Online Learning Summit - Perspectives from authentic voices

Date and time
Tuesday, 9 April 2019
09.00 - 17.00

Enterprise Centre
Bridge Street

Rethinking the Online Paradigm: Perspectives from Authentic Voices

We are pleased to announce our inaugural Online Learning Summit hosted by the University of Derby Online Learning. Bringing together a community of experts, researchers, practitioners and students from the UK and beyond, we aim to create a space for authentic conversations around the following themes:

The online learning conference will take an active learning approach to engage participants. We acknowledge that everyone who is actively participating in and creating online learning opportunities has something to contribute. Further, this conference is also for those exploring online learning opportunities for their own institution. We look forward to joining together for meaningful conversations on the future of online learning.

Join us in the heart of England to exchange ideas, gain new insights and contribute to the thought-leadership that will shape the future of online learning.

Dr Margaret Korosec University of Derby Online Learning

We are excited to host our first international Online Learning Summit bringing together multiple perspectives from the online learning space. We look forward to inspiring conversations and critical reflection.

Dr Margaret Korosec
Head of Digital and Enterprise Learning Solutions


8.45am Registration / Coffee / Tea Networking
9.15am Welcome and Opening Plenary
Morning Sessions Panel: Academic engagement in online teaching and learning
  Refreshments and Exhibitors
  Panel: Online learning by design
1.00pm Lunch and Exhibitors
Afternoon Sessions Panel: Leading pedagogic practice through research
  World Café Idea Bursts
  Panel: The authentic, online student voice
5.00pm Conference Close: Connecting perspectives followed by cocktail reception

A detailed agenda will be provided on arrival.

Opening plenary

Role: National Teaching Fellow, Academic Manager, University of Derby Online Learning

Paula has spent her adult working life delivering education and training to adults of varying ages. She began in Further Education and, in 1998, moved into Higher Education, specialising in online education since 2000. In 2011, she began working as an Academic Manager for the newly formed University of Derby Online Learning (UDOL). In this role, she significantly influenced UDOL’s expansion from 7 programmes (649 students) to 40 programmes (3,500 students) of which she currently manages approximately 1000 students on 13 programmes in 6 disciplines with a roughly equal split between UK and International students. Through her research, she has developed and presented her ‘Practice Orientated Framework for Modelling Online Learning’, ensuring that horizon scanning, pedagogy and educational planning are integral to online students’ experiences. Through application of this model, she demonstrates her ability to respond efficiently and effectively to societal expectations including changes in technology and models of education that place increasing demands on finite resources.

As a lifelong online learner, she is able to demonstrate that online learning can offer a rich and rewarding, equivocally different HE experience. Her pedagogic influence, modelling and training academics in the art of online social learning, has led to an impressive 95.5% retention rate for online part-time students, and all UDOL programmes have either been rated Gold or Silver when TEF metrics have been applied. Reaching beyond her role, she has influenced the University’s ‘Centre for Student Life’ to support a ‘virtual campus’ for online students.

Her tenacity for championing marginalised voices will ensure that transitioning between study modes won’t compromise students’ experiences; acknowledging that University life may be experienced in different ways, but all students should feel welcome, supported and valued irrespective of their study mode. She is committed to apply herself with honesty, integrity, confidentially, morality, respect and compassion to the art of developing others (staff and students) to serve their professions and the public with confidence and competence.

Paula's LinkedIn profile


Panel members

Role: Academic Director, Online Education Services (OES)

Gilly Salmon has been a learning innovator for more than 30 years and is one of the world’s leading thinkers in digital and blended learning.

She researches and publishes widely on the themes of innovation and change in Higher Education and the exploitation of new technologies of all kinds in the service of learning.

She is internationally renowned for her significant contributions to education futures, including research, innovation, programme design, teaching methods and the use of new technologies.

Gilly is a National Teaching Fellow and earned Principal Fellowship of Advance HE.


Role: Associate Professor and Associate Dean (Learning Innovation), Faculty of Business and Law, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia

Sandra Luxton has over 20 years' experience as an academic at Monash University, University of South Australia and QUT. She has held many leadership roles including Director of the Master of Marketing (online), Director of Industry Based Learning, Director of Study Tour Programs, and Manager - Undergraduate Open Learning. Sandra is widely published in journals including European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Advertising, Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Australasian Marketing Journal, International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, Journal of Food Product Marketing, Higher Education in Europe, and Australian and New Zealand Journal of Vocational Education Research. Sandra worked at BP Australia for 10 years prior to academia, and has also worked as a research consultant in Adelaide and Melbourne.

Role: Head of Digital Education, University College of Estate Management

Fiona Harvey is the Director of Digital Education within the Online Education Department at the University College of Estate Management. She leads a team developing online programmes and redesigning their approach with digital literacies and student engagement as the focus. Her previous role was as the Digital Scholarship and Content Manager at the University of Southampton. A  cross-university role and the lead for Digital Literacies. She works with academics and students across the University to enhance the student experience using technology. As part of this role she created a network of Innovation and Digital Literacies Student Champions (iChamps) who supported students and staff to develop digital literacies skills through a range of discipline specific projects along with the utilisation of  Open Badges and ePortfolios. Her work also involved exploring approaches to student engagement with online resources and applying blended learning into the curriculum as well as advising and consulting on academic projects using technology enhanced learning to support active learning.

Fiona has a background in Psychology, Business Information Systems and Digital Education as well as being a qualified Lecturer. She has worked for the University since 2005. Her previous role was as an IT Lecturer, Programme Lead and Personal Tutor at a local FE college, where she taught for over 5 years.

As a life long learner, Fiona has always been an online student, undertaking her BSc (Hons) in Applied Psychology as an online student as well as her MSc in Digital Education with Edinburgh University and her current studies, PhD in e-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning with Lancaster University is also an online programme.

Nationally and Internationally, Fiona has been invited to talk as a keynote speaker for a range of educational technology events and has worked with the British Council in Malaysia and China. She was the Vice-Chair, Chair and President of the Association of Learning Technology (ALT) (2014 -2017) and is currently the Co-Chair of the ALT South Special Interest Group https://www.alt.ac.uk/about-alt/special-interest-and-members-groups/alt-south and a trustee for the Centre for Recording Achievement (CRA).


Role: Programme Manager & Innovator, Centre of Online Learning, IT Sligo, Ireland.

Brian Mulligan, originally qualified as a civil engineer, is currently Programme Manager (Online Learning Innovation) in the Centre for Online Learning at the Institute of Technology Sligo where he has lectured since 1984. He initiated online learning in IT Sligo in 2002 growing it to over 3000 online learners in 2019. He has contributed significantly to the growth of e-learning in Ireland since 1999 as a founding member of the Irish Learning Technology Association. His main areas of expertise are now in synchronous online teaching, instructor-led online training, open education, work-based learning and rapid low-cost development of online educational courses.

Role: Online Learning Strategist

Amie Ader-Beeler has over 25 years of experience in business and education. She has filled leadership roles in Fortune 100 companies and non-profit innovative educational institutions. Her academic disciplines are management and leadership, and current research is related to innovative and flexible educational models that can reach a broad base of students while maintaining clear competency deliverables. She is working towards the completion of her PhD in Management and Organizational Leadership at Walden University. She has been a valuable member of the leadership teams at both Western Governors University and Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). Amie served as an Assistant Dean for Graduate Business Programs at Southern New Hampshire University’s College of Online and Continuing Education. Responsible for the academic success and integrity of all graduate courses in the field of business. In addition to her role she developed and implemented an adjunct faculty team lead model that assured proactive quality support of both instructors and students as the university grew to over 65,000 students. She was also the project manager tasked with hiring the first group of online full-time faculty facilitators for SNHU.

Amie Ader-Beeler is a certified in Six Sigma Black Belt and PMP project management methodologies and has been responsible for running process improvement, technology enhancements and customer service related projects in several industries. Prior to her work at SNHU she led a team of project managers at Western Governors University focused on delivery of strategic initiatives. Her team increased the quality of 40 programs through reviews and execution of curriculum solutions across four colleges. She led the BETA Team in the software development of a new operating system for assessment and student services, integration teams for third party vendors, and participated in scrums for a new student portal. She also served as the Operations Manager for the Academic Mentoring Department and as a member of the Academic Leadership Team. Most recently she held the role of Vice President of Operations at New Charter University and contracted with Franklin Covey to design assessment material for their world-renowned leadership materials and with HELP University to design and launch the first online MBA in Malaysia.

Role: Academic Lead for Social Work/Social Care, University of Derby Online Learning

Dr Pauline Green is a registered Social Worker with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) and a member of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW). She has worked as an academic at the University of Derby since 1999 and in September 2018 she became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (now Advance HE).

As Academic Lead of Social Work/Social Care at the University of Derby Online Learning, her primary role is to manage a team of staff who are employed both onsite and working on a remote basis, on full-time, fractional and associate contracts. In addition, she manages and develops a suite of online programmes which includes: MSc, Post Graduate Certificate, BSc, University Advanced Diploma, Diploma of Higher Education, CPD, Short Course and MOOC’s in the field of Health and Social Care.

In 2016, she was awarded a Doctorate of Education and since then she has used her doctoral research in emotional resilience to publish in the British Journal of Social Work. The research undertaken has informed the student curriculum and has led to the development of a short course entitled ‘An Introduction to Emotional Resilience’. Her research has been presented at Conferences both nationally and internationally and she now deliver resilience training for adult care staff at Derby City and Derbyshire County Council Social Services.

Role: Academic Lead, Psychology, University of Derby Online Learning

Dr Alice Doherty is a multi-disciplinary teacher and research starting her teaching career in a Secondary School in Germany teaching English as a second language. She applied this experience in her PhD by examining how bilinguals’ first and second languages interact during language processing. She was awarded her PhD in 2013 from the University of Nottingham. Following her degree, she took her first academic role with responsibility for designing and delivering a series of undergraduate skills workshops for psychology students – delivered by blended learning. This cemented her passion for online pedagogy and course design. Currently her pedagogic research activity is focused on exploring how academics can most usefully encapsulate and conceptualise online student satisfaction.  

Alice's LinkedIn profile

Role: Academic Lead, Psychotherapy, University of Derby Online Learning

Yasuhiro Kotera is Academic Lead in Psychotherapy and Chair of Research Ethics Committee at the University of Derby Online Learning. As an accredited psychotherapist and certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) trainer, he writes a Japanese blog 'Kokoro no Rikutsu (Logic of Psyche)' about psychology and mental health, which is the most popular blog in the abroad genre, receiving 2000 visits every day. His research focuses on mental health, motivation, NLP, and cross-culture. Details and updates are available at ResearchGate and on Twitter.

Role: Academic Lead for Engineering, University of Derby Online Learning

Dr Justin Steele-Davies began working in the Higher Education sector with physics education materials. His work focused on delivering flexible self-study material for Physics and Mathematics. A big challenge for this and many other science areas is the broad skill set in both maths and the subject knowledge that needs to be in place for effective learning to progress. This included teaching content and online assessment. At the time, representation of mathematics on the web was challenging, and a lot of the focus was on the technical implementation.

Moving into the online space, practical skills become a more prominent challenge. Justin began developing interactive tools with several projects. These tools were focused on the fundamental physical principles behind science subjects ranging in scope from simple simulations to remotely controlled experiments. The driving principle is to identify what the students will learn from the activity. Something that is often not explicitly stated in the design of experimental modules within the sciences and a challenge when defining the scope of a given project.

His principal area of interest currently is the teaching environment. Managing almost exclusively online courses gives a different perspective on what information is provided to students. Among several areas, he is particularly interested in how data analytics can be used to inform students and allow them to make decisions. There is an opportunity to learn from the successes and failures of things like fitness trackers and apply them in an educational environment.


Role: Senior Lecturer and Programme Director, University of Birmingham

Dr Tom Harrison is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Director to the MA Character Education at the University of Birmingham.  He is also the Director of Education in the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues and the College of Social Sciences academic lead for digital education.  Tom Harrison’s specialist interests are character education and virtue ethics, character, virtue and the internet, youth social action and citizenship. He has also been recently been conducting research in digital learning pedagogy and higher education. He has published extensively in these areas as well as developing resources and training programmes for schools and other organisations. He has recently authored the following books;  ‘Educating Character Through Stories’; ‘Teaching Character in Primary Schools’; ‘Teaching Character and Virtue in Schools’; and ‘The Theory and Practice of Virtue Education (eds). Tom has also recently been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship


Our exhibitors include:

Blackboard, Canvas by Instructure, EADTU, Pearson, TestReach, SimVenture evolution and Desire2Learn logos

Conference cost

1 day conference registration fee £120

Staying over in Derby

Take a look at the latest hotel deals close to our venue.

Getting to the venue

The Conference will be held at the University of Derby's Enterprise Centre. Located in the heart of the East Midlands, our venue is just minutes from Derby train station and only a short distance from the M1 and East Midlands Airport.

By Car - For driving directions to our venue, view our PDF of our Enterprise Centre Directions. Free onsite parking is available however this is limited. We will be in touch closer the date of the event to give you an opportunity to secure an onsite parking space.

By Rail - The closest train station is Derby train station; this is approximately 2.5 miles from the Enterprise Centre and will take 10-15 minutes in a taxi. Alternatively, you can catch the Number 6 Unibus which departs from outside the main entrance of the train station and will take you to the Bridge Street bus stop directly outside the venue - this service starts at 8am and a single trip will cost £2. View bus timetables.

By Air - The closest airport is East Midlands, located just 15 miles from the Enterprise Centre. This should take around 25 minute by car. Alternatively Derby Skylink operate a 24 hours bus service, picking up directly outside the terminal building and dropping off at Derby Bus Station. This service runs every 30 minutes during the day and hourly during the night, seven days a week and takes approximately 40 minutes.

Book your place

* Indicates a required field

Fill out my online form.