Digital learning projects

Our team develops and evaluates innovative approaches to digitally enabled teaching, learning and assessment, which align with Surrey’s distinctive curriculum and are informed by educational research.


We support teams to design student centred and enriching teaching and learning environments with an emphasis on practice-based learning. We encourage the use of digital resources to facilitate and enrich learning and develop digital literacy.

Projects come from a variety of sources such as:

  • University and faculty strategic planning
  • Staff and/or student proposals
  • Teaching excellence and innovation awards
  • Inter-disciplinary networks and activity
  • External funding grants.

Current projects 

Coming soon.

Examples of previous projects

Transformative experiences in developing digital literacy

A collaboration with the University of Wollongong supported by the University Global Partnership Network. This collaboration will help to advance understanding of how students’ digital literacy develops during their time in higher education.

Nudges and analytics project

This initial, proof-of-concept study has been supported by the University’s OFFA Countable Funding for Initiatives to Support Underrepresented Groups. The project will pilot the provision of data-informed study advice to first-year students and assess their impact and the technical possibilities of making these available through MySurrey.

Primary contact: Julia Brennan

A web of staff–student partnerships: Are there patterns we can learn from?

This collaboration between TEL staff and students has been supported by the Staff Student Partnerships Research Programme. The study will explore ten different staff–student collaborations undertaken in a variety of contexts, in order to provide insights about the incipient stages of partnership and the lessons that can be drawn from the experiences of participants.

Primary contact: Irina Niculescu

Promoting student engagement with insights from Nudge Theory

This collaboration between staff from TEL and staff and students from the School of Medical and Health Sciences has also been supported by the Staff–Student Partnerships Research Programme. It will explore the meaning and implications of ‘engagement’, and the strategies used to promote engagement in an ethics education programme with an online component.

Primary contact: Julia Brennan

Note-taking media in large lectures

A small research study in collaboration with the Department of Psychology to assess the impact of laptops and lecture recordings on student note-taking. The outcomes from this study will inform institutional policy on academic skills advice, and approaches to academic development for staff with regard to captured content.

Primary contact: Colin Loughlin

Piloting a learning design process for course teams

We will be developing an approach to supporting teams in their design of programmes which can extend the volume and reach of online learning, such as degree apprenticeships, MOOCs and distance learning CPD courses.

Primary contact: Colin Loughlin

FEATS (Feedback Engagement and Tracking at Surrey)

This is an online portfolio tool co-designed with students at the University of Surrey to help students better understand and engage with their feedback. The development and evaluation of the tool has been led by the Surrey Assessment and Learning Lab. Watch a video about FEATS.

Primary contact: Naomi Winstone

Active learning spaces

To support the introduction of flexible learning spaces, TEL and the Department of Higher Education ran workshops around flipped teaching and active learning approaches and designed and conducted an evaluation. Read a summary of Active Learning at Surrey (2016).

Primary contact: Colin Loughlin

ABC learning gains

The University of Surrey partnered with Oxford Brookes University and the Open University in a HEFCE funded Learning Pilot study investigating the potential of longitudinal measures of learning gain underpinned by the Affective-Behavioural-Cognition framework. Go to project website.

Work with us

We can offer support and consultation through all of the stages of a project. Our methodology is evidence led and project based, to ensure that development and research have clear aims, scope and timelines. We actively support work with students as partners, and take a design-led, collaborative approach.

In 2021 we are interested in supporting projects around these themes:

  • Active, blended and flipped learning
  • Inclusive and accessible learning
  • Online distance learning
  • Learning analytics
  • Digital capabilities.

If you would like to discuss ideas, work with us or would like further information, then please contact Roger Rees our Digital Learning Consultancy and Development Manager.