogies, Special Issue on Learning Gain (accepted)

Ylonen, A., Gillespie, H. and Green, A. (2018) Disciplinary differences and other variations in assessment cultures in higher education: exploring variability and inconsistencies in one university in England, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Educationhttp://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/2XyIRNEhR2nGnjqkvIpr/full

de Wit, H., & Rumbley, L.E. (2019). (Eds.) Innovative and Inclusive Internationalization: Proceedings of the WES-CIHE Summer Institute, June 20-22, 2018. CIHE Perspectives No. 11. Chestnut Hill, MA and New York: Boston College Center for International Higher Education and World Education Services.


Gillespie, H (2006) Learning Technology in Schools: Overcoming the Barriers and 
Identifying the Benefits. London, David Fulton

Gillespie, H (ed) (2007) Learning and Teaching with Virtual learning Environments. Exeter. Learning Matters

Gillespie, H and Walker,R (2010) "Changing Spaces, Changing places" in Future Proofing Education: Transformative approaches to new technologies and student diversity in futures oriented classrooms. New York: Springer

Professional publications

Gillespie, H and Wolllard, J (2009) Personalisation. The Association for Information Technology in Teacher Education 

Bradshaw,P and Gillespie, H (2009) An evaluation of the use of the BBC News School Report project in initial teacher education. ITTE 

Bradshaw,P and Gillespie, H and Younie,S (2010) An evaluation of the use of the BBC News School Report project in initial teacher education. ITTE

Selected Research Conference Papers

Gillespie, H (2013) What Makes a Great MOOC? HEA Social Sciences Conference (London – 1st May 2013)


Gillespie,H (2013) MOOCs What makes ‘good’? ALT conference - No way back? Exploring the impact, data and potential of MOOCs’ (University of Southampton November 2013) http://www.alt.ac.uk/events/no-way-back-exploring-impact-data-and-potential-moocs


Gillespie,H (2014) MOOCs and Metrics: an examination of success criteria and data. ALT conference - No way back? Exploring the impact, data and potential of MOOCs’ (University College London June 2014) http://altmoocsig.learningtechnologist.co.uk/2014/05/moocs-which-way-now-programme-for-june-27th/#programme


Gillespie,H (2014) MOOCs and business as usual. Westminster Higher Education Forum  - MOOCs and technology-enhanced learning: next steps and challenges (Glazier’s Hall London October 2014)



Gillespie,H (2014) Meeting the needs of students in the digital world. British Universities Film and Video Council (Geological Society, London, November 2014) http://bufvc.ac.uk/events/e-education


Gillespie,H (2016) Ensuring the Highest Standards in Higher Education Teaching, Inside Government, (London 8th October 2015)


Gillespie, H. (2016) Metrics of Teaching Excellence, Academic Registrars’ Council (Quality Assurance Group), (London, 1st March 2016)


Gillespie, H and Ylonen, A (2016) Piloting Measures of Learning Gain, Higher Education Institutional Research Conference (Liverpool, 7th/8th September 2016)


Gillespie,H (2016) Keeping ahead of TEF: Developing the metrics to measure learning gain and the impact of teaching. Higher Education Show (London 11th October 2016)


Gillespie,H and Fincham,G (2017) Developing Multimodal Approaches to Actionable Insight in a Widening Participation Strategy , Higher Education Institutional Research Conference (Aberdeen, 13/14th Sept 2017)


Gillespie,H and Ylonen,A (2017) Investigating marking mindset as part of a learning gain project, Society for Research in Higher Education (Newport, Wales 6-8th December 2017)


Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or