This webspace is to showcase the experience and expertise of Dr Simon Ball, online education author and tutor (from one-to-one to one-to-many) on topics including the digitalisation of teaching, development of online and blended teaching, using online networks to develop teaching practice, conducting online research, using open education practices, organising online conferences, and producing accessible online learning experiences for students with disabilities.
I am currently taking on consultancy, tutoring, project management and research contracts in the fields of accessibility and e-learning, creation of online learning materials, the use of technologies in education, and accessibility and usability of web materials. Current and recent activities range from designing and writing online courses for the OpenLearn and FutureLearn platforms, tutoring on modules for early-career educators to learn how to use technology to expand their networks through open practice, to testing the accessibility of websites and e-learning materials and project managing accessibility research projects. I am also a seasoned staff developer and regularly deliver online webinars and workshops to teachers, lecturers, trainers and managers. If you would like to know more about my expertise and/or availability, please email me at simonjohnball at gmail dot com
Since 2008 I have worked as an Associate Lecturer with the UK’s Open University, tutoring Masters level courses on accessible distance and online education; technology and learning; becoming a critical researcher; and using open technologies to expand professional networks as an educator. For the latter course I also act as the organiser and chair/host of their annual Online Conference, combining my familiarity with learning technologies with my facilitation skills developed through years of experience working in the staff development field. I also teach on undergraduate computing courses on Web Technologies.
I have also written and updated a variety of courses on OpenLearn, including:
- Take Your Teaching Online
- Accessibility of eLearning
- Open Education
- The Power of Infographics
- Networked Practitioner – Open or Closed Practice?
I have written and tutored several new ‘micro-credentials’ on the FutureLearn platform, including ‘Online Teaching: Creating Courses for Adult Learners’, ‘Teacher Development: Embedding Mental Health in the Curriculum’ and ‘Online Teaching: Accessibility and Inclusive Learning’.
I worked from 2001 to 2013 for Jisc TechDis, the UK advisory service on accessibility and technology in education, as their Senior Advisor for Higher Education, since when I have been an independent consultant.
From 2010 to 2013 I also worked for EIFL as their FOSS Programme Manager. This role entailed working with libraries in over 40 developing and transition countries to help embed the use of Free and Open Source Technologies. This work further broadened my understanding of the use of e-learning in higher education and the role libraries can play in ensuring accessible and effective practice in this area.
I have also undertaken contracts in the Easy-to-Read field, recently delivering work for the Zavod Risa organisation in Slovenia.
Latest update to this page: February 2020