Professor Martin Oliver

    • PhD Educational Technology
    • Professor of Education and Technology
    • Head of the Learning Technologies Unit
  • Faculty:
  • Department:
  • Centre:
  • Summary:
    • My research and teaching is focused on technology and education (particularly Higher Education). This includes the practices of learning and teaching (e.g. course design), student experience and organisational change. I am particularly interested in foundational issues, such as theoretical and methodological development. As head of the Learning Technologies Unit, I support the development of learning and teaching with technology, both in terms of policy and practice.
  • Teaching:
    • My main teaching is doctoral supervision; I also lead the module "Technology and Education beyond the Classroom", which is offered as part of the MA in ICT in Education and Technology.
  • Research:
  • Postgraduate Research:
    • I supervise doctoral students working in the area of education and technology, particularly where the work involves Higher Education and a theoretical focus.

      Current students include:
      Cat Scutt - "The impact of using single-player business games on manager behaviours and leadership effectiveness at work"
      James Cilla - "ICT acting as a catalyst to bring about changes in the models of learning held by HE teachers"
      Lyn Greaves - "What are the roles and experiences of digital learning literacies in student learning in a widening participation context?"
      Paul Gormley - "Toward eCompetence: Strategic Approaches to Mainstreaming Technology‐Driven Educational Innovation in Higher Education."
  • Professional Activities:
    • I serve on the editorial boards of the journals Learning, Media and Technology, and Research in Learning Technology.

      I am a member of the Higher Education Academy's Academic Practive Advisory Group

      I am past president of the Association for Learning Technology (, and will be President in 2012. I
  • Conferences/presentations:
    • Gourlay, L. & Oliver, M. (2013) Technologies and text trajectories: the curriculum as emergent network. Paper presented at SRHE 2013, Newport.
      Oliver, M. (2013) Designing the learning architecture in HE. Invited keynote, Flexible Learning Conference, 22-23rd July, London.
      Oliver, M. & Gourlay, L. (2013) Invisible practices and the technologies of the curriculum: Exploring the enactment of the academic self. Paper presented at RWL8- 8th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning 19-21st June, Stirling.
      Gourlay, L. & Oliver, M. (2013) Critiquing digital dualism: a sociomaterial account of student entanglements with technologies. Paper presented at Theorizing the Web, New York, 2013.
      Gourlay L. & Oliver, M. (2012) Curating, combat or coping? Student entanglements with technologies in HE. Paper presented at SRHE 2012, Newport.
      Oliver, M. (2012) Learning with technology as a site of coordinated sociomaterial practice: digital technologies as a site of praxiological study. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Networked Learning, Maastricht, 2-4th April 2012.
      Oliver, M. & Gourlay, L. (2012) Un-defining digital literacies: students' day-to-day engagements with technologies. Invited keynote at the EdTech 2012 Conference, Maynooth, Ireland.
      Oliver, M. (2010) "Everything I need to know I learnt from World of Warcraft": Why we might need to start asking better questions about games, simulations and virtual worlds. Invited keynote presentation. Ascilite 2010, Sydney, Australia.
      Oliver, M. (2010) Myths and promises of blended learning. Invited keynote, 5th International Blended Learning Conference, June 16-17th, Hertfordshire.
  • Languages Spoken:
    • French (basic)
Professor Martin Oliver

Staff profile

Contact details


  • Gourlay, L. & Oliver, M. (2013) 'Beyond 'the social': digital literacies as sociomaterial practice' Goodfellow, R. & Lea, M. (Eds), Literacy in the Digital University: Critical Perspectives on Learning, Scholarship and Technology. London (Routledge).
  • Oliver, M. (2012) 'Learning Technology: theorising the tools we study', British Journal of Educational Technology 44 (1), 31-43.
  • Bennett, S. & Oliver, M. (2011) 'Talking back to theory: the missed opportunities in learning technology research', Research in Learning Technology 19 (3), 179-189.
  • Oliver, M. (2011) 'Technological determinism in educational technology research: some alternative ways of thinking about the relationship between learning and technology', Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 27 (5), 373-384.
    Further information
  • Holley, D. & Oliver, M. (2010) ' Student engagement and blended learning: portraits of risk', Computers & Education 54, 693-700.
  • Oliver, M and Carr, D (2009) 'Learning in Virtual Worlds: Using Communities of Practice To Explain How People Learn From Play', British Journal of Educational Technology 40 (3), 444-457.
  • Pelletier, C. and Oliver, M. (2006) 'Learning to play in digital games', Learning, Media and Technology 31(4), 329-342.
  • Oliver, M. (2005) 'The problem with affordance', The E-Learning Journal 2(4), 402-413.
  • Oliver, M. and Trigwell, K. (2005) 'Can 'blended learning' be redeemed', E-Learning 2(1), 17-26.
  • Oliver, M. (2002) 'What do Learning Technologists Do?', Innovations in Education & Teaching International 39 (4), 245-252.