The eLearning Symposium 2019

Keynote Speakers


Professor Sara de Freitas

Sara has worked as an educator, researcher and senior executive in four universities in Australia and the United Kingdom, most recently as Pro Vice Chancellor at Murdoch University, leading on cross-university curriculum
 change, blended learning and transnational education.

Before working in Australia, Sara was Director of Research at Coventry University, UK, where she founded and developed the Serious Games Institute, bringing together commercial and academic partnerships to fuel regional economic growth.

Her research findings are published in seven books and over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, conference papers, book chapters and technical reports (with over 7,000 citations).

Sara is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and sits on over 60 international programme committees and advisory groups, and has undertaken over 120 international keynotes, presentations and public lectures in four continents.


Is all learning play? What can we learn from games and gamification in higher education: a retrospective on the research so far

This presentation outlines a research journey of the last twenty years or so to understand the efficacy of game-based learning and understand why games are effective for learning. Questioning: what is learning at a basic level, the presentation aims to provoke the audience into thinking about how play and games can inform learning design and allow us to co-construct the design of learning experiences with our students. Exploring the links between play, learning and design, the presentation reviews the impact of the four dimensional framework and the diegetic (representational) dimension with the audience and trying to understand more about how is has been applied in practice and how it could shape teaching practices in the future.



Prof Leslie Carr

Professor Leslie Carr is the Head of Web and Internet Science (WAIS) Research Group and Director of the Web Science Institute in the Electronic and Computer Sciences at the University of Southampton.

His research on Open Access and Open Data led to the establishment of EPrints, offering Open Access publication and data services, training and support to the research industry.

Since the 1980’s he has experimented with multimedia information systems, novel ways of constructing hypertexts, digital libraries and knowledge management systems. As a practical application of these ideas (time to change the world instead of just thinking deep thoughts), he is working with Open Access and Digital Repositories. His goal is to encourage researchers and scientists to become responsible curators of their own intellectual assets, and to build the information environments that enable that goal and also that take advantage of it (repositories, literature analysis services, community maps, new idea trackers).

Professor Leslie Carr is fascinated by the way that humans can take advantage of new information sources (like Google or the Semantic Web) and whether these things can help to make us genuinely smarter. In his talk, he will be looking into questions like: Can the Web act as a cognitive extension to our own brains? Can Google make someone behave like an expert? And if so, can we change the way that we teach children or undergraduates?


Can Google make us Smarter?

Artificial Intelligence has a very high profile over the last few years, as huge quantities of data from the Web have given computers new kinds of capability. But what about Human Intelligence? Google is building smart cars that understand the roads, but can Google make smart humans that understand the world? In this talk I will look at some of the ways that we have tried to make computers help us to be more intelligent, from Indexing the Internet, to Webs of Semantics, to Data Storytelling.