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Dr Lisa Bowers

Dr Lisa Bowers

Profile summary

Web links

Professional biography

As an innovation-driven academic and TEL researcher, I have over 16 years of experience of practice and teaching in HE institutes in England and Ireland. Drawing on my experience as a Senior Fellow of the HEA and as chair of the Open University E&I Design exam board, I have experience in policymaking, degree program authorship, and leading academic and professional design staff. Additionally, I maintain a high level of quality as the chair of a 'learning inclusive' formative and summative assessment module.

Research interests

My research interests lie in the intersection of three fields; HCI, Inclusive design, Touch-led technologies. All these three fields come together into explorations of human interactions with touch-led computing for sight-impaired artisans, i.e. creation and development of systems that go beyond sight and reach into the surface recognition and interpretation of human touch within virtual worlds.  The promise of touch and sound augmented interactions is to deliver natural and efficient human-computer immersive interaction and to augment human-human contact through shared objects.

Achievements include internationally recognized status as an international research fellow in future technologies with Shanghai Open University (Shanghai). 

Externally funded projects

CoA: HAPPIE Audience of the Future - Creative touch, Design prototyping
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01 Dec 202031 Mar 2021UK Research and Innovation

For distance learning students often it is difficult to facilitate creative studio-based activities in the same format as conventional universities. This can result in a short fall of distance learning students ‘maker-process’ skills and practice. The benefits of haptic technology for applied online education, such as e-crafts and e-design practice, is that it enables and enriches the student’s hands-on approach. Currently haptic technology is able to aid students’ interactions to 3D virtual environments. However, haptics that could afford greater sensory engagements with the maker-process with a fidelity akin to real-world is still to be developed. This project aims to embed haptics within a variety of ‘hands-on’ methods, designed by Open University (Engineering and Innovation school) academics. This will enable the development of a working haptic prototype which will focus on haptics and the ‘maker-process’ aiming to add value to core learning technology resources for undergraduate and post graduate programmes. In line with the OU’s ‘access to learning policies’ there is a greater onus placed onto inclusive learning, and the provision of accessible learning technology to include a variety of learners with a range of needs e.g. sensory impairment, motor skills etc… By increasing access to virtual immersive technologies a wider student body could be given access to engage with their own version of the maker-process using multimodal interactions.

Publications

Creative haptics: an evaluation of a haptic tool for non-sighted and visually impaired design students, studying at a distance (2021)
Bowers, Lisa and Hayle, Ryan
British Journal of Visual Impairment ((Early Access))


Touching creativity; a review and early pilot test of haptic tooling to support design practice, within a distance learning curriculum (2019)
Bowers, Lisa Jane
Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 34(1) (pp. 6-18)