Teaching and supervising

I am a senior lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Edinburgh, and my teaching focuses on the MSc in Digital Education, a large, distance programme with around 200 students from more than 40 countries. Between 2012-15 I was director of the  programme. I lead Research Methods, Digital futures for learning, and also teach Introduction to digital environments for learning. Between 2009-13 I was co-developer and -teacher of the open access E-learning and digital cultures course.

Along with four other colleagues, I developed and taught the E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), on the Coursera platform. This was one of the first six MOOCs to be developed by the University of Edinburgh. The five-week MOOC ran for the first time in February 2013, again in November 2013 and November 2014 – in total more than 75,000 people have enrolled for the course. Read more about the early experiences of designing and teaching this MOOC, and about our ‘teacherbot’ pedagogical design experiment in 2014. In 2014 I co-authored the ‘Pedagogy of the MOOC‘ report for the Higher Education Academy, and am currently involved in consultancy activity with the World Bank in relation to their MOOC developments.

Between 2013-15 I was external examiner for the MA Education in Virtual Worlds, at the University of West of England.



I supervise MSc and PhD projects on topics relating to online higher education, feedback and assessment, cultural heritage and the arts, information literacy, digital culture, organisations and technology, sustainable education, social media and professional and language learning. If you are interested in working with me, please read more about the kind of research I am potentially able to supervise.

I am currently supervising the following doctoral students:

Completed PhD projects:

PhD, 2015 – Janan Dean, School of Social and Political Sciences. Examining Social Work and Technology: A Cross-Disciplinary Analysis of Technology Issues in Violence Against Women Shelters in Ontario, Canada.

PhD, 2014 – Jeremy Knox, School of Education. Posthumanism and the Massive Open Online Course: contaminating the Subject of Global Education

PhD, 2014 – Claire Wright, School of Education. Arts evaluation and the transformative power of the arts:A visual ethnography of transformative learning in a collaborative community (arts) film.

Completed MSc dissertation projects:

  • 2016, Alex Wingard (Informatics): An Exploration of Item Relatedness in a User-Curated Corpus of Digital Cultural Heritage
  • 2016, Stephen Kilbride: Categories of Difference, Social Interaction, and Identity in online games: Considerations for using games in online learning
  • 2016, Stuart Allan: Migration or transformation? Perspectives on online exams and educational practice
  • 2015, Linda Matthews: Representations of professional identity across digital spaces
  • 2015, Nikki Bourke: An exploration of how design inspired reflections of teaching and learning may illuminate the digital education experience, as situated from within a post-humanist theoretical framework
  • 2015, Susan Driver: Digital Scholarship:  Dipping in and out of a compartmentalised toolbox.
  • 2015, Gina Fierlafijn Reddie: Challenges for the 21st century flâneuse: Social media spaces illustrating the mobility paradigm for online art experiences.
  • 2015, Charmaine McKenzie:  Students’ Experience of Wiki Writing in an Online Distance Education Course
  • 2014, Jessica Black: Communicative Reflection and Identify Formation in an Online Discussion Forum: A study of the use of Dave’s ESL Cafe’s ‘Korea Job-Related Discussion Forum’ by English language teachers in South Korea
  • 2014, Xiangjun Sheng: Exploring entrepreneurial competence development: students’ e-shop creation at a higher vocational and technical college (HVTC) in China
  • 2014, Sarah Treloar: Cornish on Facebook: Access, Community, Learning and Identity
  • Adrian Hudd: Climbing out of the Digital Pigeon Hole:  An exploration of the cultural, generational and neurobiological factors contributing to the complexities of digital education
  • Sharon Boyd,  Green Electracy:  Using a Digital Media Method to Facilitate Loss Reflection and Foster Sustainable Education Practice – related conference presentation
  • Nicola Osborne, Continuing Professional Development in Collaborative Social Media Spaces
  • Mike Kelly, A Portrait of the Artist – e-Portfolios in Higher Education Art and Design