REALISE REfining And Learning from on-line tools for Internet Shared Enterprise

DETMex: Expanding and distributing EASiHE tools: a collaboration between Southampton and México


Completed Projects

3Clix project \(Co-Investigator, January 2008- December 2010 DTI 800k FEC)

Academic Information Management System: AIMS (Research Fellow, September 1999-September 2000)

Advanced Knowledge Technologies (Research Fellow, October 2000 - September 2002, EPSRC)

ASDEL (Principal Investigator, March 2007- March 2008, JISC 210k FEC)

ALUIAR: Adaptable and Learnable User Interface for Analysing Recordings (Co-Investigator,  May 2011 to  December 2011  JISC  £107k (FEC)

BluPoint (Principal Investigator, November 2013-February 2015, EPSRC)

Claret (Co-Investigator, October 2006 - November 2007, JISC)

Collaborative Orthopaedic Research Environment: CORE  (Principal  Investigator, November 2004-October 2006, JISC 137K)

EASiHE (Principal Investigator, October 2008- March 2011, JISC 587k FEC)

eCert (Co-Investigator,  January 2010 to 1December 2010  JISC £142K (FEC)

E-Framework Services for Course Evaluation >(EFSCE) ( Co-Investigator, January - July  2007, JISC 50K )

Electro-Hydrostatic Actuator (Researcher, July 95 - March 96)

Factory Information Resource Management  (Researcher, March 96-August 1999,EPSRC )

Fareos (Co-Investigator, 1st November2007- April 2009,JISC 350k FEC )

FREMAI & II: e-Learning Framework: Reference Model for Assessment ( Co-Investigator, FREMA I April 2005-April 2006, FREMA II April to August 2006, JISC 200K)

IBBRE:A VRE to support cross-disciplinary and cross institutional collaboration in internet-based behavioural research (Principal Investigator, July 2009 to March 2011 JISC,300K)

IPAS (Co-Investigator, May 2005 - September 2008, DTI 2M)

SCI  The development and evaluation of an internet-based smoking cessation intervention Co-Investigator, April 2008- March 2010, MRC FEC 17K)

LifeGuide ( Co-Investigator, April 2008- March 2011, ESRC 800k FEC)

Linking for Learning (Research Fellow, October 1999-September 2000)

Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Primary Care: MIBS (Co-Investigator March 2008-Feburary 2010  NIHR 249K)

MathAssess (Principal  Investigator, October 2008-March 2009 JISC 30K)

MS Fatigue Website  ( Co-Investigator, April 2008- December 2008, MS Society  40k)

Multimedia Annotation and Community FOlksonomy Building (MACFOB) (Co-Investigator, January 2008 to December 2009, JISC )

Placement Learning and Assessment Toolkit (m-PLAT) (Co-Investigator, September 2006 - August 2008, JISC 350k FEC )

Primit: A Primary care trial of an Infection control website to Modify Influenza-like illness (ILI) and RTI Transmission ( Co-Investigator, April 2008- March 2010, MRC 600K FEC)

PRimary care Infection Management for Everyday practice (PRIME) ( Co-Investigator,, July 2008-June 2012, NIHR, 199k)

REALISE : REfining And Learning from on-line tools for Internet Shared Enterprise (Co-Investigator,  June 2010 to June 2011  JISC  £176K (FEC)

Remora (Co-Investigator, 1st November2007- April 2009, JISC 350K FEC )

Rendering and Response processing services for QTIv2 questions: R2Q2 (Principal Investigator, March 2006-August 2006, JISC 103K)

REST Services for Resource Submission and Distribution to Peer Review Groups (PeerPigeon) ( Co-Investigator, January-July  2007, JISC 50K)

REAQ: Report on e-Assessment Quality (Co-Investigator, November 2007 to April 2009 JISC  £40K

Semantic Technologies in Learning and Teaching: SemTech (Co-Investigator, September 2008 to 28th February 2009, JISC, 30K)

Synote Mobile (Co-Investigator, April 2012 to 30th September 2012, JISC )

Turin Archive (Research Fellow, October 1999-September 2000)

Virtual European Orthopaedic University(Technical Manger, October 2001 - September 2002, EU )

ViewMyVRIC (Principal Investigator, January 2012- March 2012, JISC 53K FEC)

VRIC Virtual Research Integration Collaboration (Principal Investigator, July 2008- January 2011, JISC 455k FEC) 

WiCK: Writing in the Context of Knowledge (Co-authored & named Research Fellow, October 2002-September 2004, EPSRC 80K)

CFMS-3Clix project ( Co-Investigator, January 2008- December 2010)

The 3 CLIX project is a three year project. The partners are Microsoft Technology Centre (MTC), Microsoft Research Cambridge (MSR), and the University of Southampton. The project description from the DTI is:

“The ability for the knowledge worker to rapidly search and access information within the system like design performance data forms one of the key user requirements of a virtual design system. A measure of the usability of this type of system is the number of mouse clicks an engineer needs to perform in order to access the information he requires. We propose to investigate the functional requirements of an information/knowledge and process management system to enable the user to access information within 3 mouse clicks from search or request initiation to information retrieval, by technology development aimed at enhancing existing tools and techniques. These techniques will demonstrated by deployment on the Application Case Studies scenarios providing realistic feedback to guide further development.”


Advanced Knowledge Technologies (October 2001 - September 2002)

As part of the  Advanced Knowledge Technologies project, my responsibility is to work with Rolls-Royce engineers as part of the AKT test bed, to develop an intelligent document retrieval system. During this period my main function was to gather user requirements and carryout preliminarily knowledge acquisition.

Wills, G., Fowler, D., Sleeman, D., Crowder, R., Kampa, S., Carr, L. and Knott, D. (2004) Issues in Moving to a Semantic Web for a Large Corporation. In Proceedings of 5th International Conference on Practical Aspects of Knowledge Mangement , pages pp. 378-388, Vienna, Austria. Karagiannis, D. and Reimer, U., Eds.

David Fowler, Derek Sleeman, Gary Wills, Terry Lyon and David Knott. (2004) The Designers' Workbench: Using Ontologies and Constraints for Configuration. AI2004, 17th Australian Computer Society (ACS) Australian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence. Queensland, Australia. December 2004

Wills GB, Harith  A,  Ashri, R, Crowder RM,  Kalfoglou Y, Kim S. (2002). Design Issues for Agent-based Resource Locator Systems . In Karagiannis, Dimitris and Reimer, Ulrich, Eds. Proceedings Practical Aspects of Knowledge Management, pages 156-168, Vienna


Academic Information Management System (September 1999-September 2000)

My area of responsibilities in the Academic Information Management System (AIMS) project was to design, analysis and implementation an evaluation strategy.

Hughes GV, Wills GB, Carr LA, Hall W, Hey AJG. User Centred Approach to Academic Information Management on the WWW. Multimedia Research Group Technical report No M99-6 November 1999 ISBN:- 085432703-7

Wills GB, Hughes GV, Hall W. Evaluation of AIMS-Academic Information Management System. Multimedia Research Group Technical report No M99-5 November 1999 ISBN-085432700-2op

ASDEL: Assessment Delivery Engine for QTIv2 questions (March 2007- March 2008)

Principal Investigator: JISC  Funded


In this project we aim to build an assessment delivery engine to the IMS Question and Test Interoperability version 2.1 specifications that can be deployed as a stand-alone web application or as part of a SOA enabled VLE.

The engine will provide for: delivery of an assessment consisting of an assembly of QTI items, scheduling of assessments against users and groups, delivery of items using a web interface, including marking and feedback, and a Web service API for retrieving assessment results. In the second phase, the project will integrate with the other projects in this call on item banking and item authoring to provide a demonstrator, and will contribute to its evaluation and the evaluation of the project and its integration with the other projects under the Assessment call.


Contextualised Learning Activity Repository Tools project (CLARET) (01 October 2006- 31/11/2007)

Co-Investigator: JISC  Funded


The Contextualised Learning Activity Repository Tools project (CLARET) will address two key needs:

The CLARET project will further develop the regionally-based cross-sector community of practice which focuses on moving towards a shared culture of use, re-use and re-purposing of online resources in order to succeed in its aims. The CLARET project will study the teaching and learning context across institutions and across sectors, and the sharing and dissemination of good practice. CLARET will focus on language providers in the university and post-16 education sector as language learning has been identified by HEFCE as a valuable subject for addressing the agendas of lifelong learning and widening participation. This community-driven approach will extend the work already undertaken by the L20 and MURLLO projects


Collaborative Orthopaedic Research Environment: CORE (November 2004- October 2006)

Principal Investigator: JISC  Funded

Website: :

The Collaborative Orthopaedic Research Environment (CORE) is a 24-month project, that builds on the work carried out under the Virtual Orthopaedic European University (VOEU) project, an EU IST project funded under framework 5. As part of the VOEU project a Dynamic Review Journal (DRJ) was developed, this tightly integrated system allowed surgeons to collaborate on clinical trials. The CORE project will enhance the DRJ by developing and deploying a Web services based Virtual Research Environment (VRE) demonstrator; that will enable researches to design experiments collaboratively, collect the results and disseminate the findings. In the context of orthopaedics, experiments can be multi-centred clinical trials that involve analysis of large data sets, the documentation needs to be written collaboratively and the experiments will need to be managed and co-ordinated for a geographically disperse set of researchers. The CORE project will develop a Grid/Web services based VRE demonstrator for the benefit of the Higher Education and Further Education communities.

The project aims to provide integrated computer support across the research and educational cycles, because these activities are intrinsically coupled as a part of the requirements of the surgeon’s Continuing Professional Development.  The CORE will allow surgeons to: create technical material (including non research material for education), analyse data (from their own trials or data entered from journals), investigate hypotheses (from their own work or as meta or thematic reviews), discuss the finding from their or others work, and prepare and submit articles for review.


Electro-Hydrostatic Actuator (July 95 - March 96)

I was responsible for the modelling of an Electro-Hydrostatic Actuator (EHA), for use in the All Electric Aircraft. This took the form of dynamic simulation using Simulink, which is part of Matlab. This involved developing the equations for the motor, hydraulic pump, actuator, dynamic load and control loop. Then designing experiments (simulations) to evaluate how changing the design effected the performance of the EHA. The model was then used to investigate the effects of large (20kVA) actuators on the electrical distribution of the All-Electric Aircraft.
During this period I also undertook a consultancy to investigate the use of nano-technology in the electrical power industry.

Crowder R.M & Wills GB, Nadesakumar. Electrically Powered Integrated Control Actuator (EPICA) BRITE EURAM AERO-CT92-0037 Final Report January 1996.

Nadesakumar, Crowder R.M & Wills GB. Electrically Powered Integrated Control Actuator (EPICA) BRITE EURAM AERO-CT92-0037 Progress Report January 1995.


e-Assessment in Higher Education (EASiHE) (October 2008- March 2011)

Principal Investigator, , JISC funded

A number of technical and policy issues are of concern within the University around e-assessment, including: an increasing need for interoperability; migration from legacy systems; quality assurance through item and test statistics; AER (additional educational requirements) and accessibility issues; provision of mathematical notation in science and engineering questions; and, most importantly, student and staff engagement with the relevant technologies (such as Web 2.0 and mobile devices) and services.
The University seeks funding to accelerate the process of both implementing an open source, service based solution to institutional e-assessment and addressing institutional change by engaging academics and students in co-design and co-deployment. In line with the recently introduced University e-Learning Enhancement Strategy, which places the quality of student learning as its first objective, the EASiHE project intends to provide an open source solution for formative assessment by integrating services currently available within the JISC eFramework.
The project will: take the JISC-funded ‘EdSpace’ repository and elements of the ‘Faroes’ project to provide ‘Web 2.0’ content and services to users; incorporate the IMS Question and Test interoperability standard by integrating the ‘AsDel’ assessment delivery engine, integrating the ‘MathQTI’ standard, and providing QTI migration services sourced from the ‘MCQFM’ project; ensure the system is informed by the ‘LexDis’ project for accessibility; include relevant lessons from the ‘mPLAT’ and ‘Remora’ projects in providing for mobile learning and assessment; and incorporate a relatively underutilised and ‘new’ form of assessment, peer assessment, based upon the ‘Peer Pigeon’ project.
The main deliverables include: the provision of an open source e-assessment repository: services for the contribution and migration of assessment questions, tests, and peer assessments; services for the delivery of tests and peer assessments; documentation supporting the pedagogical design of e-assessments at higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy; and dissemination material for the wider sector dealing with institutional change using the processes of co-design and co-deployment. As partners in the Support Project, the project will be actively involved in producing briefing materials and training activities for exemplary practice.


E-Framework Services for Course Evaluation (EFSCE) ( January  2005-July  2007)

Co-investigator,  JISC  Funded

This project will produce an E-Framework (EF) toolkit that enables users to create applications that ‘Provide Services’ and ‘Consume Services’ for course evaluation.  While ‘Course Evaluation’ is not defined within the E-Framework as such, there are EF learning domain services which are related, such as ‘Quality Assurance’.  Certainly within UK Higher and Further Education, course evaluation is a well-defined component of teaching and learning, and after the domains of ‘Learning Design’ and of ‘Assessment’ is probably the next most important.  It is therefore valuable to have well-articulated service descriptions and toolkit services for this domain.

The toolkit services will focus upon the authoring of evaluation questionnaires, their use by students, and the authoring of course reports by tutors based upon questionnaire answers.  Figure 1 provides an overview of the likely services.  The central service allows a tutor to construct an evaluation report, commonly an end-of-course report, based upon the student evaluations selected from a repository.  Amongst the supporting services are the construction of the evaluation items, the construction of the questionnaire template for student completion, the construction of the report template for tutor completion, and the analysis service which will provide the histograms and statistics commonly derived from completed evaluation questionnaires.


Factory Information Resource Management  (March 96-August 1999)

EPSRC GR/L10482/01

Researching into the design and evaluation of industrial hypermedia information applications. This involves the creation of a large factory-wide database of multimedia information. The project Factory Information Resource Management (FIRM) involved a whole factory approach, investing and evaluating the effectiveness of the hypermedia enhanced information system, developing new techniques for integrated information management in the manufacturing environment, in particular to ease maintenance and fault-diagnosis problems. The organisations involved in the research were Pirelli Cables, Ford Motor Company and Eurotherm Drives.

I developed a new design methodology for designing large-scale industrial hypermedia applications that encompasses the requirement and constraints of the industrial environment. As part of the design methodology a new authoring methodology was developed, using a new Principal of Modular Hypermedia Applications (MHAs). MHAs enhance the portability, maintainability and scalability of the information system, and reduce the cognitive burden to the hypermedia author. A new method of providing an appropriate hypermedia user interface, has have a common look and feel that allows the different group of users, with different abilities, access to the appropriate information, has been developed. I developed a new cost-effective evaluation methodology for evaluating industrial hypermedia. In addition, I investigated the strategic investment considerations for industrial strength hypermedia, developing an effort and cost model for authoring an industrial hypermedia application.
The work was extended to include a consultancy into the management of knowledge information with the Post Office Research Group (PORG). During this period, I also designed and developed a commercial on-line shopping internet site. 

Selected Papers.

  1. Crowder R., Wills G.. (2004) Cost Effectiveness of  Industrial Hypermedia Maintenance Support Application. International Journal Computers in Industry, (in press).
  2. Crowder R.,  Wills G., Hall W.,. (2003) Evaluation of a Hypermedia Maintenance Support Application.  International Journal Computers in Industry 51(3):pp. 327-344.

  3. Wills GB, Sim YW, Crowder RM, Hall W (2002) Open Hypermedia for Product Support International Journal of Systems Science 33(6):421-432 .

  4. Crowder R., Hall W., Wills G., Humphreys D., Ash J..(2001) Hypermedia Information System in Industry IEE Computing and Control Engineering Journal Vol.12 No.1 pp 21-28 February
  5. Heath I., Wills G., Crowder R., Hall W., Ballantyne J..(2000) A New Authoring Methodology for Large-Scale Hypermedia Applications. IEEE Multimedia Tools and Applications 12(2/3): 129-144, November.
  6. Crowder RM., Hall W, Heath I, Wills GB. (2000) Industrial Strength Hypermedia: design, implementation and application. International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing Vol. 13, No. 3, pp 173-186.
  7. Dr R M Crowder, Professor W Hall, Dr I Heath, and G Wills.(1999) Integration of Manufacturing Information using Open Hypermedia. International Journal Computers in Industry, 38 pp 31-42.
  8. R M Crowder, W Hall, I Heath, and G Wills, (1998) Factory information provision using hypermedia. International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, Volume 11, No. 6, 1998 pp 442-453.


Faroes: Repositories for Sharing Learning Resources in Distributed Social Spaces (November 2007 - April 2009)

Co-Investigator, JISC funded

The Faroes project will establish a lightweight repository for learners and teachers to share their resources, based on the CLARE repository (a version of ePrints), the experiences of the L2O, MURLLO and CLAReT projects, and the active community of language teachers and learning technologists that these projects have been engaged with. Through a number of workshops with the language teachers community of practice we have noted two important lessons:
  1. That the community is eager to share their resources and wants a lightweight repository that they can incorporate into their everyday practice. They are keen that the repository should have a user interface that follows the best-practice Principals of Web 2.0 sites (social, interlinked, evolving and flexible).
  2. Practitioners are enthusiastic about sharing learning assets: simple resources such as videos, audio files and presentations. This is because of the simplicity of producing and reusing them (for example, there is no overhead of content packaging, or complex metadata authoring).
  3. It is clear that in our engagement with the community we have reached a tipping point; we need to deliver a real usable repository that fulfils these requirements in order to begin to explore the difficult issues concerning authorship, provenance, authority and copyright in the context of a real system with real users.

The project will therefore engage with the established community of language teachers in order to deploy a lightweight repository that will support the sharing of multimedia resources between individual practitioners. We will work closely with the community, taking an agile software engineering approach focused around the notion of the perpetual beta. In this way we hope to both foster cultural changes in resource sharing in the community, and also to create innovations in repository design based on Web 2.0 best practice.

The project outputs will include a number of Web 2.0 plug-ins to the ePrints system (the basis of the CLARE learning repository), but the project will also explore the way in which multiple repository installations can become part of the same social space – this is necessary for searching, recommendations and common tags to be available across several connected repositories (as might be expected in different educational institutions). The approach to distributed social spaces, and the interfaces that will enable this, will be important innovations in repository design.


FREMA: e-Learning Framework: Reference Model for Assessment (April 2005-2006)

Co-Investigator: JISC  Funded

FREMA project will develop the reference model for the “Assessment” domain area.  The JISC Circular 10/04 identifies six domain areas, of which five are the subject of the circular:  assessment, learning content, enterprise, personal development planning, and personal learning environments.  The learning content domain area reference model involves the specification of services for the design, construction and execution of learning activity that can be used and shared by multiple institutions and the lifelong learner.

The services will focus upon the creation, execution and recording of electronic assessments which are accessible across institutions and to the lifelong learner

The Assessment reference model will include


Integrated Products and Services (May 2005 -September 2008)

Co-investigator, DTI Funded 2M

Integrated Products and Services (IPAS) is a DTI funded project and is a semantic Web services based system that will integrate and apply a number of disparate generic technologies that are currently in the research phase and span the disciplines of computer science, engineering design, knowledge management, manufacturing and work psychology. IPAS deliverables include: a Designer Knowledge Desktop, defined work social issues and solutions, process simulations and optimisation, and a life cycle cost modelling toolkit.

The IPAS consortium consists of 4 industrial partners and 7 University partners.

The industrial partners are:
- Rolls-Royce, a global power provider, having a leading position in civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy markets;
- Data Systems & Solutions (DS&S), a systems and service solutions provider;
- Epistemics, which provides tools that publish ontologies via XML and HTML;
- Adiuri, which provides tools that provide classification based search;

The university partners are:
- The computer science departments at Aberdeen, Sheffield and Southampton, which are part of the Advanced Knowledge Technologies (AKT) Inter-disciplinary Research Collaboration funded by ESRC.
- The Engineering Design Centre (EDC) at Cambridge, which is an EPSRC funded Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre.
- University partners in the Design University Technology Partnership (UTP) at Sheffield, Cambridge and Southampton. The Sheffield UTP is part of the Institute of Work Psychology, which also contains the ESRC funded Centre for Organisation and Innovation.


IBBRE: A VRE to support cross-disciplinary and crossinstitutional collaboration in internet-based behavioural research  (July 2009 -December 2011)

Principal Investigator: JISC  Funded

This project will employ a VRE to enable behavioural scientists working within a variety of disciplines across the university to collaborate in sharing and reviewing components of internet-delivered interventions. We will analyse and describe how the VRE can be flexibly used to support collaborations within and outside the university. Behavioural interventions (BIs) – packages of advice and support for behaviour change – are arguably the most important methodology and technology employed by behavioural scientists for understanding and changing behaviour. Internet-Based BIs (IBBIs) are beginning to play a crucial role in the delivery of BIs.

If IBBIs could be viewed and shared within a VRE this would allow wider research communities to greatly speed up the research cycle of producing intervention components and testing them using large, pooled datasets. We have confirmed that there is enthusiasm to collaborate in developing IBBIs; we are already collaborating with UCL on this project and after holding several workshops have developed a large network of potential collaborators from other universities from within the UK, Europe, and the USA.

The challenge to the university is how best to support resource sharing, critical analysis, publishing, and peer review of IBBIs within these inter-disciplinary research groups and networks. The behavioural scientists want to be able to collaborate on the building of the IBBI, discuss the IBBI (peer review), securely make available the results of the IBBI to other behavioural scientists, allow others to use this anonymised data in meta-studies, and inform others of what worked or did not. In this project we intend to build on the JISC VRE funded projects ‘CORE’ and ‘myExperiment’.

The target wider community nationally and internationally is represented by the e-social science, behavioural science, and VRE communities. The impact of this project will be in two main areas: the technology, and the user communities. Technology-wise the baseline comprises the CORE and myExperiment projects; we will be combining the experiences and technologies of these previous existing VRE projects. By completing this work we intend to extend this knowledge from the medical and science domains and apply it to the behavioural science domain.


ISCI: The development and evaluation of an internet-based smoking cessation intervention

Co-investigator, MRC funded.

There is a need for effective smoking cessation support that can reach smokers who are unwilling or unable to access face-to-face sessions or telephone support (>90% of smokers). There is also a need to develop an incremental technology of behaviour change. The internet could meet both those needs. The proposal is to develop an interactive internet-based smoking cessation programme and evaluate its effectiveness, attractiveness and usability in comparison with a simple system that delivers untailored smoking cessation advice. If effective, this system would form a module for the NHS LifeCheck programme and the NHS Health Trainers Programme.

The proposed research addresses how smokers can be better assisted in their attempts to stop. It aims to:

  1. To develop an effective interactive internet-based smoking cessation programme for use in the UK that will have wide potential reach by virtue of being attractive and easy to use and that will, in particular, meet the needs of smokers from routine and manual occupational groups.

  2. To obtain reliable estimates of the effectiveness of this programme compared with a simpler internet-based programme that presents advice and tips on quitting but is not interactive.


Linking for Learning (October 1999-September 2000)

In the Linking for Learning project . My responsibility in this large European project, was to develop and investigate novel linking mechanisms to aid dissemination of information, via a web site, concerned with advising people on life-long learning opportunities in the peninsula (Somerset, Devon and Cornwall). In addition I sit on the project’s Information and Communication Technology steering group.


LifeGuide April 2008- March 2011)

Co-Investigator,  ESRC 800k FEC

Interventions designed to influence people's behaviour ('behavioural interventions') are a fundamental part of daily life, whether in the form of personal advice, support and skills-training from professionals (e.g. educators, doctors) or general information disseminated through the media. However, personal advice and support are very costly, and it is impossible to provide everyone with 24 hour access to personal guidance on managing all their problems. General information provided through the media may not be seen as relevant to the particular problems of individuals, and provides no support to help people make desired changes to their behaviour. For the first time, the internet provides a cost-effective opportunity to provide open 24 hour access to extensive information and advice on any problem. Interactive technology means that the advice can now be specifically 'tailored' to address the particular situation, concerns, beliefs and preferences of each individual, and intensive daily support can be provided for behaviour change in the form of reminders, personalised feedback regarding progress and overcoming obstacles, help with planning, and opportunities for communication with peers.
In view of this huge potential, internet-based behavioural interventions are starting to be developed in the public and private sector. However, currently each intervention is programmed from scratch individually, with the result that the initial development costs are greater for internet-based than for traditionally delivered interventions, and once programmed they cannot easily be modified. This seriously limits the number of interventions that can be developed and evaluated, and acts as a barrier to innovation and enhancement of interventions by researchers.
The aim of this project is to develop, evaluate and disseminate an internet-based set of resources (the BI-Grid / Behavioural Intervention Grid) that will allow researchers to flexibly create and modify two fundamental dimensions of behavioural interventions: a) providing tailored advice; b) supporting sustained behaviour. The BI-Grid will eliminate the costly waste of resources involved in programming every intervention individually, and will allow researchers to easily test components of interventions and immediately modify and improve the interventions based on their findings. The BI-Grid will increase the number of researchers who can engage in this type of research, opening it up to those with limited funding (e.g. junior researchers and research students). The practical benefit will be more rapid development of better interventions, while the scientific benefit will be a much faster accumulation of knowledge about the effects of different elements of interventions than at present, which will improve our basic understanding of the influences on behaviour.
In this project social scientists and computer scientists will work closely together to develop the software needed, using extensive consultation through workshops and the internet to obtain researchers' views of how to make the BI-Grid fit for all requirements. We will test and demonstrate the value of the BI-Grid by involving a network of researchers in collaboratively applying it to two very different problems that have relevance to everyone. First, we will evaluate how effectively the BI-Grid can be used to provide people suffering from colds and 'flu with tailored advice that enables them to cope with their symptoms without consulting their GP. Second, we will evaluate how effectively the BI-Grid can provide support to increase physical activity over a sustained period. We will interview 48 users to gain insights into how their experiences of using the BI-Grid can be improved, and will use the BI-Grid to collect detailed data on the use of the interventions by over 3000 people, enabling us to carry out powerful analyses of which ingredients of each intervention work best for whom, in what circumstances.




MS Fatigue Website (April 2008- December 2008)

Co-Investigator,  MS Society  40k

Fatigue is a common, distressing and disabling symptom associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). Up to 97% of people with MS experience fatigue as part of their illness. We have recently completed a 3 year randomised controlled trial using 8 sessions of manualised cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to treat fatigue in MS. The treatment appeared to be very effective. At 6 months post treatment, not only had fatigue substantially reduced, but people with MS reported levels of fatigue that were significantly lower than those of a matched healthy, non-fatigued comparison group. However, a limitation of this therapy package is that skilled CBT therapists are not available to many people with MS due to lack of available resources and difficulty of access. There is now a growing body of literature demonstrating that internet delivered CBT together with minimal therapist time (around a 100 minutes of either face-to-face, telephone or email contact) can be as effective as CBT where people meet with a therapist for weekly or fortnightly sessions. The purpose of this innovation grant is to develop and pilot an Internet based version of this CBT package, which if shown to be successful has the potential to be rolled out across the UK as an approach for people with MS to manage and treat their fatigue. The study will incorporate a collaborative approach between health and clinical psychologists, people with MS, information technologists and a health economist.



Placement Learning and Assessment Toolkit (m-Plat) (September 2006 - August 2008)

Co-investigator JISC  Funded


Practice based learning and the mentoring process would be improved with tools which allowed on-the spot entry of results of assessments, such that feedback was given and follow-up actions were decided immediately. The project aims to provide a mobile learning toolkit to support practice based learning, mentoring, and assessment, and to add mobile assessment tools to the E-framework. The project will develop a ‘back office’ infrastructure to support the deployment of the proposed toolkit and two selected tools.
Phase 1 development comprises toolkit analysis, design, and implementation, followed by pilot and evaluation within a simulated environment based in the School of Nursing and Midwifery. Phases 2 and 3 involve the application and implementation of the toolkit within real clinical contexts associated with the University of Southampton Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care located within the Health Care Innovation Unit, Thames Valley University, and Bournemouth and Poole College. Phase 3 is funded entirely by the partner institutions, following the first two years which are partially JISC-funded.


Primit: A Primary care trial of an Infection control website to Modify Influenza-like illness (ILI) and RTI Transmission

Co-investigator, MRC funded.

Aims: This programme will address the public health need

  1. too  provide evidence for more rationally targeting antibiotics to those most likely to benefit

  2. to develop better antibiotic and non-antibiotic strategies.

Background: Acute infections are the commonest conditions managed in primary care, and most people still receive an antibiotic despite limited evidence for their effectiveness. The overuse of antibiotics creates a major threat to the public health - antibiotic resistance. To move patient care forward we need to

  1. understand which patients are likely to suffer adversely when antibiotics are not given

  2. assess the impact of infections and their treatment on quality of life

  3. assess the effectiveness of alternative antibiotic prescribing strategies and non antibiotic approaches,

  4. develop easily accessible information for patients.


Rendering and Response processing services for QTIv2 questions. (October 1999-September 2000)

Principal investigator JISC  Funded


The R2Q2  aims to produce a complete engine to  render and respond to all QTIv2 question types. The engine will be wrapped in a Web service so that it can integrate easily into the JISC e-Framework.


Remora: mobile applications to support the training of social workers in the wild (November 2007-April 2009)

Co-Investigator, JISC funded

In common with many other professions, the training of social workers requires students to be placed in social work settings and to undergo assessment in the workplace. Trainee social workers, in England (those on an accredited social work degree (ug or pg)) must successfully complete 200 days in a practice setting. Currently the social work professional bodies indicate there is a lack of e-learning support for all stakeholders involved in the placement assessment process.

This project aims to provide mobile software toolkits to support work-based learning and assessment for social workers. A user centred design approach will be used to work closely with stakeholders to ensure that the applications we develop are based on actual needs. The mobile application architecture will be adapted from lessons learnt from the MPLAT project. It is envisaged that two applications will be developed. These applications will be subject to an extensive evaluation of their use by our partner social work delivery institution. Development and evaluation of the mobile applications will be done during the funding period. The outcomes will continue to be supported and further enhanced for a further 12 months. The dissemination of the outcomes will be accomplished in partnership with our supporting social work professional bodies.


REST Services for Resource Submission and Distribution to Peer Review Groups (PeerPigeon) ( January  2005-July  2007)

Co-investigator JISC  Funded

The e-Framework Reference Model for Assessment (FREMA) project has developed two Service Usage Models (SUMs).  Summative On-line Assessment has many existing tools within this space, while Peer Review is a less well supported area.  A distinction may be made between Peer Review, the marking of a student’s work by their peers, and Peer Assessment, the marking of collaborative group work by a tutor (which may be modified by peer reflection).  Peer Assessment is currently being investigated by the JISC funded WebPA project.  Peer Review is an important tool for giving feedback to large student cohorts when tutor time is limited, and is also an important learning activity in its own right.  This project will undertake the development of an initial set of services from the Peer Review FREMA use-case, providing lightweight REST services, which may be reused within other group-oriented SUMs, to support the resource submission and distribution phases of Peer Review.  Development will use the same agile methodology that the FREMA and R2Q2 projects have already used to successfully create SOAP services.  The aims of the project are to:


Turin Archive (October 1999-September 2000)

I was also responsible for developing and implementing a strategy for capturing information from the Turin Archive (co- sponsored by the IEE and BCS). Then, with colleagues developed a website ( ) that will be used by researchers and the public.

Hall W, Hughes GV, Martinez K, Weal MJ, Wills GB. Digitising the Turing Archive: A Pilot Study. IAM Research Group Technical report No IAM00-2 March 2000 ISBN:- 085432714-2

Wills GB, Hughes GV, Martinez K, Hall W. Practical Aspects of Capturing the Turing Archive. Multimedia Research Group Technical report No M99-7 December 1999 ISBN:- 0854327053


WiCK: Writing in the Context of Knowledge (October 2002-September 2004)

Organisations have invested considerable resources in developing intranets that attempt to capture aspects of  corporate knowledge. When writing new documents, trying to find and reuse the intrinsic knowledge held in other documents amongst an ever-rising mountain of documentation, is at best impractical. The aim of the WiCK project is therefore, to produce a novel writing tool, which is underpinned by an enhanced knowledge structure and hypermedia design model. As a result we aim to help authors improve the coherence and consistency of documents they are creating by helping to assimilate key knowledge in each new document.

EPSRC GR/R91021/01


Selected Papers

  1. Carr, L., Miles-Board, T., Wills, G., Power, G., Bailey, C., Hall, W. and Grange, S. (2004) Extending the Role of Digital Library: Computer Support for Creating Articles. In Proceedings of The Fifteenth ACM Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA.

  2. Miles-Board, T., Carr, L., Woukeu, A., Wills, G. and Hall, W. (2004) Towards Semantic Web Support for Writing Project Proposals. Submitted to The Fourteenth International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2005) , Chiba, Japan.
  3. Woukeu, A., Carr, L. and Hall, W. (2004) WiCKEd: A Tool for Writing in the Context of Knowledge. In Proceedings of Hypertext 2004 - Fifteenth ACM Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia (in press) , University of California, Santa Cruz, USA.
  4. Wills, G., Woukeu, A., Carr, L. and Hall, W. (2003) The Need for Deeper Design in a Semantic Web.. In Proceedings of HTSW2003 - First International Workshop on Hypermedia and the Semantic Web, at HT03 , Nottingham, UK.
  5. Arouna Woukeu, Leslie Carr, Gary Wills, Wendy Hall. (July 2003) Rethinking Web Design Models: Requirements for Addressing the Content. Technical Report No: ECSTR-IAM03 -002, IAM Group, Department of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton. ISBN: 0854327940


Virtual European Orthopaedic University (October 2001 - September 2002)

I was the local project manager on the Virtual European Orthopaedic University (VEOU) project, was an EU funded project. A UK version of the site is here (log-on required to see all features). I was involved in a number of work packages: Multimedia Handbooks for Surgeons; Educational Strategy; Dynamic Review Journal. The following selected papers give an insight to the different themes of the project:


Conole G, Wills G, Carr L, Vadcard L, Hall W, Grange S. (2003) Building a Virtual University for Orthopaedics. Ed-Media,  Hawaii 23-28 June 2003

Grange S, Wills GB, Humphrey N, Burrill J, Bunker T, De Roure D (2003) Integrating surgical training video simulation into the Virtual Orthopaedic University.  3rd Annual Meeting of the International Society for Computer Assisted Surgery (CAOS International). Marbella, Spain June 18-21, pp 124 - 125

Ontological leaning agreements:

Wills, G., Woukeu, A., Bailey, C., Ong, A., Carr, L., Conole, G., Hall, W. and Grange, S. (2004) Ontological Driven Learning Agreements. In Proceedings of EDMEDIA 2004 - World Conference on Education Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications , Lugano, Switzerland.

The Dynamic Review Journal

Carr, L., Miles-Board, T., Wills, G., Power, G., Bailey, C., Hall, W. and Grange, S. (2004) Evolving a Digital Library Environment to the Changing Needs of its Users. In Proceedings of Healthcare Digital Libraries Workshop 2004 (HDL 2004), University of Bath, Bath, UK.

Carr, L., Miles-Board, T., Wills, G., Power, G., Bailey, C., Hall, W. and Grange, S. (2004) Extending the Role of Digital Library: Computer Support for Creating Articles. In Proceedings of The Fifteenth ACM Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia , University of California, Santa Cruz, USA.

Grange S, Wills GB, Power G, Miles Board T, Carr L, Hall W (2003) Building a dynamic review journal (DRJ) – Extending the role of the Virtual Orthopaedic University. 3rd Annual Meeting of the International Society for Computer Assisted Surgery (CAOS International). Marbella, Spain June 18-21, pp 122-123.

Leslie Carr, Gary Wills, Timothy Miles-Board, Guillermo Power, Christopher Bailey, Wendy Hall, and Simon Grange. (2003) The Dynamic Review Journal: Support for Creating and Using the Literature. 1st International Workshop on Scholarly Hypertext, Fourteenth Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia Nottingham, UK, August 26, 2003


Virtual Research Integration Collaboration (VRIC)   (July 2009 -December 2011)

Principal Investigator: JISC  Funded

The aim of the project is to build a framework for the integration of basic science and clinical research to manage research lifecycles and allow for integration of scientific approaches throughout these lifecycles into the everyday work practice of the consortia that manage translational clinical research.

The project will take the CORE VRE and embed it into a National centre for surgical excellence, the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH). The VRE will integrate both with the institutional systems and research life cycle, and with the national systems such as the National Health Service (NHS). It is our aim to integrate the CORE VRE with myExperiment to provide a set of services at RNOH to cover the four main areas of the research cycle, namely: the monitoring and governance of trials (experiment research administration); the trial protocols (experiment workflows); the publishing, dissemination and discussion on the results of trials in a repository; and the discovery of information from the repository and other resources.

For this community, there are three tightly coupled areas of focus: research, clinical practice, and education (in the form of continuing professional development and training of the next generation of surgeons). In this project, our user community will be heavily involved in co-designing and codeployment of the tool set, and in particular the front end of the workbench will be user focused.

The tools will need to be available to staff anywhere with the organisation, as clinicians need to be able to enter the data during clinics and directors of research need to be able to monitor the trials. This will bring with it a number of inter-operability issues, as we move data between the VRE, the hospital systems (NHS) and the institutional systems.

To aid the understanding of the how the system will be used, we outline a typical ‘research cycle’ that includes the practice of a clinical specialist in orthopaedics (who may also be a Higher surgical trainee) and a basic scientist. The purpose of this is to identify time essential information provision and interaction with pervasive technologies. For new researchers one of the most difficult tasks is to learn good practice or find related experiments to learn how to instantiate the protocols; in many organisations it is often easier to repeat an experiment than to find the results of a similar previous experiment. In this abstracted model of the research lifecycle, we have split up the cycle into four main research activities. In each of these activities the different issues and stakeholders are addressed.
The wider community nationally is represented by the Musculoskeletal network of Greater London, NHS, e-science, Surgical and VRE communities. It is through the Musculoskeletal network of Greater London that we will be able to co-ordinate knowledge and demonstrations to advise the community and for continuity. This project will impact on the wider academic community in the UK, initially through dissemination via organisations such as BriteNet (Tissue Engineering), The British Orthopaedic Association, British Orthopaedic Research Society, and the British Elbow and Shoulder Society as the groups tied into the consortia development.



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