I have been lucky enough to be involved in Hypertext and Web research for over twenty years, firstly in the area of Open, Adaptive and Contextual hypermedia and later the areas of Social Media Analytics, Linked Data, UX Design, Computational Narrative, and Web Science. I spent a number of years applying this sort of technology to e-learning, in particular digital literacy, personal-learning systems, and open educational resources (OER). My current research interests are based around interactive narratives, digital culture, and games - especially location-based narrative systems (I was the Principle Investigator on the Leverhulme funded StoryPlaces project).
I am a founding member of the Web and Internet Science (WAIS) research group, and a member of the steering group for the Web Science Doctoral Training Centre (DTC). I served as Vice-Chair of SIGWEB (the ACM Special Interest Group for hypertext and the web, from 2015-19), and am the current chair of the ACM Hypertext Steering Committee. In the past I have acted as Programme Chair for both ACM Hypertext (2019) and the International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS, 2020).
- Hypertext Systems
- Interactive Digital Narratives
- Mixed Reality Games
My own PhD was in old school hypertext systems, and I still carry a flame for digital words and stories. I am especially interested in how people can use new technology for storytelling, and how that technology changes the types of story that we tell. I have supervised postgraduate students on areas such as thematic modelling of subtexts, online argumentation structures, digital journalism, transmedia, multiplater interactive narrative, and digital narratives around cultural collections.
I am proud to be a double-award winner of the Engelbart Award (2013, 2016) for my work on location-based storytelling and sculptural hypertext – exploring how digital narratives can be interwoven with real-world places.
I am also part of the Web Science group that studies the web as a socio-technical system, bringing together many fields including computer science, sociology, psychology, law and economics. Within this I am interested in Social Media Analytics as a powerful tool, with both positive and negative consequences. I have supervised postgraduate students on areas such as learning analytics, personal data and privacy, digital literacy, and online patterns of behaviour.
I have acted as the principle investigator on numerous projects exploring how digital literacy effects our expectations and interactions with web systems, and how this shapes the way we use the web as a personal learning and knowledge tool, in particular in regard to Open Educational Resources (OER) and Personal Learning Environments (PLEs). Most recently I was principle investigator on the StoryPlaces project, an interdisciplinary research project working with writers to explore the poetics of location-based narratives through digital storytelling deployments in Southampton, Bournemouth, and Crystal Palace.
Current PhD Students
I have taught at both Bachelors and Masters level on our Computer Science, Software Engineering, Information Technology in Organisations, and Web Science courses, and am a recipient of the Vice-Chanceller’s Teaching Award for my undergraduate teaching. I have also designed and delivered MOOCs on the FutureLearn platform with cohort sizes of upwards of 12,000 registered students, have produced online courses for Southampton Data Science Academy on the topic of Artficial Intelligence, Marketing and Business, and have worked with Wolearn to deliver mini-courses and remote lectures to students in Beijing Normal University in China.