Professor David Hawkridge

Visiting Professor of E-learning

David HawkridgeI was born in England but emigrated to South Africa soon after WWII. After qualifying as a teacher at the University of Cape Town, I left South Africa for my first proper job, in a boys’ comprehensive school, in Salisbury, Rhodesia. I got interested in the less successful ones, and was put in charge of that section. That led to a PhD at the Institute of Education in London and a lecturing and research job with PGCE students at the University College of Rhodesia. After UDI, I left Rhodesia for an educational research post in the American Institutes for Research, California. From there I returned to England to join the new Open University, where I directed the Institute of Educational Technology 1970-88 and held a chair until 1998 when I retired. I started up the MA in Open and Distance Education in the 1990s.

The Institute had excellent research programmes as well as engaging in course development. My own research and publication was mainly into computer applications in education and training, but I was responsible for programmes investigating student learning and progress, audio-visual media including broadcasting, student assessment, tutoring and counselling, and textual communication.

Working at the Open University was always stimulating, and worldwide interest in its establishment and operation gave me many opportunities to meet people from other countries and to travel abroad. Apart from chairing a Council of Europe committee on educational technology, I was a Visiting Professor at Stanford, Syracuse and Tallahassee in the US, and advised the World Bank and Unesco on distance education as well as ministries and universities in Canada, China, Germany, Jamaica, Hong Kong, Kenya, Mauritius, Norway, Finland, Salvador, Sweden and the US.

After retiring, I was invited to join the Business Education Support Team, a national group operating among the 130 UK business schools. In the OU Business School I met Gilly Salmon, who was working on her book ‘E-Moderating’, and soon after she moved to the University of Leicester to start the Beyond Distance Research Alliance she asked me to become a Visiting Professor there.

Throughout my work in universities I have tried to write up and publish my ideas and experiences as well as the findings of my research. I enjoy writing and editing, and serve on several editorial boards of UK journals. I continue to be an external examiner, too.

My current e-learning research interests, not surprisingly, are close to those of the Alliance. I am co-authoring chapters, journal articles and reviews with its staff, and present papers at conferences with them.

Direct line: + 44 (0)116 252 3697
Fax: +44 (0)116 252 5725

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