Dr Niall Winters

Dr. Niall Winters is an Associate Professor of Learning and New Technologies at the Department of Education, University of Oxford and a Fellow of Kellogg College.

He is joint convenor of the Learning and New Technologies Research Group and co-Director of the MSc Education (Learning & Technology), both with Dr Rebecca Eynon. He currently supervises ten DPhil/PhD students.

His main research interest is in understanding how educational interventions can help to address inequality, especially for people who are marginalised, by focussing on how technology can support the strengthening of education and training capacity, particularly in health. More specifically, Niall works to design, develop and evaluate technology enhanced learning (TEL) interventions that support the professional development of learning practitioners, primarily healthcare workers in the Global South and in the UK. He is motivated by the need to improve TEL intervention design to provide new insights into learning practices, in support of equitable access to educational opportunity.

Niall’s research is interdisciplinary in nature. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from Trinity College Dublin and has been a visiting researcher at the Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon and MIT Media Lab Europe. Before joining the Department of Education, Niall was a Reader in Learning Technologies at the UCL (previously London) Knowledge Lab, UCL Institute of Education and Deputy Head of the Department of Culture, Communication and Media.

Dr Winters would welcome informal contacts from prospective doctoral students interested in the following topics:

  • The design and development of mobile-based training interventions for healthcare workers in the Global South (with a specific focus on child development, disability or mental health but other areas would be considered)
  • Evaluating the role of technology for postgraduate medical training in the UK and the Global South
  • The application of theories of social justice in ICT for Development (ICT4D)
  • The role of technology in supporting social inclusion in (in)formal education and training in the UK

Current doctoral students

  • Imogen Casebourne (co-supervised with Susan James Relly)
  • Karim Elmhairy (co-supervised with Rebecca Eynon)
  • Michael Sean Gallagher (co-supervised with John Potter, UCL IOE)
  • Laurenz Langer (co-supervised with Ruth Stewart, UCL IOE/University of Johannesburg)
  • Kinga Petrovai (co-supervised with Gabriel Stylianides)
  • Laura Pinkerton (co-supervised with Rebecca Eynon)
  • Jade Vu Henry (co-supervised with John Potter, UCL IOE)
  • Erin Young (co-supervised with Rebecca Eynon)
  • Ronda Zelezny-Green (co-supervised with Dorothea Kleine, Royal Holloway)

Previous doctoral students

  • Damien Darcy (PhD,  2016) Learning Design in Hybrid Spaces:  Challenges for Teachers and Learners
  • Saima Rana (PhD 2011, co-supervised with Martin Oliver, UCL IOE) ICT and Educational Purpose in the English Secondary School: Using Bell’s Cultural Contradictions to Challenge Techno-economic Justifications of ICT Use
  • Kevin Walker (PhD 2010, co-supervised with Richard Noss, UCL IOE) Designing for meaning making in museums: Visitor-constructed trails using mobile digital technologies
  • Christothea Herodotou (PhD 2009, co-supervised with Maria Kambouri, UCL IOE) Game appropriation: Where does the gamer fit?
  • Esra Wali (PhD 2008, co-supervised with Martin Oliver, UCL IOE) Reinterpreting mobile learning: An activity-theoretic analysis of portable devices in higher education


Niall is currently Principal Investigator (PI) on the:

  • ESRC/DFID-funded project: “The design and evaluation of a mobile learning intervention for the training and supervision of community health workers”. For more details, click here or view the project blog.
  • HEIF-funded project: “The professional development of postgraduate medical trainers’ technology enhanced learning design expertise”.

Previous research projects include:

  • An investigation of mobile learning for formative assessment and reflective practice in postgraduate medical education, HEA, June 2012-May 2013.
  • Peer learning and knowledge sharing for distance learning students using mobile phones, CDE, March 2011 – August 2011.
  • Mobile learning for development, HEIF, September 2009 – July 2010.
  • Mobile phones for development: Supporting veterinary training of distance learners in Tanzania, CDE, July 2009 – August 2010.



  • Co-Editor of The Routledge Handbook of Design in Educational Computing, with R. Luckin, P . Goodyear and B. Grabowski. London: Routledge (2013)
  • Co-Editor of Practical Patterns for Teaching and Learning with Technology, with Y. Mor, S. Warburton and H. Mellor. Rotterdam: Sense Publications (2014)

Book chapters

  • Unterhalter, E, Poole, N, and Winters, N. 2015. Education, information, and knowledge. In: Waage, J and Yap, C. (eds.) Thinking Beyond Sectors for Sustainable Development. Pp. 51–61. London: Ubiquity Press
  • Mayhew, S. H, Unterhalter, E, Poole, N, Dasandi, N, and Winters, N. 2015. Case study on sexual and reproductive health and education: reflections on interlinkage and governance. In: Waage, J and Yap, C. (eds.) inking Beyond Sectors for Sustainable Development. Pp. 89–107. London: Ubiquity Press.
  • Winters, N. (2015) E-Learning for development: the role of the teacher. In Ang Peng Hwa and Robin Mansell (Eds), Encyclopedia of Digital Communication and Society, New York: Wiley
  • Winters, N. (2013) Mobile learning in the majority world: A critique of the GSMA position. In Price, S., Jewitt, C., and Brown, B. (EDs) Sage Handbook of Researching Digital Technologies, London: Sage
  • Winters, N. (2013) An introduction to technology enhanced learning design in postgraduate medical education. In Luckin, R., Goodyear, P., Grabowski, B. and Winters, N. (Eds) Routledge Handbook of Design in Educational Computing, London: Sage
  • Dray, S., Light, A., Evers, V., Dearden, A., Densmore, M., Kam, M., Marsden, G., Ramachandran, D., Sambasivan, N., Smyth, T., van Greunen, D. and Winters, N. (2012) Human Computer Interaction for Development: Changing HCI to Change the World, In J. Jacko, (Ed) The Human-Computer Interaction Handbook: Fundamentals, Evolving Technologies and Emerging Applications, Third Edition, p. 1375-1399.
  • Winters, N., Mor, Y. and Pratt D. (2010) The distributed developmental network – d2n: a social configuration to support design pattern generation, In P. Goodyear & S. Retalis (Eds). Technology enhanced learning: Design Patterns and Pattern Languages. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
  • Pratt, D., Winters, N., Cerulli, M. and Leemkuil, H. (2009) A Patterns Approach to Connecting the Design and Deployment of Mathematical Games and Simulations, In N. Balacheff, S. Ludvigsen, T. de Jong, A. Lazonder, & S. Barnes (Eds) Technology-enhanced learning: Principles and Products (Part IV), p. 215- 232, Springer: Rotterdam
  • Wali, E., Oliver, M. and Winters, N. (2009) Are they doing what they think they’re doing? Tracking and trianguating students’ learning activities and self reports, In Vavoula, G., Pachler, N., & Kukulska-Hulme, A. (Eds.). Researching mobile learning: frameworks, tools and research designs. Oxford: Peter Lang Publishing.
  • Gaspar, J., Winters, N., Grossmann, E and Santos-Victor, J. (2007) Toward Robot Perception through Omnidirectional Vision, Studies in Computational Intelligence (SCI) 70, 223–270. Berlin: Springer.
  • Winters, N. (2006) What is mobile learning?, In M. Sharples (Ed.) Big Issues in Mobile Learning: Report of a workshop by the Kaleidoscope Network of Excellence Mobile Learning Initiative. Nottingham: University of Nottingham.

Journal Articles

  • Oliver, M., Geniets, A., Winters, N., Rega, I. & Mbae, S. (2015) What do Community Health Workers do? A case study of practice within Kenya, Global Health Action, 8: 27168 – http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v8.27168
  • Herodotou, C., Niall Winters, N. and Kambouri, M. (2014) Motivation: The Model of Game Motivation An Iterative, Multidisciplinary Approach to Studying Digital Play, Games and Culture published online 13 November 2014 DOI: 10.1177/1555412014557633
  • Herodotou, C., Kambouri, M. & Winters, N. (2015) Dispelling the myth of the socio-emotionally dissatisfied gamer, Computers in Human Behavior, 32, p. 23-31
  • Underwood, J., Luckin, R. and Winters, N. (2012) Managing resource ecologies for mobile, personal and collaborative self-directed language learning. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 34, 226-229.
  • Herodotou, C., Winters, N. & Kambouri, M. (2012) A motivationally oriented approach to understanding game appropriation. International Journal of Human Computer Interaction, 28 (1), 34-47.
  • Mor, Y., Warburton, S. and Winters, N. (2012) Participatory pattern workshops: a methodology for open learning design inquiry, Research in Learning Technology, 20.
  • Herodotou, C. Kambouri, M. and Winters, N. (2011) The role of trait emotional intelligence in gamers’ preferences for play and frequency of gaming, Computers in Human Behavior, 27(5), 1815-1819.
  • Winters, N. and Toyama, K. (2009) Human-Computer Interaction for Development: Mapping the Terrain, Editorial of Special Issue, Information Technologies and International Development, 5(4), iii-viii Winters, N. & Mor, Y. (2009) Dealing with abstraction: case study generalisation as a method for eliciting design patterns, Computers in Human Behavior, 25(5), 1079-1088.
  • Wali, E., Winters, N. and Oliver, M. (2008) Maintaining, Changing and Crossing Contexts: an Activity Theoretic Reinterpretation of Mobile Learning, Journal of the Association for Learning Technology, 16(1), 41- 57.
  • Winters, N. and Mor, Y. (2008) IDR: a participatory methodology for interdisciplinary design in technology enhanced learning, Computers & Education, 50(2), 579-600.
  • Mor, Y. and Winters, N. (2008) Participatory design in open education: a workshop model for developing a pattern language, Journal of Interactive Media in Education.
  • Mor Y. and Winters, N. (2007) Design approaches in technology enhanced learning, Journal of Interactive Learning Environments, 15(1), 61-75.
  • Winters, N and Santos-Victor, J. (2002) Information Sampling for Vision-based Robot Navigation, In Journal of Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 41(2-3), pages 145-159
  • Gaspar, J., Winters, N. and Santos-Victor (2000) Vision-based Navigation and Environmental Representations with an Omni-directional Camera, IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, Volume 16 Number 6, pages 890 -898

Selected conference proceedings

  • Underwood, J., Luckin, R., & Winters, N. (2014). MALL in the wild: Learners’ designs for scaffolding vocabulary learning trajectories. In S. Jager, L. Bradley, E. J. Meima, & S. Thouësny (Eds), CALL Design: Principles and Practice; Proceedings of the 2014 EUROCALL Conference, Groningen, The Netherlands (pp. 1-7).
  • Langer L, Winters N, Stewart R (2014) ‘Mobile learning for development: Ready to Randomise?’ In Kalz M et al (eds): mLearn 2014, CCIS 479, pp. 156–167. Zurich: Springer International Publishing.
  • Underwood, J., Luckin, R. and Winters, N. (2011) Retelling Stories: Setting Learner Narratives in Resource Ecologies, In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL 2011), Hong Kong: International Society of the Learning Sciences
  • Winters, N., Mbindyo, C. and Matiang’i, M. (2011) The role of mobile learning in applied distance education, In Proceedings ofeLearning Africa 2011, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania
  • Winters, N. (2010) Veterinary training with mobile phones: a case study from Zanzibar, In Proceedings of eLearning Africa 2010, Lusaka, Zambia
  • Winters, N., Short, N., Aanensen, D. and Hagner, A. (2010) Innovations in mobile phone applications for health and education in East Africa, Centre for African Studies, University of Edinburgh Annual Conference 2010: ICT: Africa’s Revolutionary Tools for the 21st Century?
  • Winters, N. (2009) A framework for designing mobile learning experiences, In Proceedings of Online Educa Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  • Wali, E., Winters, N. & Oliver, M. (2009) Are they doing what they think they’re doing? Tracking and trianguating students’ learning activities and self reports, In Vavoula, G., Pachler, N., & Kukulska-Hulme, A. (Eds.). Researching mobile learning: frameworks, tools and research designs. Oxford: Peter Lang Publishing.
  • Wali, E., Winters, N. and Oliver, M. (2008a) Mobile Learning across contexts: Methodological considerations, In Proceedings of Mobile Learning 2008, p. 98-105, Algarve, Portugal.
  • Ananny, M. & Winters, N. (2007) Designing for Development: Understanding the One Laptop Per Child in its Historical Context, In Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development, Bangalore, India.
  • Mor, Y. and Winters, N. (2007) Towards participatory design for m2o, In HCT4D – Designing human centred technologies for the developing world Workshop at HCI2007


  • Power, T., Gater, R., Grant, C. and Winters, N. (2014) Educational Technology Topic Guide, HEART/DFID.
  • Langer, L., Stewart, R. and Winters, N. (2014) The impact of mobile technologies on education in low- and middle-income countries: A mixed-methods systematic review, Panel presentation at the ‘3ie/Asian Development Bank Impact Evaluation Matters Conference’, 3-5 September in Manila, Philippines.
  • Winters, N., Sharples, M., Shuler, C., Vosloo, S. and West, M. (2013) The future of mobile learning: Implications for policymakers and planners. Paris: UNESCO
  • Winters, N., Price, N., Oliver, M. and Pelletier, C. (2012) A scoping exercise to explore the use of Web 2.0 and mobile technologies to support faculty development in postgraduate medical education across LP/LEP networks in London: Final Report, London Deanery.


  • Department staff

College affiliation

  • Kellogg College


  • Associate Professor of Learning and New Technologies

Subject area

  • MSc Education (Learning and Technology)

Research groups

  • Learning and New Technologies

+44 (0)1865 274 007