Stephen Brown is Professor of Learning Technologies, Director of Knowledge Media Design and former Head of the School of Media and Communication at De Montfort University, UK (http://kmd.dmu.ac.uk). He is a Visiting Fellow in Distance Education at the University of London, a member of the editorial boards for ALT-J, ILE and AACE/SITE Journals, the programme committees of the ALT-C, ICHSL and ICICTE annual conferences, the AHRC Peer review College, and an EU IST FP6 and FP7 research proposal evaluator and project reviewer in Digital Cultural Heritage and Technology Enhanced Learning.
His career includes course design, research and tutoring for the Open University; Head of Distance Learning, BT Training; Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor in Engineering Design; Director of the International Institute for Electronic Library Research, De Montfort University; Senior Technology Adviser at the JISC Technologies Centre; and President of the Association for Learning Technology.
At the Open University he helped design the UK’s first educational interactive video disc. At BT he introduced multimedia based training. At the JISC Technologies centre he conducted technology forecasting and assessments for senior educational managers. At De Montfort University he has directed pioneering digital library research projects; led the development of the Electronic Campus; successfully bid for JISC funds to develop one of the first Managed Learning Environments in the UK; researched and developed information portals to support learning and research in the Humanities; and investigated the application of educational theory to informal learning through the development and testing of cultural heritage web sites.
His research centres around understanding and applying information design principles to the activity of knowledge construction in the context of new media technologies. He has directed R&D projects with total funding of over £3m from public and private sources including: IBM, BT, Hulton-Getty, RTE, the Home Office, Department of Trade and Industry, Department for Education and Employment, the British Library, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Hunt Museum, AHRC, JISC, HEFCE and the European Commission. Most recently he has contributed to History of Photography research by developing a suite of online research resources. He is currently Principal Investigator on the two year AHRC funded 'FuzzyPhoto' research project (AH/J004367/1) that is developing and testing computer-based “finding aids” that can recommend potential matches between historical photographic exhibition catalogue records and images of photographs that appear in online collections, even where there is not a precise match. Incomplete historical data sets and imprecise information are common problems in the arts and humanities so the results of this research will be applicable across a wide range of subjects, allowing researchers to save considerable time and travel in the early stages of their research when identifying material most likely to be of interest to their studies. The project outcomes will assist museums, libraries and archives to enhance the value and utility of their collections and of their online services through increased information, improved accuracy and functionality. Project partners are Birmingham Central Library, the British Library, the Musee D’Dorsay and the Louvre, Paris, the International Council of Museums, the Metropolitan Museum, New York, the National Media Museum, St Andrews University and the V&A.
His expertise includes: project management, design methods, Soft Systems analysis, ergonomics, media design, usability and accessibility design, distance education, online learning, training, technology forecasting.
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