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Dr Sunhea Choi BEng, MSc, PhD

Associate Professor in eLearning, Senior Project Lead - eNutrition

Dr Sunhea Choi's photo

Sunhea develops, implements and evaluates innovative technology enhanced and enabled learning (TEL) in the fields of medicine and nutrition to improve health.

I am passionate about improving health through capacity building of health professionals and public using TEL, especially in malnutrition and nutrition, mental health and rare diseases.

Sunhea’s work focuses on global health capacity building through TEL. She founded the Faculty eLearning team in 2005 and successfully led many innovative TEL and global eHealth projects to completion, i.e. Virtual Patients, psychiatry portal, public health eLearning, nutrition and malnutrition eLearning, pompe’s disease and Understanding Insulin FutureLearn MOOC.

Her recent and on-going TEL projects are EU Erasmus+ Capacity Building projects in early nutrition - ENeA South East Asia (ENeA-SEA) and Improving Early Nutrition in South Africa (ImpENSA), and an impact evaluation study of malnutrition eLearning in Ghana, Guatemala, Colombia and El Salvador. The malnutrition eLearning has been used by >20,000 from over 120 countries and the impact study has shown that it is effective in training health professionals, leading to change in clinical practice and reducing case fatality rate by severe acute malnutrition significantly. Sunhea’s works with health professionals in limited-resource settings – Thailand, Malaysia, South Africa, Ghana, facilitating and mentoring them in the development and rolling out of nutrition eLearning appropriate to their settings.

Sunhea has interests and expertise in the design, implementation and effect evaluation of TEL capacity building solutions for medical, nutrition and public health training globally. Trained in computer science, multimedia, human computer interaction (HCI) and learning psychology, she is specialised in interface design for optimal user experience, innovative and interactive learning solution design, curriculum integration and implementation of TEL at scale. As a certified PRINCE2 and MSP Practitioner, her interests and expertise also include effective project and programme management.


BEng, Computer Science, Pukyeng University, S.Korea 1993
MSc, Multimedia Technology, Edinburgh Napier University, 1999
PhD, Multimedia and Education, Edinburgh Napier University, 2004

Appointments held

2018  - present Associate Professor in eLearning, Senior Project Lead - eNutrition, University of Southampton
2013 - 2018 Global eHealth Education Lead, eLearning Lead, University of Southampton
2012 - 2017 Research Associate, Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
2007 - 2013 eLearning Manager, University of Southampton
2005 - 2007 eLearning Resources Development Coordinator, University of Southampton
1999 - 2004 Part-time Lecturer and Demonstrator, Edinburgh Napier University
1999 - 2005 Part-time Usability Evaluation and Language Consultant, ProQuest Information & Learning Limited


Research interests

Sunhea has three main research interests:

(A)  Improving health through capacity building using TEL: a lack of health professionals’ capacity in treating and managing severe acute malnutrition (SAM) is one of the main causes of child death by SAM. My work has focused on developing a scalable training solution, disseminating it to frontline health workers and institutions (social media, grant and best practice awards), evaluating the impact of training with the malnutrition eLearning, exploring contextually appropriate TEL delivery solutions to scale up its implementation globally.

(B)  Design for learning in medicine and nutrition: my focus is scenario-based learning to support training of multiple health professions. Design strategies interested are presenting learning content through patient journey or a hypothetical community for contextualised learning and emotional engagement, information layering for customisation, visualisation for abstract concepts and reflective learning. Virtual patients, nutrition and malnutrition, pompe’s disease are example projects.

(C)    Education innovation through digital technologies: interested in exploring the potential of semantic web-technologies, natural language processing, artificial intelligence and immersive learning environment for learning and using the technologies to develop innovative learning solutions. These technologies have been explored for responsive and intelligent virtual patients development (interdisciplinary web-science PhD) and individualised learning through mass customisation as part of EU Erasmus+ ENeA-SEA.

Research group

Human Development and Health

PHD Supervision

I have supervised an interdisciplinary web science PhD (semantic web technologies and natural language processing virtual patients) to completion.

Faculty of Medicine

MSc in Allergy Programme Committee (2007-2015)
Taught Programme Management Committee (2009-2016)

University of Southampton

Technology Enhanced Learning and Living (TELL) Board (2012-2016) 


International Malnutrition Task Force (IMTF) (2009-current)
Chevening Reading Committee (2020-2021)
Health Education England TEL Advisory Group (2015-2017)
International Virtual Medical School (IVIMEDS) Board (2008-2017)

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Global eHealth Education Lead (2013-2018) & Senior Project Lead – eNutrition (2018-present)
leading externally funded and multi-partnership global eHealth education research and development projects and managing the team.
EU Erasmus+ projects: ENeA SEA and ImpENSA (2016-present), guiding and facilitating eLearning design and development;
training and mentoring consortium partners in eLearning development;
leading learning/instructional design;
supporting the implementation of the eLearning through training-the-trainers and institutional capacity building.

I have involvement as project lead (**) or collaborator on a large number of TEL projects in medicine and nutrition. Some of my key projects are listed below.

Improving Early Nutrition in South Africa (ImpENSA), Funding: EU Erasmus+ Capacity Building (2019-present)
Early Nutrition in South East Asia, Funding: EU Erasmus+ Capacity Building (2016-20)
NEEP Malnutrition eLearning Evaluation Study, Funding: UK Department for International Development (2014-17)**
Bilateral nutrition pilot studies between UK and Morocco**, Funding: British Council
Researchers Link Programme in Scaling Up Nutrition in Morocco (2014-2016)**, Funding: British Counsel (2013-2014)
Nutrition portal, and interactive nutrition courses, Funding: Department of Health (2009-2017)
Malnutrition eLearning programme development and evaluation**, Funding: WHO (2009-2010)
Public Health eLearning and Part A revision projects**, Funding: Wessex Deanery School of Public Health (2010-15)
Pathology Interactive Practicals (PiPs), Funding: NHS (2011-12)
Virtual Patients**, Funding: Strategic Health Authority (2006 – 2012)
Psychiatry Portal and MEDUSA (eStaff Development), Funding: Strategic Health Authority (2006 – 2012)

Dr Sunhea Choi
Faculty of Medicine, Room AB215, Mailpoint 801, South Academic Block, University Hospital Southampton, Tremona Road, Southampton, SO16 6YD

Room Number : SGH/IDS/MP887

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