Allison is Dean for Learning and Teaching in the College of Social Science at the University of Glasgow, UK. She has worked throughout her career in the area of learning innovation, technology, knowledge creation and academic-business partnerships. She works with multinational companies, including Shell, BP International and Conoco-Philips. Allison was Senior Researcher for Royal Dutch Shell in 2008-2010 when she led a university-industry partnership in technology enhanced learning.

Allison’s vision is to bring together ideas from higher education and industry, encouraging cross-sector thinking and working across traditional boundaries between sectors and disciplines to transform the ways professionals learn.

She was previously Professor of Learning Technology  and Academic Director of Digital innovation at the Open University, UK (2015-2019); Professor of Learning Technology and Founding Director of the Caledonian Academy, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK (2006-2015) and Professor of Education at the University of Dundee, uk (2005-2006).

Research interests

Allison’s research is in the area of technology-enhanced professionals learning, or how people use technologies to learn for work. The work spans education and industry, working across the boundaries between sectors and disciplines to transform the ways professionals learn. This research is focused around:

Professional learning, exploring how expertise development can be supported and enhanced by information and communication technologies, including social media.  Contexts for research have ranged from the Energy Sector, Finance Sector and Education Sector. A unique aspect of this research is exploration of learning at the intersection of the individual and the collective.

Organisational learning, analysing tensions between cost-efficiency, effective learning, and continuous innovative practice.  Recent work with Shell and BP examined how group learning can be translated into organisational effectiveness. Research examined how individuals, teams and organisations can learn from incidents to improve health and safety in highly hazardous environments.

This work has generated new knowledge through around 30 projects funded by a range of research councils (eg ESRC), funding councils (eg EU, HEFCE, SFC), higher education organisations (eg JISC, HEA, QAA) and industry partners (eg Shell, Energy Institute, BP).  Ideas have been disseminated through academic publications.  Allison is the founding series editor for the Routledge book series, ‘Connecting with eLearning’ and have Fellowships from the Higher Education Academy (UK), ASCILITE (Australasia) and the Churchill Trust (UK).

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