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Aidan Johnston


  • 70 Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow Caledonian University

    G4 0BA Glasgow

    United Kingdom

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Personal profile

Research interests

Aidan commenced working at Glasgow Caledonian University in 2002 as an educational technologist on a seven year JISC, National Science Foundation (NSF) and BBC information and Archives funded project “Digital libraries in the Classroom: The Spoken Word project”. This project investigated the use and application of BBC audio and video archive materials for teaching and learning purposes and explored the notion of students “writing on and for the internet”. 

His research interests centre around the enhancement of online courses to support learning and teaching, in particular:

  • Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
  • Vidcasting to support student learning
  • Designing and delivering online and blended learning courses at scale
  • Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs)

As a Learning Enhancement Advisor at the University of Strathclyde, Aidan was responsible for operationally supporting the development and conversion of a range of existing courses, and the development of new courses, for online and blended learning. Aidan provided expert advice to enhance teaching, learning and assessment through the utilisation of learning technologies including online platforms such as FutureLearn, the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform which is a private company funded by the Open University and Moodle, the institutional Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Aidan has developed nine award winning MOOCs covering socially diverse topics ranging from “Introduction to Forensic Science” to “Caring for Vulnerable Children” and “Understanding Violence Against Women: Myths and Realities” with a combined enrolment of over 350,000 participants worldwide. 

He has vast experience and knowledge in Virtual Learning Environments (VLE), Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Podcasting, Vidcasting, Mobile Learning, Blended Learning, Blogs, Wikis and utilising Web technologies to support teaching and learning. 

Aidan is a Fellow (FHEA) and an Associate Fellow (AFHEA) of the Higher Education Academy. He holds a BSc (Hons) in Quantity Surveying, a Postgraduate Diploma in eCommerce Technology, a Postgraduate Certificate in Supporting Student Learning and a Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Academic Studies (Academic Practice). 

Education/Academic qualification

University of Strathclyde

5 Jan 201415 Sep 2015

Glasgow Caledonian University

15 Sep 200731 May 2008

Glasgow Caledonian University

25 Sep 200031 May 2001

Glasgow Caledonian University

20 Sep 199631 May 2000

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Research Output 2009 2017

Developing an online course to support student transitions to university

Ramsay, H. & Johnston, A., 6 Jun 2017, p. 1-10. 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Open Access
live program
social learning

Telling 'Billy's story': creating a massive open online course (MOOC) in child and youth care studies

University of Strathclyde, 24 Feb 2016.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

Open Access
distance learning

Tell me a story: developing a MOOC pedagogy

Johnston, A., 7 Mar 2015, INTED 2016 Conference Proceedings . Chova, L. G., López Martínez, A. & Candel Torres, I. (eds.). [Valencia]: International Academy of Technology, Education and Development (IATED), p. 3052-3058 7 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Open Access
161 Downloads (Pure)

Gathering the Voices: disseminating the message of the Holocaust for the digital generation by applying an interdisciplinary approach

Shapiro, A., McDonald, B. & Johnston, A., Aug 2014, In : Social Sciences. 3, 3, p. 499-513

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Towards vidcasts: a case study in the development and use of video podcasts

Shapiro, A. & Johnston, A., 2013, Digital Voices: A Collaborative Exploration of the Recorded Voice in Post-Compulsory Education. Middleton, A. (ed.). Sheffield: Media-Enhanced Learning Special Interest Group and Sheffield Hallam University, p. 144-148 5 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Open Access
university teacher