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MirandaNet Fellowship Profiles (MirandaNet Archive - as of March 2015)
I am a relatively early career researcher (despite being physically older than most ECRs!) having been awarded my doctorate in 2010. My career in higher education has taken me from working in libraries through educational development, and I'm now a senior lecturer in the Centre for Educational Research and Development at the University and Lincoln, and co-programme leader for our Doctorate in Education.
My research interests are in the areas of educational development, with a particular focus on technology. I'm particularly interested in the behaviour of users with regard to the way they manage information inside technological tools such as VLEs and MOOCs. I am currently working on a project to investigate models of information structures inside VLEs. I've also been working on a study of attendance monitoring techniques in undergraduate programmes, and the social implications of these practices both for home and international students.
I have been part of the team administering Blackboard at the University of Lincoln for the past few years, and before that was heavily involved with our own VLE, which became the Teknical Virtual Campus. So my major IT interest is in the VLE, although I have become much more interested in the cultural and social practices that surround them, than in the actual technology. I was also involved in a project to promote the use of Open Educational resources at the University of Lincoln, and produced a number of guides to help colleagues develop their own OERs using free software.
I am currently working on two ICT related project. The less urgent one (because it's unfunded) is around the use of technology to develop attendance monitoring systems in higher education. I presented a paper on this at the SRHE conference in December 2013. However, a more urgent project is to study the behaviour of academic staff with regard to the selection, presentation and organisation of material inside a VLE. This project was developed in response to student complaints about "inconsistency" in the way VLE's are used, which raises the question of the role staff see VLEs as playing in providing content. (I am aware of the debate about constructivism and the need for students to be active themselves, but for this project I wanted to focus on the provision of content)
- Beckton, Julian (2013) Attendance as Control. Conference Paper, Newport, SRHE Conference, 12 Dec,2013 (Copy available from author)
- Beckton, Julian (2012) Public technology: challenging the commodification of knowledge. In: Towards teaching in public: reshaping the modern university. Continuum, London. ISBN: 9781441124791
- Beckton, Julian (2009) Educational development units: the challenge of quality enhancement in a changing environment. In: The future of higher education: policy, pedagogy and the student experience. Continuum, London. ISBN: 1847064736
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