6: Advanced Area

This part of my CMALT portfolio provides critical evidence of my ability to lead, take decisions, strategise and contribute new research as a Learning Technology professional. This advanced area provides reflection on the wider impact of my work, within my institution and the wider sector, both nationally and globally.

There are two key areas that I will focus upon in this section:

  1. The impact of my research in Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) that spans 45 journal articles, 29 book chapters, and over 120 peer-reviewed conference presentations and proceedings.
  2. My leadership in the development of the Scholarship Of Technology Enhanced Learning (SOTEL) research and practice communities, as evidenced by:
    1. Establishment of the SOTEL Research Cluster http://sotel.nz
    2. Development and facilitation of the CMALT cMOOC http://cmaltcmooc.wordpress.com
    3. Establishment and coordination of the ASCILITE Mobile Learning Special Interest Group http://ascilitemlsig.wordpress.com
    4. Associate Editorship of AJET
    5. Editorial board membership of BJET, RLT,  IJMBL, and EDeR
    6. Facilitation of Communities of Practice in multiple HE discipline contexts
    7. Leadership of the MESH360 collaborative research team that won the Auckland University of Technology Vice Chancellor’s 2018 Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning.


1. Research Impact

My peer-reviewed research portfolio spans 43 journal articles (29 since 2012), 29 book chapters (23 since 2012), and over 130 conference proceedings (http://goo.gl/maps/YxkYP). I am an AJET Associate Editor, and editor of a recent special issue on mobile augmented and virtual reality:


I am an editorial board member of BJET, RLT, EdeR, and IJMBL. I am an active journal reviewer and in the 86th percentile of Publons users https://publons.com/author/1391664/thomas-cochrane#stats. I rank highly in research networks such as ResearchGate, Academia.edu, and Mendeley, and curate these on my ORCID profile https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0192-6118. I am in the top 20% of researchers on ResearchGate, and regularly in the top 2-5% of Academia.edu researchers. My Google Scholar impact includes over 2000 citations (1556 since 2012), h-index 20 (17 since 2012), i10-index of 45 (36 since 2012). I am in the top 50 cited researchers at Auckland University of Technology, and in the top 40 mobile learning cited researchers globally (Google Scholar metrics).

I have facilitated several national and international collaborative research networks that have embedded the scholarship of technology enhanced learning, including: iCollab https://icollab.wordpress.com, MoCo360 http://moco360.wordpress.com, Mosomelt http://mosomelt.wordpress.com, NPF14LMD (http://mobilelearners.nz), and the CMALT cMOOC http://cmaltcmooc.wordpress.com. These networks have included participants from New Zealand, Australia, Columbia, Germany, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

I was invited to work with Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) for two months (October-November) during my sabbatical in 2017 to establish CMALT professional development Communities Of Practice at NMIT.

I am currently mentoring the development of an interdisciplinary health team project, MESH360 that involves the intersection between Paramedicine, Nursing and Physiotherapy (Cochrane et al., 2017). The project aims to create prototypes of innovative pedagogical practice integrating the use of mobile virtual reality to enable authentic health simulation and interdisciplinary collaboration between health teams as a model for redesigning curriculum assessments around student-generated health team projects (https://meshvr.wordpress.com/about/).

Four examples of high impact research outputs:

Cochrane, T. (2014). Critical success factors for transforming pedagogy with mobile Web 2.0. British Journal of Educational Technology, 45(1), 65-82. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2012.01384.x

This article is in the A-rated journal BJET, ranked second highest journal in educational technology by Google Scholar. The article is currently the 12th highest cited article and the only article from 2014 in the top 20 cited articles of BJET since 2011.

The impact is evidenced by 115 citations (Google Scholar), 34 WOS, and 45 SCOPUS. The article is in the top 5% of Altmetric scores (https://wiley.altmetric.com/details/1130223) indicating a high impact on academic research networks. With 155 reads on ResearchGate, and with 281 reads on Academia.edu it is in the top 2% of scholarly articles shared on these networks.

The article builds upon my earlier highly cited outputs from my PhD research, and has informed subsequent broader research within the scholarship of technology enhanced learning in higher education. The article is particularly significant within the relatively new field of mobile learning research, providing a framework for further research.


Cochrane, T., Antonczak, L., Keegan, H., & Narayan, V. (2014). Riding the wave of BYOD: developing a framework for creative pedagogies. Research in Learning Technology, 22(Special Issue – Riding Giants: How to innovate and educate ahead of the wave). doi:10.3402/rlt.v22.24637

I was the main author and researcher, and article editor. The co authors of the paper were the main international collaboration partners in the project. The article theorises a framework for creative pedagogies based upon the critique of an international collaborative project exploring innovative pedagogical strategies. Thus the article links my research to the global Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) community. The article is published in the scholarly open access journal of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT): Research in Learning Technology (RLT). The impact is evidenced by 31 citations (Google Scholar), and 14 SCOPUS. The article is in the top 5% of Altmetric scores (https://www.altmetric.com/details/2634441), and has received 324 reads on the publishers site, 168 reads on ResearchGate and 22 reads on Academia.edu. It is one of 6 articles I have published in RLT since 2012. Formerly ALT-J (an a-rated journal) the RLT journal went open access in 2012 and is rapidly regaining an A-rating, making it one of the more important journals in TEL.


Cochrane, T., & Rhodes, D. (2013). iArchi[tech]ture: Developing a mobile social media framework for pedagogical transformation. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 29(3), 372-386.

I was the main author, researcher, and editor of the article. The research followed on from my PhD research that was completed in 2011. This article built upon two earlier peer-reviewed conference proceedings in which I mentored the co-authors into the field of technology enhanced learning research.

The article explores the authentic use of technology to enable new pedagogical strategies that are student-centred, and proposes a transferable framework that has subsequently been implemented in multiple higher education contexts. The article is an example of my collaborative and mentoring approach to developing the scholarship of technology enhanced learning with my colleagues as co-researchers and co-authors. The article is in an a-rated open access journal AJET, and has received 14 citations (Google Scholar), with a WOS and SCOPUS score of 5 and 9 respectively, and 130 reads on ResearchGate. AJET is the #9 ranked educational technology journal by Google Scholar. The article builds upon my research previously published in 3 earlier AJET articles, 2009 -2010, and leads into 3 AJET articles published in 2017. The framework has been developed and applied to several different discipline contexts, and contributes significantly to research exploring heutagogy, or self-determined learning.


Cochrane, T., Narayan, V., & Oldfield, J. (2013). iPadagogy: Appropriating the ipad within pedagogical contexts. International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation, 7(1), 48-65. doi:10.1504/IJMLO.2013.051573

I was the main author of the article, and mentor of the two contributing PhD student authors, for one of whom I was the secondary supervisor.

This article is one of the first academic articles exploring and critiquing the use of iPads within higher education, going beyond the initial hype to provide case studies of empirical evidence. The article is significant within the body of mobile learning research, informing many subsequent research projects globally, as evidenced by Google Scholar that reports 80 citations of the article to date. The impact is also evidenced by 25 SCOPUS citations. The article continues to receive significant attention, and has received over 1113 reads and 35 citations on ResearchGate, and over 16 reads on Academia.edu. The journal is one of a select few academic journals dedicated to the field of mobile learning research. The article was built upon by subsequent research and publications, involving further mentoring of the co-authors, including publishing a Routledge book chapter in 2015. It contributed to the further development of a framework for creative pedagogies.


2. Leadership

I am leading the team establishing a research cluster exploring the Scholarship of Technology Enhanced Learning (SoTEL) http://sotel.nz. The SoTEL research cluster is coordinated by myself and my colleague Dr Vickel Narayan, and builds upon our experiences of facilitating a two year funded project that linked six higher education institutions across New Zealand into a collaborative network #NPF14LMD (Cochrane & Narayan, 2018). The aim of the SoTEL research cluster is to utilise Design Based Research (DBR) to critically explore the impact of new technologies upon teaching and learning (McKenney & Reeves, 2012), underpinned by an updated version of Boyer’s (1990) concept of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) as defined by Haynes (2016). The SoTEL research cluster was officially launched alongside AUT’s inaugural SoTEL Symposium 15-16 February 2018. The SOTEL Symposium was attended by over 70 participants from across New Zealand, with one participant from Singapore, and two invited speakers from Australia.


The SoTEL research cluster aims to provide PhD supervision expertise, flexible avenues for professional development and global networking via cMOOC participation and CMALT accreditation (Certified Member of the Association for Learning Technology), support for establishing SoTEL research clusters throughout the University, and showcasing of innovative collaborative research informed practice through the annual SoTEL Symposium. The research cluster brokers active participation within international TEL (Technology Enhanced Learning) networks such as ALT and ASCILITE, and the ASCILITE Mobile Learning Special Interest Group (http://ascilitemlsig.wordpress.com). Participation in the SOTEL research cluster is open to anyone who shares a similar vision.

The SoTEL research cluster uses an ecology of resources model to support the activity of the cluster, this includes a range of social media tools for building individual portfolios, community, collaboration, and communication, using a common hashtag (#SoTELNZ), through a cluster hub at http://sotel.nz, from which our activities such as the CMALT cMOOC can be accessed (#cmaltcmooc).

The SoTEL research cluster currently supports a variety of research clusters across Auckland University of Technology and a growing network of higher education institutions across New Zealand. The current list of SOTEL research cluster groups can be found at http://sotel.nz/groups/. Examples of SoTEL research cluster outputs:


The SoTEL research cluster embeds the scholarship of technology enhanced learning within every project. We specialise in collaborative curriculum design, with a wide cohort of collaborators across Auckland University of Technology and internationally. I have collaborated with over 100 academics (http://sotel.nz/research-outputs/), and these are illustrated by a map of conference proceeding outputs with collaborating authors (http://sotel.nz/research-outputs/conference-proceedings/).


The SoTEL research cluster supports lecturers and educational technologists to gain CMALT accreditation (Certified Member of the Association for Learning Technology). CMALT accreditation recognises sustained critical engagement with learning technology that impacts teaching practice and supports this through active membership of the ALT and ASCILITE international communities. The SOTEL research cluster provides opportunities for participants to develop portfolios of evidence for CMALT accreditation, including participation in two cMOOCs:


A key strategy of the SOTEL research cluster network is to model the use of the mobile social media tools in the facilitation of the research cluster network, and create an environment that can facilitate sharing of ideas and practice across the geographically disperse participants. We based the design of the #SOTELNZ social network around the concepts of social constructivism (Vygotsky, 1978), nurturing communities of practice (Wenger, 1998; Wenger, McDermott, & Snyder, 2002; Wenger, White, & Smith, 2009), connectivism (Siemens, 2004), and rhizomatic learning (Cormier, 2008). The #SOTELNZ network connects teams of researchers and practitioners across institutions nationally and internationally. Cormier’s concept of rhizomatic learning decentralises learning environments and refocuses the role of the teacher from deliverer of content to a designer of an ecology of resources and triggering events that enable learner discussion and creativity. The choices of the elements of this collage of mobile social media was based upon what we believed to be best practice at the time of the development of the research network and will change over time in response to the development of new network technologies and platforms. Each element of the ecology of resources was chosen based upon its ability to integrate within and support our core network activities. Each element of the ecology of resources enables sharing and collaboration of user-generated content, forming a sustainable ecosystem to facilitate and nurture the collaborative network with minimum external technology support required. Through the implementation of this ecology of resources we aim to model the concepts of social constructivism, nurturing communities of practice through connectivism and rhizomatic learning within the #SOTELNZ collaborative research network. There are six main elements of an ecology of resources to support the project: (1) a community-driven hub and discussion forum (connectivism), (2) collaboration and communication channels (social constructivism), (3) opportunities for sharing practice (rhizomatic learning), (4) a way of linking the local communities of practice into the wider network (brokering communities of practice), (5) a repository for project documentation (drawing upon the principles of constructive alignment), and (6) building a BYOD infrastructure strategy (enabling all elements of the collaborative network). An ecology of resources was chosen consisting of a core suite of mobile social media tools including:

  1. Community Hub
    1. WordPress with Buddypress
    2. A Google Plus Community for each cMOOC
    3. A social media hashtag #SOTELNZ
    4. A collaborative participant Google Map
  2. Collaboration
    1. Twitter via the #SOTELNZ hashtag
  3. Sharing Practice
    1. Google Plus Hangouts
    2. A series of open access Webinars broadcast live and archived on YouTube
  4. Supporting Local research clusters
    1. ePortfolios
    2. Face to face weekly meetings
    3. Development of participant CMALT portfolios
  5. Project Documentation
    1. A Google Drive folder of project documents
  6. Enabling technologies infrastructure
    1. Encouraging the use of personal mobile devices (BYOD)


Other key collaboration strategies included participation in presenting at a variety of symposia and conferences across New Zealand, Australia, and the UK. Participation in these symposia and conferences also serves to generate a broader network of interest in the research clusters and conversations on social media that link a global network of interested academics. The Figure below illustrates the #SOTELNZ research cluster ecology of resources (EOR).


Figure 1. SOTEL research cluster ecology of resources.


As part of this ecology of resources, we have developed a connectivist MOOC (cMOOC) designed to cultivate a culture of open social scholarship within the scholarship of technology enhanced learning (Cochrane, Narayan, Burcio-Martin, Lees, & Diesfeld, 2015). We chose a cMOOC approach to enable scalability and agile professional development. The Mobile Social Media Learning Technologies cMOOC (MOSOMELT) is designed as a framework to link a network of communities of practice of lecturers within different curriculum contexts interested in exploring the impact of mobile learning (Cochrane & Antonczak, 2013). The Mosomelt cMOOC provides an authentic experience over 24 weeks for participants to become active members within a global community of mobile learning research and practice. Mosomelt is divided into three stages: establishing a professional mobile learning research profile, becoming mobile learning content creators and sharers, and curating a critically reflective portfolio for submission towards CMALT accreditation (Certified Member of the Association of Learning Technologists, https://www.alt.ac.uk/get-involved/certified-membership). Participants are guided in establishing mobile social media networks that will become the basis of enhancing their reflective practice research via Altmetrics and open scholarship publication. This is achieved through weeks 1 to 6 of the cMOOC (https://mosomelt.wordpress.com/weeks-1-6/) exploring creating a mobile social media eportfolio from a range of mobile social media tools: G+, Google Hangouts, Google Drive, YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, open scholarship, WordPress, Researchgate, and participation within a G+ community. Social media tools used throughout the Mosomelt cMOOC are curated using the #mosomelt hashtag. Example reflections on the impact of the cMOOC on professional practice and research can be seen on social media http://bit.ly/1V61Ies and open access publications (Cochrane et al., 2015). An evaluation of two iterations of the Mosomelt cMOOC (Cochrane & Narayan, 2016) indicates a significant change in the practice of the participants towards collaborative curriculum design and open scholarship of technology enhanced learning.


Our second cMOOC #CMALTcMOOC is designed to provide participants with a supportive community exploring the development of their own CMALT portfolios for accreditation (Cochrane & Narayan, 2017a, 2017b, 2017c). The first iteration of the CMALT cMOOC drew 50 participants from across the globe, and the cMOOC hub can be found at http://cmaltcmooc.wordpress.com. The second iteration of the #CMALTcMOOC launched on 19th March 2018 https://cmaltcmooc.wordpress.com/2018/03/18/cmaltcmooc-2018-week1-welcome/



This section outlines lessons learnt alongside achievements, and critical examination of my practice and how it has developed over time.

  • A commitment to exploring and understanding the interplay between technology and learning.
  • A commitment to keep up to date with new technologies.
  • An empathy with and willingness to learn from colleagues from different backgrounds and specialist options.
  • A commitment to communicate and disseminate effective practice.

My research and leadership both fall within the domain of the Scholarship of Technology Enhanced Learning (SOTEL), which is an under theorised update to Boyer’s (1990) concept of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL). This provides the opportunity to make a significant impact in the area of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL). The rapid change surrounding technology advancements, particularly with mobile technologies, creates a vibrant, but also moving target for advocating researcher and practitioner adoption. The development of the SOTEL research cluster is one way to support innovation in teaching practice within a rapidly changing technological environment (Weaver et al., 2012).

In my role as an academic advisor I have the privilege to work with a wide variety of academics across the university and across the globe, and much of my work in facilitating communities of practice (COPs) for lecturer professional development involves brokering active participation into the global educational technology research communities: in particular ALT, ASCILITE, IAMLearn, and AACE. To make the integration of practice-based research into these COPs, I have rebranded them as SOTEL Research Clusters. The SOTEL research cluster hub site also provides an evidence base for the outputs and activities of these various groups that were previously dispersed across many websites and individual project forums. Thus the SOTEL research cluster builds the sense of a wider community and collaborative research environment in TEL.

A critical issue I have had to grapple with as an open researcher is walking the line between sharing my work and research and the sometimes misconception of trumpeting my own achievements – i.e. the difference between humility and hubris (Cronin, 2014). In attempting to model open practice it is possible to inadvertently generate negative feedback from less open researchers who are not used to an open sharing culture (Velatsianos & Kimmons, 2016; Costa, 2014). However the breath, depth and ethos behind my research and practice is evident in the growing body of collaborative research, that now spans over 40 collaborators and 117 outputs from Auckland University of Technology alone.

Another critical issue integral to collaborative research is the need to be explicit about research team goals, contributions, and developing trust within the team. This was critical to the success of the MESH360 team that won the 2018 Auckland University of Technology Vice Chancellor’s Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning. The richness of this research team comes from the transdisciplinary mix of the domains of health research, mobile technologies, and education theory, leading to the team members contributing unique expertise to explore mobile augmented and virtual reality in health education.



Boyer, E. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered: priorities of the professoriate. Princeton, NJ: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Cochrane, T., & Farley, H. (2017). Editorial: Volume 33 Special Issue on Mobile AR & VR Integrating SOTEL in learning design. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET), 33(6). doi:https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.4132

Cochrane, T., Stretton, T., Aiello, S., Britnell, S., Cook, S., Christie, D., & Narayan, V. (2017, 4-6 December). Developing virtual collaborative health team educational environments. Paper presented at the Me, Us, IT! Proceedings ASCILITE2017: 34th International Conference on Innovation, Practice and Research in the Use of Educational Technologies in Tertiary Education, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia.

Costa, C. (2014). The habitus of digital scholars. Research in Learning Technology, 21. http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v21.21274

Cronin, C. (2014, 2 September). Navigating the Marvellous: Openness in Education. Keynote presented at the ALTC University of Warwick, Coventry, UK.

Veletsianos, G., & Kimmons, R. (2016). Scholars in an increasingly open and digital world: How do education professors and students use Twitter? The Internet and Higher Education, 30, 1-10. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2016.02.002

Weaver, D., Robbie, D., Kokonis, S., & Miceli, L. (2012). Collaborative scholarship as a means of improving both university teaching practice and research capability. International Journal for Academic Development, 18(3), 237-250. doi:10.1080/1360144x.2012.718993