Dr James Robson

Dr James Robson is a post-doctoral researcher and teaches on the MSc Education (Learning and Technology), with responsibility for Research Methods training.

He helps to co-ordinate the Learning and New Technologies Research Group, leading on communication and social media strategy and is a member of SKOPE.

He also teaches and supervises on the Masters in Learning and Teaching, with responsibility for introducing students to educational research.  He sits on the Oxford University Learning Technologies Advisory Group, which has responsibility for advising on the development and implementation of Oxford University’s Digital Education Strategy.

With the assistance of a Seedcorn Grant from the Department of Education and funding from Culham St Gabriel’s Trust, he convenes the Network for Technology in Schools, which brings together teachers and researchers to discuss issues around technology in schools and share research and practice.

James completed his doctorate at Oxford University, where he undertook a digital ethnography of Teachers’ engagement in online social spaces, focusing particularly on the performance and construction of teachers’ professional identity.  He has spent over a decade working in education and educational technology, with a particular focus on digital resourcing.  He sat on the DfE’s Expert Advisory Group for Religious Education producing curriculum design guidance. He sat on the 2015 National RE Teacher Recruitment Strategy Steering Group as a social media expert and in 2016 he co-wrote national guidance on assessment beyond levels in RE.  

He is a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts where he worked as an educational technology consultant on the RSA research project, Schools with Soul. He is a member of BERA, the Philosophy of Education Society of GB, and the Society for Research in Higher Education.

Follow him on Twitter: @elpug


James has academic interests in educational technology, and the ways in which technology interfaces with: teachers’ professional learning and engagement with research; curriculum design; and widening participation.

Current and recent research projects include:

  • Keep, E., Randhawa, A., & Robson, J., (2017) Understanding the CREATE Framework in Studio Schools. Funded by the Edge Foundation.
  • Oancea, A., Childs, A., Fancourt, N., Robson, J., Thompson, I., & Michie, J., (2017) Evaluation of Wiserd Education. Funded by HEFCW.
  • Mills, D., Oancea, A., & Robson, J., (2017) Harnessing Research on Education in the UK: Analysis of the Educational Research Landscape – impact, environment, staffing, capacity and funding. Funded by the Royal Society and the British Academy.
  • Childs, A., Ertl, H., O’Sullivan, K., Robson, J., & Winters, N. (2016) Understanding the place of Foundation Years for Widening Participation in Elite Institutions. Funded by Oxford University Seedcorn Fund.
  • Robson, J. (2016). Research for RE: a knowledge exchange intervention linking teachers with relevant research and researchers. Association of Church College Trusts.
  • Robson, J. (2016) Understanding how and why senior leaders make decisions about technological infrastructure in schools. Funded by Oxford University Small Grants Fund.

Book chapters

  • Robson, J (2017) “Participant Anonymity vs Participant Observations: situating the researcher within digital ethnography”, In: M Zimmer, K Kinder-Kurlanda (eds.) Internet Research Ethics for the Social Age: New Cases and Challenges. Oxford: Peter Lang.

  • Robson, J (2017) “Online Networking: the future of RE Teacher CPD?”, In: M Chater, M Castelli (eds.) We Need to Talk About RE. London: Jessica Kingsley.

Conference papers

  • Robson, J Teachers’ Peer-to-peer Online Engagement: a critical look at the structures embedded in online social space. (Oxford)

  • Robson, J Technology and Innovation in Education: a critique of the discourses that dominate the field. (Reading)

  • Robson, J Politics, Performance and Participation: a digital ethnography of Religious Education Teachers’ Engagement in Online Social Spaces. (University of Oxford)

Journal articles

  • O Sullivan, K, Robson, J, Winters, N (2018) “‘I feel like I have a disadvantage’: how socio-economically disadvantaged students make the decision to study at a prestigious university”, Studies in Higher Education. 1-15.
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2018.1460591

  • Robson, J (2018) “Performance, structure and ideal identity: Reconceptualising teachers' engagement in online social spaces”, BRITISH JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY. 49(3) 439-450.
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12551

  • Robson, J (2017) “A Strategic Approach to Research in RE.”, RE Today: Professional Reflection.

  • Robson, J (2016) “Engagement in structured social space: an investigation of teachers' online peer-to-peer interaction”, LEARNING MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY. 41(1) 119-139.
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2015.1102743

  • Moulin, D, Robson, J (2012) “Doing God in a liberal democracy”, OXFORD REVIEW OF EDUCATION. 38(5) 539-550.
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/03054985.2012.722863

Internet publication

  • Robson, J, O'Sullivan, K, Winters, N (2017) Black students on going to Oxbridge: ‘it’s not even asked or pushed for, it’s just assumed no one is applying’. The Conversation.

  • Robson, J (2017) Reconceptualising the place of non-religious worldviews in RE: moving beyond dichotomous thinking. RE Matters.

  • Robson, J (2016) Research in Religious Education: What is it, who should do it, and how should it be shared?. RE Matters.

  • Robson, J (2016) What are the big ideas in Religious Education?. RE Matters.

  • Robson, J (2015) Epistemic Change in RE: how we got here and where we’re going. RE:Online.

  • Robson, J (2012) Fear and the Internet. Oxford Ed Tech.


  • Robson, J Being a Teacher in the Digital Age: a report on teachers’ professional engagement in online social spaces, Briefing paper for the DfE.

  • Robson, J Oancea, A., Fancourt, N., Robson, J., Thompson, I., Childs, A., (2017) Evaluation of WISERDEducation: Report for HEFCW. Cardiff: HEFCW.

  • Robson, J Mills, D., Oancea, A. and Robson, J. (2017) Harnessing Research on Education in the UK. Report to the Royal Society and British Academy Joint Enquiry on Educational Research. London: Royal Society / British Academy.


  • Department staff


  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Subject area

  • MSc Education (Learning and Technology)
  • MSc Learning and Teaching

Research groups

  • Learning and New Technologies
  • Philosophy, Religion and Education

01865 612036

Publications, books and other work