Peer Mentoring

The Peer Mentoring group develops an ALDinHE peer mentoring programme and shares professional expertise in the field of learning development. Working group activities include developing clear mentoring models and guidelines, acting as a trusted adviser and collaborating with the learning development community to support the integration of peer mentoring into the practices of HEIs.

If you are interested in joing the peer mentoring group, please email, an expression of interest (approx 100 words) on your suitability for the role and your reason why you’d like to be involved in this group.

Alicja Syska

Steering Group Member
Chair of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education Editorial Board

Dr Alicja Syska has been an editor at the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education since 2018 and a Co-Lead Editor since early 2019. She is a Learning Development Advisor at the University of Plymouth where she also holds lecturing posts in Education and History. Alicja has a Ph.D. in American Studies from Saint Louis University, USA, is a Senior Fellow of Advance HE, and an ALDinHE Certified Leading Practitioner. Her interests include writing, community building, and researcher development.

Anne-Marie Langford

Anne-Marie Langford leads the LD Health COP. The Learning Developer Health and Social Care Community of Practice facilitateS peer-based, collaborative learning between Learning Developers at all levels who have an interest in students of Health and Social Care. We recognise that these students have particular characteristics which may pose specific challenges for educators working in this area. The ‘social learning’ nature of communities of practice ensures that our capabilities can be developed collaboratively offering opportunities for new ways of working to be explored. The community co-creates activities which share experience and encourage reflection.


Carina Buckley

ALDinHE Treasurer
JLDHE Editorial Board Member

Carina joined the Steering Group in 2012 and was Co-Chair 2015 – 2021. She came into learning development almost by accident after gaining a PhD in Archaeology in 2006, and is currently Instructional Design Manager at Solent University, responsible for leading on the development of the VLE as a student-centred learning space. Her research interests focus on collaboration and community in LD, and how these impact and are impacted by our professional identities, particularly in terms of emotion and imposter syndrome. She is an Advance HE Principal Fellow and a Certified Leading Practitioner in Learning Development.

Chenée Psaros

Chenée is a learning developer, an artist, and a walker. She uses creative approaches in her teaching and is always looking to innovate her practice. Her primary interests lie in learning beyond the campus and exploring how walking fosters creativity. She has an MSc in Digital Education from the University of Edinburgh. She is currently a member of the ALDinHE Mentoring Working Group. She is a Senior Fellow of Advance HE and a reviewer for the Collaborative Award in Teaching Excellence for Advance HE.

Ed Bickle

Since completing my PhD in 2018, I have been a lecturer in Learning Development at Bournemouth University, working within a small academic team to provide faculty level support to students. I am co-lead of the ALDinHE Research Community of Practice. I have over 20 years experience within the HE sector. Much of this time has been spent in research roles within the Widening Participation field, working within national schemes such as Aimhigher.

Jane McKay

Jane is a learning developer at Glasgow Caledonian University, where she has worked with health and life sciences students since 2008. She is an Advance HE Senior Fellow, an ALDinHE Certified Leading Practitioner and an accredited sport psychologist. She enjoys supporting individuals to reach their potential and has mentored colleagues and contributed to the development of mentoring schemes for learning developers. She joined the ALDinHE Peer Mentoring Group in 2020. In addition to teaching academic literacies, Jane uses her psychology background to embed psychological skills, self-understanding and positive mindset in practice. She has a particular interest in how individual characteristics, most notably perfectionism, influence learning and student wellbeing and she is undertaking research in this area.

Jennie Dettmer

Jennie joined the LearnHigher Working Group in December 2017 and became the Co-chair in 2021. She is also a Co-chair of the Neurodiversity/Inclusion Community of Practice. Her interests include technology-enhanced learning and inclusive teaching practices. She is a qualified dyslexia tutor, a Certified Leading Practitioner of LD, a Senior Fellow of HEA and has an MA in Education (SEND and Inclusion). Outside of ALDinHE, she is Co-chair of ALT East England and one of the regional co-ordinators in London, South-East & Anglia for the Association of Dyslexia Specialists in Higher Education. She has over twenty years of teaching experience and currently works as an Academic Skills Tutor at the University of Hertfordshire for the Hertfordshire Business School.

Jodi Gregory

Dr Jodi Gregory has been a lecturer since 2005, starting out teaching ESOL in further education before moving into learning development in higher education. As a qualitative researcher, Jodi is interested in the situated, lived experiences of mature students. Based in Cumbria, she enthusiastically brings her love of the great outdoors into her work with students. She lives on a Herdwick sheep farm and hangs out with the trees in her free time. 

Karen Clark

Karen has worked as a Learning Development Adviser at Arts University Plymouth for 8 years, following a successful first career in the financial sector. Her MA Education research centred on the juxtaposition of dyslexia as a [dis]ability in HE, demonstrating her commitment to an equitable learning experience for all students. She facilitates communities of practice for neurodivergent staff and students at AUP and co-chairs the ALDinHE Neurodiversity/Inclusivity Community of Practice. She is a Certified Practitioner in Learning Development, and has recently applied for her Advance HE Senior Fellowship.

Maria King

Maria King is a Subject Librarian for Health and Social Care, the Department for Learning and Teaching, and the Centre for Higher Education Research at Edinburgh Napier University. Maria sits on the peer mentoring group as a representative of the Neurodiversity and Inclusivity Community of Practice and also brings her lived experience of being neurodivergent to this group and wider work at her institution delivering support and training on improving your teaching and learning practices through an accessibility lens. She is also a HEA Senior Fellow, mentoring both academics and professional services staff at her institution with their own fellowship applications. Her other professional interests include punk pedagogy and evidence synthesis reviews within both healthcare and education.

Nicola Allett

Nicola Clarke

Nicola Clarke is a senior fellow of the AHEA, leads on the community of practice for reflection and is a senior lecturer in the faculty of health education and life sciences and a registered mental health nurse. Nicola has over 20 years experiencing of teaching nursing, reflection and academic skills in higher education. She is also the faculty advisor for recognition of prior learning and professional navigation for CPD, a doctoral supervisor and examiner. Nicolas teaching and publication interests are the learning and teaching of reflection. She also have a passion for supporting staff to support students in their academic development, designing assessment and marking rubircs.

Ralitsa Kancheva

Ralitsa has been a Study Skills Adviser at Bangor University (Wales) since 2016. She has experience supporting students both through subject specific and generic provision of academic literacy and critical thinking skills. Her primary research interest is students’ understanding of threshold concepts embedded in academic writing and in scientific research procedures. Outside of work, Ralitsa enjoys mountaineering, travel, world cuisine, and water sports.

Rhiannon Parry Thompson

Rhiannon has worked at the University of Portsmouth since 2009, as a Pre-Sessional English tutor, a Lecturer in Academic English and, since 2013, as a Learning Development Tutor in the Faculty of Business and Law, followed by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.  With a history of working for environmental organisations and sustainability training, and ongoing green campaigning, she regularly integrates climate education and broader sustainability and cultural biodiversity themes, including species and language endangerment, into her learning development practice, sometimes co-creating material with students and colleagues. She is also an English as a Second Language Teacher and External Verifier.

Sam Thomas

Sam Thomas is a Senior Academic Skills Tutor at Arden University. Prior to this she worked at the University of Northampton as a Learning Development Tutor and Mentor Manager. She is a Fellow of Advance HE, an ALDinHE Certified Practitioner and an active member of ALDinHE. Her focus is to provide support and services to those with additional needs, including improving the accessibility of online resources, and supporting the needs of non-traditional and distance learners.

Sandra Sinfield

Steering Group Member
Co-Chair of the Peer Mentoring Group

Sandra Sinfield SFHEA and CeLP, is Senior Lecturer and University Teaching Fellow in the Centre for Professional and Educational Development at London Metropolitan University, a co-author of Teaching, Learning and Study Skills: a guide for tutors and Essential Study Skills: the complete guide to success at university (5th Edition), and one of the co-founders of the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDHE). Sandra has worked as a laboratory technician, a freelance copywriter, and an Executive Editor (Medicine Digest, circulation 80,000 doctors). With Tom Burns, she has developed theatre and film in unusual places – their Take Control video won the IVCA gold award for education – and is interested in creativity as emancipatory practice in Higher Education.

Sara Eaglesfield

Profile coming soon

Silvina Bishopp-Martin

Silvina Bishopp-Martin has been a Learning Developer at Canterbury Christ Church University since joining the institution in 2012. She is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an ALDinHE Certified Leading Practitioner. She has worked on the development of online learning materials, peer-mentoring schemes and embedding academic literacies in academic courses. She has research experience in academic literacies, critical EAP, critical pedagogies, collaborative writing and Learning Development scholarship, professionalism and identity.

Steph Allen

Member of the Peer Mentoring Working Group for Co-Lead of the AI CoP

Steph is a Senior Lecturer in Learning Development and Academic Integrity at Bournemouth University.  She has worked in HE for almost 20 years having gained experience of presenting in large advertising agencies to clients and taking those skills to teach in FE (Head of HE and teaching Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations across Access, Foundation, and Professional Qualifications such as CIM and CIPR), before moving into HE teaching on Marketing degrees.  She has been n International Recruitment academic gaining insights into student educational heritage pre-UK HE. After a break to undertake a doctorate, she returned as a ‘Suitcase’ Learning Developer learning and understanding how LD is (or is not) provided throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Currently, she works mostly with Media and Communication as well as Law students in the Faculty of Media and Communication but has an interest in how students in other faculties learn and are supported.  Her research interests are focused on dimensions of Academic Integrity, misconduct, and ways to walk alongside students as they progress through their learning journey.




Tom Burns

Tom Burns is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Centre for Teaching Enhancement at London Metropolitan University, developing innovations with a special focus on praxes that ignite student curiosity, and develop power and voice. Always interested in theatre and the arts and their role in teaching and learning, Tom has set up adventure playgrounds, community events and festivals for his local community, and feeds arts-based practice into his learning, teaching and assessment practices. Tom is a co-producer of the innovative #Take5 blog that shares great practice with LondonMet staff – and also nationally and internationally as part of the Association for Learning Development in HE (ALDinHE). He is co-author of Teaching, Learning and Study Skills: A Guide for Tutors and Essential Study Skills: The Complete Guide to Success at University (5th Edition) and co-editor of the book Collaboration in Higher Education: A New Ecology of Practice, just published by Bloomsbury (summer 2023). Tom is a CeLP and University Teaching Fellow and was part of the #creativeHE collective that won the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (​​CATE) by AdvanceHE 2022. Tom is a member of the ALDinHE Mentoring Group, taking part in the Mentoring pilot – and happy to mentor where he can.

Ursula Canton

Co-Chair of the Peer Mentoring Group

As a Learning Developer Ursula Canton works with STEM students, arts students and education students at different universities and under different titles (Senior Lecturer / Glasgow Caledonian University; Effective Learning Tutor /Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Associate Tutor / University of Glasgow). In all of these roles she draws on her experiences from her first academic life (MA Language and Literature; PhD in Theatre Studies) and current research interests in evaluating writing interventions, writing process(es) and academic and professional literacies. She is keen on contributing to the development of Learning Development through formal and informal routes, including taking a leading role in developing ALDinHE’s mentoring programme, co-chairing of ScotHELD (Scottish Higher Education Developers) and sharing her insights through informal chats and mentoring, as well as publications.

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