I have worked in Higher Education as a Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy for over 15 years (initially seconded in December, 2003), firstly at the University of Central Lancashire and then at the University of Cumbria. I have a wide experience in the development & management of teaching, learning and assessment opportunities for Occupational Therapy students, as well as a variety of other Health & Social Care professionals, at FHEQ levels ranging from 4 to 7. I am able to use a variety of teaching & learning methods in order to facilitate the development of the students and value the students' ability to flourish, with appropriate support & guidance, as opposed to didactic methods of knowledge transmission. Through my vast experience of the validation of programmes, both as a member of the validation team and as a member of validation panels, I have been influential in the development of innovative & exciting programmes of learning, which aim to engage & support the students in face to face, online & blended learning environments. For example, the use of digital technologies within teaching and assessment; the integration of placement & academic learning; and the development of close relationships between clinical partners & the academic teams within the curriculum.
I am involved in research at a variety of levels, as a supervisor, as a teacher of research methods at levels 5, 6 & 7, and as a researcher myself. My own research area of interest is children with physical disabilities, which is reflected in my PhD work, the collaborative working I undertake with academic and clinical partners and my presentations & publications. I also actively utilise current research in pedagogy/androgogy within my module and curriculum development through participation in Advance HE linked programmes of study, mentorship of others undertaking Advance HE linked programmes, attendance at regular academic development seminars, programme validations and consideration of up to date methods of teaching & learning when developing modules, for example, use of flipped classroom & blended learning approaches.
Further to the above I have been a module leader for a variety of modules over many years and a programme leader for the BSc(Hons) Occupational Therapy programme in Carlisle. I feel I am therefore very experienced in the development and management of programmes & modules; including working to academic deadlines for production of materials, management of assessment & marking,as well as requirements for University assessment boards. As an external examiner for 3 very different programmes I also bring experience of other institutions within the sector and am very experienced and adept at managing the quality of programmes delivered. I am able to demonstrate leadership within the variety of roles I have been allocated and feel that I am able to influence the work of my colleagues through shared support, teamwork, knowledge & experience.
I am caring and supportive and believe in a collaborative, transformational approach to education which promotes equality for all by enabling participation. I feel this is particularly relevant when working with future health professionals; for whom, I believe, we should act as role models, as well as learning facilitators and gatekeepers for the profession. I have a flexible approach and always ensure that I am up to date and able to share information regarding the rapidly changing & developing worlds of both academia and health & social care.
Qualifications and memberships
1988 Diploma of the College of Occupational Therapists (DipCOT), Liverpool Institute of Higher Education.
2003 MSc Advanced Occupational Therapy, University of Exeter
2006 PGCert Learning & Teaching in Higher Education, University of Central Lancashire.
2010 PGCert Research, University of Cumbria
Member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT);
Member of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT);
Registered Occupational Therapist with HCPC (formerly CPSM);
Member of the RCOT specialist section for children, young people & families (formerly NAPOT);
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA);
Member of the International Association for Children’s Spirituality.
Academic and research interests
Working with children & young people with physical disabilities; child development; children’s spirituality; occupational identity; intrprofessional working; qualitative research methods, particularly IPA & CGT; generalist v specialist practice.
4 - 6 BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy students per annum
3 - 4 MSc (pre-registration) Occupational Therapy students per annum
Harrison, V.E., Cox, D.L., Marrow, C. & Wilby, H. (2014). `Myth or Reality: How do Occupational Therapists address the spirituality of children with physical disabilities?’ University of Cumbria Doctoral Colloquium, Lancaster, UK. 10th July, 2014.
Harrison, V.E., Cox, D.L., Marrow, C. & Wilby, H. (2014) `Myth or Reality: How do Occupational Therapists address the spirituality of children with physical disabilities?’ Children’s Wellbeing Symposium, Kirkley Hall, Northumberland College, UK. 11th September, 2014.
Elton-Chalcraft, S., Cammack, P. & Harrison, V.E. (2015). `Inclusive practice, cultural contexts and perceptions of disability in a Christian foundation special needs school in Bangalore, India.’ TEAN Conference, Aston University, UK. May, 2015.
Elton-Chalcraft, S., Cammack, P. & Harrison, V.E. (2015). `Inclusive practice, cultural contexts and perceptions of disability in a Christian foundation special needs school in Bangalore, India.’ ECER Conference, Budapest, Hungary. 9th September 2015.
Elton-Chalcraft, S., Cammack, P. & Harrison, V.E. (2015). `Inclusive practice, cultural contexts and perceptions of disability in a Christian foundation special needs school in Bangalore, India.’ BERA Conference, Belfast, UK. 15th September 2015.
Elton-Chalcraft, S., Cammack, P. & Harrison, L. (2016). ‘Segregation, integration, inclusion & effective provision: A case study of perspectives from special educational needs children, parents & teachers in Bangalore India’. International Journal of Special Education, 31(1) 2 – 9.
Harrison, V.E. & Cox, D.L. (2017) 'Myth or Reality: How do Occupational Therapists address the spirituality of children with physical disabilities?’. Royal College of Occupational Therapists' Annual Conference, Birmingham, UK. 19th - 20th June, 2017
Harrison, V.E. & Cox, D.L. ‘The Power & the Glory? Exploring how Occupational Therapists address the spirituality of children with physical disabilities. World Federation of Occupational Therapists’ congress, Cape Town, South Africa. 21st – 25th May 2018
Principal Investigator - Review of Health Builders’ Pathways in Cumbria (2015). Financial Support. Cumbria CCG. Grant: £5,000 Methodology: Mixed Methods – Qualitative (Interviews, Survey), Quantitative (Survey, Data Mining). Mentored by: Prof. Diane Cox.
Recent external roles
2014 - 2019 External Examiner – PgC Collaborative Working; Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.
2018 - 2023 External Examiner - BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy; Cardiff University, Wales
2018 - 2020 Member of the National Executive Committee for the RCOT Specialist Section children, young people & families, responsible for development of CPD programmes