Our research on learning using mobile technologies has impacted on:
Our research into practices around learning resources has had a major impact on teaching in other higher education institutions (HEIs) in the UK and internationally, on the policy of funding bodies, has been embedded in repository design, and contributed to public policy on transparent government. Our emphasis on socio-cultural factors has changed educational culture, leading to richer policy, by shifting debate from a view of resources as technological objects, to practices.Through shaping the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and Higher Education Academy (HEA) programmes in Open Educational Resources (UKOER) and Digital Literacies, our research has had impact on professional services around open learning practices in over 90 HEIs, and had direct impact on digital literacy support in at least six. Our findings have informed a report to the Cabinet Office on 'Transparent Government'. Internationally, our work has prompted major repositories of resources in the USA, Estonia, the Netherlands and Australia to take a user-centred social focus in repository design.
The delivery of interchangeable services across a range of educational
platforms has been a long-term problem in the field of technology enhanced
learning. The Institute for Educational Cybernetics (IEC) identified
widgets as having a potential role in resolving this problem, and
developed a widget server, Wookie, to provide a research tool to
investigate this. The research is summarised in  and . The work
attracted international attention, and the server has been reused in a
number of other projects to provide interoperable services, both in
education and beyond, and including a number of European funded
initiatives. The impact of the work was recognised and enhanced by its
acceptance by the Apache Software Foundation as an incubator project. It
has now graduated as Apache Wookie, and is a full Apache project.
Our research explored the ways the emerging Semantic Web can support
teaching and learning. It
identified case based learning as a key area and outputs were used to
enhance the unique
research council funded Economic and Social Data Service public
collections and pioneers pages.
Results informed the thinking of accountancy bodies on e-assessment via
the Association of
Chartered Certified Accountants/International Association for Accounting
Education. An exemplary
user case study derived from the research was selected by World Wide Web
The research supported the aggregation and presentation of Open
Educational Resources via
JISC. Project software and documentation was released as open source.
Outcomes provided the
`Liverpool, City of Radicals' Project timeline.
This case study describes impact arising from research into designing
constructionist tools that
provide personalisation, support and guidance to learners and teachers,
resulting in software used
in several schools, FE colleges and universities world-wide.
Constructionist learning is founded on
the principle of constructionism which argues for the pedagogical
importance of building artefacts
as a way of building mental representations. A key computational challenge
in the design of tools
that foster constructionist learning is to provide intelligent support
that guides users towards
productive interaction with the tool without constraining its creative
The use of technology to enhance student learning is known to have a
significant impact on
achievement in all subject areas and across all stages of schooling and
computer games and online tools help engage students — making learning
enjoyable and therefore
more effective. Computer scientists at Leicester are expert in the
analysis of online learning tools
and educational games. They have used this expertise to evaluate whether
and why such games
or tools work and, most importantly, how they can be improved.
The research has been used by:
The Transforming Learning Cultures in Further Education (TLC) project,
which UWE researchers led the design of and played a key role in
undertaking, informed policy debates on a range of issues including the
quality of teaching and learning in Further Education (FE) settings.
Several FE sector teacher training programmes (e.g. Cardiff University)
have changed aspects of their content as a consequence of this research,
for example to help trainees better understand and develop a positive
learning culture in their classrooms. This benefits the trainee teachers
and, as a consequence, the learning outcomes for the students they work
with. Processes to enhance the practice of established teachers in FE have
been implemented as a consequence of this research, for example, City of
Bristol College's peer mentoring scheme improves the skills of lecturing
staff and outcomes for learners. The project also produced a book that has
been widely adopted by FE managers and tutors to help them better
understand and enhance the learning context in contemporary college and
adult education environments, resulting in more effective teaching and
learning. On a wider level the research findings have influenced national
policy debates on issues around the funding, practice, and management of
teaching and learning activities across the post-compulsory education
sector, particularly in further education.
For decades, museums tended to describe and present their social and
cultural value through simplistic measures such as visitor numbers;
understanding the impact of museums on their visitors was elusive and
there was no means of collecting this evidence and presenting it in a
rigorous, coherent and useful way. The Generic Learning Outcomes model
(GLOs) was developed as a tool for museums, libraries and archives to
demonstrate the outcomes and impact of users' learning experiences. The
framework has revolutionised the way in which visitors' experiences are
understood by providing practitioners, government and funders with a
meaningful way to describe and evidence the impact of museum experiences
on visitors and to report on these collectively. This research has had a
significant and lasting impact on museum policy and practice by providing
both a language to describe and present the learning that takes place in
museums and a flexible tool for capturing and measuring a range of visitor
experiences across the cultural heritage sector.
Impact is primarily economic and organizational, resulting from more
effective leadership processes and practices by small firm owner-managers.
The mechanism of impact was a programme known as LEAD (leadership,
enterprise and development), which drew a significant community of
owner-managers of smaller firms in Greater Merseyside into the Management
School, to enable them to use research findings about managerial and
entrepreneurial learning, leadership and business support in the running
of their firms. The resulting impacts were on management practices and
processes, and firm performances. Practitioners engaging with the
University of Liverpool Management School (ULMS) LEAD programme
experienced turnover increases averaging 21%. The beneficiaries are small
firms, their employees and business support partnerships.
Outdoor learning is a multi-dimensional concept embracing three
dimensions: `outdoor/adventure-sport activities', `personal development'
and `environmental/sustainability education'. Its potential across
curricula has been recognised in UK and international policy contexts.
Research by Beames, Higgins, Nicol and Ross, and collaborators since 2000,
has led directly to national and international developments: 1. Scottish
Government (SG) policy on local outdoor learning; 2. SG and General
Teaching Council for Scotland policy on sustainability education and
outdoor learning; 3. specialist degree programmes, and continuing
professional development for UK and overseas teachers. Related work has
supported policy developments on recreational and educational countryside