Lin Norton is Emeritus Professor of Pedagogical Research at Liverpool Hope University, UK. After an early career as a chartered librarian working in public libraries in Norfolk and then later in the North West, she left the librarianship profession to enter higher education as a mature student, obtaining a first class BA Hons degree in Psychology and English at the Liverpool City College of Higher Education (validated by the University of Lancaster). This was followed by a PhD at the University of Keele, supervised by Professor James Hartley and examined by Professor Lewis Elton. The title of the thesis was Note-taking, note using and academic performance: a long term naturalistic study and heralded the start of Lin’s lifelong interest in exploring how students learn and how teachers teach and assess in a university context.
Until December 2010, Lin was the Dean of Learning and Teaching at Liverpool Hope University and Professor of Pedagogical Research. She combined these roles with that of Research Director of the Write Now CETL and leader of the collaborative, inter-institutional National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) project, called ‘Flying Start: Practices, Communities and Policies to Ease the Transition to University Writing and Assessment’, a joint initiative with the University of Derby, led by Professor James Elander. Working within the Faculty of Education at Hope, she was also the Director for the Centre for Pedagogy. This was founded on working principles that Lin established as leader of the cross institutional grass roots pedagogical action research group, known as PAR. More recently to avoid confusion with Participatory Action Research which uses the same acronym, Lin uses the acronym (PedAR) (Norton,2019)
For ten years, Lin developed pedagogical action research within the University and was the originator and founding editor of the in-house journal, PRIME (Pedagogical Research In Maximising Education) Extending its reach beyond Hope, Lin was the organiser of three international Pedagogical Research in Higher Education (PRHE) conferences (PRHE 06, PRHE 08 and PRHE 10). This work was recognised nationally in 2007, when she was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship. Since ‘retiring’ Lin was also an advisor on the action research module in the Postgraduate Certificate for VSO Volunteers at Harper Adams University.
Lin is a chartered psychologist and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society combining her social science training with her practitioner approach to learning and teaching. She has been a member of the Division for Teachers and Researchers in Psychology (DTRP) since 1997 and was appointed as vice chair (teachers) from 2002-2004, followed by a period as Editor of the Division’s journal Psychology Teaching Review, from 2004-2008.
Lin has also worked closely with what was originally the Higher Education Academy (HEA) Psychology Network and was awarded one of the first mini grants for her work on developing vignettes known as PALS (Psychology Applied Learning Scenarios). For several years, she contributed workshops for psychology postgraduates who teach and for the annual new lecturers forum run by the network. Lin has been an associate editor for the journal Psychology Learning and Teaching (PLAT) published under the auspices of the HEA Psychology network. She is also an academic associate of the HEA working with colleagues in the STEM and Social Sciences disciplines. Currently Lin is on the Editorial Board of Innovations in Education and Teaching International, the journal of the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA).
Lin has substantial experience in examining and supervising doctoral level students; she is frequently called on to review conference abstracts and is a regular reviewer for several journals including Higher Education, British Journal of Educational Psychology, Psychology Learning and Teaching, Studies in Higher Education and Innovations in Education and Teaching International.
Lin has been asked to deliver workshops and give research seminars both nationally (for example, Northampton University, Nazarene Theological College, Kent University, Oxford University, Durham University, Gloucestershire University, Portsmouth University, Aston University, Southampton University, UCLAN, Salford University, Ulster University, Wolverhampton University and York University) and internationally (for example, Language Center of the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich,Switzerland, University of Victoria, Canada, Lucknow University, India, European Science Foundation in Bratislava, Slovak Republic and Catholic University of East Africa, Nairobi). Her topics have included: assessment and feedback, pedagogical action research, conceptions of learning and teaching, pedagogical research, problem based learning, reflective practice, metalearning and PDP, essay- writing strategies, transitions to academic writing at degree level, developing students critical thinking at degree level..
Lin is a staunch advocate of helping students acquire relevant academic skills (especially essay writing and meta-learning) and was the lead author of a student guide on essay writing at university produced as an outcome of the FDTL4 project Assessment plus and published by the Write Now CETL. Lin offers workshops to students on essay writing, exam-taking and approaches to learning.