About Thomas Lancaster

My name is Dr. Thomas Lancaster, and I am a Associate Dean in Recruitment at Staffordshire University in the United Kingdom and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. My background is in the Computer Science discipline. My best known academic research relates to student plagiarism and contract cheating. Please browse around the blog and the links, and feel free to leave your thoughts.
Website: http://thomaslancaster.co.uk
Thomas Lancaster has written 124 articles so far, you can find them below.


Teaching Undergraduate Research Methods Using Action Learning Sets – Video Post

This video presentation explores the methods that I’ve been using with my undergraduate students to help them to gain a practical understanding of research methods and to become prepared to use research within their final year project.

The presentation is part of the current Higher Education Academy project on Innovation In The Assessment Of Social Science Research Methods. Although my approach is geared around my experiences with Computing students, I do feel that the techniques are applicable to other academic disciplines, and I’ll be interested to hear any thoughts and ideas.

The slides are also available on my SlideShare account.

How To Create A High Quality Personal Statement For University Entry

As part of my responsibility for the BSc Computer Science course at Birmingham City University, I get the opportunity to review a lot of Personal Statements submitted by students looking to join the course.

I spoke to students at Solihull College about how to best present themselves for successfully university entry and the slides are included below. The slides are hosted on the SlideShare account for Thomas Lancaster.

I do recommend that students put the time in to identify their skills and experience and to relate these to the courses that they want to take.

This will help them to obtain a valuable and worthwhile position to study a Computing or IT subject at Birmingham City University.

How To Quickly Grow Your Pinterest Profile

One area I’ve been working on is expanding my use of Pinterest, as it’s an excellent social site, but one that I’ve fallen very behind with.

You can view my Pinterest profile here.

Pinterest is mostly a site where you can share graphics and images that you’ve seen on other sites and liked. You can also upload your own graphics and images directly to Pinterest.

However, this definition is quite broad, as you can also pin videos, slides and other resources.

There are several ways to quickly add pins to images of interest.

First of all, if you Follow other prolific pinners, you can repin some of the pins that they’ve made.

Second, you can create boards relating to areas of your research. Then just choose some of the main sites that you know of and pin appropriate images.

Third, pin your own talks. This can easily increase their exposure. You can pin slides that you’ve uploaded to SlideShare.

Fourth, you can search websites directly on Pinterest to find appropriate graphics. Use this to start off with some of your own other professional presence sites.

Fifth, grabbing screenshots is a great way to quickly create other images which you can share.

Just be creative! Pinterest had a lot of potential and is an excellent visual community and a way to expand on your own professional online presence.

Examples Of Promoting Research Through Professional Presences

Here are the slides that I delivered at the HEA workshop “Professional Presences For Academics” related to examples of different promotional methods. The slides are hosted on the SlideShare account for Thomas Lancaster.

They cover all types of ways of self-promotion using web sites, blogs and social media, but they will be particularly useful to anyone involved with academic research.


One thing that I’ve found works very well is promoting talks and research activities both before, during and after their release, and these slides include a number of examples and ideas.

What Makes Up A Professional Presence For Academics?

There’s always a question about what makes up a good professional presence for academics.

There are so many different sites which could be registered with and used, and this can look overwhelming to someone new to representing themselves online.

These are the slides I delivered for a recent Higher Education Academy workshop where I broke down the main different components which should be considered. The are hosted on SlideShare account for Thomas Lancaster.

One area I found particularly useful to go through was the different ways in which you can promote academic research using social media, so a number of sites related to that are included.

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