Effective use of learning technologies to enhance learning and teaching.
I am a graduate of Computer Science (UEA, 1983), have worked in many large and small companies, both in the UK and abroad, including some memorable times in Holland and Saudi Arabia (quite a contrast!)
I ran a small IT consultancy for many years in Skelmersdale, trained as a secondary school teacher (Edge Hill, 2002-03), and then taught ICT in a Liverpool comprehensive school for five years.
I began my Masters in e-learning in 2006, and that led me to take up my current post of Learning Technology Development Officer in December 2007. In 2010 I gained my MA in e-learning. Thus, my background encapsulates a deep understanding of information and communication technologies with a similarly deep understanding of teaching and learning grounded in many years of practice.
After six years in post I continue to think my job is one of the best in the world: I love the campus, nearly all of the work, and have great colleagues. Also, and in no small measure, I appreciate the opportunities available when working at a university.
Academic and Research Interests: I have a passion for the use of ICT in education that is borne out of a desire to reap the rewards I envisage if used effectively for teaching and learning. In spite of massive investments that have been made in ICT equipment, infrastructure and procedures (Cuban, 2001; Steel, 2009; Reynolds et al., 2003; Field, 2000; Morgan, 2001) I believe we are still only seeing glimpses of the benefits the technologies will bring - the scalability of the new technologies will result in affordances well beyond contemporary imagination. Thus my research interests are around the effective use of ICT in teaching and learning, the identification of good practice, and how to accelerate the adoption of such practice. I have conducted research into how academic staff have used technologies in their teaching and learning and have found that teachers who demonstrate effective use of these technologies have often achieved this in the face of significant barriers. They have been challenged by being at the forefront of their practice, finding their way in an uncertain environment, often criticized by peers and colleagues, unsupported and marginalised by management, forced to adopt pedagogies that don’t fit with 21st century learners, pedagogies that I believe ill-prepare students to serve society as we approach the middle of this millennium (Callaghan, 2010). My main research area at present is the effective use of online tools (synchronous and asynchronous) to help support students and facilitate the full potential within the student body – see: http://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/learningedge/2013/11/01/a-tidal-wave-of-discussion/ for more information.
Constructing Learner Identity in a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
It Ain't Enhancing Learning If It's Not Available: How the learner experience has informed policy and practice around VLE management
SOLSTICE & CLTR Conference 2011 (2011)
Upgrading to Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1 - a University's Journey
Blackboard Teaching and Learning Conference, 2011 (2011)
Moving Assessed Student Presentations Online: How a Change in Practice Brought "...a breath of fresh air" to the Student Experience