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Who is speaking at Talis Insight UK 2015 Day One?


We are really excited to have wrapped up our speaker line up for Day One at Talis Insight UK 2015. So, this felt like a good time to reflect on the running order and who is who on the first day of the conference.

If you have not reserved your place yet, you can still book your place! You can also find the exact timings of the running order on the website.

Morning sessions

In the morning, David White will be kicking things off for us. He will be speaking about the impact of Digital Strategies in Higher Education. He is followed by Mark Brown who brings an international perspective to this theme. We then have Kitty Inglis speaking from a Library point of view. Simon Thomson concludes our morning sessions from a institutional perspective and their Digital Strategies. Here is a snapshot of who these speakers are:


David White


David is currently Head of Technology Enhanced learning at the University of Arts London – he helps run the ‘CLTAD’ group.

David is well known for his idea for understanding individuals motivations to engage online: “Visitors and Residents”. Recently, he was also heavily involved in the JISC Digital Student project.

Previously, he has worked in various roles as a Senior Lecturer in Visual Communication to managing a team of developers to deliver distance learning at University of Oxford. He has also led numerous studies around the impact of web on learning in HE. He has on occasion contributed to broadcast media and has been heard on Radio 4, the World Service and ABC Australia.

He writes a popular blog at

Mark Brown

Mark Brown


Professor Mark Brown is Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) based at Dublin City University (DCU). Before taking up this position and Ireland’s first Chair in Digital Learning in February of 2014, Mark was previously Director of the National Centre for Teaching and Learning at Massey University in New Zealand. At Massey he was also Director of the Distance Education and Learning Futures Alliance (DELFA).

Over the last decade Mark has played key leadership roles in the implementation of several major university-wide digital learning and teaching initiatives, including the enterprise wide deployment of Moodle, the original design and development of the Mahara e-portfolio system, and the university-wide implementation of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform [Open2Study].

Mark was President of the New Zealand Association for Open, Flexible and Distance Learning (DEANZ) prior to his arrival at DCU. Mark is a recipient of a National Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching and remains a member of the New Zealand Academy of Tertiary Teaching Excellence. Mark currently chairs the Innovation in Teaching and Learning Steering Committee for the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU).

Kitty Inglis

Kitty Inglis


Kitty Inglis is currently University Librarian at the University of Sussex and has over 30 years’ experience in a wide range of academic libraries, the last 15 of which have been at a senior managerial level. Her professional interests are wide ranging and include open access, research data management, customer service, leadership development and e-learning. Elected to the SCONUL Board in June 2012, she is Chair of the Academic Content & Communications Strategy Group. Kitty represents SCONUL on the UKRR Board and on the UUK Open Access Co-ordination Group. She sits on the EDINA Board, is Chair of the Mass Observation Archive Trust and has served on the Steering Group of the M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries.

simon_thomson b&w

Simon Thomson


Simon is a “flipped academic” (Bruton 2012). He is Head of E-Learning at Leeds Beckett University, an academic post working in the Centre for Learning & Teaching. His current work includes the development of a conversational framework for technology use, with a focus on it’s ability to enable, enhance, enrich and empower learning & teaching.

He has led on a number of funded Learning & Teaching projects including a JISC/HEA funded Open Education project and a Leadership Foundation supported 1to1 tablet device implementation examining the effects such deployment has on learning & teaching and learners and teachers. He has presented and published his work at a number of national and international conferences, predominantly in the areas of learning technology and open education.

Simon was recently awarded an HEA National Teaching Fellow and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, SEDA accredited in Embedding Learning Technologies and an Apple Distinguished Educator.

Post Lunch

After we break for lunch, we get back together to delve into eTextbooks! eTextbooks is a hot topic in UK HE at the moment. And we could not resist the opportunity to get the 4 projects leading the way with free eTextbooks provision in the UK on the same stage! So it was to our absolute delight when Cathy Walsh (University of East London), Matthew Lawson (Middlesex University), Paul Howell (Middlesex Univeristy), Phil Gee (Plymouth University) and Phil Vaughan (Coventry University) agreed to join us. Suzanne Tatham (Sussex University) also kindly agreed to facilitate a panel session on eTextbooks to follow brief presentations on each of these projects. Following is a brief profile of each speaker:


Cathy Walsh


Cathy Walsh is Director of Library and Learning Services at the University of East London, having previously been Associate Director with responsibility for academic liaison and customer services at UEL. Cathy is also a UEL Teaching Fellow and Senior Fellow of the HEA.   Her previous roles include Learning Resources Manager at London Metropolitan University and User Services Manager at the London School of Economics, and before that a number of roles at higher education institutions in the North West.

Cathy has a wealth of experience in support for learning and teaching and delivering high quality customer services in libraries and she holds professional qualifications in librarianship and learning and teaching for higher education. Cathy took her first degree in English Language and Literature at the University of Hull followed by a Masters in the same discipline at the University of Liverpool. She is a member of the Sconul Strategic Group for User Experience and Success and a member of the M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries Steering Group.

Cathy’s professional interests include innovative approaches to learner support, library buildings and physical learning environments, the use of technology to enhance customer services and library services impact on student engagement and success. She has published articles on some of these topics in the professional press.


Matthew Lawson

Matthew Lawson is Deputy Director of Library and Student Support at Middlesex University. Having previously worked at King’s College London and London South Bank University as well as in public libraries, Matthew is responsible for library services, both on-campus and remote, including acquisition and management of library collections, information skills, academic writing and numeracy and Student Learning Assistants.  Last year the University committed to an ambitious project led by the Library to purchase personal ebooks for all students in the Business and Law schools. Following this successful pilot, Matthew is managing the project’s expansion to all students at Middlesex University.


Paul Howell

Paul Howell is currently the eBooks Project Officer at Middlesex University. Following a successful pilot in the Business and Law Schools Paul is responsible for the delivery of the project to all students at Middlesex University for 2015/2016. Based in Library & Student Support, Paul’s responsibilities include the operational running of the project and ensuring that every student receives a free personal eTextbook for each module studied.

Phil Gee

Phil Gee

Phil is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Plymouth University. He spearheaded a project to supply first year undergraduate psychology students with ebook copies of their core reading. Those entering the psychology programme in 2011 were given access to 12 downloadable texts that comprised the main recommended reading for all of their core lectures. In 2012 this project was extended to cover core second year psychology modules, and to the first year of five other programmes in the Faculty of Science and Technology. In September 2014 it was extended further still to cover more than 7,000 students.

Phil Vaughan

Phil Vaughan

Phil Vaughan is deputy University Librarian at Coventry University, leading support for teaching and research.   He has also previously worked at JISC and the British Library.
His main interests are in Open Access and Scholarly Communication, and student engagement and empowerment.  He led the provision of free personal copies of print and e textbooks to all undergraduates at Coventry as part of its No Hidden Extras programme of student empowerment.


Suzanne Tatham

Suzanne Tatham is Academic Services Manager at the University of Sussex Library and leads a team dedicated to providing teaching and learning support, research support and collection development across all disciplines. She has recently developed the “Skills Hub” at Sussex, a collaborative venture with the Careers and Employability Centre at Sussex, bringing together skills support for students from across the university.

Suzanne is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was recently awarded a PG certificate in Higher Education. She delivered an interactive workshop at CILIP’s Umbrella conference in July 2013 on using Twitter in teaching. More recently, she has presented at UKSG on a three year collaboration with SAGE publishers and three University of Sussex students to explore the student journey.

Suzanne is the Academic Services lead for the use of Aspire at Sussex and has been exploring ways to measure impact. At CILIP’s ARLG conference in June 2014 she presented the findings in a paper titled “Gloriously straightforward”: removing barriers to resource discovery.

Previously, Suzanne worked at the University of Brighton for ten years in a variety of roles within their Information Services department.

Afternoon sessions

Following our deep dive into the world of eTextbooks we take a short break. When we return, we will be immersing ourselves into Learning Analytics. This is another major theme, we find, that many institutions are either investing in or planning to. So we knocked on the door of Prof. Mark Stubbs (Manchester Metropolitan University), to give an institutions perspective. He is followed by Sheila MacNeill (Glasgow Caledonian University) who will speak from an academics perspective. And finally we have Niall Sclater who has been leading activities at JISC in the Learning Analytics area. Later Richard Maccabee (ULCC) joins us to facilitate a panel session, and is also joined by Adam Cooper (CETIS) as a panelist. And here is a snapshot of who they are:


Mark Stubbs


Mark Stubbs is Professor and Head of Learning and Research Technologies at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Over the years he has enjoyed a number of roles in universities: Undergraduate Student, Sabbatical Student President, Senior Lecturer, Module Leader, Personal Tutor, Year Leader, Programme Leader, Principal Lecturer, External Examiner, PhD Student, PhD Supervisor, PhD Examiner, Project Director and is now Professor and Head of Learning and Research Technologies at Manchester Metropolitan University. Mark has also worked as a Management Consultant and been involved in a number of JISC projects, including XCRI. His action-research PhD is in working across organisational boundaries to address complex issues.


Sheila MacNeill


Sheila MacNeill is a Senior Lecturer in Blended Learning at Glasgow Caledonian University where she works as part of a team who work collaboratively offer strategic direction, pedagogic guidance and practical support to staff in embedding blended and online learning across the curriculum. Open-ness is at the heart of Sheila’s professional practice and she regularly blogs about her adventures and musing in and around the use of technology in education @ Before working at GCU, Sheila was one of the Assistant Director’s at Jisc Cetis, a national innovation support centre for the UK HE Sector. She was the ALT Learning Technologist of the Year 2013 and is now a Trustee of ALT.


Richard Maccabee


Richard leads the University of London Computer Centre (ULCC) in delivering services to the education and related sectors in the UK, and to the central University of London, ensuring the business evolves and develops its services to meet changing needs and expectations of the sector.

After graduating from Oxford with a degree in Maths, and two years spent teaching English in Spain, Richard embarked on his career in IT, firstly at British Rail, then IBM, then Boots.  He joined University of Derby as IT Director in 2000, taking responsibility also for Libraries and E-learning in 2004.  After a short interim role at Coventry, Richard joined ULCC in May 2011.

Richard has been a passionate advocate of shared services for a number of years, leading a HEFCE study on shared data centre provision in 2008-10. ULCC fits this role perfectly, having the delivery of services – in a cooperative and collaborative manner at its core.  It also has the breadth of services to address the key benefit that IT brings to the education sector: enhancing the quality of learning and teaching through technology.


Adam Cooper


Adam has worked on educational technology and innovation in both Further and Higher Education Institutions in the UK and in the private sector. During this time he has: taught, managed learning technology development, designed and built software, conducted R&D, developed standards, and analysed technology trends and their implications. He joined Cetis in 2006 and is currently one of the co-directors, with responsibility for Cetis’s interoperability standards and technology strategy work. He is currently a member of the government’s Open Standards Board, a member of the Information Standards Board for Education, Skills and Children’s Services and was previously chair of the British Standards Institute IST/43 Committee. He leads the work package on interoperability and data sharing in the EC-funded Learning Analytics Community Exchange (


Niall Sclater


Niall Sclater is Consultant and Director at Sclater Digital Ltd, an educational technology consultancy. Previously he was Director of Learning and Teaching at the Open University, responsible for institutional strategy in areas such as tuition, educational technology and learning analytics. More recently he has been leading activities for Jisc in the area of learning analytics, surveying its current use in the UK, commissioning the components of a basic learning analytics system for higher and further education, and developing a code of practice to deal with the legal and ethical issues. He has been involved in the research, development and management of learning and teaching in higher education since 1992, with particular interests in technology-enhanced learning. Further info is at


And that brings us to the final session of the day. A big, if not the biggest, part of Teaching and Learning is about the students. So, it is our pleasure to introduce Matthew East who agreed to help wrap this day up by speaking from a student’s perspective. Here is a brief profile of him:

Matt East

Matthew East


Matt East is currently Learning Technologist at Anglia Ruskin University. In a previous life, Matt was SU President for 2 years at Anglia Ruskin, and a member of the National Executive Council for the National Union of Students (NUS). Matt is currently also an MBA student, and will be here talking about his experiences as a student in a digital domain across different levels and modes of study.

For exact timings and running order please check the event website. If you have not booked your place yet, there is still time. Reserve your place!

Talis Insight UK 2015 is a free, two-day event that will bring together Library and Learning Technology professionals working in Higher Education. It will take place on 15-16th April 2015 at the ICC Birmingham.

We are working on the speakers and running order for Day Two. We hope to be announcing this soon. So watch this space.

Which speaker are you looking forward to hearing the most at Talis Insight 2015?

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