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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School
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Dr John Woollard BSc, PhD, MA(Ed), AdvDipIT, SEN, PGCE

Senior Teaching Fellow

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Dr John Woollard is Senior Teaching Fellow within Southampton Education School at the University of Southampton.

John's work at the University focuses upon the support of doctorate, PGCE, MSc and BSc students in the fields of:

Following his PGCE and teaching at primary level in the East End of London, in 1975 John moved into secondary school special education needs work. He was teacher-in-charge and head of department (SENCo) in three different Hampshire schools before becoming a teacher advisor for IT and Special Education Needs. During the early 1990s John had a variety of positions as consultant, advisor and inspector. John was a Registered OFSTED Inspector for primary schools as well as team inspector for secondary ICT, mathematics and Special Education Needs. In 1997 John moved to LSU College, Southampton to coordinate the MSc in computer based learning course and teach Special Education Needs on the Initial Teacher Training programme. He also taught undergraduate computer science. John joined the School of Education in 1998 and has completed his PhD in 2004. His research focus was pedagogy and the teaching of difficult concepts in and with computers including e-learning and computer assisted assessment. John contributes regularly to the review of current academic and professional literature relating to initial teacher training, in-service training and computing through Computing At School (CAS), the British Computer Society and a range of consultancies. John was consultant editor of InteracTive - a professional magazine for teachers of ICT. He is an active member of ITTE (IT in Teacher Education Association) and contributes to the research conference on a regular basis. John is a CAS Board member, a member of the Academy Board of BCS and a member of the School Curriculum and Assessment Committee. He is chair of the CAS Assessment working group and chair of the BCS CAS Quality Review Panel. He has developing key stage 3 material to support computer programming, a guide for computational thinking and many teaching resources for computer science for primary and secondary pupils. John was the academic advisor to the CAS Barefoot project and project coordinator for Tenderfoot which supports the professional development of key stage computer science teachers.

John's consultancy has included work for: Microsoft Computers; Childnet International (a child safety charity); British Safety Council (through a KTP project); and the National Centre for Computer Education, Raspberry Pi Foundation and Google Education including projects on "diversity and opportunity", e-safety and the provision of training resources and case studies to support the "Professional Standards". John contributed to the GTP/OTP/Troops to Teachers initiatives as a subject tutor for ICT, a subject assessor for ICT and as an ICT across the curriculum assessor. John has advised on the development of ICT and computing GCE courses in Egypt and Kazakhstan. John is an assessor for the BCS Certificate in Computer Science Teaching. He is currently writing a paper for the DfE on the international use of textbooks to support the teaching of computer science.

John is a doctorate supervisor. Current and past student research has included: teacher attitudes to ICT; using chat and online facilities to support language learning and pastoral support; and developing alternative pedagogies to support e-learning and blended learning and more recently studies in special educational needs CPD and computational thinking. He has externally examined 12 EdD and PhD vivas. John has seen successfully guided 13 students through to their final doctoral viva.

John has been and remains external examiner for a number of universities including: the BEd programme at LSU College; the Masters CPD programme at the University of Huddersfield; the PGCE ICT programme at the University of Derby; the undergraduate Computing and IT programme under the University of Exeter; Learning, Technology and Research an online degree offered through the Ultraversity at Anglia Ruskin University, BA Joint Honours in IT at York St John University, Christ Church Canterbury University (SEN), Nottingham Trent University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, University of Sunderland, University of Brighton, University of Wolverhampton, Bath Spa University, Birmingham City University, the University of Bedfordshire...


Research interests

  • computing at school; game authoring, programming in key stage 3
  • e-assessment - it's role in learning
  • e-learning - pedagogy & epistemology
  • learning theory and its role in initial teacher training
  • metaphors and pedagogy; teaching difficult concepts in ICT and computing
  • visual literacy and the human computer interface; images of the internet
  • e-safety - developments in initial teacher education

Research group

Centre for Research in Inclusion

Affiliate research group

Mathematics, Science and Health Education Research Centre

  • Doctorate supervisor
  • PEGasus (Postgraduate E-learning Group) coordinator
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Book Chapters



Working Papers

PhD Students

  • Catherine Richards: What are the affordances of chat room in pastoral support of teenagers? (graduated)
  • Dong Ye: Can second language acquisition through chat room discussion be effective?
  • Ce Amey: What are the attitudes of teachers to ICT in primary schools? (graduated)
  • Tamer Abd El-Gawad: What are the critical success factors when considering the efficacy of e-learning for the Egyptian higher education? (graduated)
  • Mohammed Ageel: Can using a VLE increase the use of ICT by lecturers in Jazan University in Saudi Arabia?
  • Hend Aldobaikhi: Can communities of practice support girls learning in Saudi Arabia?
  • Ebetsam Alharthi: Can e-portfolios support continuing professional development and evaluation of teachers in Saudi Arabia?
  • Ibraheem Alzahrani: Can using WIKIs support science students in Saudi Arabia?
  • Mariam Mohamad: Can mobile learning in English Language subject be implemented in Malaysia?
  • Andy Neil: How do teachers create and capitalise upon ‘moments of contingency’?
  • Cynthia Selby: What makes a good first programming language for use by further education students?
  • Munif Alrashidi: To what extent does readiness in e-learning to improve public education in Kuwait?
  • Rob Blair: How does social networking support teenagers learning?
  • Azza Alomary: What are the critical success factors in the use of tablet technology in higher education (Saudi context)?
  • Faisal Almutairi: Can authoring video and collaboration enhance higher education learning?
  • Ebrahim Alenezi: What are the attitudes of teachers to using technology in Kuwait schools?
  • Debbie Collins: How can technology support learning oin postgraduate research methodologies?
  • Lily Salleh: What are the critical factoring effecting implementation of SEN policies in Malaysia?
  • Samyah Alshehri: Does the computing curriculum support thinking skills in the primary school?
  • Keith Pretty: How can monitoring technology in the form of apps support student engagement and learning?
  • Aida Rahman: What factors benefit teachers and parents understanding dyslexia through websites?


Dr John Woollard
Southampton Education School University of Southampton Building 32 Southampton SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number : 32/2105

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