Keynote Presentations


Prof. Mark RussellProfessor Mark Russell

Head of the Centre for Technology-Enhanced Learning

King’s College, London


Mark Russell is director of technology enhanced learning at King’s College London and has been working in higher education for 17 years. Mark is an engineer by background with disciplinary interests in the thermal and fluid sciences. This area of interest includes simulations and computer programming. In addition Mark has developed expertise relating to learning and assessment. Indeed, his PhD was in the area of technology-enhanced educative assessment. Mark won the Times Higher e-tutor of the year (2003), is a National Teaching Fellow (2005) and directed the JISC funded ‘Effecting Sustainable Change in Assessment Practice and Experience’ project. Prior to Mark’s departure to King’s College London (from the University of Hertfordshire), he was the director of the JISC funded ‘Integrating Technologies for Enhanced Assessment Methods’ project, a project that has an institutional remit and one that also seeks to develop students’ awareness and self-regulation.

Presentation:  Diffusing the innovation: An institution-wide deployment of electronic voting systems


During my years as an educator and a delegate at numerous conferences I have seen a number of brilliant technology enhanced learning developments; developments that are impactful and have reportedly brought about significant learning and / or resource savings. Disappointingly, in some cases these innovative developments have not been taken up immediately by the host institution. Whilst a lack of an immediate institution-wide uptake may reduce the potential for wider and immediate benefit it is true also that a slower process may be at work. Innovators should not be dissuaded by the speed of diffusion.

During my presentation I will set out an institutional approach to the deployment of Electronic Voting Systems and explore the move from innovative small scale activity to a University-wide endeavour.



Prof. Alejandro ArmelliniProfessor Alejandro Armellini

Director, Institute of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

University of Northampton


Professor Alejandro (Ale) Armellini’s research focuses on learning innovation, online pedagogy, course design in online environments, institutional capacity building, open practices and pedagogical design. Ale has extensive international teaching and programme development experience across many educational sectors. Over the years, he has provided specialist support to academic course teams through the structured Carpe Diem process ( and other evidence-based learning design interventions. He has taught on and researched virtual learning environments and a variety of synchronous and asynchronous technologies as part of on and off-site programmes in HE. His PhD tutees research specific areas in the field of educational technology, pedagogy, openness and innovation. Teams under his leadership have researched learning technologies and their application in diverse academic settings and programmes. He is active in consultancy work globally.

Presentation:  Foresight and choices for 21st Century learning


Today’s students operate in a highly networked environment. While they, like their tutors, display varying levels of digital literacy, 21st Century learners expect their higher education experience to benefit from fit-for-purpose pedagogical design and innovation. Learning technologies play a key role in facilitating the collaborative construction of knowledge in different modes of study. Since the late 90s, Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) have provided a safe environment for tutors to design the online components of their courses and for learners to interact with content, peers and tutors. Today, VLEs are just one element of a complex toolkit – one in which content is not king. Open Educational Resources, social media and massive online open courses (MOOCs), among other developments, shape what higher education learners and tutors do and expect today. This session will highlight how, in this fascinating context, HE practitioners and learners can trigger innovation in course design leading to transformational learning experiences in an open world. Not for the fainthearted.


Prof. Peter Hartley

Professor Peter Hartley

Visiting Professor at Edge Hill University and independent HE consultant


Peter Hartley is Visiting Professor at Edge Hill and independent HE consultant. Formerly Professor of Education Development at University of Bradford, he is a National Teaching Fellow with a longstanding interest in the applications of computer technology to student learning. This interest was reflected in his leadership of recent JISC projects  on topics including the use of social software, audio feedback, and computer-aided assessment, his involvement in the award-winning Learn Higher resource ongroupwork, his work with the information search tool developed at Bradford: C-Link, and the multimedia software he  developed to support students’ job-hunting through interactive virtual learning. Interviewer and its companion viva simulation will be available online to students at Edge Hill and other pilot institutions this year. He was Critical Friend to a cluster of projects in the JISC Curriculum Delivery Programme and is currently working with a number of projects, including:  the Greenwich project on Digital Literacy in Transition; developing the Work-based learning Maturity Toolkit in work-based learning initiatives across Scotland; extending the e-reflect tool and Making Assessment Count (MAC) framework;  and revising and extending the Viewpoints resources for curriculum development.  He was project director for the NTFS Group Project on Programme Assessment Strategies ( which is now in its final evaluation stage. Recent publications include co-editor and contributor to ‘Learning Development in Higher Education’ and co-writer of ‘Success in Groupwork’ (both Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and the 2nd edition of ‘Business Communication’ (Routledge, 2013).

Presentation:  From Banda to OHP to VLE to MOOC … where now?

Reflections and practical suggestions based on 40 years at the chalkboard/ohp/cathode ray tube/touchscreen interface.


My teaching career started in the late 1960s when the available technology included the joys of the hand-cranked Banda and we only came across semesters in American movies or Archie comics. So as I hunch over laptop and/or tablet to sort out the session which is my responsibility on a forthcoming MOOC, I can reflect that most aspects of HE teaching (not to mention our economic and social context) have changed within my lifetime – institutions, structures, course documentation, classroom  technology, class size etc. So we can ask a few fundamental questions:

What have we learned about the ‘best’ ways to teach?

How much have we really changed in terms of our daily teaching practice?

What do we need to change now?

These questions are timely as HE continues to face major criticisms from both without and within, including:

“Growing numbers of students are sent to college at increasingly higher costs, but for a large proportion of them the gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and written communication are either exceedingly small or empirically nonexistent.” (Arum and Roksa, 2011)

“Higher education institutions do decently with knowledge transmission. Unfortunately, they do dismally transmitting skills.” (Schrage, 2010)

“Education needs to be saved from the influence of curriculum experts.” (Furedi, 2009)

“…universities, for all the benefits they bring, accomplish far less for their students than they should.” (Derek Bok, former president of Harvard University)

So this session will try to answer these questions and criticisms and suggest changes we need to make in both the ways we think about and the ways we deliver our teaching. This session will also give you a glimpse of the student of the year 2030 for those of you who are planning ahead!


Dr Mark Kerrigan-HoltDr Mark Kerrigan

Senior Lecturer

University of Greenwich


Mark Kerrigan is a Senior Lecturer in Teaching and Learning, where he is responsible for a series of cross-university activities around curriculum design and delivery. Mark’s work is focused around the strategic and evidence-based use of technology in teaching and learning and he is currently leading a Jisc funded project on Digital Literacies that aims to transform the development of graduate attributes. Mark is interested in assessment and feedback as well as the holistic student experience from both entry into and post graduation.

Mark has a broad teaching experience ranging from Foundation to MSc/PhD and is involved in scientific and pedagogic research. Mark has successfully led numerous funded educational projects, was a core team member of the Jisc Making Assessment Count project and now manages a Jisc national student change agent project. His work is focused on promoting good practice, supporting the student/staff experience and realising opportunities, to tackle head-on the challenges faced by the HE sector.

Simon WalkerDr Simon Walker

Head of the Educational Development Unit

University of Greenwich


Simon Walker is Head of the Educational Development Unit at the University of Greenwich, where he is responsible for a wide range of strategic university initiatives in learning teaching and assessment. He has led a number of nationally funded technology–enhanced learning and change management projects and, in 2006, was awarded a Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellowship. He is Director of the Digital Literacy in Higher Education project, a nationally funded project that aims to explore the student experience of transition in undergraduate programmes within the context of emerging practices in a digital age. He currently co-leads the university’s eCentre with colleagues in the School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences. A keen cyclist he leads the university’s Bicycle Users Group.

Presentation:  Higher education viewed through the lens of digital literacy.


The challenge for the modern university in the digital age is a complex one that involves managing the impact of technological change on its stakeholders and operations. This includes generating learning designs that meet the changing needs of students, and addresses the requirements of business and industry.

Whilst technology is in a continual state of flux, what is becoming clearer is that the future will be built on social interaction, social connectivity, social knowledge construction and collaboration.  This year’s pedagogical key innovation, the MOOC, is still to find its place but there is no denying that it has become part of the learning landscape and may provide new pedagogical models as well insights into new models for funding higher education. Digital literacy now underpins the student learning experience. Engaging in a critical discourse will enable us to enhance our digital practice and ensure a consistency of curriculum design and delivery to develop appropriate graduate attributes leading to effective employment outcomes. Institutions will continue to play a key role; however, it will arguably be different from the role the university plays now.

The speakers discussed some of these challenges and considered a range of approaches for supporting a shifting academic practice.

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