Professor Terry Mayes

Emeritus Professor of Lifelong Learning
Terry Mayes has enjoyed a long career in teaching and research, and latterly in learning and teaching aspects of HE policy. After a PhD in human learning from the Univ. of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Terry’s early work in educational technology was followed by 14 years as a lecturer in psychology at the Univ. of Strathclyde, with a research interest in cognitive aspects of learning. Since the mid-eighties his research has centred on the development of technology-enhanced learning in HE. He was Deputy Director of the Scottish Human-Computer Interaction Centre at Strathclyde Univ. from 1986-1990, and then Dir. of Research in the Institute for Computer-Based Learning at Heriot-Watt Univ. from the Institute’s formation in 1990. In ICBL the research programme was funded under five different EU programmes, directly by industry (Digital & BT), and through both University Funding Council and Research Council projects.

The main theme of Terry's research and writing has been to apply learning theory to the understanding of pedagogy, with a particular focus on enhancement through technology. During the late 1990s he led collaborative projects funded through the UK Research Councils (both ESRC and EPSRC) involving research on the educational potential of vicarious learning. His subsequent research has extended more widely into the study of learning cultures.

From the early 1990s Terry has been increasingly involved in learning and teaching policy. He was a member of the MacFarlane committee which produced a report on the potential for learning technology in HE, the significance of which was reflected in Dearing. He became a member of the learning and teaching committee for the SFC, in which capacity he sat on the JISC main committee. In 1996 Terry joined GCU where he headed the academic practice area and chaired the University’s learning and teaching committee. He shared the chairing of two of the Scottish QAA sector-wide enhancement themes (flexible learning and the first year experience) and was a member of the QAA advisory committee on the introduction of ELIR. Subsequently, he has been the formative evaluator/critical friend for the HEA Benchmarking programme and has coordinated the team of critical friends through the Pathfinder (HEFCE) and Gwella (HEFCW) programmes. He also acted as e-pedagogy advisor on the Scottish e-learning Transformation Project TESEP (Transforming & Enhancing the Student Experience through Pedagogy), 2006-9. In 2012 he was appointed as adviser to the Scottish enhancement theme: Developing and Supporting the Curriculum.

Internationally, since the late 1980s Terry has acted in numerous capacities in EU Framework and related programmes, both as research participant and reviewer. He has acted as an external advisor at the National Science Foundation in the USA, at NUI Galway, and at the Univ. of Cape Town. During 2019 he was a Visiting Prof. at the Univ. of Eswatini. In 2007 Terry was awarded an honorary life membership of ALT.

A small selection of representative publications:
• Mayes J. T. (2020) Learning Theory and the New Science of Learning, In H. Beetham and R. Sharpe (eds.) Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age, 3rd Edition, Oxford: Routledge.
• Mayes J. T. (2015) Still to learn from vicarious learning. E-Learning & Digital Media 12, 3-4, 361-371. Available at
• Mayes J.T. (2009) 'All in the Mind': Programmes for the Development of Technology-Enhanced Learning in Higher Education, In J.T. Mayes, D. Morrison, H. Mellar, P. Bullen & M. Oliver (eds.) Transforming Higher Education through Technology-Enhanced Learning, York: HEA. Available at
• Mayes, J.T. (2009) An overview of the Scottish enhancement theme for the first year, Report for QAA Scotland. Available at

A more comprehensive list, with citation details, can be viewed at