The iSolutions restructure has led to a few changes for Digital Learning. On the 1st of June, the new structure took effect. Yes, we did keep the name this time (!) and we are very pleased about it. The team hasn’t just grown in size; its scope and remit are slightly different going forwards. We will still be working with you as individuals, but we will also be working on some significant, university-wide initiatives to enable high-quality education in the world we currently find ourselves in.
This blog post will introduce you to our new-look team. We will also share with you our starting point for our team description (which we will refine over the next 12 weeks). Over the summer we will be inviting your thoughts and feedback as to what Digital Learning as a unit means to you and how we can best support the education community in future. You can see our profile pictures on Our Team page. Since we’ve emerged from a period of metamorphosis, it’s a good excuse to include some butterfly pictures!
Meet the team
Team Manager – Sarah Fielding
Sarah was previously a Learning Designer in the Digital Learning Team and has taken up the role of Team Manager. Sarah has worked with FELS and FEPS as a Learning Designer. She has also worked on innovative projects such as 360-degree immersive learning, digital field trips and FutureLearn online courses. With a science communication and STEM background, she has a passion for the natural world and empowering lifelong learning.
Senior Learning Designers
Bobbi began her career in television production and later turned her media skills towards to digital education. She has managed the development of education programmes in higher education in Australia and the UK. In 2018 Bobbi joined the original Digital Learning team as a senior learning designer and then team lead.
Bobbi is currently on secondment to the Centre for Higher Education Practice. There, she is co-leading the Enhancing Academic Support and Delivery Project and the University’s Common Framework for Online Education. We are very pleased to be maintaining a close working relationship with CHEP, and for Bobbi to be an integral part of a project of this significance and scope.
You will already know Matt from his work in the Managed Learning Environment Team in the old iSolutions structure where he was managing and developing Blackboard for the University. Matt’s recent achievements include:
- Many upgrades of Blackboard, including the recent refresh of the User Interface to be both on-brand and compliant with accessibility regulations.
- Developing innovations to improve compliance with accessibility regulations at UoS.
- The rollout of Blackboard Collaborate.
- Development of localised contextual help within Blackboard that increased engagement with our elearn.southampton support website by almost 2000%.
- Presenting at the Blackboard Teaching and Learning Conference.
James joined the University in 2014 and has lead numerous University-wide initiatives and activities. He joins the new Digital Learning Team from the former IT Training and Development Team, along with Nic and Jon (see below). James’ background is in Occupational Psychology. He’s an accredited trainer and registered to deliver cognitive ability testing. James is often involved in business change initiatives and eLearning development.
Colin is currently working on the Office 365 Project. He specialised in teacher education and digital learning in the mid-noughties. He developed, produced and implemented large-scale blended learning projects in the Chinese education system as well as developing and moderating MOOCs for global audiences. Colin has a particular interest in how using analytics, healthy assessment practices and digital technologies can support powerful learning… and loves DIY.
Jonathan came to the University to help improve digital literacy in 2007. His specialisms are in Microsoft Office, Articulate Storyline, LinkedIn Learning and learning design. He holds Microsoft Office Specialist Master status. He has an interest in accessibility and advocates Universal Design for Learning. 2020 has seen a shift in the emphasis of our support for staff and students and Jonathan is developing a network of academics to enhance the curriculum with support from content in LinkedIn Learning. He is also working with a range of professional and student services to enable them to help our staff develop their own skills through LinkedIn Learning.
Dimitra joined the original Digital Learning Team in 2019, with a decade’s experience supporting learning technologies, e-learning and pedagogies in Greece, Switzerland and UK. She has a range of previous work experiences in education and industry. She is particularly interested in MOOCs, assessment and feedback, learning analytics and instructional design. Dimitra is confident that using learning technologies strategically could transform both learning and teaching in HE, and is keen to work with University academics and colleagues to prove it.
Nic joins the new team from IT Training and Development. He works across numerous IT systems, business processes and teams across the University. He also helps to create opportunities to share skills, knowledge and practice throughout the organisation. Nic is experienced in effecting positive change and continuous improvement.
Anna’s background is in Education and since joining Southampton in 2013 she’s worked with Medicine, supporting blending learning projects including the transition to Blackboard, the development of online learning materials and the regular eCoffee sessions that promote Technology Enhanced Learning. The value of sharing good practice and real examples is something that is also at the heart of the University’s Blackboard & VLE Awards, which Anna co-ordinates.
Tamsyn is another familiar face from the previous Digital Learning Team, and is currently working with Health Sciences to provide specialist expertise in technology-enhanced learning, curriculum design, content creation, and development opportunities to enable staff at all stages of technology adoption to:
- be confident and competent users of TEL to effectively deliver the curriculum
- embed evidence-based TEL approaches into their practice
- improve the student experience and outcomes
Tamsyn has also project managed several successful FutureLearn online courses and is an award-wining fitness blogger.
Sofy Bazzini – Media Team Manager
Sofy has been part of the former Digital Learning Team since 2015. She has started in a new post, managing our Multimedia Developers (who are also all familiar faces from the previous Digital Learning Team).
After obtaining a (BA) Hons Media Culture and Production in 2013, Sofy was a Graduate Associate within the Learning Technologies department at Solent. The following year, she joined Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service where she created video training content for the firefighters across the whole county and beyond. She loves all things video production and media related. Outside work, she runs a video production brand and capture weddings and produces training and promotional videos.
Paul was working in the previous Digital Learning team for just under two years. As a Multimedia Developer, he creates a lot of online learning materials, working closely alongside the Faculty of Medicine to keep their pre-existing resources up to date. As well as this, he creates 360-degree immersive experiences for use in browsers and on VR headsets to enhance the learning.
Joe joined the University around 10 years ago and has worked as a Multimedia Developer on hundreds of projects across a wide range of areas (both education and employee engagement). Before starting at Southampton he was a freelance motions graphics animator and video editor and has used those skills to make educational resources more engaging and informative.
Mimi joined the University in 2007 as an eLearning media developer for the Faculty of Medicine creating media content for blended and flipped learning; Virtual Patients, eStaff Development, guided learning and interactive quizzes. Her main skills are creating interactive learning content using Articulate Storyline, 2D and 3D animation, graphics and illustration. She has secondary skills in filming and editing video.
Future Learn online courses (Programme management)
Chrissie is supporting the team with the coordination, planning and management of the University’s MOOC portfolio. We have over 20 courses with FutureLearn. This has included the creation of processes to manage GDPR compliance of MOOC data for Research and the management of MOOC associated tools. These include Padlet and Zeemaps.
Chrissie also works on the Digital Learning blog, having supported the migration of the content and improving accessibility.
What we do
We’re all about connecting ideas, people and expertise, as well as making high quality and impactful learning resources for staff and students.
The Digital Learning team works in close partnership with faculties to enhance student education. To identify the most effective ways to innovate and enhance teaching and learning using technology, we work closely with iSolutions teams, the Centre for Higher Education Practice and other professional services. We provide consultancy on course design and run development sessions (on both the pedagogical and practical aspects of technology).
We also provide consultancy across professional services on a wide range of learning interventions, employee engagement activities, individual and team development workshops, coaching, promotion of Linkedin Learning, and change management.
The Team also manages a university-side peer learning network (DL Connect). We host engagement events to promote and support innovation and good practice across the University, such as the internationally recognised VLE Awards.
Digital Learning develops and manages the University’s open online courses hosted in FutureLearn, delivering online learning to global audiences. We work closely with the Education Application Support and Communications Platforms teams in iSolutions to support other online short courses in UoS platforms for different groups of stakeholders.
Our media developers can offer support in creating media assets for learning. Whether that is producing high-quality video and animation alongside you or offering support to help you to create media for yourselves. We create engaging, interactive learning objects and are developing VR and 360° learning experiences.
The Digital Learning team present much of our work at external conferences. We also collaborate with academic colleagues on small scale research, evaluating the learning interventions that we develop.