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Professor Carol Evans joins HEFi as Chair in Higher Education Learning and Teaching

Professor Carol Evans

Professor Carol Evans is a global leader in research-informed assessment practices and pedagogy.  She has been chair in higher education at the University of Southampton for the last four years where she devised and led the highly successful Researching Assessment Practices Strategy which was nationally recognized with an Advance HE Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence. Carol has previously held positions at the University of Exeter, UCL: Institute of Education, the KSS Deanery in London, and Durham University, all following a highly successful career in secondary education. Carol is a National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow of Advance HE, UK; Publications Officer for the Committee of National Teaching Fellows, and UK Vice President of the International Federation of National Teaching Fellows (IFNTF). Carol is editor-in-chief of Higher Education Pedagogies journal and Associate Editor of the British Journal of Educational Psychology. She leads the European University Association's student assessment group. She also has been leading the development of Advance HE’s Interdisciplinary Network for Research-informed Assessment Practices (INRAP).

Carol is passionate about using an understanding of individual differences to inform assessment practices with an emphasis on Equity, Agency, and Transparency. Information on Carol’s EAT Assessment and Feedback Framework can be found at     

Recent OfS funded research (Total Fund > £1 million) has focused on reducing student differential learning outcomes through the use of a self-regulatory approach to assessment and feedback using EAT. Previous funded research has explored post-graduate students’ transitions in HE, and the role of assessment in this; high impact pedagogies and student engagement; the relevance of cognitive styles to instructional design; assessment innovations in HE.

Working with hugely talented colleagues in HEFi, and with Colleges and Institutes across the University to secure our place in leading research-informed higher education pedagogies nationally and internationally. 

Key challenges include managing the requirements of the constellation of the REF, TEF, and KEF, and at the same time being very mindful of staff and student well-being. Technological change, data analytics, and AI in particular, present us with amazing possibilities but also require careful handling to ensure that technology is working for, and not against, us.

REF2021 signals a significant change in recognizing impact case studies drawing on HE pedagogy within disciplines, and also interdisciplinary pedagogical research across institutions. Supporting colleagues’ development of pedagogical research literacy is an important dimension of our HEFI agenda. Strategic development of inclusive assessment practices will be a priority with a focus on how we can effectively use the research evidence to inform an assessment strategy that is attuned to the needs of all disciplines, and manageable for staff and students.