Gráinne Conole CV 2013




Current Position Professor of Learning Innovation, Director of the Institute of Learning Innovation, University of Leicester 

Contact Details    Email:

Address: 35 Manor Road, Grimscote, NN12 8LN


                        Mobile: 07795 417922

Date of Birth              23/08/1964


1986-1990       Ph.D. in X-ray structural studies, University of North London

1982-1985       B.Sc. (Hons) Chemistry (2.1), Sheffield University



Sept 2011    Professor of learning innovation and Director of the Institute of Learning Innovation, University of Leicester

                        I head up a research institute, which is exploring the use of technologies in education. We have has significant funding from the UK and the EU. Research interests include: learning design, open educational resources, social and participatory media and virtual worlds. We also have an institutional role in terms of transferring the research findings to inform policy and practice at Leicester. We have a PhD programme and from September 2012 we will be offering a masters in learning innovation. We have received funding from the JISC in the UK and have three EU projects (SCENE, POERUP and METIS).

Apr 2005     Professor of e-learning, Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University

                        The role involved three aspects: research, teaching and institutional support. I was programme lead for one of the three research programmes in the Institute, Learning in an Open World. I was a member of the IET management team. Teaching included contributions to two of the Masters in Open and Distance Education (MAODE) modules: H800 and H809. Successful bids included: the JISC OUDLI project (£400 K), the Personal Inquiry project (£1.2 million), EU-funded XDelia (£668, 052) Hewlett foundation funded OLNET (£1,776,439), EU-funded Design-Practice £219, 904), EU-funded OPAL (640, 952 Euros) and acted as critical friend to the HE Academy e-learning pathfinder programme (£30 K).

Apr 2002         Chair in Educational Innovation in PCET

                             School of Education, University of Southampton

The post involved overall strategic direction and leadership for post-compulsory education and training research. It also included an institution-wide remit in terms of supporting and promoting learning and teaching innovation and input into relevant strategic developments. The focus was on taking a lead in research in innovation in HE learning and teaching, working with colleagues within the School, across the University, and with national and international networks, to establish the University as an international centre of excellence for research in this field; as well as working with colleagues and groups across the University to promote innovation and the pursuit of excellence in learning and teaching. Teaching responsibilities included the development of a new masters in ‘Educational Practice and Innovation’, leader for the Masters in Research Methods unit on ‘Communicating and Disseminating Research’ as well as other teaching contributions including the Masters in Research Methods, the Post-compulsory Certificate in Academic Practice (PCAP) for new lecturers, the BA in Post-Compulsory Education (PCE), and the Masters in Computer-based Learning and Teaching (CBLT), as well as supervision of masters and PhD students. Example projects include: 1) Co-Director of the £1.2 million HEFCE-funded e-learning research centre jointly with Manchester, 2) Co-applicant for the new £2 million ESRC-funded National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM), 3) Project evaluator and pedagogical researcher for the £1.5 million JISC/NSF (National Science Foundation) Dialog project; work has included the development of an online toolkit which guides practitioners through the process of creating pedagogically informed learning activities, 4) Part of the evaluation team (£25K for Southampton) for the HEFCE-funded development of online learning materials for in-service teachers in China in collaboration with Beijing Normal University, 5) JISC-funded LADIE project (£150 K) - which developed a series of use cases on learning activities. 6) JISC-funded TOIA project (evaluation) (£6 K) – development of an online assessment tool, 7) EU-funded Neonatalogy project (£20 K), evaluation of the development and delivery of a series of online modules for practitioners across Europe, 8), SEEDA-funded Computer Club for Girls (evaluation) (£220 K) with A. Fuller (lead) – regional initiative to encourage uptake of the use of computers by girls, 9) ESRC-funded seminar series (£ 15 K), (Andrews, R., University of York lead) – 6 regional seminars on e-learning research, in collaboration with WUN partners in the States and mainland Europe.



Sep 1999      Director of the Institute for Learning and  Research Technology, ILRT

Apr 2002     University of Bristol

                        The Institute for Learning and Research Technology (ILRT) is a centre of excellence for the development and use of ICT in education. ILRT is 95% externally funded and during my time it grew from 30 to over 70 staff, with an annual income of ca £3 million. The institute’s research is both pedagogical and technical, and includes the development and use of educational toolkits, the development of information portals, digital archives, and underlying metadata research and associated technological developments. Research and development activities were across around 40 projects and services (funding sources included HEFCE, JISC, EPSRC, ESRC, EU and commercial sponsors). Successful bids which I led or was involved in included: BB-LT (JISC-funded, £180K), Career Development Scoping Study (JISC-funded, £80K), Evaluation Toolkit (JISC-funded, £30K), FILTER (JISC-funded, £200K), QA FOCUS (JISC-funded, £110K), Biz/ed VLA (JISC-funded, £180K), Biz/ed TimeWeb (JISC-funded, £180K), Virtual Training Suite (JISC-funded, £410K). Consultancy included: QA-training (£12K), a QA-training research study into the effectiveness of training in the workplace, evaluation of  COVETS (East Anglia (£6K) , Neonatal Education (Southampton, £6K) and the CAA centre (Luton, £8K).

Feb 1999         Head of Technology-based Learning, University of North London

-Sept 1999      Responsible for recommending strategy and policy development in the academic use of ICT. My remit included the establishment and direction of the Teaching and Learning Technology Centre (TLTC), which provided support and advice on the application and integration of learning technologies in teaching and learning, through workshops, individual support and course development. Research and project-based work underpinned staff development activities and provided toolkits, frameworks and case studies on the use, integration and evaluation of learning technologies.  Externally-funded projects focused on the evaluation of the effectiveness of learning technologies, the use and integration of technologies in the curriculum, and the application of learning technologies across a wider spectrum of activities. Under my direction, TLTC and its predecessor LaTID, secured approximately £400K in national and international funding (out of total project values of ca. £2.2 million). Projects included: Evaluation of Learning Technology (ELT): (BP-funded, £45K), Extranet Education (EXE): (EU-funded, £200K), HEFCE-funded TLTP projects: EFFECTS (£50K) and FOCUS (£50K), SME-Connect (HEFCE CVE-funded, £20K), Cascade (ESF Objective 4-funded, £45K) and FICTION (HEFCE CVE-funded, £20K,).


1996-99           Director: Learning & Teaching Innovation & Development, North London University

1991-96           Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry, University of North London

1990-91           Lecturer in Foundation Science (HITECC), University of North London




·      Higher Education Academia National Teaching Fellow (from 2012)

·      Fellow of the ASCILITE society (from 2012)



Other academic responsibilities and professional activities

Editor of the journal ALT-J (Taylor and Francis publication) 1999-2007 

Member of the e-learning papers editorial board

Member of the INNOQUEL editorial board

Member of the EDEN executive board

Member of the EFQUEL board

Chair of the programme committee for ALT-C 2004, Exeter and programme committees for a number of international conferences (for example ALT-C, Edmedia, ICALT, e-society, ICEE)

Special guest editor of the online refereed journal Education, Technology and Society and guest editor on a special issue, on learning technologies, of the Journal of Quality Assurance in Education

Special guest editor of a special issue of elearning papers on learning design

Special guest editor of a special issue of Distance Education on OER and social inclusion

Special guest editor of the online journal IRRODL (with George Siemens) on Connectivism, Spring 2011

Co-programme chair for the first international conference on learning analytics, to be held in Banf, Canada,

Editorial board member and reviewer for a number of e-learning journals

Referee for a number of peer-reviewed academic journals and for  JISC, ESRC and EPSRC proposals

Member of

·      JISC Learning and Teaching Committee (2008 – present)

·      Ensemble ESPRC/ESRC TELP project (2008 – present)

·      JISC Organisational Structures Committee (2000 – 2008)

·      HEFCE e-learning partnership board (2003 – 2005)

·      ESRC TLRP steering committee (2002)

·      ESRC NCESS steering committee (2002)

·      ESRC/EPSRC working group on e-learning research

·      Member of the WUN e-learning research group and co-organiser of the international WUN e-learning research access-grid based virtual seminar series (2002 - 2005)

·      Steering group for London Metropolitan University CETL on reusable learning objects (2002 – 2007)

·      HE Academy teaching and learning group

Professional membership has included the Association for Learning Technology, ASCILITE, American Educational Research Association, British Educational Research Association, European Distance Education Network, Institute for Learning and Teaching, Staff Education Development Association, the Royal Society of Chemistry and Association of University Teachers

Committee membership has included, IET management group, CREET research centre, CALRG research group, School’s Research and Initiatives Group, School Board, Policy and Resources Committee, Professorial Group, chair of  PCET research centre, Research Degrees Committee, chair of e-Learning Advisory Group; at Institutional level: Academic Resources Committee and the Learning and Teaching Strategy Committee, Chair of the Universities e-learning strategy committee

Panel member for THES innovative teaching awards (2005 - 2006)

Masters and PhD supervision and external examinations (both national and international): MSc/MPhil (10 as internal examiner, 35 as external examiner, 20 as supervisor)

External examiner for a masters course in Educational Technology in Ulster (now complete), the Networked Learning masters at Lancaster University, the masters in e-Learning at Plymouth University and the masters in e-learning at the Dublin Institute of Technlogy

Have been involved with or chaired a number of national consultative fora and several advisory boards and steering groups (ALT central executive, the ALT publications committee, the ALT Research and Policy committee and the annual ALT policy board, ALT Learning Technology theory group, range of TLTP, HEFCE and JISC-funded projects and chair of the LTSN SWAP).