Sandra Sinfield started working at the University in 1990 as an associate lecturer and is now a University Teaching Fellow and Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Professional and Educational Development, teaching on the core modules: Facilitating Student Learning and Managing the Assessment and Feedback Process on the Learning and Teaching in Higher Education MA – alongside supervising Negotiated Study Modules, Projects and Dissertations.
Sandra led the development of the student-facing Study Hub (still with downloadable study packs covering the essay, report and presentation) and the staff-facing Take5 website and blog, designed to seed, share and support staff engagement with innovative learning, teaching and assessment practices that decolonise pedagogy and support the success of our students – and she keeps the StudyChat facebook magazine lively and relevant.
Sandra Sinfield is one of the co-founders of the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education where she sits on the Steering Group and is Co-chair of its Mentoring Group. Sandra was part of the 16-institution LearnHigher CETL (Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning) – and is a co-author of the legacy text: Learning Development in Higher Education. She is also a co-author of Teaching, Learning and Study Skills: a guide for tutors; Essential Study Skills: the complete guide to success at university (fifth edition forthcoming); and Supporting Student Writing – And Other Modes of Learning and Assessment – A Staff Guide.
Alongside teaching in secondary, further and higher education, Sandra has worked as a laboratory technician, a freelance copywriter, an Executive Editor (Medicine Digest, circulation 80,000 doctors) and in the voluntary sector with the Tower Hamlets Research and Resource Centre and with the Islington Green School Community Play written by Alan, Whose Life is it Anyway?, Clarke and produced at Sadler’s Wells:
“I was the first in my family to go to university – I know at a deep level what many of our students are going through – and I have always seen my role as standing with and alongside our students – and our staff – to make university a more welcoming and liberatory space.”
Together with Tom Burns, Sandra has taken a production of John Godber’s Bouncers on a tour of Crete music venues, written and made a feature film (Eight Days from Yesterday) and produced teaching and learning courses and materials in a range of settings. Their Take Control video won the IVCA gold award for education. All this has seeded an intense interest in the power of multimodality for teaching, learning and assessment.
Sandra is particularly interested in collaborative teaching, research and writing – and thus the majority of her published output is just that – collaborative – and focussed on developing HE as an empowering and liberatory space especially for those students typically placed as ‘educational outsiders’. Most recently Sandra Sinfield and Tom Burns have delivered keynotes across the UK on the power of creativity as emancipatory practice.
Publications from 2009 – excluding conference presentations
Sinfield, Burns and Holley (2009) ‘A journey into silence: students, stakeholders and the impact of a strategic governmental policy document in the UK’ in Social Responsibility Journal Vol 5 No. 4 pp566-574 ISSN 1747-1117
Burns, Sinfield, Holley and Hoskins (2010) ‘Very urgent, very difficult and quite possible: changing students’ attitudes to notemaking by encouraging user generated content’ in Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education Vol 2, 2010
Sinfield S, Hilsdon J, Keenan C and Hartley P (Eds) (2011) Learning Development in Higher Education London; Palgrave
Sinfield S, Holley D, Burns T and Glass R (2011) ‘ When worlds collide: the paradox of Learning Development, E-learning, and the 21st Century University’ in Sinfield S, Hilsdon J ,Keenan C and Hartley P (Eds) (2011) Learning Development in Higher Education London; Palgrave
Sinfield S, Burns T, Holley D, O’Neill P, Harrington K and Hoskins K (2011) ‘Raising the student voice: learning development as socio-political practice’ in Sinfield S, Hilsdon J ,Keenan C and Hartley P (Eds) (2011) Learning Development in Higher Education London; Palgrave
Emmanuel, M, O’Neill, P, Sinfield S, Holley D, Johnson, L (2011) ‘Taking Action For Business’ In Deane and O’Neill (Eds) (2011) Writing in the Disciplines London; PalgraveMacMillan pp 122-139
Burns, T and Sinfield, S (2012, 3rd Edn) Essential study skills: the complete guide to success at university London; Sage
Sinfield, Burns and Holley (2012) ‘The Shipwrecked Shore – and other metaphors: what we can learn from occupation of – and representations in – virtual worlds’ in Investigations in University Teaching and Learning Volume 8 Summer 2012 pp 119-126
Burns, T, Sinfield S and Abegglen, S (2014) ‘Disrupting learning landscapes: Mentoring, engaging, becoming’ in Investigations in University Teaching and Learning Vol 9, Spring 2014 pp15-21
Burns, T, Sinfield S and Abegglen S (2015) ‘Voices from the margins: Narratives of learning development in a digital age’ in Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change, Vol 1, No 1, 2015.
Bali, Elliott, Hamon, Sinfield… (2015) Writing the unreadable untext: a collective autoethnography of #rhizo14: in Hybrid Pedagogy (June 2015)
Piccione, V, Burns, T and Sinfield, S (2015) ‘Didactical and psycho-pedagogy university module: Student Group Management’, Project Universitaria (Romania)
Burns, T and Sinfield, S (2016 4th Edn) Essential study skills: the complete guide to success at university London; Sage
Diana-Eugenia IONCICA, Tom BURNS, Antonia ENACHE, Marina MILITARU, Sandra SINFIELD (2016) ‘ A Study on the Level of Satisfaction of Students in The Bucharest University of Economic Studies’
Sinfield, S (2016) ‘Becoming Creative: #creativeHE meets Becoming an Educationalist’ in: Creative Academic Magazine Issue Number 3 January 2016 pp 51-55
Sinfield, Burns and Abegglen (2016) “Hacking Assignment Practice: Finding Creativity and Power in the Fissures and Cracks of Learning and Teaching” in Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education (JLDHE) #10 summer 2016
Abegglen, Sandra; Burns, Tom; and Sinfield, Sandra, (2016) ‘The Power of Freedom: Setting up a Multimodal Exhibition With Undergraduate Students to Foster Their Learning and Help Them to Achieve’, In Journal of Peer Learning, 9, 2016, 1-9. Available at:
Abegglen, Sandra; Burns, Tom; and Sinfield, Sandra, (2016) ‘Critical Pedagogy: Utilizing Critical Writing Exercises to Foster Critical Thinking Skills in First-year Undergraduate Students and Prepare Them for Life Outside University’ In Double Helix: a journal of critical thinking and writing Vol 4 (2016)
Harrington, Sinfield and Burns (2016) ‘Student Engagement’ in Pokorny, H and Warren, D (Eds) (2016) Teaching and Learning in HE, London; Sage
Mag, Alina, Sinfield, Sandra, Burns, Tom (2017) ‘The benefits of inclusive education: new challenges for university teachers’ MSE Conference presentation, Sibiu, Romania 2017 and to be published in MSE 2017 Proceedings, volume published online by MATEC Web of Conferences.
Sandra Abegglen, Tom Burns, Sandra Sinfield (2017) ‘Take them Serious’: Fostering Students' Academic Writing Skills: ‘Free Writing Exercises’ In Investigations in university learning and teaching – Vol11 July 2017
Sandra Abegglen, Sandra Sinfield, Tom Burns (2017) ‘Really Free!’: Strategic interventions to foster students' academic writing skills In Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change Vol 3, No1 (2017)
Tom Burns, Orion Griffiths, Maja Myhre and Sandra Sinfield (2017) ‘Picture this: engaging students – improving outcomes’ In Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change Vol 3, No1 (2017)
Abegglen, Burns and Sinfield (2018) ‘Drawing as a way of knowing: Visual practices as the route to becoming academic’ In Canadian Journal for Studies in Discourse and Writing/Rédactologie Volume 28, 2018
Sinfield, S (2018) (Guest Editor) Creative Academic Magazine Issue 10, 2018
Burns, T, Sinfield, S. and Abegglen, S. (2018) Regenring academic writing. Case study 1: Collages. Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, 11(2), 181-190, September 2018.
Burns, T, Sinfield, S. and Abegglen, S. (2018). Case study 2: Cabinet of curiosity. Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, 11(2), 211-215.
Burns, T, Sinfield, S. and Abegglen, S. (2018). Case study 3: Games and board games. Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, 11(2), 261-266.
Burns, T, Sinfield, S. and Abegglen, S. (2018). Case study 4: Digital storytelling. Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, 11(2), 275-278.
Burns, T, Sinfield, S. and Abegglen, S. (2018). Case study 5: Multimodal exhibition. Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, 11(2), 297-303.
Abegglen, Burns and Sinfield (2019) ‘Academic Reading: small acts of academic enquiry’ published in ALDinHE Newsletter, April 2019
Sandra Sinfield, Tom Burns, Sandra Abegglen (2019) ‘Becoming playful: the power of a ludic module’ in Alison James, Chrissi Nerantzi (Eds) The power of play in higher education: creativity in tertiary learning
Abegglen, S, Burns, T, and Sinfield S. (2019). Strategii creative pentru succesul studenților în învățare [Creative strategies that promote student study success]. In D.M. Cretu (Ed.), Predarea și învățarea în învățământul superior: aspecte teoretice și practice [Teaching and learning in higher education: theoretical and practical aspects] (pp.69-94). Bucuresti: Editura Universitara.
Abegglen, A, Burns, T, Middlebrook, D and Sinfield, S (2019) ‘Unrolling the Text to Facilitate Learning: the scroll as curriculum disruption’ – Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education No. 14 (2019)
Abegglen, Burns and Sinfield (2019) Creative HE Manifesto: April issue of Creative Academic Magazine (CAM#13) during World Creativity and Innovation Week (April 15-21, 2019).
Sandra Abegglen, Tom Burns, Dave Middlebrook, Sandra Sinfield - with Angharad Lewis (2019) ‘Approaching academic reading, differently’ in Investigations in university teaching and learning Volume 12, Spring 2019 pp10-15
Abegglen, S, Burns, T, Middlebrook, D. and Sinfield, S. (2019). ‘Disrupting academic reading: Unrolling the scroll for academic staff’ in Quinn, L (Ed) (2019) Reimagining curriculum: Spaces for disruption Africa Sun Modia
Abegglen, Burns and Sinfield (2019) ‘It’s learning development, Jim - but not as we know it: Academic literacies in third-space’: for JLDHE Special Edition, Academic Literacies
Burns, T, Sinfield, S, and Abegglen, S. (2019). Third space partnerships with students: Becoming educational together. International Journal for Students As Partners, 3(1), 60-68. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15173/ijsap.v3i1.3742
Abegglen, S, Burns, T. Maier, S. and Sinfield, S. (2020). ‘Supercomplexity: Acknowledging students’ lives in the 21st century university’ for Innovative Practice in Higher Education Vol4 No1 pp22-38
Abegglen, Sandra; Burns, Tom; Middlebrook, David; and Sinfield, Sandra, ‘Outsiders looking in? Challenging reading through creative practice’, Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 17(2), 2020.
Abegglen, S, Burns, T, Maier, S. and Sinfield, S, 2020. Global university, local issues: Taking a creative and humane approach to learning and teaching. In Improving Classroom Engagement and International Development Programs: International Perspectives on Humanizing Higher Education. Emerald Publishing Limited.
Abegglen, S, Burns, T. and Sinfield, S, 2020. Montage, DaDa and the Dalek: The Game of Meaning in Higher Education. International Journal of Management and Applied Research, 7(3), pp.224-239.
Abegglen, Burns and Sinfield (2020) – ‘Covid Reflections’ in Jandrić, P, Hayes, D, Truelove, I, Levinson, P, Mayo, P, Ryberg, T, Monzó, L.D, Allen, Q, Stewart, P.A, Carr, P.R. and Jackson, L, 2020. Teaching in the Age of Covid-19. Postdigital Science and Education, pp.1-162.
Abegglen, Burns and Sinfield – with Piras (2021) Supporting Student Writing – And Other Modes of Learning and Assessment - A Staff Guide. Glasgow; Inspired By Learning
Harrington, Sinfield and Burns (2021) ‘Student Engagement’ chapter for Pokorny, H and Warren, D (Eds, 2nd Edn) (2021) Teaching and Learning in HE, London; Sage
University Teaching Fellow and Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Professional and Educational Development