Course team

Photograph of GregGreg Benfield (course leader)

Greg is from Melbourne, Australia, where he gained a wide experience of teaching in the secondary, TAFE (Technical and Further Education) and Higher Education sectors. He has been teaching online (and teaching about teaching online) since 1998.

Greg joined Oxford Brookes University in January 2001. His work focuses on supporting technology-enhanced learning and he is a tutor on the Postgraduate Certificate of Teaching in Higher Education.

As well as his work at Brookes he delivers national workshops on technology-enhanced learning and assessment and has been involved in a range of national JISC and Higher Education Academy e-learning projects. His research interests are:

  • Learner Experiences of e-Learning
  • Computer-mediated communication
  • Communication and collaboration in technology-rich HE environments
  • e-Learning course design
  • Computer aided assessment

Email Greg Benfield
Tel: (0)1865 485774 or (0)1865 484274
Twitter @gdbenfied

Photograph of MarionMarion Waite (course tutor)

Marion is from a healthcare background with a 17 year career in the UK NHS as a nurse, midwife and health visitor prior to moving into a career in higher education.

Marion has pioneered the development of online distance learning programmes in the Faculty of Health & Life Sciences including the MSc Nursing Studies which bring together a global network of experienced nurse practitioners to collaborate using the latest teaching and learning technologies. She is also currently researching with colleagues in the Faculty of Technology, Design & Environment on developing mobile applications to support decision-making for people with diabetes.

Marion is seconded to OCSLD as a tutor on the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education and has been part of a team who have recently ran one of the UK’s very first Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS), #FSLT12. Marion also teaches on the online tutoring course for the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Marion was awarded a Brookes Teaching Fellowship in 2012 in order to lead a project aimed at supporting lecturers and students to collaboratively write for publication.

Photograph of LizElizabeth Lovegrove (course tutor)

Liz is OCSLD's learning technologist, which means that she spends her time designing, developing, supporting and teaching our online courses. She also teaches in Oxford Brookes' International Centre for Publishing Studies, and is working on a PhD on girls' magazines.

Outside of work, she reads (mostly science fiction and crime/mystery/detective fiction), swims (in rivers for preference), knits (and dabbles in most other fibre/yarn/fabric crafts), and spends far too much time on the internet - you can find her on Twitter at @ejlovegrove.

Email: ejlovegrove@brookes.ac.uk

Fiona Smith (course administrator)

Fiona has been with OCSLD since February 1999 and administers our external courses, both online and face to face; workshops located at various venues nationally and internationally; and consultancy work. Fiona is also course administrator for the the new lecturers' programme at Oxford Brookes, of which TOOC14 forms part.

Email: flsmith@brookes.ac.uk

Tel: +44 1865 485902

Teaching assistants

Abi BallPhoto of Abi Ball

Abi is the E-Learning Advisor at Oxford Brookes University (OBU). Her role is primarily to teach Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) across all of the University's faculties to both the academic staff and also to the Digital Media and e-Learning Developers (DMELDs). This process maps and disseminates 'best practice', from both a pedagogic and a TEL perspective.

Her work also enhances and informs her PhD thesis which is investigating the potential symbiosis between synchronous (real time) and asynchronous teaching and learning processes from a pedagogic perspective. Her area of evaluation is focused on postgraduate, global, e-learning programmes across all of the faculties at OBU.

Fiona EgglestonePhoto of Fiona

Fiona Egglestone works in the Academy for Innovation and Research at Falmouth University. She’s a tutor on the MA Professional Writing course (online) and is interested in how new technologies can aid learning and engagement. Fiona has previously worked in education as a primary school teacher and in FE.

Outside work she enjoys writing, blogging, reading, photography, travelling and outdoor pursuits.

You can find her on Twitter @fionaegglestone.

Heli Nurmi Photo of Heli

Heli has been working as a teacher educator and researcher in Finland and taught online for about ten years. She retired four years ago and her interest is now in online communication: open courses and communities. What makes the online communities work well?  TOOC14 seems to be one of the world's best courses, that's why I enjoy participating in it.

Heli is a grandmother of two sons, the youngest having his 1st birthday on the weekend ending week 1 of #tooc14.

You can find Heli on Twitter @helinur

Kobie MulliganPhoto of Kobie

Kobie has multiple roles at Oxford Brookes as a researcher and as a project manager for a European wide project called SPAN (the Science for Prevention Academic Network).

She has worked as a researcher for over ten years in Australia, the United Kingdom and at a European wide level and has extensive experience in the fields of illicit drugs, European drug markets, alcohol research, and the criminal justice system (inclusive of law, prisons and human rights).

She has worked with Department of Health England, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and the Queensland Alcohol and Drug Research Education Centre in Australia (QADREC). In addition to research, Kobie also has experience teaching/lecturing, developing and coordinating post-graduate Higher Education (HE) courses in the areas of health, alcohol and drugs, youth substance use and sociology.

When not doing the above she enjoys playing ultimate frisbee and like most Australians - traveling all over Europe! You can find her on

twitter:  @KobieMulligan

Irmgard HuppePhoto of Irmgard

My working life began in a secondary school in Germany, where I taught Biology and Philosophy. From there I moved on into publishing digital media for a textbook publisher in Germany. After my move to the UK I continued in publishing as a freelance author and editor. While completing an MA in Digital Media I started working as a learning technologist for Oxford Brookes University ten years (!) ago. I am still fascinated by the ways the rapid development of new technologies in recent years affects how we learn and what we learn ...

twitter:  @Irmgard

Sarah KaganPhoto of Sarah

I am a Professor of Gerontological Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania – situated in Philadelphia on the East Coast of the United States. My entrance into open online education began about a year ago when I taught Growing Old Around the Globe on Coursera with guidance and support from Marion Waite and others at Oxford Brookes and in the United Kingdom. Now I am hooked and really enjoy thinking about adapting pedagogies in the open online environment.

Richard Francis



Last modified: Monday, 17 March 2014, 04:16 PM