Dr Kathleen M. Quinlan

Kathleen M. Quinlan is responsible for the Oxford Learning Institute’s Postgraduate Diploma in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. As Head of Educational Development, she manages the group’s portfolio of offerings, collaborating with other Institute staff to enhance the various pathways for learning about teaching supported by the Institute.

She provides policy and practical advice on educational development matters to relevant committees, divisions, departments and colleges across the collegiate university. She also supervises postgraduate students of higher education in the Department of Education.

Prior to her appointment at Oxford in 2009, she held academic and leadership positions in educational development at The Australian National University and Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She also has 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. She holds a Ph.D. in education from Stanford University and a B.A. in psychology from the University of Maine. Learning – and collaborative processes for supporting learning – have been enduring themes in her research publications and presentations.

Selected Publications

  • Quinlan, K.M., Male, S, Baillie, C, Stamboulis, A, Fill, J., Jaffer, Z. (2013). Methodological challenges in researching threshold concepts: a comparative analysis of three projects. Higher Education. DOI 10.1007/s10734-013-9623-y
  • Quinlan, K.M. (2013). From therapy to poetry and back again: One writer’s journey. Journal of Poetry Therapy.
  • Quinlan, K.M. (2013). Writing the first person singular. Qualitative Inquiry. 19, 5, 405. DOI: 10.1177/1077800413479568.
  • Pleschová, G., Simon, E., Quinlan, K.M., Murphy, J. Roxa, T., Szabó, M. (2013). The Professionalisation of Academics as Teachers in Higher Education.  European Science Foundation Position Paper. Available here.
  • Quinlan, K.M. and Berndtson, E. (2013). The emerging European higher education area: Implications for instructional development. In E. Simon and G. Pleschová (Eds) Teacher Development in Higher Education: Existing Programs, Program Impact, and Future Trends. Abingdon: Routledge.  pp. 129-150.
  • Quinlan, K.M. (2012) Exploring engineering thresholds at level 4: what happens in the Oxford tutorial? In M. Harrison, I. Moore, H. Igarashi, S. Somani, (Eds), Enhancing Engineering Higher Education: Outputs of the National HE STEM Programme (pp 89-94), London: Royal Academy of Engineering. Available here.
  • Quinlan, K. M. (2011) Developing the Whole Student: Leading Higher Education Initiatives that Integrate Mind and Heart. London: Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.
  • Trevitt, C. Stocks, C, and Quinlan, K.M. (2011). Advancing Assessment Practice in Continuing Professional Learning (CPL): Toward a Richer Understanding of Teaching Portfolios for Learning and Assessment. International Journal of Academic Development. DOI:10.1080/1360144X.2011.589004
  • Slonim, A., Wheeler, F., Quinlan, K.M., Smith, S.S. (2010). Designing competencies for chronic disease practice. Preventing Chronic Disease: Public Health Research, Practice and Policy, 9 (2). 1-9.
  • Petrucci, C.J. & Quinlan, K.M. (2007). Bridging the research-practice gap: Concept mapping as a mixed methods strategy in practice-based research and evaluation. Journal of Social Services Research, 34 (2), 25-42.
  • Rawson, R.E., Quinlan, K.M., Cooper, B.J., Fewtrell, C., & Matlow, J.R. (2005). Writing skills development in the health professions. Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 17 (3), 233-239.
  • Quinlan, K.M. (2003). Effects of problem-based learning curricula on faculty learning: New lenses, new questions. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 8 (3), 249-259.
  • Quinlan, K.M. (2002). Inside the peer review process: How academics review a colleague’s teaching portfolio. Teaching and Teacher Education. 18, 1035-1049.
  • Quinlan, K.M. (2002). Scholarly dimensions of academics’ beliefs about engineering education. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 8 (1), 41-64.
  • Quinlan, K.M. & Akerlind, G. (2000). Factors affecting departmental peer collaboration for faculty development: Two cases in context. Higher Education, 40, 23-52.
  • Shulman, L.S. & Quinlan K.M. (1996). The comparative psychology of school subjects. In D.C. Berliner & R. C. Calfee (Eds.) The Handbook of Educational Psychology (pp. 399-422). NY: Macmillan.
  • Edgerton, R., Hutchings, P. & Quinlan, K.M. (1991). The teaching portfolio: Capturing the scholarship of teaching. American Association for Higher Education: Washington, D.C.


Current research interests are in learning and teaching in higher education, with a particular focus on integrating students’ intellectual and personal development. She seeks to understand how higher education can best support the development of students’ sense of personal and social responsibility. In addition to her academic work, she is a published poet. Her poetry often explores social issues and has been published in several social science journals. She is currently exploring poetic inquiry as an approach to representing emotion in education.

Past research has included projects on threshold concepts in engineering education, educational development in higher education, the use of teaching portfolios and peer review of teaching problem based learning in medical/veterinary education, and consultancy projects related to various aspects of public health and large scale biomedical research.


  • University Associate of the Department of Education

Subject area

  • MSc Education (Higher Education)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (PGDipLATHE)

Research groups

  • Higher Education

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