Research & Development Projects

Primary Investigator & Project Manager:       £1,414,805
Project Manager:                £830,000
Total:                                         £2,244,805

Primary Investigator / Project Management

Integrated Learning Systems Design: An EdTech Handbook

Writing an online  handbook that continues work started for the QAA and at the University of the Arts in London. Working notes. One day I will finish it – got too many project on the go…. But the project listed here are certainly feeding into the Handbook.

Citizen Literacy Taster Project (2020-21) £204,900

Funded by Nesta England under their CareerTech Challenge. This was a funding initiative conceived to tackle the impact of AI and Automation on the jobs market – to find ways of helping people improve their skills to get better paid work. This project was to create a working short course of 5 lessons in a smartphone app to allow low literacy learners get a ‘taste’ of what an adult literacy class might be like and to build up their confidence to approach a local learning provider. This builds on the preceding Citizen Literacy projects and moves us towards being a sustainable service. Project website is

Citizen Literacy Accents Project (2020) £15,000

Funded by Nesta Scotland under their ‘AI for Good’ initiative. The second funded Citizen Literacy project. This was tackling the problem of voice recognition failing when presented with a single short word in a regional English accent. We managed to find a way of training the app to recognise an individual users voice saying a controlled vocabulary of word from the app. This was a really big deal for work. Using Machine learning and TensorFlow. The project report is available here.

Citizen Literacy App Project (2019-20) £49,200

Funded by the Ufi VocTech Trust – the very first funded Citizen Literacy project to create a working prototype of an adult literacy app. A fascinating and challenging project developing a smartphone app for adult literacy learners that incorporates voice and handwriting recognition to develop literacy in a creative way, Early Prototype stages: Update December 2020 – now quite advanced please see

VocAcademy (2020) £18,750

Conceived as a response to the Covid pandemic to help UK FE teachers transition to online teaching – funded by the  Ufi VocTech Trust. Inspred by the success of the Khan Academy.  To help vocational teachers make short instructional videos with tools they can quickly access and to promote a culture of sharing around relevant Youtube Playlists. Website

Citizen Literacy Early Prototype Exercise (2018) £0

This was early scoping work for the Citizen Literacy ideas undertaken with international students from the Digital Skills Global Academy (Dublin branch). This enabled us to explore the ideas in a structured way – the students got work experience and helped the Citizen Literacy Team who also worked for $0. Big thanks to the students:
James Noble
Antonio Palacios
Conor Deegan
Nowinile Shabangu
Catherine Manning – special thanks for the logo
Shane Rodger
Artur Banaszkiewicz – Manager and Liaison

NMIS project (2017 -18) C. £60,000

Project producing a set of learning resources and a community platform for developing the digital skills for trainers and educators working in the Manufacturing Industry. Part of the Scottish Government National Manufacturing Institute of Scotland initiative. Using the Google G Suite platform

Assessing Reality (2018 – 2020) c. £50,000

Part of a larger project developing a VR assessment toolkit with a commercial company. The idea is to have the ability for users to import their own 3D environments and then create assessment task in the environment. Students work in the environment is tracked and recoded in the Learner Record Store (part of the XAPI standard). For more reflections on this see the XR project blog.

My Skills Project Blockchain + Portfolios (2018-19) c. £38,000

Investigating how to use simple blockchain technology to support an awarding body (SQA) issue digital certificates. Also investigating using Google G Suite for Education as a student portfolio system. Project website

Clipper Project (2015-17) £115,406

Online Video Annotation Toolkit for Research and Education. A consortium project – funded by Jisc. HTML5, Web Annotation, W3C Standards, Semantic Web. City of Glasgow College.

Project website: Working Prototype (now retired): but may make a comeback in Citizen Literacy work see above.

Microsoft Research Grant (2016-17) £15,000

Cloud Infrastructure Services. Grant, in kind, from MS Research to support Clipper project for application in academic research data management. City of Glasgow College.

Badges Toolkit Trial (2016-17) UFI / SNOOK Ltd. £1,000

Linking Badge to Digital Evidence for SQA Units. Ufi funding

Supported Snook Ltd.  to explore feasibility issuing digital badges for completion ofofficial FE SQA units. City of Glasgow College.

CIT-EA PROJECT (2014-15) £100,000

Creating Innovative Technology – enhanced Assessments: Systematic Approaches

Open University Course Project Website:

Consortium project – funded by Jisc. Led by City of Glasgow College. Toolkit and assessment redesign templates. Adopted by SQA for subject network re-engineering assessment workshops using templates. City of Glasgow College.

ONCE International (2012-13)  £7,000

Collaboration between UAL and the School of Art and Design at Coventry University, exploring open education activities as a promotional business tool for student recruitment link. Funded by the HEA. UAL.

Open Academic Practice Unit: Module in p/g teaching certification (2012) £7,860

A postgraduate teaching certificate for developing OEP (Open Educational Practice) skills through exploring practical and theoretical aspects creating open educational resources. Funded by the HEA. UAL. h

Portfolio Commons (2012) £20,580

Linking an e-Portfolio system (Mahara) to an institutional repository (ePrints), using open source software tools. UAL

Portfolio Commons  Blog    Video

ALTO UK (2011 – 2013) £198,189

Open Education project for UK Art Colleges including; online learning resource creation with innovative instructional design tools to support academics and the development of HTML5 prototype tools and a UK federated repository. UAL. ALTO UK

ALTO (2010 – 2011) £250,000

The creation of open online learning resources for arts subjects, based around themed areas of significant strategic importance to the University of the Arts London and the wider arts education community.).


Clipper 1 (2009 – 2010) £42,350

The design and development of a prototype video collection management system to enable users to effectively manage their access to and use of a large video collection. (Adobe Flash Technology)

Digital Asset Management (DAM) Colleges Scotland (2009) £1,500

Co-author of report analysing the information management needs for learning resources in Scottish Colleges. Federal Repository system implemented as a result.

Digital Asset Management (DAM) report for Colleges Scotland 2009

TrustDR (2005 – 2007) £192,570

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in digital learning resources in institutional repositories, this produced a widely used and referenced institutional development pack. Ulster University.

Resource Website

QAA Flexible Learning in HE and FE (2005) £5,000

University of the Highlands and Islands. A project that developed a practical and ‘straight talking’ guide to implementing flexible learning in a higher and further education. Produced a handbook and an organisational model for implementing change in academic institutions, now the basis of further work by QAA Enhancement Theme Project in Flexible Learning in HE and FE

Instructional Media Programme at University of Cambridge (2002) £4,000

Invited to teach post grad short courses in the use of digital media to education students at Homerton College, University of Cambridge. Funded by the Sainsbury Family Gatsby Trust.

University of Cambridge Homerton College

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park (2002) £4,000

Metadata and Content Management. Consultant to an EU project for the park to assist in the management of multimedia content. University of Stirling.

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

Scottish Enterprise and SONY Data Warehouse Project (2002) £2,000

Assessment of proposals for creating a data warehouse with Scottish Enterprise, SONY and the University of Stirling to manage assets for the Creative Industries in Scotland. University of Stirling.

Scottish Enterprise and SONY Data Warehouse Project

The Instructional Media Programme (1998 – 2002) £8,000

An intensive hands-on series of workshops enabling HE and FE teachers to become effective authors and users of digital media to support their teaching. University of Stirling.

The Instructional Media Programme

Dementia Care – Online Study Course (2002) £4,000

Design of one of the first UK online courses in Dementia Care with the Iris Murdoch Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC), University of Stirling. Provided the basis of later developments by the DSDC – see below

Dementia Care – Online Study Course

Motorola Retraining Contract (2001) £2,000

Contract for retraining of redundant Motorola workers in Scotland. University of Stirling.

Motorola Retraining Contract

Project Management

Jorum aka The Jisc Store (2007 – 2008) £830,000

Project manager for development of a national digital repository of learning resources – implementation of the open source platform (Dspace) and adoption of Creative Commons licences. A joint project between the Universities of Manchester and Edinburgh funded by HEFCE and administered by JISC. A long running  tech-centric learning resource project, part of the learning object / EdTech Standards Bubble of the 90’s & 00’s. Was converted into the Jisc Store to carry legacy resources.

Project Advisor

DIAL (2011 – 2013) Advisor: £100,000

A digital literacy project. UAL


NAM (2010 – 2012) £67,544

Documentary War Photography project about the Vietnam War, project management and legal advice). UAL


Research Assistant

Learning to Learn (2002 – 2004) £330.000

A Learning Object Development Project: University of Stirling. The project identified and made available to the FE/HE community learning objects to support students in the acquisition and development of learning and study skills. Learning to Learn

SCHEMA Project (1999 – 2002) €250,000

SCHEMA University of Stirling: Web interface design and multimedia (virtual reality) aspect of this EU project examining online learning for isolated rural communities.


Personal Research Projects

Learning Space Design (1995 – 1997)

University of Stirling: Redesign of a suite of learning and teaching rooms to embody educational and ergonomic principles and create human friendly spaces that supported multiple flexible uses. Became one of the sources of inspiration behind the development of the Glasgow Caledonian University Saltire Centre.  Learning Space Design

Shetland Music Archive (1994)

University of Stirling. Re-Mastering of rare music and social history audiotape collection collected by Tom Anderson in Shetland. Worked with Shetland Council Archives to organise the funding and repatriation of originals to Shetland. Also worked with University of Edinburgh School of Scottish Studies Archives. Shetland Music Archive