Research interests and skills

Journals and conferences sometimes ask me to tell them the things I know about. This page is mostly for them.

In broad terms, my main research interests lie in how people can help people to learn. Following from that, I am interested in the distributed nature of the teaching role, the nature of technological systems, and the ways in which structure influences behaviour (and in building systems in which behaviour influences structure). I am particularly interested in motivation, including the ways that systems and methods can positively or negatively affect it. But, to be honest, there is not much in the world of learning and technology that does not interest me! I am as interested in pedagogies and the scholarship of learning and teaching as I am in programming tools and building systems, and I care just as much about systemic issues, psychological issues, sociological issues, and philosophical concerns.

Some areas of interest (strongest current interests emphasized)

Online learning: e-learning, learning technology, technology-enhanced Learning

Social media for learning: educational social media, social web, social pedagogies, models of social learning.

Educational systems and technologies: systems theory, transactional distance theory, actor-network theory, activity theory, theories of innovation, theories of technology acceptance.

Learning design: learning experience design, instructional design, pedagogical theory, scholarship of teaching computing, theories of control, motivation theory, connectivism and related models (e.g. heutagogy, networks of practice, distributed cognition, etc).

Learning technology design: the nature of technology, programming, application design, system dynamics, system management, systems analysis, system implementation, engineering vs bricolage

Self-organization in online learning: collective intelligence, evolutionary theory, complex adaptive systems, ecology, complexity theory, network theory, architecture and city planning, stigmergy.

Learning technologies:  collaborative filtering, adaptive hypermedia, recommender systems, learning analytics, learning management systems,  social media, immersive systems, augmented reality, mobile learning, semantic web, social navigation, folksonomies, Elgg.