Centre for the Study of Higher Education


Dr Quinlan is Director of the Centre for the Study of Higher Education and Director of Research.

Before joining the Centre for the Study of Higher Education in 2016, I held academic and leadership positions in educational development at the University of Oxford, The Australian National University and Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. I also have five years of government consulting experience in the United States, contributing to curriculum development, action planning for national and state projects, and planning and evaluation of large-scale biomedical research. I hold a Ph.D. in education from Stanford University and a B.A. in psychology from the University of Maine. Enhancing teaching in higher education has been an enduring theme in my research and teaching. 

Contact Information


Room 6, First Floor, UELT Building

01227 82 (4579)

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Quinlan, K. (2019). What triggers students' interest during higher education lectures? Personal and situational variables associated with situational interest. Studies in Higher Education [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2019.1665325.
Parkinson, T., McDonald, K. and Quinlan, K. (2019). Reconceptualizing Academic Development as Community Development: Lessons from Working with Syrian Academics in Exile. Higher Education [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-019-00404-5.
Parkinson, T., McDonald, K. and Quinlan, K. (2019). Reconceptualising academic development as community development: lessons from working with Syrian academics in exile. Higher Education [Online]:1-19. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-019-00404-5.
Antoniadou, M. and Quinlan, K. (2018). Thriving on challenges: how immigrant academics regulate emotional experiences during acculturation. Studies in Higher Education [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2018.1512567.
Quinlan, K. (2018). Emotion and moral purposes in higher education teaching: Poetic case examples of teacher experiences. Studies in Higher Education [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2018.1458829.
Gantogtokh, O. and Quinlan, K. (2016). Challenges of designing interdisciplinary postgraduate curricula:Case studies of interdisciplinary master's programmes at a research-intensive UK university. Teaching in Higher Education [Online] 22:569-586. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2016.1273211.
Wong, S., Lim, S. and Quinlan, K. (2016). Integrity in and beyond contemporary higher education: What does it mean to university students?. Frontiers in Psychology [Online] 7. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01094.
Quinlan, K. (2016). How Emotion Matters in Four Key Relationships in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. College Teaching [Online] 64:101-111. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/87567555.2015.1088818.
Farenga, S. and Quinlan, K. (2015). Classifying university employability strategies: three case studies and implications for practice and research. Journal of Education and Work [Online] 29:767-787. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13639080.2015.1064517.
Quinlan, K. (2015). Adding feeling to discourses of teaching and learning in higher education. Asian Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 5:5-8.
Quinlan, K. (2014). Developing student character through disciplinary curricula: an analysis of UK QAA subject benchmark statements. Studies in Higher Education [Online] 41:1041-1054. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2014.966069.
Quinlan, K. (2014). Leadership of teaching for student learning in higher education: What is needed?. Higher Education Research and Development [Online] 33:32-45. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2013.864609.
Quinlan, K. (2013). From therapy to poetry and back again: One writer's journey. Journal of Poetry Therapy [Online] 26:115-125. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08893675.2013.794537.
Quinlan, K. (2013). Writing the First Person Singular. Qualitative Inquiry [Online] 19. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1077800413479568.
Quinlan, K., Male, S., Baillie, C., Stamboulis, A., Fill, J. and Jaffer, Z. (2013). Methodological challenges in researching threshold concepts: A comparative analysis of three projects. Higher Education [Online] 66:585-601. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10734-013-9623-y.
Trevitt, C., Stocks, C. and Quinlan, K. (2012). Advancing assessment practice in continuing professional learning: Toward a richer understanding of teaching portfolios for learning and assessment. International Journal for Academic Development [Online] 17:163-175. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1360144X.2011.589004.
Quinlan, K. (2012). One Frozen Smile. Journal of Family Social Work [Online] 15. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10522158.2012.698980.
Quinlan, K. (2011). Developing the whole student: leading higher education initiatives that integrate mind and heart. Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.
Kagan, J., Kane, M., Quinlan, K., Rosas, S. and Trochim, W. (2009). Developing a conceptual framework for an evaluation system for the NIAID HIV/AIDS clinical trials networks. Health Research Policy and Systems [Online] 7. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1478-4505-7-12.
Quinlan, K., Kagan, J., Kane, M., Trochim, W. and Hall, M. (2009). Development of an Evaluation System for NIAID HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Networks: Context, Background and Promising Approaches. Health Research Policy and Systems.
Quinlan, K., Kane, M. and Trochim, W. (2008). Evaluation of large research initiatives: outcomes, challenges, and methodological considerations. New Directions for Evaluation [Online] 2008:61-72. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ev.261.
Graham, A., Kerner, J., Quinlan, K., Vinson, C. and Best, A. (2008). Translating Cancer Control Research Into Primary Care Practice: A Conceptual Framework. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine [Online] 2:241-249. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1559827608314146.
Arrington, B., Kimmey, J., Brewster, M., Bentley, J., Kane, M., Van Brunschot, C., Burns, M., Quinlan, K. and Brownson, R. (2008). Building a local agenda for dissemination of research into practice. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice 14:185-192.
Quinlan, K., Handley, P., Pappas, P. and Kander, R. (2007). The challenge. Academic Leader.
Petrucci, C. and Quinlan, K. (2007). Bridging the research-practice gap: Concept mapping as a mixed methods strategy in practice-based research and evaluation. Journal of Social Service Research [Online] 34:25-42. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J079v34n02_03.
Rawson, R., Quinlan, K., Cooper, B., Fewtrell, C. and Matlow, J. (2005). Writing-skills development in the health professions. Teaching and Learning in Medicine [Online] 17:233-239. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s15328015tlm1703_6.
Quinlan, K. (2003). Effects of problem-based learning curricula on faculty learning: new lenses, new questions. Advances in Health Sciences Education [Online] 8:249-259. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1026034029468.
Quinlan, K. (2002). Inside the peer review process: How academics review a colleague's teaching portfolio. Teaching and Teacher Education [Online] 18:1035-1049. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0742-051X(02)00058-6.
Quinlan, K. (2002). Scholarly dimensions of academics' beliefs about engineering education. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice [Online] 8:41-64. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13540600120110565.
Quinlan, K. (2002). Doing the Scholarship of Teaching in Veterinary Education: Learning from Science Education Literature. Journal of veterinary medical education [Online] 29:225-226. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.3138/jvme.29.4.225.
Quinlan, K. and Rawson, R. (2002). Evaluation of a computer-based approach to teaching ACID/BASE Physiology. Advances in physiology education:85-97.
Åkerlind, G. and Quinlan, K. (2001). Strengthening collegiality to enhance teaching research and scholarly practice: An untapped resource for academic development. To improve the academy 19:306-321.
Buchy, M. and Quinlan, K. (2000). Adapting the scoring matrix: A case study of adapting disciplinary tools for learning centred evaluation. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education [Online] 25:81-91. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/713611419.
Quinlan, K. and Åkerlind, G. (2000). Factors affecting departmental peer collaboration for faculty development: Two cases in context. Higher Education [Online] 40:23-52. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1004096306094.
Quinlan, K. (2000). Generating productive learning issues in PBL tutorials: an exercise to help tutors help students. Medical Education Online 5:4310.
Quinlan, K. (1999). Enhancing mentoring and networking of junior academic women: what, why, and how?. Journal of higher education policy and management 21:31-42.
Quinlan, K. (1999). Commonalities and controversy in context: A study of academic historians' educational beliefs. Teaching and Teacher Education [Online] 15:447-463. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0742-051X(98)00066-3.
Quinlan, K. (1998). Promoting faculty learning about collaborative teaching. College Teaching [Online] 46:43-47. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/87567559809596233.
Kayrooz, C., Pearson, M. and Quinlan, K. (1997). Development from within academe: Eschewing imperialism, managerialism and missionary zeal?. The International Journal for Academic Development [Online] 2:64-71. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1360144970020210.
Shulman, L. and Quinlan, K. (1996). The comparative psychology of school subjects. Handbook of educational psychology:399-422.
Quinlan, K. (1996). Involving peers in the evaluation and improvement of teaching: A menu of strategies. Innovative Higher Education [Online] 20:299-307. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF01185805.
Shulman, L., Quinlan, K., Berliner, D. and Calfee, R. (1996). Psychologies of school subjects: A century of decline and renewal. Handbook of Educational Psychology.:399-422.
Quinlan, K. (1995). Faculty Perspectives on Peer Review. Thought & Action 11:5-22.
Edgerton, R., Hutchings, P. and Quinlan, K. (1991). The teaching portfolio. Capturing the scholarship in teaching. Washington, DC: American Association for Higher Education.
Hutchings, P. and Quinlan, K. (1991). The teaching portfolio. The Department Chair 2 (1):33-35.
Book section
Quinlan, K. (2019). From pedagogic innovation to publication: resituating your pedagogic research. In: Research Matters — Articles from the Pedagogic Research Conference 2018. Brighton, UK: University of Brighton Press, pp. 11-20. Available at: https://cris.brighton.ac.uk/ws/portalfiles/portal/5641190/RM_Online_version_Print_quality.pdf.
Quinlan, K. (2019). Commentary Cluster 5: Enhancing Student Motivation, Interest and Participation: Young Academics' Experiments with Active Learning. In: Early Career academics' Reflections on Learning to Teach in Central Europe. London: Staff and Educational Development Association, pp. 58-67. Available at: https://www.seda.ac.uk/resources/files/publications_256_Cluster5_Commentary_Quinlan.pdf.
Quinlan, K., Buelens, H., Clements, M., Horn, J. and Osterberg Rump, C. (2017). Educational Enhancement in the Disciplines: Models, Lessons and Challenges from Three Research-intensive Universities. In: Stensaker, B., Breslow, L., Bilbow, G. and van der Vaart, R. eds. Strengthening Teaching and Learning in Research-Intensive Universities: Strategies and Initiatives for Institutional Change. London, UK: Springer, pp. 43-71. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-56499-9.
Quinlan, K. (2016). Seven Stances on Emotion in Education. In: How Higher Education Feels: Commentaries on Poems That Illuminate Emotions in Learning and Teaching. Netherlands: Sense Publishers, pp. 9-21.
Quinlan, K. (2016). Where we've Been, Where we're Going. In: How Higher Education Feels: Commentaries on Poems That Illuminate Emotions in Learning and Teaching. Netherlands: Sense Publishers, pp. 237-264.
Quinlan, K. and Berndtson, E. (2012). The emerging European higher education area: Implications for instructional development. In: Simon, E. and Pleschová, G. eds. Teacher Development in Higher Education: Existing Programs, Program Impact, and Future Trends. London, UK: Taylor and Francis, pp. 129-150. Available at: http://www.tandfebooks.com/isbn/9780203096826.
Pleschová, G., Simon, E., Quinlan, K., Murphy, J. and Roxa, T. (2012). The Professionalisation of Academics As Teachers in Higher Education. European Science Foundation. Available at: http://archives.esf.org/fileadmin/Public_documents/Publications/professionalisation_academics.pdf.
Quinlan, K. (2000). Striking the Right Balance: An Evaluation of a Literature Database To Support Problem Based Learning. ERIC.
Conference or workshop item
Quinlan, K. (2014). Conceptualising emotion in research on teaching and learning in higher education. In: Presentation at the Annual Conference of the Society for Research in Higher Education.
Quinlan, K., Male, S., Fill, J., Jaffer, Z., Stamboulis, A. and Baillie, C. (2012). Understanding thresholds in first year engineering: Digging beneath Mohr's circle. In: 4th International Symposium on Engineering Education, The University of Sheffield.
Kerner, J., Best, A. and Quinlan, K. (2006). Integrating Research with practice: the Canadian-US cancer control alliance action framework. In: UICC World Cancer Congress.
Quinlan, K. (1997). Case studies of academics' educational beliefs about their discipline: Toward a discourse on scholarly dimensions of teaching. In: Annual Conference of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia. pp. 8-11.
Quinlan, K. (2016). How Higher Education Feels: Commentaries on Poems That Illuminate Emotions in Learning and Teaching. [Online]. Quinlan, K. M. ed. Netherlands: Sense Publishers. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-6300-636-1.
Quinlan, K. (1994). Uncovering Discipline-Specific Interpretations of The" Scholarship of Teaching": Peer Review and Faculty Perceptions of Scholarly Teaching. ASHE Annual Meeting Paper. ERIC Clearinghouse.
Quinlan, K. (1996). Collaboration and Cultures of Teaching in University Departments: Faculty Beliefs about Teaching and Learning in History and Engineering.
Quinlan, K. and Gangogtokh, O. (2018). Lessons in programme leadership from two cases of designing new interdisciplinary master's programmes. In: Supporting Programme Leadership: SEDA Special 39. Staff and Educational Development Association.
Total publications in KAR: 61 [See all in KAR]
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Research Interests

I have two primary research interests.  First, discipline-sensitive pedagogical research in higher education has been a main focus of my work, including recent research on interdisciplinarity, chemical education, engineering education and, in the past, veterinary medical education and history education.  This work is often done collaboratively with academics in cognate fields and I welcome MA and PhD students who wish to research their own teaching practice.  I was the PI for a £9,000 Royal Academy of Engineering HE STEM Programme Grant (2011) entitled Exploring engineering thresholds at Oxford University: what happens in the tutorial with Chris Trevitt, David Edwards, Alex Lubansky, Susannah Speller, Caroline Baillie and Artemis Stamboulis.

A second main research area focuses on holistic student development. In 2011, I was funded by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (£2,500) to write a stimulus paper on the leadership required within universities to support education that fosters students’ holistic (emotional, moral and cognitive) development. I have continued that line of research with an analysis of the UK Quality Assurance Agency subject benchmark statements, looking at the affective/moral outcomes expected of students in popular disciplines. Affective outcomes are as much emotional as cognitive, thus my recent research investigates the role of emotions in higher education, including an edited book, How Higher Education Feels: Commentaries on Poems that Illuminate Emotion in Learning and Teaching from Sense Publishers (2016). 

I am currently focusing on students’ interest, as well as their broader motivations for and experiences of studying in higher education. In 2017-18, I received a University of Kent Teaching Enhancement Small Support Award for the project What triggers students’ interest during lectures? and worked with the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Education and Student Experience and the Kent Union on the project, Developing a Framework for Powerful Student Learning Experiences

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Dr Quinlan is Director of the Doctoral Programme in Higher Education in CSHE.  She convenes the CSHE Seminar Series and the following modules:
UN831: Contextualising Higher Education Teaching and Learning
UN832: Understanding Student Learning Experiences
She supervises doctoral and master’s students and is a personal tutor on the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education.

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Last Updated: 25/01/2019