I've worked at the University since 2008, first as a learning technologist in the IT section. I now head up a small team of elearning developers, content creators, and instructional designers. We help lecturers at the University use educational technology to enhance their teaching and learning practice.
In my previous role at Essex, I was responsible for supporting and developing core elearning services such as Moodle. I have been using Moodle since 2006; I'm a passionate supporter of the platform, which is open source and not-for-profit. I have developed a few custom plugins for it over the years and continue to promote its more advanced features to staff. Before joining the University of Essex, I worked for a community college where I maintained and managed an installation of Moodle for more than two years.
More recently, I have been helping the School of Health and Social Care use digital storytelling techniques to support their teaching. This work has enabled healthcare service users to tell their own stories using various digital platforms, such as Adobe Spark. As part of this work, I'm an active member of the Service Users Reference Group (SURG) within the School of Health and Social Care. I have also collaborated with Dr Mary Kennedy on several projects that provide people living with dementia opportunities to engage with the Arts.
As a member of the senior management team in Organisational Development, I help develop our strategic approach to staff development, focusing on digital skills development. I have also designed and delivered a popular staff training programme called Mind Hacks. This series of workshops encourages participants to build a better brain by taking advantage of tips, tricks and techniques taken from the world of cognitive science.
I work closely with all academic departments and schools, and other Professional Services teams right across the University. I have been involved in a variety of projects to improve the student learning experience at Essex. I have also developed and delivered two modules: Navigating the Digital World and Creative Media (with Dan O'Brien).
I'm a strong advocate of inclusive teaching practices and accessibility. I'm currently working with the Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service and the Library to improve our institutional approach to accessibility.
I have a background in animation, design, and multimedia production. As an undergraduate student, I trained as an animator and digital artist, earning a first-class honours degree in Computer Animation and Special Effects in 2004.