ALT Learning Technologist of the Year Awards 2016 – Finalists and Community Choice Voting

CoSector University of London
ALT Learning Technologist of the Year Awards 2016 sponsored by CoSector – University of London

The ALT Learning Technologist of the Years Awards 2016 were presented at the ALT Annual Conference in Warwick, on 7 September 2016. Find out who won in the Awards media release

Established in 2007, the ALT Learning Technologist of the Year Awards celebrate and reward excellent practice and outstanding achievement in the learning technology field, and aim to promote intelligent use of Learning Technology on a national scale. The Awards are open to individuals and teams based anywhere in the world. The 2016 Awards were sponsored by CoSector – University of London.

The Awards were judged by a panel chaired by Martin Weller, Vice-Chair of ALT and Professor of Educational Technology at the Open University. The panel included:

  • Joel Mills – Technology Enhanced Learning Advisor, University of Hull and last year’s winner in the individual category;
  • Carol Elston – Digital Learning Team, University of Leeds and last year’s winner in the team category;
  • Melissa Highton – Director of Learning, Teaching and Web and Assistant Principal for Online Learning, University of Edinburgh;
  • Vivien Rolfe – Associate Head of Department, University of the West of England and ALT Open Education SIG co-chair;
  • James McDowell – Director of Teaching and Learning, School of Computing and Engineering, University of Huddersfield;
  • Bella Abrams – Trustee of ALT and Director of Innovation and Technology at Hull College Group.

Vote for ‘Community Choice’ [now closed]

The judges choices for individual and team awards were announced at the awards ceremony at the Annual Conference on 7 September. However, we were also giving everyone the opportunity to vote from the judges shortlisted finalists to select this year’s ‘Community Choice’.

How to vote

There are two ways to vote via email and Twitter. Voting will be limited to one vote per account. Your account details (email addresses and Twitter screen names) will not be used for direct marketing or passed by ALT to third parties). All voting is now closed.

Vote via email

Send a message to with the tag of the person or team in the subject line. For example, to vote for Iain Griffin email to with the subject line ‘#LTA1′. We have prepared links below labeled ’email’ which should compose the message for you with you default email client.

Vote via Twitter

Tweet a message with the hashtag #altc and the tag of the person or team you wish to vote for. For example, to vote for Iain Griffin your tweet should include ‘#altc #LTA1’. You are allowed to include other text/links with your tweet. We have prepared the links below labeled ‘tweet’ which compose a suggested tweet for you to edit. Retweets will not be counted. Only publicly visible tweets will be counted. If a Twitter account tweets more than one vote, the last vote will only be counted.

This Year’s Finalists

  • Vote #LTA1 [email | tweet] – Iain Griffin, University of Northampton
  • Vote #LTA2 [email | tweet] – Fiona MacNeill, University of Brighton
  • Vote #LTA3 [email | tweet] – David Watson, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Vote #LTA4 [email | tweet] – Chrissi Nerantzi, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Vote #LTA5 [email | tweet] – Daniel Scott, Barnsley College
  • Vote #LTA6 [email | tweet] – The Open Education Team at The University of Edinburgh
  • Vote #LTA7 [email | tweet] – Heart of Worcestershire College ILT Team
  • Vote #LTA8 [email | tweet] – Digital Education Team at University of Lincoln
  • Vote #LTA9 [email | tweet] – The eLearning team, University of Brighton
  • Vote #LTA10 [email | tweet] – Educational Design and Engagement (EDE) at the University of Edinburgh (UoE)
  • Vote #LTA11 [email | tweet] – Learning Technology and Innovation – London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Vote #LTA12 [email | tweet] – Health E-learning and Media (HELM) team, School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham

More information about each shortlisted finalist is included below:

Shortlisted Finalists

Iain Griffin (Vote #LTA1 [email | tweet])

University of Northampton


Iain typifies a high performing Learning Technologist whose contribution has benefited staff and students both within and outside of Northampton. Those who are aware of his contributions are amazed that whilst part-time he is able to produce outputs which have aided so many individuals and groups.

His friendly, knowledgeable and personable demeanour has meant that he is not only a credit to himself but also to the Learning Technology Team and the wider Library and Learning Services at the University of Northampton.

As well as leading on and driving two major projects in tandem – simply summarised as PebblePad implementation across the School of Health, and the complete re-design and creation of NILE (VLE) Help Guides, but in reality, two colossal achievements – he has continued to support staff and students in a host of other ways. These include supporting academics in their use of NILE, actively championing institutional standards; leading and contributing to PebblePad Steering Group meetings; working through tutors’ SaGE (Submission and Grading Electronically) issues and creating new workflows to streamline current assessment methods; setting up rubrics in NILE for student presentations; promoting, supporting & training tutors in the use of lecture capture (using Panopto & Kaltura) and embedding content into NILE sites; supporting CAIeRO (Creating Aligned Interactive educational Resource Opportunities) events; assisting Health Team Based Learning sessions and advising staff on the use of tools to allow them to complete NMC (Nursing & Midwifery Council) revalidation, to name but a few.

His overall contribution within and beyond the University of Northampton in the use and application of learning technology as facilitator, innovator, researcher, teacher and learner himself is inspirational & prompted his colleagues to nominate him for this award.

“Apart from Iain’s technical know-how, Iain is a willing, cheerful and understanding individual who not only makes our [tutors’] jobs easier but ultimately enhances the….student experience as well as bringing a little more sanity to the lives of our busy mentors out in practice as a result of his sound advice.”  

Senior Health Lecturer at the University of Northampton

Yet his modesty prevails. In Iain’s own words describing the journey:

“It’s been epic!….. but I just got on with it.”

Learn more about Iain’s work in this short video:

Fiona MacNeill (Vote #LTA2 [email | tweet])

University of Brighton


I have worked in the Learning Technologies field for 7 years, in the UK and the US. My prior background as a visual artist fuels my lateral thinking and the aesthetics of my projects. I am passionate about my work and I consider my role as that of a tech-translator; providing vital layers of empathy and interpretation between the experience of my clients and the technology they use. To fulfill that role, I collaborate with my clients to find out what they want to accomplish and consider technology solutions to support their goals. I also look deeper to identify the scaffolding that needs to be in-place to support ongoing skills development. These efforts branch beyond resources and training, to making recommendations to a school for standardisation and/or proposing institutional-level changes. Whatever the solution, I take a holistic approach achieving it and I am not afraid to rock the boat.

As part of my ALT award application I showcased the different types of learning experiences, including appswaps, events and workshops that I have founded and collaborated on during the last three years, while working at the University of Brighton.

Highlighted achievements at University of Brighton:

  • Conception and formation of a community of practice to support mobile learning/teaching (#appswap Breakfasts).
  • Published academically.
  • Piloted and implemented several technologies, including: Turnitin, ConnectTxt for Learn and iOS deployment.
  • I am an active member of the UCISA Digital Capabilities group.
  • I champion accessible technologies.

Learn more about Fiona’s work in this short video:

David Watson (Vote #LTA3 [email | tweet])

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

D.WatsonRelocating to Hong Kong in 2015 after 6 years at a UK HE institution, a fresh environment and new culture at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s Educational Development Centre has enabled me to initiate and implement a number of interactive online and face-to-face (f2f) initiatives.

After successfully achieving CMALT accreditation in 2015 I embarked upon the design & implementation of an online mentor support module, aimed at providing advice and guidance for CMALT applicants from Hong Kong’s 6 tertiary institutions – part of a wider Blended & Online Learning & Teaching (BOLT) course of which I also attained certification.  Acting as mentor, I designed the module as self-paced online mentor-support, using audio-visual ‘Mentor Views’ to stimulate ideas for CMALT applicants, aspiring to reduce referral numbers, increase critical reflection and promote the use of alternative platforms.  In addition, I have contributed to the ALT community with an ALTc Blog (Living in a Mixed Reality, Feb 2015) and ALT Online Winter Conference, 2015.

I have also led the adoption of Augmented Reality (AR) for teaching and learning at PolyU through blended workshops and the proposal of a Community of Practice (CoP) for emerging technologies, in addition to maintaining a working collaboration with the University of Illinois Urban-Champagne (UIUC).  Utilising all four walls, I use AR materials to transform the conventional classroom into a 360° interactive learning tool, encouraging students to explore, engage and interact with different multimedia learning content during ‘free roaming.’  This self-paced free roaming at key intervals allows students to absorb digital content which is overlaid onto the real world, before coming together again as a group to discuss constructed knowledge in peer-to-peer interaction.  This innovation has led to my authoring of a book chapter entitled ‘Enhancing the Physical World with Augmented Reality’ which is to be published as part of ‘Innovative Teaching and Learning Practices in Higher Education’ by Libri Publishing, in collaboration with the Institute for Learning in Higher Education.

Core to my role supporting the institutional VLE’s transitional upgrade to Blackboard 9.1, I facilitated the introduction, training and widespread adoption of iSpring, Kahoot! and Padlet – a toolkit to increase active and collaborative online and f2f learning, whilst re-designing traditional instructor-led f2f Blackboard workshops using Mobile Computer on Wheels (MoCoWs).  Likewise, I have co-developed an eLearning Support website for staff and students as an accessible central hub for video tutorials, pedagogy guidance, policy & procedure, FAQs and much more to promote a community approach to the adoption of Blackboard, MOOCs and online initiatives.

Finally, I focus on instructional design for a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in collaboration with the School of Hotel & Tourism Management – providing pedagogical guidance and insight into curriculum design for online delivery via the edX platform.  As I have particular experience and skills in the development of clinical decision-making formative assessments, I am also currently working with Rehabilitation Sciences to develop a virtual patient project using gamification elements to enhance decision-making skills of rehabilitation students.

Learn more about David’s work in this short video:

Chrissi Nerantzi (Vote #LTA4 [email | tweet])

Manchester Metropolitan University


Hi, I am Chrissi (@chrissinerantzi, link an open practitioner, and work as an academic developer in the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT, link at Manchester Metropolitan University.

I have a passion for experimentation and open education based on democratic values that have the power to bring diverse people together. I share my pedagogical ideas and projects with many others within and outside higher education to spread the bug of open education and cross-boundary learning. Through this we can achieve the development of wider capacity as well as individual and collective growth. I have initiated many successful practitioner driven collaborative open initiatives, which have become co-owned informal cross-institutional collaborations, modelling a democratic approach to openness. Examples include the following open courses

Many of my ideas and projects have become seeds for new explorations within the UK and further afield. Examples of such cross-institutional collaborations include the Open Networked Learning Course (link ) and Mastering Service Innovation (link

I recognise the importance of professional relationships and trust for learning, teaching and development and the role they play in nurturing and sustaining collaboration and communities. Colleagues I have worked closely with since 2013 include Lars Uhlin, Neil Withnell, Sue Beckingham, Prof. Norman Jackson  and Ellie Hannan. I am grateful for their commitment to collaboration, their creative energy and valuable input.

For the last 3½  years, I have been carrying out research at doctoral level in the area of collaborative open learning in the context of cross-institutional academic development. This research directly informs the projects I initiated. My findings open up new possibilities for borderless academic development based on values of openness, cross-boundary collaboration, which are, in my view vital for creating thriving open learning communities and an active society.

Learn more about Chrissi’s work in this short video:

Daniel Scott (Vote #LTA5 [email | tweet])

Barnsley College

Daniel Scott Daniel’s submission describes the individual journey he took by extending his role as a Learning Technologist and the milestones he achieved during it.  Daniel committed and dedicated himself to training and developing a new Instructional Designer and Learning Technologist workforce, through the Digital Learning Design qualification suite.

Daniel was appointed as a Learning Support Technologist at Barnsley College in February 2010.  A year into his role Daniel pursued a personal quest to understand teacher education through PTLLS (2011), CTLLS (2012) and DTLLS (2014).  He then progressed onto assessing (2014), lead internal verifier (2015) and Technology Enhanced Learning MSc (2016).  To complement this, Daniel went above and beyond his role.  From April 2013 to August 2014, Daniel designed, delivered, assessed and managed the Level 4 Certificate in Technology in Learning Delivery to staff.  Which led to him being a finalist for the Digital Practitioner of the Year 2013 by NIACE.

In July 2014, Daniel’s role evolved through the creation of an in-house learning company Elephant Learning Designs.  Daniel recruited a team of apprentices for the Level 3 and 4 Diplomas in Digital Learning Design programmes, that create highly engaging and interactive bespoke eLearning materials and to develop the use of learning technologies.  Daniel now performs a multi-role of a line manager, tutor, assessor and lead internal verifier.  Daniel is responsible for nurturing apprentices’ development, directing their projects, coordinating subject knowledge through current theories, research and using industry good practice to increase their knowledge and skills.

As the Digital Learning Design qualifications were new, little direction, resources and expertise was available.  Daniel used his knowledge, skills and experience to design the Level 3 job description to the Instructional Designer and Level 4 to the Learning Technologist, which enabled career pathways into these roles.  This refined Elephant Learning Design’s strategy to provide an effective service to its clients.

Daniel is highly proactive, reflective and evaluative of his experiences and professionalism through his personal and professional blog which enables him to inform his and the organisations development.

As a result, the use of eLearning materials on the Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle) has significantly improved from ‘static’ content to more interactive content.  Staff training on learning technology has increased.  Elephant Learning Designs has also been recognised by obtaining a number of awards.  Daniel contributed to a Jisc case study on his digital assessment and feedback practices in Work Based Learning: Rethinking assessment of work-based learning.

Learn more about Daniel’s work in this short video:

The Open Education Team at The University of Edinburgh (Vote #LTA6 [email | tweet])


The Open Education Team at the University of Edinburgh is a virtual team within the Information Services Group, Learning, Teaching and Web Services Division and our role is to coordinate open education and open knowledge activities across the University.

The team is made up of Lorna M Campbell, OER Liaison – Open Scotland, Stuart Nicol, Learning Technology Team Manager, Stephanie (Charlie) Farley, OER Advisor, Ewan McAndrew, Wikimedian-in-Residence, Jo Spiller, Head of Educational Design and Engagement, Eugenia Twomey, Student Engagement Officer, Anne-Marie Scott, Head of Digital Learning Applications & Media, Susan Greig, Learning Technology Advisor and Martin Tasker, Open Content Curation Intern.

Edinburgh’s Vision for OER builds on the history of the Edinburgh Settlement, excellent education and research collections, traditions of the enlightenment and the University’s civic mission.  This vision is supported by the University’s OER Policy, which places open education at the heart of learning and teaching strategy. The Open Education Team undertakes a wide range of activities that support staff and students to engage with OER, and help the institution to mainstream digital education across the curriculum.

The OER Service run by Stuart Nicol and Stephanie (Charlie) Farley supports course teams, staff and students to develop digital literacies around OER.  Stuart and Charlie run creative workshops that help colleagues achieve practical goals whilst learning about the value of OER and Creative Commons.  They also contribute to the University’s new CMALT programme managed by Susan Greig.

Open.Ed is our one-stop-shop OER website, which provides access to ‘how to’ guides; OER collections; and blog feeds from OER practitioners.  Martin Tasker, our Open Content intern, helps staff and students to publish collections that engage with the wider community.

The Open Education Team works closely with Wikimedia UK and includes a dedicated Wikimedian-in-Residence, Ewan McAndrew, who runs skills training events and editathons, along with Jo Spiller and Eugenia Twomey, to help encourage more women to become editors, and improve the coverage of Wikipedia articles about women.

The Team also supports Open Scotland a cross sector initiative, run by Lorna M. Campbell that aims to raise awareness of open education, and explore the potential of open policy and practice to benefit all sectors of Scottish education. Earlier this year Lorna was privileged to co-chair the OER16 conference. The theme of OER16 was Open Culture and the conference was a huge success attracting a wide range of international delegates.

Learn more about the Open Education Team’s work in this short video:

Heart of Worcestershire College ILT Team (Vote #LTA7 [email | tweet])


The Blended Learning Consortium led by Heart of Worcestershire College was set up in Aug 2015.

The aims of the consortium are to

  • Develop high quality online learning resources, “written and developed by the sector”, for the sector to facilitate blended learning in the FE sector
  • To share the costs of development across a consortium of colleges to help make efficiency savings
  • To help develop the capacity in writing and developing blended learning content across member colleges
  • To collaborate in developing models of blended learning curriculum across member colleges

The consortium works on democratic principles with member colleges proposing areas for development and voting based on their priorities.

The consortium has grown to 70 members in the first year with over 1,000 hours of content across over 30 curriculum areas being developed and shared.

Member colleges pay in £5,000 a year to be part of the consortium; this money is pooled and used to curriculum staff to write and e-learning staff to develop interactive learning objects, typically 30 x 40-60 min resources in each curriculum area chosen.

Member colleges have made huge efficiency savings in development costs through this pooled model of co-development. For their £5K contribution each college receives content developed from a budget of £340,000. This is a leveraged saving of £335,000 per college and amounts to £23.45 million across all partners.

The Heart of Worcestershire College ILT team worked extremely hard over the last year to ensure this success.

There main contributions have included

  • Building and promoting the BLC
  • Managing the workings of the BLC, project managing over 30 strands of content development
  • Training curriculum writers how to story board for online learning and learning technologists how to use Articulate Storyline to develop content
  • Editing and developing content
  • Quality Assurance
  • Building in accessibility features
  • Developing a website

The success of the consortium and the quality of work by the Heart of Worcestershire team is demonstrated by all member colleges planning on continuing into a second year and the expectation that the growth in numbers will continue.

Future plans include a new consortium using the same model to develop and share professional development resources and ongoing work with the American Association of Community Colleges to set up a similar consortium in the US which will reciprocally share content with the UK consortium.

Learn more about Heart of Worcestershire College ILT Team and the Blended Learning Consortium in this short video: 

Digital Education Team at University of Lincoln (Vote #LTA8 [email | tweet])


Our approach to digital education is shaped by our individual backgrounds, University strategy, and the needs of our staff and student partners. Each Digital Education Developer is aligned to a college: Kerry to the Arts, Marcus to Science and Chavan to Social Science. This overview enables us to share practice and create opportunities for collaborations between the disciplines.

As individuals, we each contribute different backgrounds and skills. Kerry came from media and IT training, Chavan from marketing, project management and technology, and Marcus from education and development. We learn a great deal from each other and our success is a result of utilising each member of the team where their skillset will yield the biggest benefit.

We have led the adoption of Jisc’s digital capability framework and set up a project group with full senior management buy-in. The Digital Capabilities project has been central to all our work and underpins every aspect of digital education. Innovation and creativity in learning and teaching require a baseline level of digital capability on which to build. We cannot expect our staff to fully utilise technology if they are not confident, resilient and capable.

We have completed the inaugural pilot of the Jisc Digital Capabilities Discovery Tool, which received a 25% completion rate. The analyses of the data has helped inform discussions about the future resources and development opportunities needed to enhance digital capabilities, through the alignment of our CPD provision with the framework. As testament to the University’s focus on Digital Capabilities, we are working closely with HR to integrate the Discovery Tool to inform appraisal processes.

Most importantly, we consider ourselves educationalists first and technologists second. Our approach is shaped by the differing needs of our colleges and their subject disciplines. We are a team who do not promote the use of technology for technology’s sake. We look at new technologies and consider how learning and teaching can be supported and improved through its use. Our work and decisions are all predicated on the principle of improving our students’ learning experience at Lincoln. We do this by working in partnership with staff to develop their digital capabilities and empower them to employ both appropriate technologies and effective pedagogical practices.  This approach has helped us to develop dynamic, successful relationships across the colleges and professional service departments.

Learn more about the Digital Education Team’s work in this short video: 

The eLearning team, University of Brighton (Vote #LTA9 [email | tweet])


As an elearning team working across multiple campuses we realise the importance in consistency, not just in the support and services available to staff and students, but also  students’ experience of technology as they make their journey through our institution.

This reach extends far beyond our team and we enjoy strong collaboration and influence with other departments within the university, special interest groups, other FE and HE institutions and local schools and outreach groups. This is evident in our hosting of conferences (Mahara Hui), presenting papers at education conferences, publishing scholarly work within the field of EdTech, volunteering for local STEM events and establishing a reputation in gamification for HE.

A common question we all face within the team when introducing ourselves to new faces is: “What does a learning technologies advisor do?” In fact, this can be a fairly existential question on a daily basis. Our job is to bring the technology to those parts of learning and teaching where it makes sense and empowers and, in a way, almost make ourselves and the idea of ‘technology enhanced learning’ invisible.

However, until that happens, we are often getting noticed around campus, whether this is running #AppSwap events for staff, pop-up elearning labs, technology expos, or week-long awareness events (#bright5d). This is the fun side to what we do; of course there is also the equally important ‘bread-and-butter’ side, whereby we maintain, develop and promote a range of online services and technical solutions, not least our VLE which underpins much of our work, plus our sometimes almost evangelical commitment to online assessment, emarking and providing students with a consistent grades journey. As long as these are working fine, we can go on the road with some of the latest tools and tech.

Our job would only get us so far if we did not live and breath what we preach. We each have particular areas of interest in the application of technology, as can be evidenced by our active social media networks, appearances at conferences (EDINEB; ALT; PlayLearn; UCISA), a museum-like haul of gadgets and devices and a willingness to tinker.

We now have help on our mission in the form of student learning technologies ambassadors. After a successful pilot last year, these student helpers will be assisting instructors to deliver teaching which appeals to all learning styles.

Learn more about the eLearning team’s work in this short video: 

Educational Design and Engagement (EDE) at the University of Edinburgh (UoE) (Vote #LTA10 [email | tweet])

ede team

The Educational Design and Engagement team at the University of Edinburgh came into existence less than two years ago bringing together individuals and teams from around the institution.

The team supports the academic and support teams to make best use of technology to support learning and teaching. We have a developing portfolio of 35 MOOCs with over two million sign ups globally. In the past year alone, we have supported a 20% increase in online assessment submission institution-wide as well as over 10, 000 submissions to our ePortfolio.

We support engagement and innovation with technology and in the past year have led on a number of initiatives including exploring drone filming, Minecraft, Photogrammetry and Wearables in learning and teaching.

As a new team, we have also introduced and supported into service four institution-wide initiatives in this past year.

Firstly, a programme of engagement events based around 5 key themes.


We have been running a series of Learning Technology Fairs in collaboration with schools, we have set up a Showcase of Innovators to highlight colleagues leading the way in the use of technology in learning and teaching. We have also established a monthly learning technology networking event which focuses on one of these themes each month – with invited speakers and offering opportunities to try out techniques and technologies as well.

Secondly, we have launched an OER Service to provide guidance and support on using OER. In the past 6 months we have developed an institutional OER policy, launched the Open.Ed website in April and run several game-based workshops on use of images, copyright and licensing.

Thirdly, we have launched a Learning Design service to support new and existing courses to design with the learner experience and assessment at the forefront of the process.

And finally, we are supporting colleagues to become CMALT members. Our aim is to build a strong, supportive community of Learning Technology professionals across the institution for knowledge sharing and skills sharing,.

The Educational Design and Engagement team has achieved a lot in a very short space of time.  It is a responsive, supportive, dynamic and creative team that has not only, supported steady uptake of existing technologies but explored new ideas, new approaches and seen them through into service.

Learn more about EDE’s work in this short video: 

Learning Technology and Innovation – London School of Economics and Political Science (Vote #LTA11 [email | tweet])

LTI LSEStudents as Producers at LSE (SAP@LSE) is a large scale, institution wide learning and teaching initiative led by the Learning Technology and Innovation (LTI) team at the London School of Economics and Political Science.  LTI are the School’s central team leading the enhancement of teaching and learning through technology.  We are staffed by learning technologists, system specialists, research staff and technology experts.

SAP@LSE aims to transform the learning experiences of LSE students through agile and informed curricular enhancement, innovative approaches to teaching and learning with technology and most importantly, collaborative engagement with students to facilitate the co-production of knowledge and to provide enhanced opportunities for learning.

The aim of the initiative is develop and enhance the wide variety of student capabilities to make and share content and knowledge and put the voice of the student at the forefront of assessment and teaching practice. SAP@LSE is a series of linked projects that transform the learning, teaching and assessment experience at the LSE through supporting, embedding and scaling the role of students as co-producers and co-constructers of content and knowledge. It is a close collaboration between LTI and academics; sharing expertise, discipline knowledge and practice.

SAP@LSE has five main streams of activity; each designed to deliver the objective of enhancing learning, teaching and assessment through student co-creation and participation. Firstly, SAP@LSE grants funded and supported 15 projects between 2014-2016 that included transforming assessment via documentaries and media production. Secondly, digital storytelling projects used student-produced media to better integrate the changes occurring in a discipline arising from technology through media creation and critique, including projects around the digital literacy of new students. Thirdly, LTI developed a creative hub that engaged students and young creative professionals (mainly from the University of the Arts London) to work with programme teams and students to enhance their Moodle presence, to build skills around media making and to work to enhance the quality of our learning spaces through interactive artworks, linked to technology and learning. Fourthly, we have supported making in small experimental learning spaces that will encourage students to make and share content with each other and with the world.  Finally the SAP@LSE initiative sought to put the students into the conversation (not just in the room) about their own learning and teaching through LSE 2020 Vision, which places students at the heart of the design process at the School by making media that can be widely shared and incorporated into the curriculum renewal process.

For more information you can have a look at the project website

Learn more about Learning Technology and Innovation at LSE’s work in this short video: 

Health E-learning and Media (HELM) team, School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham (Vote #LTA12 [email | tweet])


The Team

HELM is a unique team combining academic research, e-learning development, delivery and customer service. We support all aspects of digital learning as well as undertaking externally funded projects and research with a focus on health-related e-learning.

We are a mixture of learning technology professionals and academic staff. HELM embodies the innovation that is possible in a University where academic teaching, research and administrative/technical colleagues work closely together.

We were awarded the University’s Vice Chancellor’s Achievement Award (2015) for our contribution to raising NSS scores for learning resources and in 2016 won Runner Up at the Guardian University Awards (Digital Innovation category).

An Embedded E-Learning Culture

We work with the School’s 3000 students, 300 staff and 9000 clinical mentors in collaborative design and implementation of e-learning. Our activities extend beyond a learning technologist team, so as well as developing e-learning materials for over 300 modules (50% of the Nursing and Midwifery curriculum is flipped), we participate in and lead funded research projects that provide an evidence-base for e-learning design and impact on public healthcare. Our funders include the Alzheimer’s Society, Nottingham County Council, EU, RfPB, JISC and others.

HELM’s 2020 strategy focuses on four overlapping arms:

  • Research funds cutting-edge resources, and dissemination;
  • Curriculum drives the e-learning resources required;
  • Open resources increases impact and knowledge transfer;
  • Communities are involved in research and development of e-learning.

These are closely intertwined and form a framework at the heart of HELM that ensures our activities and outputs have local, national and global impact in learning and teaching, and research. We embrace participation and collaboration at every level.

The four arms of HELM
The four arms of HELM (click to enlarge)

A Participatory Approach

Our partners, collaborators and co-designers are: students, teachers, clinicians, service users, carers, families and more. These community experts provide authentic voices for our e-learning resource design that tell genuine stories, in what are often very sensitive areas that we then convert to an accessible digital format. Our partners are involved in every stage of the e-learning design process. Recent resources include: Dementia, Domestic Violence and Self Harm.

Our Open Ethos

HELM has an international reputation in open educational healthcare resource development ( Over 200 high-quality, peer-reviewed open educational resources are widely used throughout our curriculum giving students bite-sized multimedia learning activities based on sound pedagogical principles.

These resources are used by an estimated 1.5 million users in over 50 countries (Direct Data Analysis Report, 2013). These contribute to the School’s international reputation and demonstrative impact, borne out by recent collaborations with Brazil’s University of Sao Paolo which involved co-developing resources with an international focus as a part of the “Evidence-based practice in a global context” workshops.

Learn more about HELM’s work in this short video: