Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Mathematics Education Centre

Centre Staff

Professor Carol Robinson

Professor of Mathematics Education
Director of the Centre for Academic Practice

Tel +44 (0)1509 22 8252

Location SCH.0.21 (Schofield Building)

Biography

Professional History

  • B.Sc. (Hons) in Mathematics, Glasgow University, 1980.
  • PhD in Mathematics, Glasgow University, 1983
  • Awarded a Science and Engineering Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship in 1983 and used this to continue research at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • Appointed Lecturer in the department of Theoretical Mechanics at Nottingham University in 1984 and worked there until 1988
  • Appointed Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at Birmingham Polytechnic in 1988 and worked there until 1989
  • Took a career break to raise a young family from 1989 – 1993
  • Worked part-time  with the Open University as an Associate Lecturer from 1993-2001
  • Undertook bought-in teaching contracts at both Loughborough and Nottingham Universities, from 1996 – 2001
  • In 2001 appointed Computer Assisted Assessment Officer at Loughborough University
  • Joined the newly formed Mathematics Education Centre in 2002 as Mathematics Support Coordinator
  • Head of Department of the Mathematics Education Centre 2009 – 2013
  • Director of the Centre for Academic Practice 2013 – 2017

Professional Affiliations

Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (FIMA)

Chartered Mathematician (C.Math)

Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA)

Recent Awards

2008 – Loughborough University Academic Practice Award

2010 – Shortlisted for the Times Higher Education ‘Most Innovative Teacher of the Year’ Award

2013 – Recipient of one of Loughborough University's inaugural Research-informed Teaching Awards

2014 – Loughborough Students’ Union Academic Awards - Recognition of Excellence in Learning and Teaching

2017 – Loughborough Students’ Union Academic Awards - Vice Chancellor’s Loughborough Academic Award of Excellence

Research areas

Carol's research is focused upon mathematics education in the higher education sector and particularly the mathematical education of non-specialists such as engineering undergraduates.  She is a member of the Culture, Pedagogy and Identity Interest Group within the Mathematics Education Centre.

Areas of particular interest include:

  • transition of BTEC students to University

Current Research Student Supervision

  • Helen Harth. This research project is concerned with the role of assessment in shaping students’ development of statistical concepts in higher education.  Helen is jointly supervised with Professor Barbara Jaworski.
  • Marinos AnastasakisThe purpose of this research project is to identify which learning technologies and resources undergraduates use when they study mathematics, the reasons for choosing them and the ways they utilise them.  Marinos is jointly supervised with Professor Stephen Lerman.

Supervised PhD and MPhil Theses

  • The repercussions in Higher Education of the Changes in the Teaching and Learning of Mechanics in Schools in England (Lee, PhD, 2007)
  • Evaluating Student Engagement with Mathematics Support (Symonds, PhD, 2009)
  • Evaluating the Impact of Electronic Voting Systems on University Mathematics Teaching and Learning (King, PhD, 2010)
  • Adaptation of Tertiary Mathematics Instruction to the Virtual Medium: Approaches to Assessment Practice (Trenholm, PhD, 2013)
  • An evaluation of the effectiveness of a computer-aided assessment system for mathematics and engineering students (Broughton, MPhil, 2017)

Current Projects

Transforming transitionsThis project funded by HEFCE (£500,000), is led by the University of Exeter and involves numerous HE institutions working together to tackle potential barriers faced by students with vocational qualifications when they enter higher education. The Loughborough contribution to the "Transforming Transitions" project is led by Carol and involves a collaboration between the Mathematics Education Centre, the School of Business and Economics, and the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences. 

The project will examine and challenge potential barriers experienced by students with BTEC qualifications as they apply for, and then enter, higher education. The crucial project aims not only to address the gap between the number of students taking solely BTEC qualifications and those moving into Higher Education, but also identifying ways in which to smooth and aid their transition once they enter university.

External activities

  • Member of the East Midlands Branch Committee of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA)
  • Member of IMA Membership Committee
  • Governor of RNIB College, Loughborough