I am a learning researcher with an interest in self-directed learning and the personal learning networks that individuals engage in to support their learning. Increasingly, learners must take primary (and often, full) responsibility for their learning, so it is important to understand their motivations, how their learning skills emerge and develop (for example to identify learning needs, evaluate learning opportunities and recognise learning that has occurred), and how they can be supported and nurtured.
I believe that learners should be enabled to take control of their learning wherever possible. They should be supported and encouraged to articulate precisely what they want to learn, and guided to engage in learning experiences that match both their existing knowledge and their identified learning needs. In formal contexts, learning should (where possible) be focused around creation of new knowledge, with the learning artefacts created serving as evidence of learning, a base for further learning through reflection, and as a point of connection to others with similar interests or learning goals. Learning should be social, shared through professional and peer networks. For adults, motivation is key to learning, and for the teacher, understanding the motivations of individual students is paramount.
With Glasgow Caledonian University I have been involved in studies exploring knowledge workers' learning practices in the petrochemical and finance industries, examined learning of professionals in mainstream and connectivist MOOCs, supervised a PhD student exploring research student learning by examining their employability development, and specified tools to support learning towards goals through a process we call 'Charting'. You can find some of my current and recent work on this site at:
In the last couple of years I have reviewed papers for a range of journals including: British Journal of Educational Technology, Computers & Education, the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Journal of Computing in Higher Education, Journal of Workplace Learning, International Journal of Training and Development, Learning Media and Technology, and Transactions on Learning Technologies. I have also recently reviewed submissions for the Networked Learning Conference and the European MOOC Stakeholders Summit and reviewed grant proposals fr the British Council.
My first PhD student, Elena Golovushkina completed her studies in January 2013 successfully defending her thesis entitled: Employability development in the context of PhD studies: Exploring the views and experiences of key stakeholders. Elena and I published papers in IJRD and IJTD reporting the results of the research. Elena is now working in Argentina.
You can find traces of me in many places in the web. A good starting point is twitter @cdmilligan (here is my twitter archive) or my LinkedIn profile. You can also visit my (all too infrequently updated) professional blog: http://worklearn.wordpress.com/ . The landing site: about.me/colinmilligan provides a comprehensive set of links.
On this site, you can visit my publications page, which provides links to my pubished work, and includes links to other professional social networks. Meanwhile, my experience page digs into the mists of time to link some of my previous work.
I initially trained as a researcher in Genetics/Molecular Biology: my doctorate centered on developing a method for site selected mutagenesis using the I-factor retrotransposon and differential cloning of cDNAs expressed in the head (but not the eyes) of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. I have worked in the area of learning and development since the summer of 1993 when I was first employed to prepare distance learning materials for University of Paisley courses being marketed in Hong Kong. During my career, I have undertaken a variety of roles in Further and Higher Education at various institutions in central Scotland, as well as working in the commercial sector and as a Partner in a small consultancy. These diverse roles have given me a broad range of experience in all aspects of learning and development, particularly where technology can support and enhance the learning process and empower the learner to take greater control of their learning.
I returned to a predominantly research based role as a Research Fellow at the Caledonian Academy within Glasgow Caledonian University in 2007, becoming fully focused on research in 2011. Working in learning and development has instilled in me the belief that research should both advance knowledge and inform practice.
Some of my previous (often more development oriented) work has involved:
Some of my other work is described on my experience page.
firstname.lastname@example.org - +44 141 331 8495M301, George Moore Building, Glasgow Caledonian UniversityGlasgow G4 0BA, Scotland, UK