Rachel Bartley (UCL)
Recently completing my Master’s in History at UCL, I focused in particular on feminine middlebrow literature in the interwar period, exploring histories of reading and the significance of the context rather than content of reading and the ways the two interact. I am excited to join this project in its study of students’ reading practices and how the rise of digital resources and platforms serves to enable new types of reading, as well as problematising other aspects. I am particularly curious about students’ experiences of the move towards the online as a more creative, collaborative, and interactive reading space for students and tutors alike.
- Read Rachel’s blog post here. She’s also done a literature review of online reading, which you can read here and here.
Catherine Bostock (Lincoln)
Currently, I am a third year Social Policy student at the University of Lincoln. During my time at Lincoln, I have been diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia, which has driven my passion for learning differences and accessibility. To develop accessibility within higher education I have worked with many lecturers and outside agencies through Lincoln’s Digital Education Board, which aimed to improve the educational response to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Furthermore, I have also developed education resources for schools in Laos and Kenya, whilst considering learning differences, as there is a lack of training in such countries. Therefore, when the opportunity to investigate reading practices in the UK became available, I jumped at the opportunity.
- Read Catherine’s blog post here.
Lee Bowditch (Salford)
Currently in the second year of my Business & Management degree at the University of Salford, I started university life in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic meaning almost all of the reading and research I have done so far has been online. Having a medical condition that affects my energy levels (and thus my ability to concentrate, verbally express myself, and my writing speed to name a few of its effects) I have found working online from home an advantage as I can utilise my time to suit how I am feeling that day. I am looking forward to working on this project as I am also a student representative for my course and I am interested in finding out how fellow students have adapted to a fully online approach at the start of their academic studies in comparison to traditional study methods.
- Read Lee’s blog post here.
Jon Chandler (UCL)
Jon Chandler is a Lecturer (Teaching) in the History Department at University College London. He co-convenes the department’s suite of undergraduate core courses that support first-year students in the transition to university and to develop the skills they will need to thrive in higher education. He is particularly interested in the use of technology to support student learning. His historical research explores the impact of war on politics, society, and economy in the eighteenth century Atlantic World.
Linh Dao (Sheffield Hallam University)
I am a postgraduate student studying MA Design (Interaction) at Sheffield Hallam University. To me, Human-Computer interaction is applicable to everything, making it a fascinating discipline. Having spent the past 2 years studying and working as an interaction designer, I have gained the knowledge and experience necessary to contribute to the project and support the project coordinators. In my latest project, I was involved in preparing and uploading journals and articles to an online collaborative platform for self-taught designers in Vietnam to read, discuss and help each other in the study. I realised a lot of potentials the online readings can benefit students. The Active Online Reading project explores current practice around digital reading, which aligns closely with my interest in designing digital products that assist student’s everyday life. During my time at the Active Online Reading project, I am looking forward to having the experience to strengthen my professional skills and knowledge in the field of user research. At the end of this project, I hope to gain more insight into designing digital services with universities and colleges as the target audience.
- Read Linh’s blog post here.
Matt East (Talis)
Matt East is Education Lead at Talis, leading the Product Development for Talis Elevate, a collaborative annotation tool used across HE. Matt has worked in Higher Education for over a decade, previously working as a Senior Learning Technologist, academic consultant, and associate lecturer. Previous to this, Matt was a Students’ Union President, member of the NUS National Executive Council leading Technology Enhanced Learning projects nationally, and University Governor. His research focuses around student engagement and collaborative annotation primarily.
Annabelle Mansell (Lincoln)
I am entering the third year of my Classical Studies degree at the University of Lincoln, having had the privilege to experience both in-person and more online-dependent teaching. I am fascinated in learning how engagement with these different educational environments has affected the way I now approach my studies. I hope that our discoveries during this project will help others to understand the impact that online study and social media may have on modern pedagogy and student engagement. This, combined with my love of research that I have cultivated over the past few years, has led to me being very excited for this project and its outcomes.
- Read Annabelle’s blog post here.
Hannah Morley (Sheffield Hallam University)
Since studying my postgraduate course in Design at Sheffield Hallam University, I’ve sparked an interest within design research and methodologies, influenced by my latest module and the experiences following this. This opportunity to be part of the Active Online Reading Project provides an excellent platform to apply these methodologies to practice-led and research-led project. I’m interested in the studies surrounding user perspective and the impact of neuropsychology on spaces in the human brain, as well as studies on the ideologies of feminist cities by finding patterns and trends of triggers around trauma. Digitalisation of the modern world seems more important than ever since the pandemic where virtual learning environments became the norm and continue to be for students. The contribution to this investigation of digital reading is vastly important to hopefully support the ways that future students utilise material online.
- Read Hannah’s blog post here.
Anna Rich-Abad (University of Nottingham)
Anna Rich-Abad is a medieval historian and specialises in Christian-Jewish interaction and particularly economic activities and female agency among the Jews of Barcelona in the Late Middle Ages. She has worked for 16 years at the University of Nottingham, and has experience as secondary school teacher and in Further education. Through these, she has developed a strong interest in transitions, and particular in online pedagogies for teaching and learning. Anna has pioneered the introduction of collaborative online reading tools in her classroom and in the Faculty of Arts and is also involved in developing tools to support Students digital capabilities in year 1.
Samantha Sharman (Lincoln)
I am a second year Classical Studies student at the University of Lincoln, and I am passionate about students accessing a supportive environment whilst in higher education. Having started my degree during the height of the pandemic, most of my reading has been done using online resources. I’m keen to explore how such extensive usage of online materials has affected students by researching their varied approaches to online reading, as having a greater understanding of this would undoubtedly help to enhance the student experience.
Stefan Szablewski (Nottingham)
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning and studying at both the University of Nottingham, and whilst on exchange at University Colllege Dublin. Reflecting on my experience of different virtual learning environments and in turn digital reading practices, I’ve witnessed a (though varying) dissonance between how students are expected to engage and how they in fact do engage with primary and secondary material – something the Active Online Reading Project provides a fantastic opportunity to explore. I’m passionate about the individual and societal benefits of higher education, and fiercely want peers to enjoy studying at University. The sector’s continued success (and indeed survival) depends on awareness of how rapid technological change is shaping both students and the ways in which they read, learn, and understand.
- Read Stefan’s blog post here.
Jamie Wood (University of Lincoln)
Jamie Wood is Professor of History at Education at the University of Lincoln, where he has worked since 2013, having taught previously at the universities of Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Warwick. He has worked extensively on the social and religious history of late antiquity, especially that of the Iberian Peninsula. His interest in pedagogy was sparked by a period as an educational developer at the University of Sheffield from 2007 t0 2009. Since then, he has worked extensively on digital approaches to teaching History and other disciplines. He was an early adopter of the Talis Elevate tool, and experience that informed the current Active Online Reading project.
- Jamie’s staff profile at Lincoln.
Anna Wray (Nottingham)
I am in my third year studying history at the University of Nottingham. I am deeply interested in education, and have volunteered in primary school reading schemes and English conversation classes for refugees. These experiences made the present project stand out to me. I believe that online reading provides a great opportunity for equal access to materials; however, this does not ensure equality of technology or the knowledge to use these new materials. Hopefully, this research will provide insights into these possible hurdles and suggest ways that online reading can truly be accessible for everyone.
- Read Anna’s blog post here.