Dr Xin (Skye) Zhao

MA (Bath), PHD (Bath)

Information School

University Teacher

Senior Fellow of HEA

Dr Xin Zhao (Skye)
xin.zhao@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 2677

Full contact details

Dr Xin (Skye) Zhao
Information School
Regent Court (IS)
211 Portobello
Sheffield
S1 4DP
Profile

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.

University Responsibilities

  • Module Coordinator
    • INF6340 Research Method and Dissertation Preparation
    • INF6903 Academic Writing
  • Disability Liaison Officer
  • International Student Support Officer
  • Member of Digital Societies Research Group
  • Member of Faculty of Social Science Student Support Network
  • Member of Teaching Committee
  • Introductory Task Lead
Research interests

My main research interests can grouped into three interconnected areas:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Technology, Innovation, and Education
    For example, projects looking at the use of EdTech in supporting inclusive education practices.
Research group

Current PhD students

  • Anas Alsuhaibani: Investigating the Role of Social Media in Supporting International Students Transition to Study in the UK

Research projects

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)

Information School

  • 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.

International Teaching

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

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

Invited presentations

  • 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