Dr Xin (Skye) Zhao
MA (Bath), PHD (Bath)
Senior Fellow of HEA
+44 114 222 2677
Full contact details
Regent Court (IS)
Before joining the Information School in 2015, I worked on a variety of educational research projects as a research assistant in the areas of Internationalisation, HE pedagogy, Assessment and Feedback, and so on. I also worked as an educational consultant for five years, advising academic institutions, educational organisations, and international corporations on the policies and practices regarding internationalisation.
I achieved my MA in International Education and PhD in Education at the Department of Education of the University of Bath, looking at ways to improve learning and teaching practices in HE and secondary education settings. Currently, I am interested in the use of digital tools in supporting learning and teaching in an internationalised context.
- Module Coordinator
- INF6340 Research Method and Dissertation Preparation
- INF6903 Academic Writing
- Disability Liaison Officer
- Member of Digital Societies Research Group
- Member of Faculty of Social Science Student Support Network
- Member of Teaching Committee
- Introductory Task Lead
- Module Coordinator
- Research interests
My main research interests can grouped into three interconnected areas:
- Internationalisation of Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities
For example, the challenges that university and students face in an increasingly internationalised context from a cross-cultural perspective and/or information perspective.
- Learning and Teaching pedagogy in HE
For example, projects examine the effectiveness of learning and teaching approaches for students of diverse backgrounds and learning needs, including face-to-face and Distance Learning modalities.
- Technology, Innovation, and Education
For example, projects looking at the use of EdTech in supporting inclusive education practices.
- Internationalisation of Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities
- Evaluating a pedagogical approach to promoting academic integrity in higher education: an online induction program. Frontiers in Psychology, 13. View this article in WRRO
- Evaluating the individual, situational, and technological drivers for creative ideas generation in virtual communities : a systematic literature review. Frontiers in Psychology, 13. View this article in WRRO
- Gather.Town: a gamification tool to promote engagement and establish online learning communities for language learners. RELC Journal, 003368822210972-003368822210972.
- Leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology for English writing: introducing Wordtune as a digital writing assistant for EFL writers. RELC Journal.
- A comparison of student and staff perceptions and feelings about assessment and feedback using cartoon annotation. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 46(5), 586-604. View this article in WRRO
- Chinese students’ study in the UK and employability : the views of Chinese employers, students and alumni, and UK teachers. Journal of Education and Work, 35(4), 422-440. View this article in WRRO
- Challenges and barriers in intercultural communication between patients with immigration backgrounds and health professionals : a systematic literature review. Health Communication. View this article in WRRO
- A cross-cultural comparison of British and Chinese higher education: common challenges faced by Chinese international students in the UK. Higher Education Review, 19(1).
- Understanding Chinese students’ learning needs: Tips for supporting Chinese students in the UK. Reflections on SEDA Spring Conference 2017: The quest for teaching excellence and learning gain: Issues, resolutions and possibilities, 10.
- From online to offline education in the post-pandemic era: Challenges encountered by international students at British universities. Frontiers in Psychology, 13.
- Using Visual Methods to Enhance our Understanding of Employability In Zhao X & Kung M (Ed.), Home and Abroad: International Student Experiences and Graduate Employability (pp. 109-120). Baltimore, Maryland, US: STAR Scholars.
- International Student Experiences and Graduate Employability: Perspectives and Issues In Zhao X & Kung M (Ed.), Home and Abroad: International Student Experiences and Graduate Employability (pp. 1-14). Baltimore, Maryland, US: STAR Scholars.
- International Student Mobility and Employability: An Employer Perspective on the Impact of Study Abroad Experiences. In Zhao X & Kung M (Ed.), Home and Abroad: International Student Experiences and Graduate Employability (pp. 145-162). Baltimore, Maryland, US: STAR Scholars.
- Breaking down barriers? ICTs, international students and intercultural communication within UK higher education institutions, Internationalisation at home: A collection of pedagogical approaches to develop students' intercultural competences (pp. 157-177).
- Perceptions of Students for a Gamification Approach: Cities Skylines as a Pedagogical Tool in Urban Planning Education, Responsible AI and Analytics for an Ethical and Inclusive Digitized Society (pp. 763-773). Springer International Publishing
- What Does It Take to Find a Job Today?: International Chinese Doctoral Student Perspectives on Domestic and International Employment In Glass C & Gesing P (Ed.), Critical Perspectives on Equity and Social Mobility in Study Abroad (pp. 97-114). New York: Routledge.
- Prosodic chopping: A pedagogic tool to signal shifts in academic task structure, Dialogic pedagogy: The importance of dialogue in teaching and learning (pp. 203-219).
Conference proceedings papers
- Using a Narrative-based Gamified Teaching Approach to Improve International Students' Sense of Belonging. Proceedings of the 54th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education V. 2
- Integrating MOOCs in Blended-Learning Courses: Perspectives of Teachers and Students (pp 82-93)
- How Instructors Initially Viewed Teaching Online in Higher Education in the UK During the COVID-19 Pandemic (pp 277-286)
- Saudi international students’ perceptions of their transition to the UK and the impact of social media. Sustainable Digital Communities (pp 198-208). Boras, Sweden, 23 March 2020 - 26 March 2020. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO An investigation of the physical and digital transitions of Saudi students coming to the UK. Proceedings of the Workshop on Life Transitions and Social Technologies: Research and Design for Times of Life Change (co-located with CSCW'20)
- View this article in WRRO Enhancing Chinese International Students’ Motivation and Engagement in a STEM Subject in UK Higher Education: A Case of Gamification in Programming.. International Conference Proceedings Series
- Learning in a digital age: International research students’ experiences and concerns during the pandemic. Presentation at Teaching and Learning Conference 2021: Teaching in the Spotlight: What is the Future for HE Curricula?. Virtual.
- The relevance of employability skills in the 21st-century: the overseas employers’ perspective. Presentation at Employer Engagement Virtual International Research Conference – Preparing Young People for the Future. Virtual.
- Internationalisation of Higher Education in a Post-Pandemic World: Lessons Learnt and Reflections on the Future. Keynote presentation delivered at Imperia College London Education Week: Rising to a healthy challenge: Building beyond blended.. Virtual.
- Using 360 Virtual Reality in Place of Site Visits. Presentation delivered at 2020 FCIE Virtual Conference..
- International experience and graduate employability: international employer and student perspectives. Paper session at Advance HE’s Annual Teaching and Learning Conference 2020: Teaching in the spotlight: Creative thinking to enhance the student experience: From curriculum design to student success.. Virtual.
- Research group
Current PhD students
- Anas Alsuhaibani: Investigating the Role of Social Media in Supporting International Students Transition to Study in the UK
Mark my words: Improving our explanations of assessment and feedback for students and staff. Faculty of Social Science Curriculum Development Funds. (PI). January 2019-July 2019
This project looks at the mismatches between staff and students on their perspectives of assessment and feedback, particularly, the purposes, roles, and process involved.
Teacher intentions, student experiences and effective learning strategies in-group work. Teaching Development Fund. (Researcher). October 2014- July 2015.
This project explored the challenges that home and international students face in multicultural group work settings.
Encouraging engagement between International and Home students in university seminars. Teaching Development Fund. (Researcher). September 2011- June 2012.
This project identified the best practice to engage students in university seminars.
Identifying further aspects of good practice in multicultural group projects. Teaching Development Fund. (Researcher). September 2010- June 2011.
This project identified good practice in undergraduate final year projects.
- Teaching activities
I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA), an award recognises my contributions to the teaching excellence and student support of the University of Sheffield. I was honoured to receive the nomination for ‘Best Personal Tutor Award’ of the University of Sheffield 2016-2017.
My teaching philosophy is dialogic in nature and is built on three main pillars: empowering students to achieve success, encouraging students to reflect on learning, connecting students with the world around them. Currently, I contribute teaching at three levels, department-level (Information School), faculty-level (Faculty of Social Science), and university-wide (International Partner Universities)
- INF6340 Research Method and Dissertation Preparation (module lead)
- INF6903 Academic Writing (module lead)
- INF Introductory tasks (module lead)
- INF203: Digital Storytelling
- INF6040 Business Intelligence
- INF6400 Information Systems and Information Society
Faculty of Social Science
I deliver training sessions to support university staff whose role is student-facing or involves student support or administration. This include department Away Days, Faculty of Social Science Student Support Network events, Central Library training sessions. I also deliver student support sessions titled ‘understand Academic Integrity and avoid plagiarism’ which open to all students during the orientation week.
Invited lecturer at Linnaeus University (Sweden)
Building intercultural competence for Internationalisation at Home with Summer Schools as an example – Teacher, student and administration perspectives. Lecture delivered at Linnaeus University International Staff Training Week May 2019. Vaxjo, Sweden.
Challenges and ethical dilemmas in intercultural communication. Lectures delivered at Linnaeus University International Staff Training Week May 2018. Kalmar, Sweden.
Invited lecturer at Central China Normal University (China)
Digital Pedagogy: Learning and Teaching in the Digital Age. Lecture delivered at CCNU. December 2018.
Bridging the Cultural Gap: communicating across cultures. Lecture delivered at Central China Normal University. December 2018.
Invited lecturer at South-Central University for Nationalities (China)
Teaching and learning in an internationalised context: challenges and dilemmas in intercultural communication in the UK higher education. Lecture delivered at South-Central University for Nationalities. December 2018.
Teaching related fund
- Advanced HE connect networks on-boarding Grant £ 1000 (2019-2020)
- Faculty of Social Science Curriculum Development Grant £1500 (2018-2019)
- Erasmus+ Teaching mobility grant £ 1000 (2018-2019)
- Erasmus+ Staff mobility grant £ 1000 (2017-2018)
- Professional activities and memberships
Membership of professional bodies
- Member of Advance HE Connect
- Member of The Society of Transnational Academic Researchers (STAR)
Journal and conference reviewing
- Linguistics and Education
- Building intercultural competence for Internationalisation at Home with Summer Schools as an example – Teacher, student and administration perspectives. Lecture delivered at Linnaeus University International Staff Training Week May 2019. Vaxjo, Sweden.
- Digital Pedagogy: Learning and Teaching in the Digital Age. Lecture delivered at CCNU. December 2018.
- Bridging the Cultural Gap: communicating across cultures. Lecture delivered at Central China Normal University. December 2018.
- Teaching and learning in an internationalised context: challenges and dilemmas in intercultural communication in the UK higher education. Lecture delivered at South-Central University for Nationalities. December 2018.
- Challenges and ethical dilemmas in intercultural communication. Lecture delivered at Linnaeus University International Staff Training Week May 2018. Kalmar, Sweden