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Dr Richard Pountney Cert Ed, MSc, PhD, SFHEA

Principal Lecturer - Curriculum Development and E-Learning Lead Teacher Education


Richard is a Principal Lecturer in Education. He specialises in the design of the curriculum in higher education and professional development in learning and teaching. His research examines curriculum development in HE and he is particularly interested in curriculum innovation in relation to the use of technology. He was awarded a teaching fellowship in 2006 in recognition of his contribution to learning and teaching in the university.

  • About

    He is a member of the Education Doctorate course team and he teaches curriculum studies on the Masters in Education programme. He has led the international MSc Technology, Innovation and Change (TELIC) course since 2005, described by the external examiner as having 'world-leading pedagogy' and a 'profound influence on the professional development of the students' as evidenced in students' accounts (TELIC stories). Richard is the editor of the Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, Innovation and Change.

    He was curriculum associate to the HEA Subject Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics (CSAP), 2008-11, and was consultant to phases 1 and 2 CSAP national projects for the JISC Open Educational Resources (OER) initiative. In 2012 he successfully led a university bid for £200,000 funding to direct a phase 3 OER project, Digital Futures in Teacher Education (DEFT project) to create digital literacy resources including an open textbook on digital literacy developed in collaboration with Sheffield University, regional schools, Sheffield Council and the Yorkshire and Humber Grid for Learning.

    He is a founding member of the UK Legitimation Code Theory (LCT) research group and he is active in researching the curriculum. Currently this includes an investigation into approaches to problem-based and expeditionary learning at XP School, Doncaster, at which he is also a school governor.

    Richard is the organiser for the Critical Perpectives on Theory and Methodology in Education Research Seminar Series 2015-16 in the Sheffield Institute of Education (see series blog)

  • Teaching

    Department of Teacher Education

    Social Sciences and Arts

  • Publications

    Journal articles

    Pountney, R. (2020). Sharing and building the higher education curriculum: course design in an open and collegial context. European Journal of Curriculum Studies.

    Pountney, R. (2019). Seeing and framing mentoring through the lens of knowledge practices. CollectivEd, 7, 45-41.

    Pountney, R., & McPhail, G. (2019). Crossing boundaries: Exploring the theory, practice and possibility of a ‘Future 3’ curriculum. British educational research journal.

    Pountney, R., & Said, M. (2018). Developing effective learners through a school/university partnership in curriculum making. Impact, 3.

    Pountney, R., & Grasmeder, A. (2018). Building bridges: enhancing mentoring skills, knowledge and practice through an online course. CollectivEd, 3, 50-56.

    Pountney, R., & McPhail, G. (2017). Researching the interdisciplinary curriculum : the need for ‘translation devices’. British Educational Research Journal, 43 (6), 1068-1082.

    Gruszczynska, A., Merchant, G., & Pountney, R. (2013). "Digital futures in teacher education": Exploring open approaches towards digital literacy. Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 11 (3), 193-206.

    Craig, J., & Pountney, R. (2009). Editorial. Enhancing Learning in the Social Sciences, 1 (3), 1-17.

    Marsh, D., & Pountney, R. (2009). C-SAP scoping survey on the use of e-Learning: Perspectives from social science practitioners. Enhancing Learning in the Social Sciences, 1 (3), 1-24.


    Pountney, R. (2019). Towards a review of the Steiner Waldorf Curriculum : report of the Rapid Appraisal (RA) Consultation Exercise undertaken in March 2019. Sheffield Institute of Education, Sheffield Hallam University for The Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship.

    Theses / Dissertations

    Pountney, R. (2014). Trials and tribunals: consensus seeking in course design approval in Higher Education. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Merchant, G.

  • Postgraduate supervision

    Bram Bruggeman: An investigation into the value of a social network (Twitter) for the professional development of semi-experienced teachers in Flemish secondary education, MSc
    Wendy van Camp: A case study into the analysing process of finding the most effective learning solution for the high level processes of the Infrabel Academy, MSc

    Danny Drijvers: Perceived course barriers and drivers for students in distance education, MSc 2015
    Julie Gillin: Learning to be a journalist: the university newsroom as a technology enhanced learning environment, MSc 2015
    Marc Bennett: ReCap: The links between lecture capture and student engagement, MSc 2015
    Sue Beckingham: The affordances of Twitter as a multi-faceted informal, social, and personal learning space, MSc 2015
    Marianne De Vriendt: Implementing blended learning, in the form of a learning network, to enhance social learning, MSc. 2014
    Koen Timmers: Supporting the online learner: a case study of building an online community to promote collaborative learning in unpaced distance education, MSc. 2014
    Dave Weatherall: An investigation into use of online blogs for in module reflective learning by international students (with English as a third language) studying undergraduate block programmes in the Built Environment at Sheffield Hallam University, MSc. 2014
    Christiaan van Meurs: The use of coping strategies as a means of fostering personal development for students with a disability: a case study, MSc. 2014
    Aukje van Pelt: Student admission through decentralised selection at the Physiotherapy course of HAN University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands, MSc. 2014
    Claire Adams: The impact of design: A study exploring the role of aesthetics and learning design in facilitating user engagement in an online learning environment, MSc. 2013
    Marcel van Baaren: A plan for learning for a course on digital pedagogy for e-learning developers. MSc. 2013
    Rene Slootweg: Learning Profile of managers in a Higher Educational Institute in the Netherlands. MSc, 2013
    Philipp Stosiek: Tag clouds as a learning instrument: Case study to evaluate effects on ‘Learning Health Region Neumarkt’, MSc. 2012
    Joop De Vries: The Community of Inquiry framework as a model for measuring learning outcomes and guide for design of a blended teacher training history module: a case study. MSc, 2012
    Virginia Parkes: An Evaluation of Online Training and Development within the Training and Development Agency. MSc, 2012
    Sebastiaan Jans: Game-based Learning: a research of the potential benefits in education. MSc. 2011
    Arjun Sharma: City Learning Centres UK: an exploratory study. MSc, 2009
    Marc Wells: Designing a 'fit for purpose' virtual learning environment for a distance learning community, MSc, 2009
    Abdulsalam Ambusaidi: Quality Assurance for Online Programs at Sultan Qaboos University: challenges and facts, MSc, 2008
    Mohamed Mahmoud: Online Journals of E-learning In Education: Research, Practice and Development, MSc, 2008
    Roger Haigh: Engaging Interests in e-learning. Examining the potential for a community of e learning practice within South Yorkshire Police, MSc, 2008
    Fareena Mahmoud: Trial and evaluation of a key asynchronous e-learning intervention to provide study skills support to undergraduate students, MSc, 2008
    Pat Cresswell: Developing the skills for the effective use of a virtual learning environment at a Further Education College, MSc, 2008
    Michael Yates: The implications of the introduction of a blended learning solutions induction programme into South Yorkshire Police : A Case Study, MSc, 2006
    Ian Guest: The Contribution of videoconferencing to a distance learning A level course: Just a Big Head?, MSc. 2006
    Sue Bamford: Developing the use of the Virtual Learning Environment: an investigation into the use of Blackboard within a Primary programme for Initial Teacher Training, MSc, 2006
    Vic Whittaker: Individual Presence in Discussion Groups: A Case Study, MSc, 2006

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