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Dr Jennie Mills

Associate Professor, Acting Head of the Academic Development Centre


Following my doctorate (a broadly interdisciplinary study of representations of female sexuality in early eighteenth-century texts) I taught briefly at the University of Sussex before moving to the Open University. I taught interdisciplinary Arts and Humanities modules and worked as an Educational Adviser, including a secondment to the Open University Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) for Personalised Integrated Learner Support.

In 2010 I joined The Higher Education Academy working initially with the Arts and Humanities cluster and then more broadly to enhance teaching and learning through research, academic development work, strategic enhancement projects, and consultancy. I came to Warwick in October 2015.

I am Acting Head of the Academic Development Centre, and co-lead the Academic and Professional Pathway for Teaching Excellence, convene the Warwick Awards for Teaching Excellence, and am a mentor and assessor on our experiential pathway to HEA Fellowship (APP EXP). I am an alumni of WIHEA.


I have particular expertise in digital and distance education, assessment and feedback, and a growing interest in AI. I am interested in the role of play in higher education, and am a trained facilitator in the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY® methodology.

My research is currently focused upon the role of arts-based methodologies in teaching enhancement and educational research.

Journal articles

Carr, J., Cunningham, C., Mills, J. and Taylor, N. (2021) "It's all fun and games until someone loses an 'I'", The Journal of Play in Adulthood 3(2), p.62-81. doi:


Cunningham, C. and Mills, J. (2020) ‘Caged (Educational) birds: a hybrid metaphorical enquiry’, International Journal for Academic Development

Book chapters

Newell, S., Beynen, T., Mills, J., Mason, J., Chia, I., Lai, E., Fitzgerald, R., and Hall, K. (in press). ‘Equitable integration of GenAI in Higher Education: Insights from current practices and educator attitudes’ in Beckingham, S., Lawrence, J., Powell, S. and Hartley, P. (eds) Using Generative AI effectively in Higher Education: sustainable and ethical Artificial Intelligence for the common good, London: Routledge.

Mills, J., Carr, J., Taylor, N., and Cunningham, C. (in press) 'Expertise is . . . never having to say you are sorry. Academic development and the artistry of improvisation' in King, H. (ed) The Artistry of Teaching in Higher Education: Practical Ideas for Developing Creative Academic Practice. London: Routledge.

Mills, J. and King, E.L., (2019) ‘ESCAPE! Puzzling out learning theories through play.’ in James, A. and Nerantzi, C. (eds) The Power of Play in Higher Education: Creativity in Tertiary Learning, London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Mills, J. (2009) ‘Rape and the Construction of Female Sexuality in the Eighteenth Century’ in Peakman, J. (ed) Sexual Perversions, 1670-1880, London: Palgrave.

Conference Papers

Mills, J. and Cunningham, C. (2023, November). 'Unlived experiences: bringing SoTL to life through fiction', workshop at the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference (ISSoTL), Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Hanstedt, P., Cunningham, C., Mills, J., and Gray, R. (2023, November). 'Literature as lens: rereading higher education and its contexts to better understand teaching, universities, and SoTL', Poster presented at International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference (ISSoTL), Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Mills, J., Carr, J., Taylor, N. and Cunningham, C. (2022, October). ‘Love Expertise is . . . never having to say you are sorry: academic development and the artistry of improvisation’. Exploring Expertise for Teaching in Higher Education: The Artistry of Teaching symposium, University of the West of England/University of Warwick.

Mills, J. (2022, June). ‘You've been framed: reflective practice or pastiche?’ Poster presented at International Consortium for International Development (ICED), Aarhus, Denmark.


Mills, J. and Fossey, P. (2021, November). ‘Hard to place: why post-pandemic teaching doesn’t fit the PG Cert mould’, recorded presentation for Online Symposium: Adapting and thriving: the PG Cert in Teaching in Higher Education’, University of Birmingham, available online.

Mills, J. and Cunningham, C. (2021). ‘The eye of the beholder’: beauty, subjectivity and meaning in educational research. Paper accepted for the International Academic Identities Conference, Roskilde, Denmark but unable to attend due to COVID-19 pandemic.


Gramaglia, L. and Mills, J. (2019, June) ‘Pathways to Fellowship: Recognising practice, impact and leadership in HE teaching and learning’, Learning and Teaching Conference, Monash University, Melbourne.


Mills, J., Hattersley, S., Humphreys, J. and Rupp, W. (2018, July). ‘Pathways to Fellowship: Roads less travelled’,, AdvanceHE, Birmingham.

Mills, J. (2018, June). ‘Spinning Dancers: a provocation’, 'Humanising learning and teaching – what the Arts and Humanities can do for learning and teaching in an age of metrics’, University of Stirling, Scotland.


Cunningham, C. and Mills, J. (2016, December). ‘Caged (Educational) birds: a hybrid metaphorical enquiry’, Society for Research into Higher Education Annual Conference, Newport, Wales.


Carr, J., Cunningham, C., Osborn, J. and Taylor, N. (2015, September). ‘Lacunae of enchantments: unfolding spaces ‘in which it is once more possible to think … and act’, Re-enchanting the Academy, Canterbury.

Osborn, J. Keynote: 'Flipping the HE classroom into the future’, CNaPPES, Leiria, Portugal, July 2015.

Osborn, J. Keynote: ‘Inspiring teaching: transforming learning’, Survival of the fittest?’ A symposium about Dance, Drama and Music in HE, February 2015.

Osborn, J. and Taylor, N. ‘Lids up or lids down? Technology in the HE classroom', HEA enhancement event, London, January 2015.


Mills, J. Keynote: ‘Learning, teaching and other stories’, LASALLE College of Art, Singapore, September 2014.

Chick, N., Cunningham, C., Loads, D. and Osborn, J. (2014, June). ‘Methodological and epistemological shifts in the scholarship of learning and teaching – making a case for the Arts & Humanities’, ICED, Stockholm, Sweden.

Cunningham, C. and Osborn, J. (2014, June) ‘Challenging world views: what can narratives of learning and teaching tell us about academic development?’ ICED, Stockholm, Sweden.

Carr, J., Osborn, J. and Taylor, N. (2014, April). ‘Researching learning and teaching practice: exchanging narratives to articulate change’, Discourse, Power, and Resistance, Greenwich, UK.


Carr, J., Cunningham, C. Osborn, J. and Taylor, N. (2013, December). ‘The role of performance and narration in translating professional standards into practice: four different analytical models’, Society for Research into Higher Education Annual Conference, Newport, Wales.

Cunningham, C. and Osborn, J. (2013, October). ‘Kissing the frog: transforming teachers by turning poetry into praxis’, ISSOTL, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

Cunningham, C. and Osborn, J. (2013, May). ‘‘Imaginary gardens with real toads: using poetry as metaphor in our own practice’, Storyville, Higher Education Academy Arts and Humanities Annual Conference, Brighton, UK.


Beard, J. and Osborn, J. (2009, October). “Investigative approaches to student transitions by practitioners’, ISSOTL, Bloomington, Indiana.

Blog posts

‘We may be in the gutter’, Lacunae: a generative learning space, 7 April 2020. Available at

‘Love acts: swipe left’, Lacunae: a generative learning space, 13 February 2020. Available at

Creating compassionate spaces in higher education, LSE Higher Education blog, 15 November 2019. Available at

‘The embeddedness scale’, LSE Higher Education blog, 21 June 2019. Available at

Photograph of Jennie Mills


Tel: x73249