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Dept of Educational Research,
County College South
Lancaster University
LA1 4YD,

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E-mail: Alice Jesmont

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Professor David McConnell

Professor David McConnell

Director of the Centre for Studies in Advanced Learning Technology, Director of the Doctoral Programme in E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning

Degree: B.A. (double hons) Education and Biology, University of Stirling; Dip.Ed. University of Stirling; PhD Education, University of Surrey.

Associated research centres and groups: Centre for Studies in Advanced Learning Technology

Current Teaching

MA in Educational Research; MSc IT and Learning; Doctoral Programme in E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning

Research Interests

I am a researcher and practitioner of networked online learning and teaching, and have been involved in the field since the 1970's. I have pioneered many innovations in higher education learning and teaching and was one of the first people in the UK to develop computer mediated communications in distance learning in the early 1980's while at the UK Open University. I co-pioneered the first UK online Masters in Management Learning at Lancaster University.

I am currently Professor of Education (Advanced Learning Technology) in the Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University. I recently developed the new Doctoral Programme in ALT with colleagues in CSALT. I am visiting Professor at South China Normal University, Guangzhou, China.

I have published extensively in academic journals and have written several books. My book on "Implementing Computer Supported Collaborative Learning" (Kogan Page, 1994 & 2000) is a key text on distance learning Masters courses across the globe. A new book on "E-Learning Groups and Communities: Imagining Learning in the Age of the Internet" (OU Press) was published in 2006.

Some recent research projects

eChina-UK, E-Learning Programme, Phase Two 2005-2007 - Research into Intercultural Professional Development for E-Learning. Lancaster University (UK lead partner), Beijing Normal University School of Educational Technology (China lead partner), and the University of Sheffield; the Open University; College of Distance Learning and Continuing Education, Beijing Jiaotong University; College of Educational Information Technology, South China Normal University; Education College, Zhejiang Normal University

eChina-UK, E-Learning Programme, Phase One: 2003-2005. Teacher educational development in China: "Changing culture in Chinese education". with the WUN consortium (Universities of Bristol, Manchester, Sheffield, Southampton ). This is a strategically important collaborative project between the UK and China which aims to change the culture of learning and teaching in China through the use of e-learning.

EU E-Learning Research Programme : 2002-2004 - Equality in E-Learning: A European Laboratory for Researching and Developing the Practice of E-Learning in Higher Education across Europe. With consortium of four UK Universities (Lancaster, Glasgow, Coventry and Sheffield ) and ten EU Universities.

E-Learning Research Practitioner Network : 2002-2003: funded by the LTSN Generic Centre, to set up initial stages of national e-learning practitioner network in HE aimed at supporting the educational development of HE staff.

ESRC Research Seminar Series : Networked Learning in Higher education,1999-2002, (with Prof. Liz Beatty, Coventry University, Dr Sarah Mann, Glasgow university, Dr Vivien Hodgson, Lancaster University ). Series of national invited research seminars on networked e-learning in HE, culminating in the production of a "Manifesto for Networked E-Learning in HE" outlining the need for e-quality.

Some recent publications

McConnell, D (2008) Examining Conceptions of E-Learning in an Intercultural Sino-UK Context. pp720-726 in Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Networked Learning. ISBN 978-1-86220-206-1

Banks, S.B., McCONNELL, D and Bowskill, N (2008) A Feeling or a Practice?: Achieving Interculturality in an E-Learning Course. pp712-719 Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Networked Learning. ISBN 978-1-86220-206-1

Bowskill, N., McCONNELL, D and Banks, S.B. (2008) Reflective Practices in Intercultural e-Tutor Teams: A UK-Sino Case Study. Pp 707-711 Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Networked Learning. ISBN 978-1-86220-206-1

Bradley, S. A. and McCONNELL, D. (2008) Virtual Groups in Learning Environments: Collaboration, Cooperation or (Self) Centred Individualism? pp 24-31 Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Networked Learning. ISBN 978-1-86220-206-1

Crosta, L and McConnell, D. (2008) Online Learning Groups Development: A Grounded International Comparison. pp 61-68 Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Networked Learning. ISBN 978-1-86220-206-1

Zhao, J., & McCONNELL, D. (2007). Collaborative knowledge building in an online learning environment. Journal of Computer Assisted Foreign Language Learning, 23 (3), 38-46.(in Chinese)

Hodgson, V., Jones, C., Kargidis, T., McCONNELL, D., Retalis, S., Stamatis, D., Zenios, M. (2008) Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Networked Learning. ISBN 978-1-86220-206-1 Online at:

McConnell, D., Banks, S. & Lally, V.(2007) Developing a Collaborative Approach to eLearning Design in an Intercultural (Sino-UK) Context. in H. Spencer-Oatey (ed.) eLearning in China : eChina Perspectives on Policy, Pedagogy and Innovation. Hong Kong University Press.

McConnell, D. (2006) E-Learning Groups and Communities: Imagining Learning in the Age of the Internet. OU Press.

Banks, S., Hodgson, V., Jones, C., Kemp, B., McConnell, D., & Smith, C. (2006) (eds) Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Networked Learning 2006. Lancaster:Lancaster University ISBN 1-86220-182-X also available at:

McConnell, D. (2005) Examining the Dynamics of Networked E-learning Groups and Communities. Studies in Higher Education, 30(1), 23-40

McConnell, D (2004) Networked Collaborative E-Learning, pp222-257 in "Advances in Electronic Business: Vol. I " Li, E. and T.C Du (eds ) Idea Group, Inc.

Banks, S., Goodyear, P., Hodgson, V., Jones, C., Lally, V., McConnell, D., Steeples, C. (2004) Networked Learning 2004: A Research based conference on e-learning in Higher Education and Lifelong Learning. Lancaster University and Sheffield University, ISBN 1-86220-150-1

Goodyear, P., Banks, S., Hodgson, V., and D. MCCONNELL (2004) "Advances in Research on Networked Learning". Springer Verlag, Germany.

Banks, S., Lally, V., and D. McConnell (editors) (2003 ) Collaborative E-Learning in Higher Education: Issues and Strategies. School of Education, University of Sheffield. ISBN: 0 902831 43 7

McConnell, D. (2002) The experience of collaborative assessment in e-learning. Studies in Continuing Education, 24(1), 73-92.

McConnell, D. (2002) Action Research and Distributed Problem Based Learning in Continuing Professional Education. Distance Education, 23(1), 59-83.

MCCONNELL, D (2000) Implementing Computer Supported Cooperative Learning. Kogan Page,2 nd edition (pp 264).

Potential Doctoral Proposals

Career details

I was previously Professor at the UK Open University and in the School of Education at the University of Sheffield, where I was Director of the Masters in Networked E-Learning, an innovative global course which I designed in 1996 and on which I have taught ever since.

I have acted as a consultant to various organizations including British Rail, Henley Management College, Cambridge University/SmithKlyne Beecham, Open University (UK).

I founded the Networked Learning Conference in 1998

Other Interests and Hobbies

Walking dogs (we have a Siberian Husky and a Saluki).

Associated Keywords: Action research, Adult learning, Assessment, E-learning, Higher education HE, Innovation, Learning, Practitioner research, Professional development, Qualitative research methods, Teaching and learning


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