Andrew Middleton has a background in art and music. His creative drive is core to his practice as an academic developer. His career in higher education began by looking after special collections of modern British art. He was responsible for curating touring exhibitions of sculpture and photographs as a way to bring new life to archival works leading to his commitment to open access to materials and learning for the benefit of all. Multimedia CD-ROM and website production in the 1990s continued this drive.
An ongoing exploration of audio, graphic and video media for pedagogic purposes followed informing his commitment to enhancing and transforming learning by creating new, alternative and rich learning experiences.
Impact of work
Andrew is known for his innovative work incorporating digital audio in many formats. He hosted the Learning, Teaching & Assessment in Higher Education podcast from 2005 for four years. One of the first podcasts about higher education, its purpose was to share innovative teaching practice and to test the potential of audio as a learning medium. Working with his colleague Anne Nortcliffe, Andrew developed and tested new models of audio feedback. His creative commitment to producing media led to the development of Student Audio Notes in which students were provided with MP3 recorders to capture and replay significant learning moments. This project has particularly impacted on the experience of disabled students. Andrew leads the UK Media-Enhanced Learning Special Interest Group (MELSIG) which has inspired thousands of academics, developers and students since 2008 across the UK. His commitment to running MELSIG as a free and voluntarist organisation has ensured that people of all levels of experience have regularly had the opportunity to share their curiosity and passion for learning innovation in creative events and through writing books together. He has led initiatives within the group to develop understanding about smart devices, social media and open learning.
Plans for the future
Andrew remains committed to understanding new learning spaces, especially those that are digitally enhanced and connected seamlessly to the world beyond the classroom. He continues to research and write about Social Open Learning Environments as disruptive future learning spaces.
Head of Academic Practice and Learning Innovation
Sheffield Hallam University