Mentoring in learning development


  • Silvina Bishopp-Martin Canterbury Christ Church University
  • Ursula Canton Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Jane McKay Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Chenée Psaros Queen Mary University of London
  • Alicja Syska University of Plymouth
  • Samantha Thomas University of Northampton



mentoring, peer support, professional development, values-based LD, professional recognition, sharing practice


Learning Development is still a relatively young field (Syska and Buckley, 2022), and despite a growing body of research, it remains strongly practice-oriented. This means that experience, in this case of individual Learning Developers, takes an even more central place than it does in more established fields, and sharing this experience through mentoring takes on a central role. This is why the mentoring working group has developed a Learning Development focused ALDinHE Mentoring Scheme, together with a Certified Mentor recognition that helps experienced mentors be recognised for their contribution to growing and sharing LD knowledge. This mini keynote briefly introduced the Mentoring Scheme and the CeM recognition before exploring the role mentoring can play in the professional development of Learning Developers with the audience.

The questions we asked were:

  • What benefits would you expect for mentees?
  • What benefits would you expect for mentors?
  • What kind of experience can be best shared through mentoring?

Author Biographies

Silvina Bishopp-Martin, Canterbury Christ Church University

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.

Ursula Canton, Glasgow Caledonian University

Ursula Canton is part of ALDinHE’s mentoring working group and has taken a leading role in developing the new Mentoring Scheme and Certified Mentor (CeM) accreditation.

Jane McKay, Glasgow Caledonian University

Jane McKay is a Senior Lecturer and Learning Developer at Glasgow Caledonian University. Her PhD and early career as a sport psychologist explored the need to support athletes as people rather than performers, a theme she now brings to working with students through nurturing self-understanding and developing learning in holistic ways. Her research and practice interests include understanding psychological barriers to student success (most notably perfectionism), and how these can be addressed. Jane is a Senior Fellow of Advance HE and an ALDinHE Certified Lead Practitioner.

Chenée Psaros, Queen Mary University of London

Chenée Psaros 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.

Alicja Syska, University of Plymouth

Alicja Syska is a hybrid academic, combining the roles of Learning Development Advisor with lecturing posts in Education and History at the University of Plymouth. She sits on the Steering Group for the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDinHE), serves as Co-Lead Editor for the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education (JLDHE), and is a co-host of the Learning Development Project podcast. 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.

Samantha Thomas, University of Northampton

Sam Thomas is a Learning Development Tutor at the University of Northampton. Prior to this she worked in academic and public libraries in a range of professional roles, including reader development, teaching digital literacy, and answering enquiries for a wide range of library users, both face-to-face and online. Her current research interests include the role of language in teaching and learning, accessibility for online resources, and working collaboratively with students to develop online study skills videos.


ALDinHE (2023) About ALDinHE, Association for Learning Development in Higher Education. Available online: (Accessed: 8 September 2023).

Syska, A. and Buckley, C (2022) ‘Writing as liberatory practice: unlocking knowledge to locate an academic field’, Teaching in Higher Education, 28(2), pp.439-454.




How to Cite

Bishopp-Martin, S. (2023) “Mentoring in learning development”, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, (29). doi: 10.47408/jldhe.vi29.1132.

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