Dr Jo Rushworth is a Senior Lecturer at De Montfort University where she is a passionate advocate of personalised student experience, inspired by her diverse student body. She's known for introducing her module in 20 languages.
Jo started out as a secondary school teacher, where she became passionate about personalised and inclusive learning. She shared national teaching awards for her students' GCSE and A level results. Inspired, she returned to academia as a mature student. Her vocation is to radically enhance teaching and learning in universities to meet the needs of todays diverse students. Since starting her first lecturing post in 2014, Jo has devoted her career to finding ways for each of her students to excel, as well as supporting her colleagues to become outstanding teachers.
Impact of work
Jo has been described as a 'rising star'; she was awarded her Teacher Fellowship within a few months of lecturing and she was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2015. She has received a record number of nominations for the Vice-Chancellors Distinguished Teaching Award which she won in 2016.
Jo's work is all about creating a personalised learning experience for every student and encouraging lecturers to be inclusive and experimental teachers. Jo has shared her inclusive practice at international conferences and she is now a national leader of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), an innovative curriculum framework based on flexible ways to learn. She designed sector-leading UDL guidance for all staff at De Montfort University, which has been shared nationally and internationally. Jo's UDL guidance, training, workshops and support for staff has led to a radical enhancement of teaching and learning.
Jo recently played a key role in creating a brand new UDL-centred PGCertHE course at De Montfort University, which has over 100 students enrolled. This has received phenomenal engagement and feedback from participants with far-reaching, transformational changes to teaching practice.
Plans for the future
Jo's approach is student-focused and she is passionate about co-creation. She still includes herself as a developing teacher and she has co-created with her students various powerful initiatives to enhance the impact of student feedback on staff development. Jo's plans for the future include co-creating a regional hub and then a national UDL hub for sharing and creating innovative, inclusive practice.