Dr Anne Adams – Co-investigator (Digital Engagement)

Dr Anne Adams

Dr Anne Adams


Anne is a Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Educational Technology. As a co-investigator in the Catalyst project she utilised her breadth of experience in public and industrial technology research to support digital engagement in the project. In particular this included supporting the Catalyst digital engagement researcher, Ann Grand.


Anne’s research has developed innovative situated and ethical eLearning knowledge through developing cutting-edge pervasive and ubiquitous eLearning technologies and practices. Overarching research interests: ‘The Impact Situated Elearning’ approached through the design of technology enhanced learning systems, structures and practices focusing on:

  1. Situated e-learning and Social inclusion: Technology to identify and overcome barriers to understanding and inclusion (e.g threshold concepts & Juxtalearn, offender learner research) and increase social inclusion (e.g. Out There and In Here project).
  2. Practice based system and intermediaries: The role of intermediaries (e.g. ‘boundary objects’ & ‘boundary creatures’) within practice based learning contexts (e.g. NHS), Design processes such as ‘catwalk technologies’.
  3. E-learning Identity and Security: Privacy and authentication issues with technologies and processes that support acceptable ‘information sharing’ & reformation of identity (e.g. new book).
  4. E-learning Research methods: How research methods impact on design cycles (e.g. chapters on HCI research methods) and support practitioner inquiry cycles (e.g. Action Research publications).

Dr Adams current digital engagement work focuses on school based technologies. Dr Adams is the principle Investigator on the EU Juxtalearn project co-ordinating input from leading academics and industrial partners across Europe developing systems and understanding around school and university technologies for science and technology learning performances.

A key thrust of this work has been engagement across disciplines, institutions and people. Over the past few years Anne has instigated many public engagement, industrial and government body enterprises to support the impact of informal and situated elearning. This has been achieved through industrial presentations (GOOGLE head office, Palo Alto; MICROSOFT, Cambridge) and research collaborations (BT internship, Microsoft, OOKL and Catchermedia as research partners) public lectures (ESRC public lecture series, 2011; UCL public lecture series, 2004) and demonstrations (e.g. demonstrations for school children from across MK, 2011); as well as Public Body presentations and research collaborations (Home Office, 2011; NHS, 2005).


An infamous past acting in theatre and film led to years of work experience in Market Research. Anne’s reputation as a researcher was then saved by a degree in Psychology with computing, an MSc in HCI (human computer interaction) at the UCL interaction center [formerly known as the ergonomics group] and a PhD at UCL, CS & psychology departments. Follow on research fellow posts & consultancy work at UCL and Middlesex University was joined by part-time lecturing in HCI, research methods and distance learning design and teaching at these institutions as well as Bath and Luton university.

A full time lecturing post at Nottingham University CS department focused on teaching mobile and ubiquitous computing. I joined the Open University as a lecturer in 2006 focusing on practice centered research and development. At the OU Anne led an innovative mentoring programme that focused on action research as a route to professional development in teaching and learning innovations. A flexible series of seminars, workshops and drop-in sessions were developed that were tailored to university strategic and individual central academic and Associate Lecturer needs. This 3 year programme was within 2 of the HEFCE funded OU Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (PBPL and COLMSCT) and supported over 60 projects across 6 faculties (Science, MCT, OUBS, FELS, FHSC and IET) and was noted in the CETL HEFCE reports as ’empowering’ by the fellows it supported.

Dr Adams managed the innovative development, dissemination and evaluation of AL generated professional development videos (The ‘get it’ project). Video resources were noted by course team chairs and members as: ‘worthwhile’, ‘imaginative’, ‘Fantastic’ and the ‘coolest’ for supporting scholarship development.

Anne currently leads the teaching and learning ‘transition pathways project’ supporting research transitioning benefits for teaching and learning. Personal research has transitioned into OU teaching and learning benefits with privacy model research leading into confidentiality TMAs for K216, Juxtalearn threshold concept taxonomies being used to support teaching methods for senseboard programming in TU100.


Dr Anne Adams

Senior Lecturer in Practice Centred Research and Development

Institute of Educational Technology
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes

Telephone: +44 (0)1908 858430

Email: Anne.Adams@open.ac.uk

Website: http://iet.open.ac.uk/people/a.adams