Keynote Speakers

Day One – SOLSTICE Conference


Steve Wheeler

Associate Professor of Learning Technologies,

Plymouth University


The Future is Open (pdf)

Watch Steve’s keynote on YouTube >>>


The use of personal technologies and social media is burgeoning across all sectors of education and training, resulting in a growing body of openly available user generated content. Learners are creating, organising, sharing and repurposing this content in a number of new and creative ways. Teachers are also increasingly engaged in the creation, repurposing, filtering, curation and delivery of digital content.

This raises many questions: How do we make sense of all this content? How do we evaluate its quality? How will copyright and intellectual property need to change to adapt to the demands of learning and teaching in a digital age? There are other issues too: In an age where economic uncertainty and human need is increasingly evident, it seems perverse to hoard knowledge in any form, and yet academic publishers and ‘edubusinesses’ continue to make huge profits from the academic community.

In this presentation Steve argued that the future lies not in the commoditisation of knowledge, but in openness. He explored how openness is impacting upon classroom pedagogy and institutional provision. He discussed recently emerging open approaches to education including Open Educational Resources (OER), Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and Open Scholarship and assessed the impact of the Copyleft movement, Creative Commons and other forms of open licensing and their place within our digital age pedagogies.


Originally trained as a psychologist, he has spent his entire career working in media, technology and learning, predominantly in nurse education (NHS 1981-1995) and teacher education and training (1976-1981 and 1995-present).

A trained educator, he now teaches on a number of undergraduate and post-graduate teacher education programmes. He specialises in research on e-learning and distance education, with particular emphasis on social media and Web 2.0 tools.  He is currently involved in several research programmes related to e-learning, social media and handheld technologies.

Steve is the author of more than 150 scholarly articles and is an active and prolific edublogger. His blog Learning with ‘e’s is a regular online commentary on the social and cultural impact of disruptive technologies, and the application of digital media in education and training.

Steve is chair of the Plymouth e-Learning Conference, and between 2008-2011 was co-editor of the journal Interactive Learning Environments. He serves on the editorial boards of a number of learning technology and education related open access academic journals including Research in Learning Technology (formerly ALT-J), the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning and Digital Culture and Education.

In 2008 Steve was awarded a Fellowship by the European Distance and E-learning Network (EDEN), and in 2011 he was elected to serve as a member of the Steering group of EDEN’s Network of Academics and Professionals (NAP). He is also chair of the influential worldwide research group IFIP Technical Committee Working Group 3.6 (distance education) and is author of several books including The Digital Classroom (Routledge: 2008) and Connected Minds, Emerging Cultures (Information Age: 2009).


Professor Rob Reed

Pro-Vice Chancellor (Learning and Teaching)

CQUniversity Australia


Nice and Easy Does It: using technology to support the mapping and enhancement of core graduate attributes across undergraduate programmes (pdf)

 Watch Rob’s keynote on YouTube >>>



Following extensive consultation with staff, CQUniversity developed a set of eight core graduate attributes in 2010. The educational development team then devised an innovative online mapping tool to enable discipline leaders to engage with the process of mapping and enhancing their programmes to scaffold the development of core graduate attributes across the curriculum. The philosophy of the team was to use technology to make the process as straightforward and intuitive as possible. The mapping tool provided discipline leaders with as much information as possible, without them having to re?enter module details, etc. After a successful pilot in 2011, the key elements of the process are now embedded in the University’s systems for curriculum development and quality assurance.


Originally a bio-scientist, Rob is responsible for leading the University’s strategic initiatives to enhance the quality of teaching and learning at CQUniversity. He has experience in the development and application of work?integrated learning, self and peer assessment, graduate attributes and skills, including discipline?specific practical work, and the role of formative feedback in enhancing learning. He is a co?author of Pearson Education’s ‘Practical Skills’ series of undergraduate student textbooks, with titles covering Biology, Bio-molecular Sciences, Chemistry, Forensic Science, Environmental Science, Food Science and Sport Science. Rob was awarded an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation in 2010 for developing resources to support student learning across the sciences.


Day Two – CLTR Conference


Professor Margaret Price

Professor in Learning and Assessment and Director of the Pedagogy Research Centre including ASKe

Oxford Brookes University


Assessment and Feedback: The Route to Success (pdf)

Watch Margaret’s keynote on YouTube >>>


Success can mean different things for different students but almost always it includes achievement in assessment.  This means not only must students master their subjects but must also learn to navigate assessment processes. In higher education these processes can be very different from those encountered in earlier educational experiences and more complex than they first appear. Traditionally students have been left to work them out for themselves but there are strong arguments that the mysteries of assessment practice get in the way of learning and need to be resolved quickly. In addition, in the coming era of increasing expectations of ‘customer service’ there is a need to find  ways in which we can help students to more easily get to grips with what is required of them in assessment and how the system works. If students are more assessment literate it is more likely that they can reach their best level of performance and success.

Understanding assessment standards and processes involves more than spelling out assessment criteria and descriptors and useful feedback has to go beyond a carefully crafted product.

This presentation drew on a growing body of literature that recognises the importance of dialogue and  involving students at all stages of the assessment process. It recognised the constraints that exist in a massified and diverse higher education system to look at practical ways in which this can be achieved by taking a
programme view of assessment and identifying activities throughout the assessment process. The presentation addressed the development of assessment literacy and what it means for students, staff and approaches to learning and teaching.


Margaret Price is Professor in Learning and Assessment and Director of the Pedagogy Research Centre including the ASKe CETL at Oxford Brookes University her role involves working with a team of colleagues to build a learning community centred on assessment, to encourage innovation and foster evidence-based assessment practice within the Higher Education sector.

Margaret was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in June 2002 in recognition of her excellence in teaching and contribution to the development of learning, teaching and assessment in Higher Education, especially through curriculum development in interdisciplinary learning and interpersonal skills development. She leads the development of learning and teaching in the Business School through the development of strategy, sharing and enhancement of good practice, and innovation in learning, teaching and assessment methods.

Margaret is involved in a range of external learning, teaching and assessment projects as a steering group member or adviser and is a reviewer for various national and international journals. She regularly presents and is consultant to a number of Higher Education institutions both at home and abroad.

For further information on ASKe and Margaret’s published papers go to:

Dr Theresa Lillis

Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Language and Communication

The Open University


Academic Literacies: how research and theory about academic writing can contribute to transforming practice

Watch Theresa’s keynote on YouTube >>>


Academic Literacies is a field of research and intellectual inquiry that has developed over the last twenty years, with particularly strong roots in the UK and South Africa. In broad terms, it is a field that has grown out of practitioners’ dissatisfaction with dominant deficit approaches to student writing, has set out to explore the nature of literacy practices of academia and to consider the consequences of such practices for individuals, institutions and knowledge making more generally. Academic literacies has two defining characteristics: a ‘critical ethnographic gaze’ which involves a social practice perspective on writing and literacy and a ‘transformative ideological gaze’ which seeks to describe dominant conventions and also to open up debate about these and other resources for writing and meaning making in the academy.

This presentation outlined what’s involved in an ‘academic literacies’ approach to academic writing and to explore what it has to offer students, teachers and academics writing for publication. Theresa drew on a range of research and pedagogic interventions to explore the following questions: what do we (students, scholars, researchers, analysts, institutions) mean by academic writing? what do we want from academic writing? what are the boundaries around ‘academic writing’ and other writing and semiotic practices? to what extent are disciplinary based and dominant rhetorical conventions meaningful for knowledge making in the contemporary world, and from whose perspective?


Theresa Lillis is a Senior lecturer in language and education at The Open University,UK. She has taught English as a second language at primary, secondary, adult and higher education levels as well as courses in academic writing and writing for publication, language studies, language and learning, applied linguistics, sociolinguistics and English as a second language/bilingualism. Her principal research areas are the academic writing and literacy practices of students (primarily for assessment) and scholars (primarily for publication), as well as writing across academic and non-academic domains. Her concern with writing centres on the politics of access, location, production and participation.

Publications which she has authored and co-authored include Student writing. Access, regulation and desire (Routledge 2001),  Teaching Academic Writing: a toolkit for higher education (Routledge, 2003, with Coffin, Curry. Goodman Hewings and Swann) and Academic writing in a global context (Routledge 2010, with Mary Jane Curry), as well as  articles in numerous journals including Language and Education, TESOL Quarterly, Written Communication, Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses, Teaching in Higher Education, and the International Journal of Applied Linguistics. She is currently completing a more general book on writing, The sociolinguistics of writing, to be published by Edinburgh University Press.





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