I lead on the strategic development of technology enhanced learning, championing pedagogical engagement, development of teaching practice and the student learning experience within the digital context. I also lead the TEL and Online Courses teams. My approach is collaborative, working extensively with senior leaders and academic and professional colleagues across the University.
My areas of responsibility encompass online and blended learning, MOOCs, distance learning, classroom technologies, electronic management of assessment (EMA), accessible learning, curriculum design and professional development. In partnership with IT, I have a lead role in the development of the digital learning environment.
I have 26 years’ experience in Higher Education, specialising in digital education. I started my career as part of the national Teaching and Learning Technology Programme, exploring use of hypermedia in education and another emerging technology at that time – the World Wide Web. Prior to joining Reading in 2013, I established and developed the TEL presence at the University of Surrey and was a founding member of their Teaching and Learning centre. Other experience includes: large scale initiatives to introduce VLEs, virtual classrooms and e-voting; designing programmes of professional development to support academic practice; working with Faculties in the development of blended and distance learning and e-assessment; teaching at UG and PG level; establishing a student-led digital pioneer enterprise; institutional TEL benchmarking.
I am a HEA Principal Fellow, a University Teaching Fellow and a SEDA Fellow.
- MA Education (2007)
- MSc Computer Science (1992)
- MA English Literature and Language (1990)
Publications and presentations include (published as both Holmes and Simpson):
- Mayhew, E., Davies, M. and Holmes, V. (2019) ‘Fail, Fad or Flexible Friends? The impact of Online Submission, Feedback and Grading on the Marker Experience’. Blackboard Users Conference, Durham.
- Bailey, A., Holmes, V. McCann, L. and Papaefthimiou, M. (2018) ‘E-submission, feedback and grading: a collaborative approach to University-wide adoption’. Association for Learning Technology Conference, Manchester.
- Holmes, V. and Nichols, M. (2018) ‘Benchmarking Technology Enhanced Learning: applying the ACODE methodology’. HEA Conference, Birmingham.
- Holmes, V. (2017) ‘Ready, Fire, Aim: Bringing about rapid change in e-assessment’. In S. Elkington and C. Evans (eds.) Transforming Assessment in Higher Education. Higher Education Academy. https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/transforming-assessment-higher-education.
- Holmes, V. and Mayhew, E. (2017) ‘Moving from small scale to large scale transformative change: Electronic Management of Assessment at the University of Reading’. Association for Learning Technology Conference “Changing Learning Environments”, Liverpool.
- Holmes, V. and Bailey, A. (2017) ‘Right Here! Right Now! Placing pedagogy at the heart of web-conferencing’. Association for Learning Technology Conference “Changing Learning Environments”, Liverpool.
- Holmes, V., Clark, W., Burt, P. and Rienties, B. (2013). ‘Engaging students and teachers with media streaming technology, the case of Box of Broadcasts’. In C. Wankel and P. Blessinger (eds.), Cutting-edge Technologies in Higher Education, Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing Group.
- Allan, H., O’Driscoll, M., Simpson, V. and Shawe, J. (2012) ‘Teachers’ views of using e-learning for non-traditional students in higher education across three disciplines [nursing, chemistry and management] at a time of massification and increased diversity in higher education’. Nurse Education Today.
- Clark, W., Holmes, V., and Burt, P. (2011) ‘An investigation into staff perceptions of the benefits and limitations of media streaming technology and BoB (Box of Broadcasts) at the University of Surrey.’ Internal report.
- O’Driscoll, M., Allan, H., Simpson, V. and Sequeira, L. (2010) ‘How can the University use e-learning to improve the learning experience of non-traditional students?’
Internal report, University of Surrey’s Widening Access Fund.
- Sequeira, L., O’Driscoll, M. and Simpson, V. (2010) ‘Online Journal Clubs: Developing Transferable Skills for Researchers’ Internal report, Fund for Researcher Development.
- Clark, W. & Simpson, V. (2009) An investigation into staff perceptions of technology use and CPD at the University of Surrey. Internal report.
- Simpson, V. and Oliver, M. (2007). ‘Electronic voting systems for lectures then and now: A comparison of research and practice’. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 23(2), 187-208.
- Simpson, V., Burt P. and Khan, O. (2007) ‘Introducing electronic voting systems (EVS) to encourage more enquiring student engagement’. Learning through Enquiry conference, Surrey.
- Simpson, V. and Burt P. (2007) ‘Undertaking the large-scale introduction of an electronic voting system across a university’. Association for Learning Technology Conference “Changing Learning Environments”, Nottingham.