Phil Barker

photo of Phil BarkerI work with technology to enhance learning and I help create information systems for education. I am particularly interested in supporting the discovery and selection of appropriate learning resources. My main areas of work are: semantic technology approaches to the description and management of educational resources and courses; technology for open education and OERs; and the evaluation of computer based resources for engineering and physical science education.

Much of the work I do is with Cetis LLP, a cooperative consultancy for innovation in educational technology. This has included work on metadata standards such as LRMI (the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative), schema.org and, in the past, IEEE Learning Object Metadata. Also with Cetis I helped support the dissemination and discovery strategy for resources released by the UKOER programme. As well as being a partner at Cetis LLP, I am founder and director of PJJK Limited, my own educational technology consultancy.

I am a member of the DCMI LRMI task group, and am on the Technical Advisory Groups of the Credential Engine and the Job Data Exchange project; related to these, I chaired the W3C Schema Course Extension and Educational and Occupational Credentials community groups. In the past, I have contributed to the effort to create a Application Profile of Dublin Core for Education, and in the even dimmer past edited and co-authored the IMS Meta-data Best Practice Guide for IEEE 1484.12.1-2002 Standard for Learning Object Metadata.

For 20 years I worked at Heriot-Watt University, as part of the Institute for Computer Based Learning (ICBL) and in the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences.  During that time I worked on projects such as the Learning Technology Dissemination Initiative, helping promote the uptake of technology for teaching and learning at Scottish Universities; with the LTSN and HE Academy Subject Centre for Engineering evaluating innovations in university teaching, and for several Jisc-funded resource discovery projects.

At Heriot-Watt I taught “Design for Online Learning” and “Critical Thinking” to Information Systems students, and “Interactive Systems” to first year students on a range of Computer Science related degree programmes.

I also contributed supporting the use of technology to enhance learning and teaching at departmental, school and institutional levels, including leading the sourcing, procurement and implementation of an online exam system for Computer Science. The absolute high point of my teaching career was being nominated for a HW Student Union Teaching and Learning Oscar by my students.

Micrograph by Prof T W Clyne of Cambridge University, released as OER by the CORE Materials project. Licence CC:BY-NC-SA via flickr

In the dim past I studied physics at Bristol University, before doing a PhD and four further years of research on polymer crystallization. The micrographs on the left shows the polymer on which I did my PhD and was released as an OER by a project (CORE Materials) on which I worked.

 

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