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#CelebratingTogether: Dr Karen Goodall

#CelebratingTogether: Dr Karen Goodall

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Edinburgh University Students’ Association’s Student-Led Teaching Awards are back to recognise outstanding members of learning and support staff. After a challenging year for everyone, we’re celebrating our worthy nominees by shouting about their successes across our digital platforms. 


Karen Goodall
Dr Karen Goodall

What is your full name? 

Karen Goodall 

What is your job title? 

Senior Lecturer 

What school or service do you work in? 

Health in Social Science 


Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role. 

I have been a lecturer since 2002, and in the department of Clinical and Health Psychology since 2015. However, my links to the University go back to my undergraduate and PhD days. I transitioned straight from an MA in Psychology to a PhD, under the supervision of Professor Jennifer Wishart. I then took up a lectureship at Queen Margaret University in 2002, moving to the University of Edinburgh in 2015. I am Programme Director for the MSc Mental Health in Children and Young People: Psychological Approaches and I am Senior Tutor for the school of Health in Social Science. 


What does it mean to you to have been nominated for a Teaching Award this year? 

I am really delighted to receive this nomination. It came into my inbox on a Friday morning after a very long week and brought a big smile to my face. We have so much sympathy for our students, who are stoically continuing with their career plans, despite being unable to come to Edinburgh and fully engage in a Masters experience. to know that I have helped in some way or encouraged a student to remain positive is really huge for me. I am really humbled by this acknowledgement. 


What’s your favourite part of your role and working with students? 

My favourite part of being a lecturer is being able to engage in discussions with students around critical topics. I also really enjoy supervision as it is nice to be able to provide the support and structure to really allow students to develop as researchers. 


How have you adapted your approach to teaching and supporting students under the Hybrid Model this year? 

We have tried to retain as many elements of ‘live’ teaching as we could. For example, we offer lecture ‘watch parties’ and drop-in sessions to foster interaction between staff and students. We moved to group personal tutor meetings and have actually found that these are very helpful in creating peer interaction. It is likely that we will retain group meetings going forwards. As everyone has become more adept at online communication, it has also allowed us to think about innovations. For example, I contact an eminent academic with a request to do a podcast as part of course. She agreed immediately and forty minutes later I had a cutting edge podcast! 


What’s been the biggest challenge in your role this year? 

The biggest challenge has been maintaining a work life balance. When the pandemic first hit, we all worked extremely long hours over the spring and summer, but as it continued into the autumn, it became clear that we were in a for a marathon and needed to the adjust the pace. It’s still hard to finish work each day, when it feels like there is a backlog but taking time to rest and exercise has been so important. 


What would you say to the student(s) who nominated you, or students who are considering submitting a nomination for a staff member who has had an impact on them? 

I would say thank you! You taking the time to write this has been such a boost. Please don’t under-estimate the impact of a kind word. The staff appreciate it so much when students let us know that we are making a positive difference. You would not believe the happy smiles when we get a nomination 😊 

To find out more about the Teaching Awards and browse nomination categories, please visit the Students’ Association’s website. 

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