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Designing for Digital Learners (D4DL) Research Group

Designing for Digital Learners or D4DL is an open Research Group

Cloudscape created by:

John Cook
26 September 2012

Convened by Prof John Cook, UWE Bristol


Designing for Digital Learners Research Group (D4DL). It has an open membership and has an interdisciplinary research focus (from theoretical all the way through to applied). The only pre-requisite is a sense of inquiry! We are open to those thinking about research, to those with a clear agenda for a Masters, EdD or Doctoral study, or if you have finished one of these and are thinking ‘what next’, or if you are an established researchers, etc. Click here for an overview

Recent Highlights

  • April 2014 John Cook and Patricia Santos have had a paper, based on John's inaugural, accepted for the International Mobile Learning Festival 2014 (, which run in June and is being held in Bali, Indonesia. The festival will feature evidence-based developments surrounding technology integration, social media and learning design.
  • 7-9th April 2014 Patricia Santos presents at Networked Learning conference in Edinburgh, our contribution: Networked Scaffolding: Seeking Support in workplace learning contexts, Authors: Patricia Santos, John Cook, Tamsin Treasure-Jones, Micky Kerr, Joanna Colley. Click here for the presentation
  • April 2014 journal paper accpeted: Bannan, B., Cook, J. and Pachler, N. (due 2014). Reconceptualizing Design Research in the Age of Mobile Learning. Interactive Learning Environments.
  • 6th - 7th March 2014 Ideas in mobile learning symposium, Watershed, Bristol UK: Programme
    • Can you dance with data? Trust intimate information with strangers? Solve historical puzzles about your city on in situ? Share your walk in the streets of Bristol? Press release
    • There was a Google+ webcast / hangout on our YouTube Channel
    • Tweets (on Storify): we collated all the tweets here unedited, just so they don't fade away. Also see the edited two day story   #biiml
  • 5th March 2014 – John Cook’s Professorial Lecture, open invitation: Social Network Innovation in the Internet's Global Coffeehouses: Pandora, Learning Layers, Design Seeking and Scaling.


Suggest areas for potential post-grad research

The nature of learning and work-based practice is being enhanced and mediated by the likes of mobile devices and the networks and media to which they connect people. D4DL is interested in hosting post-graduate research that explores the potential for the use of social media and mobile devices. Specific areas of interest could include, but are not limited to, augmented reality, trust formation in social networks, user generated content and contexts in mass communication platforms (e.g. Storyful, which claims to be the first news agency of the social media age), or building social semantic networks to provide work practice support.

Major projects

The context for our recent work is Learning Layers, a large EC co-funded project (FP7 IP) which investigates scaling the use of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) in workplace informal learning where users have previously been reluctant to use TEL for learning (i.e. Healthcare and Construction). The consortium consists of 17 institutions from 7 different countries. Total project budget over 4 years is 12 Million Euros (i.e. over 16 Million USD). John Cook and Patricia Santos lead on work package 2 (WP2), one of 6 R&D work packages in the project. WP2 is concerned with the ‘Networked Scaffolding – Interacting with People’, developing technology support for current working practices of an individual so that it is persistent over multiple work/organizational contexts and so that it extends into larger networks of people. We are currently leading on innovative work to bring the semantic approaches of WP5 into the design of our Help seeking tool, which scaffolds the building of Personal Learning Networks and, at a more organizational level, Shared Learning Networks.

Selected past talks & events for D4DL (see below 'Clouds in this Cloudscape' for all #events)

1.  iPads in Schools: Research and Evaluation
Speaker: Kevin Burden, The Centre for Educational Studies, University of Hull
When: Friday 22 February 2013 at 2pm, Click for BRILLE Blog giving more details. The above talk by Kevin Burden is onour streaming server:
2. John Cook gave an invited talk at George Mason University, Washington, on 24 April called 'Reshaping Workplace Design to Facilitate Better Learning'. His slides can be found here: His 1 hour talk was followed by 45 minutes highly engaged Q&A from a diverse audience of academics, post grads, industry app developers and a Government Agency. Video of talk: Scroll down until you see "You can view the video here"; the Q&A session from 57 minutes onwards. John's research profile (Slideshare ppt)

3. PMS Visit  Pervasive Media Studio visit Wednesday 22nd May - D4DL SIG visit & talks with the DCRC/REACT at Watershed - both Jon Dovey and Emma Agusita acted as host:

4. Dr Patricia Santos gave a talk, on Wednesday 3rd July, about the Learning Layers project's exciting new Open Design Library at the HANDI event (The Healthcare App Network for Development and Innovation), hosted by University of Bradford.
Link to Open Design Library
Link to Slides for event:

5. External event: Workshop: Towards sustainable mobile learning scenarios, Wednesday 9th October, 2013, Watershed

6. John Cook gave an ELESIG Webinar: "Social Network Innovation in the Internet's Global Coffeehouses: Pandora, Learning Layers, Design Seeking and Scaling", Wed 16 October 2013 1 pm. The Webinar recording is available here (note that you have to create an account, it works quicker if register with a University email): 

Members (needs updating)

Led by John Cook


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