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Mrs Lesley Boyd

MSc MRes PG Cert ODE (Open)

Profile summary

Professional biography

I am a PhD researcher and mature student, based in the WELS Faculty and the Institute of Educational Technology (IET). I passed my viva in March 2022 and am submitting minor corrections.  The examiners commented that it was an impressive thesis and a very impressive viva, and recognised as an ambitious and complex project. My research focuses on the collaborative use of technology for organisational learning, and how learning networks can be implemented to generate practical organisational improvement outcomes.

I graduated with a second Masters in Research Skills (MRes) at the OU in 2017. My first Masters, in Business Management Systems (a type of 'systems' MBA), was from Warwick Business School in 1993. This postgraduate qualification enabled me to adopt a strategic and systemic approach to my own brand of quality assurance, improvement and enhancement consultancy work.

I have worked as an independent consultant since 1992, based both in the UK and South Africa. I specialise in supporting professional individuals and teams to collaborate together to understand, evaluate and improve whatever it is they are doing, especially across different boundaries and contexts. In 2009, I joined the first cohort of the IET Masters in Online and Distance Education H800 module, whilst based in Johannesburg. I achieved a Postgraduate Certificate in Technology Enhanced Learning, and in doing so was able to apply TEL to my specialised professional expertise in collaborative quality improvement and enhancement. 

I have implemented quality management systems in a wide variety of public and private sector service organisations, including local government, commercial IT training, air travel, and Higher Education. 

Research interests

My research focuses on how technology-enabled learning networks can be used to achieve practical improvement outcomes amongst disparate and geographically separated practitioners. It is situated within a challenging Higher Education learning design and delivery scenario in my own institition at the UK Open University, and takes a collaborative and equitable insider action research approach. The research both enacted and conceptualised a Pragmatic inquiry process, and successfully demonstrated a series of measurable impacts within a live OU module. The new conceptual framework is entitled ULTIMATE - Using Learning Technology in Making Action-based Transformative Enhancements. 

ULTIMATE provides an enacting framework for a type of structured, flexible and recoverable collaborative action research process which can be used by practitioners and be systematically and rigorously extended to other contexts. A successful ULTIMATE learning network will consist of learning technology infrastructure integrated with this action research process, and with engaged individual participation based on problem-solving role or interest. Together, they provide a means for a profound shift in the way that disparate practitioners and stakeholders can share their experiences, mutually transform, and address complex fragmented practical challenges in HE and beyond. 

Teaching interests

I do not teach academically but focus on faciliating and empowering groups of disparate, and possibly geographically separated, practitioners to combine their professional experience and judgement and to use supporting data, in helping to solve complex and fragmented practical challenges in Higher Education and beyond.  

Impact and engagement

During my PhD I proposed and achieved funding for an OU internally funded scholarship project from eSTEeM: the OU Centre for STEM pedagogy This project provided the infrastructure support and funding for the research, which I carried out as co-leader in conjunction with the OU module chair. The Executive Summary, Final Report and Related Resources including the ULTIMATE framework that I concepualised for the PhD, can all be found on our eSTEeM project page. The Final Report includes an evaluation of the impacts of the project and an assessment against the Impact Evaluation Framework (IEF) provided by Minocha (2021) within the recently launched Badged Open Course on Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in STEM. The entire project has demonstrated significant impact within the module, achieved improvements to the student experience, and a mechanism to allow for timely evidenced actions to benefit students. It provides one way to harness the joint expertise and experience of remote tutors, module teams and the Learning Design unit, to develop a joint understanding of teaching and learning design challenges, and to put tutors as close as possible to the development of solutions.


Using Technology-Enabled Learning Networks to Drive Module Improvements in the UK Open University (2019)
Boyd, Lesley
Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2019, Article 16(1)

Caught in the web of quality (2005-05)
Fresen, Jill W. and Boyd, Lesley G.
International Journal of Educational Development, 25(3) (pp. 317-331)

An Integrated Management Approach in a Higher Education Technology Support Unit (2013)
Boyd, Lesley G. and Fresen, Jill W.
In: Benson, Angela D.; Moore, Joi L. and Williams van Rooj, Sharon eds. Cases on Educational Technology Planning, Design, and Implementation (pp. 206-228)
Publisher : IGI Global