Who am I? & What do I do?

Nicola.Beddall-Hill | November 27, 2012

Dear followers & all future followers,

I thought it was past time that I wrote a blog to introduce myself and began to keep you abreast of some of the exciting activities; research and otherwise, that myself (Nicola) and Effie Law working on with the project’s website.

About me…& how I came to the RR project
I am Nicola Beddall-Hill and I am a Research associate who joined the project in April 2012. I had moved to Leicester (my home town) have my baby daughter the previous year and was looking for an interesting part time role. Having come to the end of a three year ESRC funded PhD based at City University London, I was looking for work to help fund myself during the writing up period as well as gain valuable experience. The RR’s project interdisciplinary nature, social media and mobile App intentions caught my eye, some of my skills caught theirs and the rest as they say is history.

My PhD was part of interdisciplinary set of Technology Enhanced Learning projects (ours was Ensemble) funded throughout the Teaching and Learning Programme. I was attached to the Ensemble project (link) which ended last year. My work however was focused upon the social aspects of learning using mobile devices on field trips.

My work is listed on the ESRC website – some have links to full papers (Please note that the 1st 4 links do not work??…ESRC not me! after that they all work and cover the top 4 anyway).

My field is Technology Enhanced Learning or TEL. My earlier background was as a secondary and further educational teacher both abroad and in the UK, teaching physical education and ‘A’ level psychology. I left teaching and began my PhD in 2008 and completed my research in 2011. I am now writing up my findings and hope to have completed within the next year after having had a years maternity leave from the thesis.

My role on the project is…
To work on evaluation methods and design of the website via social media. But also to aid in the design, development and evaluation of the mobile App. So far I have been part of the first cycle of evaluation of the website. We have used an online survey and 4 focus groups to gain feedback on the current website which went live earlier this year. This site is seen as version one and the aim is to develop it to me more user orientated and so our audience engage with the project. However we have to figure out who are audiences are, how to reach them and how to engage them, this forms a large part of designing our evaluation which then in turn informs the website redesign. I have been aiding the design and conducting this research with Effie Law, with assistance from Dursan Aksalan & Adair Richards.

Our overall aims are to examine the role social media can play in evaluation of websites and to build a model of evaluation which could aid future design in this area and for others when designing for audience engagement with research projects and cultural heritage.

My future blog posts will give more depth about the research and findings we have produced so far, stay tuned!

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