About me…

2015 began with a broken leg and ended with a new role as Academic Advisor for Technology Enhanced Learning in the LEAP Directorate at the University of Hull.

I start on 2nd November, will be based at 67 Salmon Grove on the Cottingham Road campus and my new email address is s.watling@hull.ac.uk


The year began with my leg in pot. A broken ankle resulted in a cancelled trip to present at ASCILITE 2014 in Dunedin, New Zealand ūüôĀ

Blog posts about the trip and non-trip:

and the consequences:

Happy New Year!

Similarities¬†between ASCILITE 2014’s conference banner and my Facebook Header image.¬†meaningful coincidence between ASCILITE banner and my Facebook header!

¬†About me what I do –¬†from #BbWorld14 presentation July 2014

About Me :-)


What I do :-)

Lincoln Labyrinth Festival

A highlight of 2014 was being asked to write the text for a poster exhibition at the Lincoln Labyrinth Festival held at Lincoln Cathedral.  https://suewatling.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/2014/08/24/lincoln-labyrinth-festival-they-say-god-works-in-mysterious-ways/ 

As well as the opportunity to talk labyrinths I got to meet cathedral staff and see the cathedral from the Treforium high above the aisle. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151891919890731.1073741840.598090730&type=1&l=489baeb59e 

On the day I visited the Festival the sun shone through the stained glass windows.

Lincoln labyrinth Festival


Lincoln Labyrinth Festival poster display

About me

I’ve worked at the University of Lincoln, UK for the past decade. Prior to joining as a widening participation project officer, I spent the previous ten years in Adult and Community Education, teaching 50 shades of ICT, including setting up computer rooms in social service day centres and training alongside blood donation sessions and basketball. There’s a value to err, um…. being more mature. I can legitimately say I was there at the beginning when cd-roms were ¬†the cutting edge of digital information and the internet – when it finally arrived – came via dial-up modems.

I’ve always been interested in the social impact of the internet, in particular the parameters of exclusion. I’ve tried several ways to raise awareness of the reality of digital divides. These days I’ve written digital inclusion into my online courses, Teaching and Learning in a Digital Age (TELEDA) modules 1 and 2, while blogging and talking about all things digitally exclusive to anyone who might read or listen.


2014 is the year of change. The Centre for Educational Research and Development (CERD) has become an Educational Development and Enhancement Unit (EDEU) and a School of Education. The dividing of the ways marks a return to where I came from in the Teaching and Learning Development Office (TLDO) which merged with the International Institute for Educational Leadership (IIEL) to form CERD in 2007.

To mark the occasion, my¬†blog has a new look. Changing templates is a big deal and finding one I liked has been a challenge. I’m still unsure about all the Blue but like the sidebars. This About Me… page now contains bits and pieces from previous Research and Creativity pages. Digital Inclusion stays, as does the PhD log, but there is new page for Academic Writing which I hope to work on in 2014/15.

Onto this page I’ve put links to Classical Allsorts, my CERD collaboration with¬†Siren Radio. I‚Äôd always wanted a radio show and this was my chance¬†:-)¬†Classical Allsorts introduced students to classical music as a tool for learning development (The Mozart effect and all that) and a background for revision while supporting higher education as a¬†holistic experience. ¬†¬†Here are the episodes, not sure what happened to 4. The¬†Classical Allsorts Playlists can be downloaded¬†here.

EDEU marks a change in terms and conditions. In my contract, the focus on research activity has been replaced with ‘Teaching and Scholarly Activity’ i.e.¬†‘…the production of books, articles and conference papers…’ but excludes the requirement for inclusion in the REF and external income generation. There is also a change in job title from Learning and Teaching Coordinator to Senior Lecturer in Educational Development. Alongside completing my PhD, I’m looking forward to getting down to some serious writing again ūüôā

Alongside my PhD I’m taking a p/t degree in Creative Writing at the University of Hull. Along with my allotment and w/e beach walks, this represents my attempts at a work-life balance.

About me in 2013

I changed my Gravatar image. Previously it was a series of images and now it’s me; a double selfie – I’m making a video for TELEDA so have captured me looking out from my pc. I’m intrigued by digital identity and how it can be used to mirror individual lives; as if one reality were not enough we have to make a virtual one too – then get confused as to which one is the most ‘real’. Using social media to document and share research progress involves a degree of fear, of putting yourself out there. But blogging, tweeting, having any online dimension, is also a discipline of time and text. Like all forms of self expression, the action is as important as the outcome. About Me: University of Lincoln Staff Page

Staff page 2014 Staff Profile image

Up to date list of publications and conference presentations University of Lincoln Respository – Sue Watling Sue Watling Repository page

Funded Research projects

  • Embedding OER Practice (JISC/HEA) 12 months (¬£50,000) completed December 2012
  • OER International (HEA) 4 months (¬£7000) completed January 2013
  • Getting Started Videos (ALDinHE) 6 months (¬£500) completed July 2013
  • University of Lincoln College of Social Sciences¬†Research¬†Fund 12 months (¬£1300) Completed April 2013


About me in 2012

Alphabet Dances banner

My Alphabet Dances blog is where I post about poetry http://alphabetdances.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk Alphabet Dances closed on 15 August 2013.  As I finish the Certificate Stage of my part-time Creative Writing degree at Hull University and begin the Diploma Stage in September 2013, so the focus on poetry in my life has shifted to other forms of writing. I will get back to poetry later in the course and may well revisit Alphabet Dances. It feels sad to let go of something I love but I have a PhD to do and can only stretch so far. Read about the final act of closure here http://thealphabetdances.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/2013/08/15/a-deliberate-act-of-closure-the-end/

Walking the Labyrinth ¬† My Walking the Labyrinth blog http://labyrinth.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk¬†examined the role of labyrinths as places for reflection in higher education. It contained galleries of photographs of labyrinth installations including the local Ermine canvas labyrinth at the University of Lincoln and Lincoln Cathedral. As people move on they don’t always take their blogs with them but out of Walking the Labyrinth has come an invitation to provide the words for the Labyrinth Festival at Lincoln Cathedral in August 2014. Which I’m delighted and honoured to be doing. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Social work in a Digital Society book cover In 20012 Social Work in a Digital Society, co authored with Jim Rogers, was published by Sage Learning Matters. the publishing blurb says: ‘This book will help students develop their understanding of how the internet is impacting on social work education and practice in 21st century. Essential reading for students interested in the influence of digital technology and social media, including the impact of digital divides, this book looks at how the value-base of social work can have a positive effect on service users and carers who engage with digital services.’

Guardian Social Care In October 2012, The Guardian published our¬†piece¬†called ¬†‘Why social work students need to be careful about online identities’¬†http://www.guardian.co.uk/social-care-network/2012/oct/05/social-work-students-online-inclusion¬† In September, the Lincolnshire Echo published a First Person piece by Jim and myself calling for funding for people who are digitally excluded. Lincolnshire Echo

Walking the Labyrinth  The Walking the Labyrinth blog offers a virtual collaborative space reflecting the growing interest in the use of labyrinths for teaching and learning in higher education. On the Walking the Labyrinth blog you will find images from labyrinth events across the country, both within higher education and without.


I always have a camera in my pocket when I travel. Here are links to my public Facebook albums.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, July 2014  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152646031370731.1073741861.598090730&type=1&l=baf145b4d2 

Las Vegas, Nevada, July 2014 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152643421595731.1073741859.598090730&type=1&l=ebfb2ffb04

Las Vegas, Freemont Street July 2014 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152643342915731.1073741858.598090730&type=1&l=e13d0e91fb

New York 1, May 2014 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152388246205731.1073741853.598090730&type=1&l=1c8707da6c 

New York 2, May 2014 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152797413075731.1073741862.598090730&type=1&l=c5a87a8620

Amsterdam 2013 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152022509255731.1073741846.598090730&type=1&l=6bde70691f

Tuscany 2013https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151952486905731.1073741844.598090730&type=1&l=e1ab3a7fe3

Pisa 2013 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152084439030731.1073741849.598090730&type=1&l=a1844195ee

Paris and Givernay, 2013 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151694283180731.1073741830.598090730&type=1&l=9a3d1c304b

Egypt 2013 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151618059255731.1073741826.598090730&type=1&l=263e59822c

Egypt,Temple of Isis, Philae, 2013 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151618078320731.1073741827.598090730&type=1&l=1f6780d4f8

Alkborough, North Lincolnshire 2013 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151800815975731.1073741834.598090730&type=1&l=4d2fff342c

Cornwall, Lost Gardens of Heligan, 2012 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150972259325731.476677.598090730&type=1&l=b30bf0b620 

Cornwall, Eden Project 2012 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150969910940731.476446.598090730&type=1&l=a15d7b45dc

Antwerp 2012 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151453662360731.536523.598090730&type=1&l=b9592f6a18

Stockholm 2012 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151224465660731.508797.598090730&type=1&l=b893754e31

Barcelona 2011 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150140957680731.334294.598090730&type=1&l=a12ff10657

Barcelona architecture 2011 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150143717940731.335442.598090730&type=1&l=97a28bc4b3

Capetown 2011 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151453858135731.536544.598090730&type=1&l=0161166e97

Imizamo Yethu, Capetown 2011 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150294921200731.381666.598090730&type=1&l=c279f40331

Belfast 2011 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150236458100731.365141.598090730&type=1&l=bea6c907ff

Dublin 2011 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150236510540731.365152.598090730&type=1&l=65a69ade6d

HongKong 2010 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150157054725731.340665.598090730&type=1&l=6a97eb64ac

Andalucia 2010 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150158282270731.341095.598090730&type=1&l=a5e99bdfe4

Athens 2009 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.134289550730.141907.598090730&type=1&l=22166b9c0c

Corfu 2009 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.134287560730.141905.598090730&type=1&l=d68be270f9

Vancouver Views 2009  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.243351945730.182812.598090730&type=1&l=6a2e14c495

Vancouver 2009  Downtown https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.243366210730.182815.598090730&type=1&l=9ffb39d7f5

Greece 2008 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.47683815730.82284.598090730&type=1&l=a539281dd4

Pictures from Barcelona 2011

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona    

About Me in 2011

The wheels of publication grind slowly then gather speed. Within a week I received copyright documents for two journal articles with acceptance of a third.¬† I‚Äôm excited about these because they share the common theme of digital exclusion and I‚Äôm hoping they‚Äôll stimulate some relevant and appropriate discussion and debate. Watling, S. (2011) Digital Exclusion; coming out from behind closed doors in Disability and Society 26 (4). pp. 491-495. http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a937582608~db=all~jumptype=rss Watling, S. (2011) Digital Exclusion: Potential Implications for Social Work Education in Social Work Education, Vol 30:1 DOI: 10.1080/02615479.2010.539605 http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a932850579 Watling, S. and Crawford, K. (2011) Digital Exclusion: implications for human services practitioners in Journal of Technology in Human Services, 28:205‚Äď216, 2010 http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a936327881 One side effect has been the blunt introduction to the realities of publisher monopoly over the OER (Open Educational Resources) movement. The philosophy underpinning Creative Commons and the interests of commercial publishing companies are not the best of friends. As soon as I work out how to link to the university of lincoln repository from here, the articles to look out for ‚Äď one way or another ‚Äď will be listed below:

About me in 2010

sue watling 2010¬†May 2010 – it’s a busy year, hence an update that’s over four months late! Following on from last year I‚Äôve designed a staff development workshop looking at inclusive design with digital environments. Selecting content that‚Äôs generic, interesting and useful has been a challenge. Using the title Introducing Inclusive Practice with Digital Data I‚Äôve settled on these key points

  • 17% of people born with an impairment that¬†disables them;¬†83% acquire one in later life
  • Technology can help fill the gaps and enable independence
  • We need to work with the technology not against it
  • Diversity = Difference
  • Inclusive practice is about changes for some that improve access for all

Digital technology is a fast moving environment. WAI 1.0 has been superseded by WAI 2.0. WCAG 1.0 was HTML specific and provided three priorities or levels of conformity.

  • Priority 1 or Level A was a basic requirement for some groups to be able to use web documents.
  • Priority 2 or Level AA conformance indicated better accessibility and removal of significant barriers to accessing the content.
  • Priority 3 or Level AAA checkpoints provided improvements to web content accessibility.

WCAG 2.0 represents a substantial shift in philosophy and a change from guidelines to four principles ‚Äď POUR

  • Perceivable
  • Operable
  • Understandable
  • Robust

Understanding these principles means understanding more about the user end of web accessibility. A step forward from the tick box approach of WAI 1.0. it asks web content providers to not just apply but to understand the reasons for the application. This is¬†the philosophy underpinning the workshop.“The Web is not a barrier to people with disabilities, it is the solution. The web has the potential to revolutionize the day-to-day lives of millions of people with disabilities by increasing their ability to independently access information, communication, entertainment, commerce, and other aspects of life that most people take for granted.”¬†¬† http://webaim.org/articles/pour/

Sue Watling

About me in 2009

The new year sees a change of emphasis for this blog which will have an increased focus on inclusive design; particularly in relation to content uploaded to the Blackboard VLE.

The legal¬†part: education institutions now¬†have an obligation under Part IV of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA¬†1995, SENDA 2001) not to discriminate against any student by denying them access to the provision of services. The JISC Legal Accessibility Guide¬†for eLearning Authors (link opens in new window) gives the best overview. The DDA states that the ‘responsible body’ is the governing body of the institution but employees can be personally liable if they ‘knowingly aid an unlawful act’. The implication for day-to-day practice is:¬†individuals uploading electronic documents¬†should be proactive in anticipating potential barriers to access thus ensuring¬†users with a disability are not placed at a substantial disadvantage compared to¬†those who do not have that disability. Where content is provided in a single format for example an audio file,¬†a reasonable adjustment is called for and an alternative format or delivery method, or an alternative learning experience,¬†should¬†be made available. In this case, providing a text transcript is an example of reasonable adjustment.

In addition to Part IV of the DDA, institutions also have obligations under the Disability Equality Duty (DED) to promote equality and access. The University of Lincoln Disability Equality Scheme. Policies and practice with regard to teaching and learning content should incorporate reference to external standards (WCAG 1.0 and 2.0) and sector guidelines (TechDis; Skills for Access links open in new windows) and measures put in place to embed an institution wide strategy with regard to inclusive design.

Identifying potential barriers, and making reasonable adjustments to practice, can make a difference to the student experience not just for those students with physical or cognitive impairments but to all students. This inclusive approach forms the basis of my philosophy with regard to access issues and inclusive design. The university supports the social model of disability which suggests that barriers can be culturally created rather than being the sole result of individual impairment. The benefits of working towards inclusiveness can be demonstrated by curb ramps designed for wheelchairs which are now used and appreciated by all pedestrians with prams or other devices with wheels. This is a clear example where changes for some can create a better living experience for everyone and often, when it comes to electronic documents and digital data, it is the small changes which can make the most difference.

In 2009 I’ll be continuing to support¬†the creation and maintenance of¬†online areas fr teaching and learning with a particular interest in distance delivery, induction activities, learning development and¬†pre registration opportunities for preparation for higher education. I’m also continuing work on the development and design of templates for formative assessment ‘inter-activities’.Sadly, Classical Allsorts has come to an end but it was a fabulous experience and my thanks go to Siren Radio for letting me loose in the recording studio.

My extra-curricular work project this year is the value of reflective space and helping establish provision for this on campus. See http://learninglab.lincoln.ac.uk/blogs/sue/labryinths/¬†for some background information. On my life side of the work/life balance (but mentioned here because¬†there are connections) I’m now¬†working as a volunteer for the Hull and East Riding Institute for the Blind (HERIB) supporting people with visual impairment in their use of computers and accessing the Internet through screen reading software.¬†See http://learninglab.lincoln.ac.uk/blogs/sue/herib/¬†for more details.

 parthenon, athens       colesseum, rome rialto, venice

About me in 2008
Staff photo October 2008 


Hello there. My name is Sue Watling and I work at the Centre for Educational Research and Development at the University of Lincoln. My background is in adult and community education and my first role at the university was in widening participation where I worked to establish virtual links between schools and partner colleges. I currently work in a development capacity looking at enhancing the quality and content of distance and online delivery. My projects include:

  • research into the student experience of online learning
  • developing templates for formative interactive assessment activities
  • accessibility guidelines for the production of electronic documents
  • help and support information for the Blackboard VLE
  • the pegagogical advantages of Web 2.0 tools
  • SLLUG – Second Life Lincoln User Group
  • pre-registration/induction processes for distant learners

Other work related aspects of my life include studying for the MA in Open and Distance Education with the Open University. Over the summer of 2008 I hosted Classical Allsorts: all sorts of music by all sorts of composers; a weekly radio show on¬†Sunday afternoons between 4.00 – 5.00 on the University of Lincoln radio station Siren 107.3 FM.¬† Every show had its own Mozart Moment¬†because research has shown that listening to certain types of music can help attain a state of relaxed alertness known as the ‘alpha state’ and this is thought to be beneficial to effective study. So listening to Mozart makes you smarter! Other regular slots includes a Composer of Choice and the Classical Allsorts ‘Soft Spot’ where I played some of the most beautiful and relaxing music ever written. Classical Allsorts with Siren Radio.

Classical Allsorts¬†Playlists Playlist week 8 Mussorgsky, Night on Bare Mountain Dukas, The Sorcerer‚Äôs Apprentice Mozart, Magic Flute Overture Ravel, Fairy Garden Holst, Uranus The Magician Debussy, Clair de Lune Beethoven, Moonlight Sonata Peer Gynt, Hall of the Mountain King Playlist week 7 Rachmaninov , Prelude in G Minor Charpentier, Prelude from Te Deum Orff, Carmina Burana, O Fortuna Elgar, Cello Concerto,1st movement Delibes, Flower Duet Debussy, Golliwogs Cakewalk Debussy, Girl with the Flaxen Hair Debussy, Arabesque 1 Beethoven , Symphony 5,1st movement Myers, Cavatina Vaughn Williams, Lark Ascending Playlist Week 6 Strauss, Thunder & Lightening Polka Vivaldi, Four seasons – Autumn Wagner, Ride of the Valkyries Puccini, excerpt from Nessun Dorma Puccini, Turandot, Nesson Dorma, Mozart, Marriage of Figaro, overture, Tarrega, Recuerdos de la Alhambra Saint Saens, excerpt from symphony 3, Saint Saens, excerpt from violin concerto 3 Saint Saens, Carnival of the Animals Introduction + Royal March of the Lions + Hens & Cockerels + Wild Asses + Tortoises + Elephants + Fossils + Finale Telemann, Trio Sonata in G min, first movement Massenet, Thais, Meditation, Chopin, Cello Sonata, Largo, Tchaikovsky, Violin Concerto, Finale Playlist Week 5 Schubert, March Militaire Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet, Dance of the Knights Holst, Planet Suite , Mars Mozart, Symphony 40, 1st movement Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake, Dance Espagnole Grieg, Peer Gynt, Morning Grieg, Peer Gynt, Anitra’s Dance Grieg, Peer Gynt, Hall of the Mountain King Bach, Toccata and Fugue, 1st movement Liszt, Consolation 3 Paganini, Centone di Sonate, op 64 no 2, Adagio Playlist Week 4 Strauss-Egyptian March Handel -Water Music Tchaikovsky-1812 Overture Khachaturian -Spartacus Britten-Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra Mozart-Divertimento in D, Minuet and Trio Beethoven-Violin Sonata 7 opus 30 no 2 Finale Rimsky Korsakov-The Flight of the Bumble Bee Rimsky Korsakov-Mlada Suite Rimsky Korsakov-Scheherazade, The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship Vivaldi-Flute Concerto in D Major Chopin-Nocturne in E flat major Nielsen-The fog is lifting Playlist Week 3 Khatchaturian Gayane Offenbach Orpheus in the Underworld Tchaikovsky Nutcracker Suite Mozart Eine kleine Nachmusic Mascagni Cavalleria Rusticana Ravel Piano Trio 2nd movement Elgar Salut d’amour Elgar Enigma variation 10 Elgar Pomp and Circumstance no 1 Bach Brandenberg Concerto 3 Beethoven Moonlight Sonata Faure Apre un Reve Brahms Piano Concerto 1 Playlist Week 2 Brahms, Hungarian Dance 1 Glinka, Ruslan and Ludmilla, Overture Vivaldi, Four Seasons, Spring Beethoven, Piano Sonata 2, Presto Mozart , Horn concerto 4, last movement Berlioz, Symphony Fantastique, March to the Scaffold Mussorsky, Pictures at an Exhibition, Promenade + Tuileries + Marketplace at Limoges + Promenade + Great Gate of Kiev Rodrigez, Concerto de Arengiez, 2nd movement Saints Saens , The Swan Rachmaninov, Vocalise Bruch, Violin Concerto 1 (finale) Playlist Week 1 Handel Arrival of the Queen of Sheba Haydn Symphony 34 in D minor, 2nd movement Schubert Musical Moments, No 3 in F minor Mozart A Musical Joke, finale Strauss Trish Trash Polka Bach Goldberg Variations, Aria Bach Orchestral Suite no 2 in B minor, finale (Badinerie) Bach Double Concerto two violins and strings (Vivace) Sibelius The Lemminkainen suite, Return of Lemminkainen Clarke Prince of Denmarks March (Trumpet Voluntary) Frank Panis Angelicus Vivaldi Four Seasons ‚Äď Winter, 2nd movement (Largo) Faure Pavane SaintSaens Symphony 3 Organ, finale (Maestoso)

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