Teaching

I’m a Reader in Design Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. If I am your personal tutor, you can find related information on my Personal Tutoring web site.

My Approach to Teaching

If learning something new is like climbing a mountain, then I’m the expedition guide who makes sure that you know relevant climbing techniques, who chooses a safe path, and who puts in additional guiding ropes, hooks, and ladders. The hard work of actually getting to the top? That’s something that you have to do yourself.

Given the plethora of excellent text books out there, I strongly believe that the best use for face time or contact time with a lecturer is to deepen students’ understanding of the material, help them work through problems they’ve encountered while working through the material, and get them to the level where they can apply what they have learned in practice.

I like practical work, discussions, flip charts, blackboards, knowing my students’ backgrounds and knowing their learning goals. I would rather put the materials for a lecture into a series of blog posts than on a series of wordy PowerPoint slides.

I also believe in working with students to reach their own objectives. For example, if your focus is on clinical decision support, but you happen to find yourself in my lecture on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), I would want you to come away with an understanding of how a bad interface can affect the effectiveness of clinical decision support systems.