Month: August 2022

digital leadership in education: a feminist perspective

I am delighted that a chapter I wrote, based on my research has now been published in the  Handbook of Digital Higher Education

Chapter 28: The importance of diversity and digital leadership in education: a feminist perspective from higher education

creating an inclusive organisation

I aim to  promote an inclusive culture in my organisation. I have a focus on promoting cross-generational working. We welcome student interns as staff, and while not all students are young, they do tend to lower the average age about the place.

I am delighted to have such a great group of interns who will work with us all year across all of our teams and projects.

Joining our two Napier Web Development Interns (who work with us full-time) and our Web Governance Intern ( who has been with us for ages), we also have this year: a Digital Content Training Research Intern, a  Digital Marketing Intern, a Diversity Recruitment and Attraction Intern,  a Media Administration Intern, an Edtech Operations Intern, a Design System and Web Media Intern, a Nudge Intern, a Student Notifications Service Software Developer Intern, a User Research Intern,  2 Digital Learning Interns,  7 Learn Foundations Interns, 4 Web Content Migration Liaison Assistants and a Digital Skills Trainer – Coding Intern!

I will also be having regular ‘Heads Learn from Interns’ session where the LTW senior management team will hear recommendations and advice from the interns, based on their insights and expertise.

And yes, many of our interns do stay, or return and have careers with us after they graduate.

Nudges in learning tech

I am delighted to have been able to create a post this summer for a ‘Nudge Intern’ to work with us to think about how we can use Nudge theory  in designing our services and supporting our users.

Annika has written a blog about her thinking and a report for me about why I need a longer term role in my team.  I must say, she has convinced me and if she agrees, we will keep her as part of our team for the rest of this year.

The team uses a human-centred design approach and an iterative development process incorporating feedback and gradual improvement. These similarities make the UX and Digital Consultancy team a great place to begin to incorporate nudges. There are complexities that make implementing nudges more challenging but should prove to be surmountable given additional time. It takes time to come up to speed on longer-term projects. Planning nudges should take place throughout the project timeline and be implemented as an iterative process with feedback. Additionally, the University structure with self- governing schools and deaneries makes it difficult to implement comprehensive nudges. Instead, individual nudges may need to be drafted for each.

Groups within LTW that already identify pain points are better prepared to start nudging. Being able to spot and define unwanted behaviour easily makes designing a nudge simpler.
The report provides recommendations for continuing the work of implementing nudges in LTW. The first recommendation involves nudging users toward creating better online
content. The existing resources are excellent but are being underutilised. I discuss recommendations to bring the guidelines to the users while using the Web Publishing Platform. Next, I outline a recommendation to enhance the use of data analytics within LTW. There is a need to combine the preexisting data into a format to facilitate and inform data-driven decision-making. The final recommendation is to introduce nudges in ways of working. This would increase familiarity with what nudges are and how to implement them.”


Read more about nudges How nudge can help you and your users – Website and Communications Blog (

fairytales, fables and ethics in learning technology

Stuart and I will be presenting at ALT conference in Manchester next month if you want to come see us tell stories:

Rapid adoption of learning technologies as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has revealed shortcomings in our vision and understanding of ethical learning technology practices, with the potential for long term negative impact on students’ experiences of educational opportunities. It is critical that educational institutions consider technology decisions within the overall ethical responsibility for care and well-being of their students. Emerging frameworks and models of practice for learning technology ethics need further research and reflection in order to help practitioners navigate increasingly complex and widening ethico-political decision-making. In this session we will use storytelling as a means of exploring areas of light and darkness to investigate how practitioners balance different moral modes of thinking when presented with ethical challenges.

We will think about how stories are used as a means of management and control, to tame complexity and “suppress certain conflicts and mask multiple interpretations” (Leonardi & Jackson 2004, p 615). Even our own “capacity for imagining something new or different … is greatly influenced by prior imaginations” (Markham 2021, p 385). We draw analogies with fables and fairy tales as mechanisms for enabling or constraining different ethical ways of thinking. Fables “wear their moral messages on their sleeves, shut down possibilities for independent ethical development, and allow no freedom for the individual imagination”, whereas fairy tales, “open-textured from the perspectives of teller and of hearer … allow fantasy to flex our ethical and meaning-making muscles” (McKinnell 2019, p 197). In these stories we might recognise the different modes of ethical practice that address justice or care.

In this session we exemplify these approaches through storytelling, unpicking where we might want to tame or free ethical complexity in practice. It is through stories that we help inform the cradled practices of learning technology ethics based on professional frameworks emerging.


Leonardi, P.M. & Jackson, M.H. (2004) Technological determinism and discursive closure in organizational mergers. Journal of Organizational Change Management. 17 (6), 615–631.

Markham, A. (2021) The limits of the imaginary: Challenges to intervening in future speculations of memory, data, and algorithms. New Media and Society. 23 (2), 382–405.

McKinnell, L. (2019) The ethics of enchantment: The role of folk tales and fairy tales in the ethical imagination. Philosophy and Literature. 43 (1), 192–209.

honourary membership

wikipedia logo
wikipedia logo

I am honoured that the Board of Trustees of Wikimedia UK offered me Honorary Membership of Wikimedia UK.

This is in recognition of the significant contribution that I have made to the charity over a number of years, as a long standing champion for Wikimedia’s role in higher education. In particular,  in establishing a Wikimedian in Residence role at the University of Edinburgh, and for the ongoing success and impact of this programme.

I was delighted to accept, of course, but a bit embarrassed as I am not a particularly good editor of Wikipedia and I often get a bit grumpy when my edits are  reverted.   I support Wikimedia UK because it is the right thing to do. Wikipedia is the largest open educational resource in the world and essential for staff and students in higher education.

But I edit as a pass time, hobby,  for my own distraction and amusement.

I also invented the category  for ‘muses‘  which I note now has 130 entries.   I started it for Stella Cartwright.

enduring fellowship

The Radcliffe Camera, Oxford

It has been noted that I have not blogged for a while. So I will give some updates here:

I am delighted to be continuing my visiting stint as a Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford. I was a Fellow when I worked at Oxford and the college generously allow me to keep that affiliation in the hope that I will visit and be a useful member of the Fellowship.

I don’t visit very often it has to be said, and I feel that is partly because whenever I have vacation time at the beginning or end of term, the Oxford terms have already finished. They are very short. But that’s just an excuse.   I will try harder this year to get a time for an actual work visit.