Staff profile

Dr Alan Williams

Academic Lead for Nursing

Alan Williams standing with hands clasped, wearing a red and white striped shirt


Health, Social, and Community Work


University of Derby Online Learning


My nursing career commenced with pre-registration nurse education in London before I moved to head injury rehabilitation, emergency care and resuscitation in the Midlands in the United Kingdom. In 2006 I moved from the NHS to higher education as an Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham, focussing on pre-registration nursing education at undergraduate (BSc) and Graduate Entry level. My roles included Admissions Tutor, acting as a module and field lead, acting as a Faculty Fitness to Practice investigator and panel member and most importantly the pastoral care of students.

I completed my Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy and Registered NMC Teacher in 2009 and was awarded a Doctor of Health Sciences in 2018. My doctoral studies investigated how students and tutors design online learning resources and my move to the University of Derby Online Learning as Academic Lead for Nursing and Perioperative Practice enables me to combine my teaching and research interests. My overall aim is to support students and colleagues so learners can gain the most from their studies.

Research interests

My research interests relate to my doctoral studies investigating the design of learning objects by students and by tutors and how technology can be used to enhance student learning and experience. For my doctoral studies I used video analysis software to understand how groups of students and tutors’ function when designing a learning object on resuscitation knowledge, before developing each group’s resource and randomising junior nursing students to establish the learning gain of a student and separately tutor designed resource.

Membership of professional bodies


Recent publications

Williams, A 2018 An investigation uncovering how students and how tutors design learning objects for novice students to use when acquiring established resuscitation knowledge. DHSci thesis, University of Nottingham. Available at:

Williams, A. 2018 Student learning. Tracksys. Available at:

Williams, A., Wharrad, H. and Windle, R. 2015 How are storyboards created by students and tutors for the development of Reusable Learning Objects? Proceedings of the Association of Learning Technology, 8-11 September 2015 Manchester, England. Available at:

Williams A. 2015 Introduction to Theatres Reusable Learning Object. (Publication 2015 under Creative Commons licence) Available at:

Williams A., Windle R., and Wharrad H. 2014 Student generated and tutor generated web based resuscitation education resources – Mind the gap? Presented in Bilbao, Spain

Williams A., 2012 A comparison of student and tutor created web-based educational resources Articulate Conference 24 May 2012 Leeds

Williams A., Mostyn. A. and Fyson R. 2009 Nursing and social work students’ perceptions of lecturing by non-university practitioners. Journal of Interprofessional Care 9(1) 98-100

Windle R., Wharrad H. , Laverty H., Keay R., Hallawell, R., and Williams, A. 2008 Student generated content – permanent footprints or shifting sands. Paper presented at Online Educa Berlin:ICWA.


Dr Alan Williams, Academic Lead for Nursing and Perioperative Practice at the University of Derby, marks International Nurses Day 2020 (May 12) by discussing why he is proud of his profession and the wider healthcare sector and why it should be celebrated and appreciated all year round.