About the Institute

The Institute of Learning Innovation brings together teachers and researchers interested in the field of innovation in teaching and learning.


The Institute of Learning Innovation:

  • Builds capacity for research and development into information, communication and learning technologies.
  • Identifies excellent and appropriate ways forward to underpin e-learning strategy and policy for the 21st century, and provide a way of taking research into teaching through modes of learning.
  • Provides a focused way of networking and collaborating nationally and internationally in the field, providing a focus and an interesting place to attract external visitors and collaborators.
  • Deflects the ‘technology-’ or ‘VLE-’driven narrative in the universities in the area of e-learning and instead addresses e-learning as a business and pedagogical development opportunity associated with positive change.
  • Promotes the possibilities of research into teaching across all departments and subjects.
  • Engages academic staff in research projects to introduce learning technologies and new pedagogies into their own teaching.
  • Provides a well-informed forum for discussion of e-learning strategy and choices.
  • Provides a forum and a focus for publications in the e-learning, distance-learning and pedagogical fields.
  • Provides a forum and good support for preparing income-generating bids and resources.
  • And provides an arena for demonstration and discussion of new internal and external developments.


The Institute provides:

  • Recognition of efforts already underway and opportunities for innovators to feel recognised and find a ‘voice’ and identity.
  • Synergies between individuals and small groups for the purpose of sharing good practice, collaboration and support.
  • For the potential for research and associated publications through a research strategy in the field.
  • Opportunities for identification, experimentation and exploration of ideas leading to further innovation and longer-term projects.
  • And provides a suitable environment to attract research students interested in this domain.


Bidding for research funds is enhanced because:

  • Many funding bodies value interdisciplinary and collaborative projects.
  • There is a strong need at this point in time to go beyond 'what works' and into well-conceptual models.
  • There is a lot of competition for e-learning and learning technologies funding.
  • The Institute brings skills together and therefore increases success.


The broad areas addressed by the Institute include:

  • Development and testing of concepts, models and theories.
  • Rigorous research methodologies, appropriate for exploiting 'e' for research.
  • Identification, promotion and support of good practice in an accessible knowledge base for learning and teaching online.
  • Strategy and policy development.
  • The role, training, development and competencies of online teachers (e-moderators).
  • Scenarios for the future of teaching and learning with new technologies.
  • Models of change associated with introduction of new pedagogies and technologies, especially low input, high value processes, designing for participation, and intervening for learning.
  • Sustainability and multipliers beyond projects.

Share this page:

Sorry, we're closed

The Institute of Learning Innovation (formerly the Beyond Distance Research Alliance) has now closed.

This website preserves an archive of the projects we worked on.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the BDRA/ILI over the years.