Dr Ben Williamson, University of Stirling, UK. Ben’s research traces the connections between educational policy, digital technologies, and practices in schools and universities. He is the author of Big Data in Education: The digital future of learning, policy and practice (Sage, 2017) and over 30 research articles and chapters. Recent topics of Ben’s research include data analytics, algorithmic decision-making, coding in schools, behavioural apps, and the development of performance metrics in the schools and HE sectors. He is especially interested in examining how digital technologies and data are brought into education policy and practice through the involvement of policy networks of government agencies, think tanks, consultancies, policy labs and software companies. His current projects focus on ‘intimate data analytics’ such as wearable technologies,  and on the ‘data infrastructures of higher education’ that are required for performance measurement of universities.

Ben is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Stirling, maintains a public research blog at, and on Twitter he is @BenPatrickWill.

Prof Richard Edwards, University of Stirling. Richard researches and writes in the areas of lifelong learning, policy studies, further and adult education. He is particularly interested in exploring these areas drawing upon post-structuralist, actor network theory, and sociomaterial perspectives, and has recently published on the hidden curriculum of computer code. Richard is a Professor of Education and was Head of the School of Education between 2006 – 2013.

Prof Tara Fenwick, University of Stirling. Tara is interested in lifelong learning and education in the everyday activity of work and organizations. Her particular focus at Stirling is on professional and vocational contexts of work and learning. Her studies examine questions of knowing and responsibility within the complex power relations and rapidly changing conditions of globalized workplace practices. She publishes on various  sociomaterial and actor network theory approaches in education, foregrounding the materiality of work practices, learning and subjectivities. Tara is the Director of Research in the School of Education.

Dr Sian Bayne, University of Edinburgh. Sian’s research interests revolve around the changes undergoing learning and teaching as it shifts online – current particular interests are around  posthumanism and online education, the geographies of distance education, museum learning and multimodal academic literacies. Her projects and publications are clustered in the area of Digital Culture and Education. Sian is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education, and Associate Dean for digital scholarship in the College of Humanities and Social Science at Edinburgh. See Sian’s personal web site for more.

Doctoral assistants

Sarah Doyle, University of Stirling. Sarah’s ESRC funded doctoral research examines professional knowledge and learning in health care for paediatric diabetes. She is using sociomaterial approaches, primarily complexity science and the work of Karen Barad, to examine the nature of the connections between new technologies, treatment regimens, practices and people, towards understanding how these participate in professional knowledge and learning. Sarah has a professional background in nursing and works as a Fellow in Medical Education at the University of Edinburgh.

Lyndsay Grant, University of Bristol. Lyndsay is a researcher at the University of Bristol. Her doctoral research explores how data technologies are shaping our knowledge of education. In particular she is interested in how ideas of what it means to be a learner are inscribed into data analytic technologies, and constructed through data profiles in classrooms. She is interested in the opportunities and consequences for learners who adopt, adapt, resist, or ‘game’ their data-driven learning profiles. Lyndsay also writes for the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub weblog.

Jeremy Knox, University of Edinburgh. Jeremy is an ESRC funded PhD student working in the area of digital education, and currently focussing on the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). He is interested in critical posthumanism, new materialism and the work of Giles Deleuze. Jeremy is also a tutor on the University of Edinburgh’s MSc in Digital Education, and a teacher on the E-learning and Digital Cultures Coursera MOOC. Jeremy’s personal website has further details and a list of publications.

Alison Oldfield, University of Bristol. Alison Oldfield is studying for her PhD at the University of Bristol and is interested in how uses of data in education shape students’ development, particularly in relation to their identities and ideas of their future. She has participated in a recent research project and publications on learning analytics and technology-based assessment. Previously, she has been a freelance researcher on various projects, worked at Futurelab Education and lectured at Bath Spa University on social and educational inclusion. She’s also a former youth worker and teacher.


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