Ms Sarah Cornelius

Ms Sarah Cornelius
BSc, MRes, MSc, PGCE (Further, Higher and Adult Education), DIC, SFHEA

Senior Lecturer

Ms Sarah Cornelius
Ms Sarah Cornelius

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 274616
The University of Aberdeen Rm 503 MacRobert Building University of Aberdeen King's College Aberdeen AB24 5UA UK
Office hours: Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday
Twitter: SarahCornelius Skype: sarah.cornelius

Research interests and projects:





Sarah joined the University of Aberdeen in 2004 after working as a freelance consultant on a wide range of projects in online learning and geographical information systems for the private sector and Higher Education in the UK and United States. She has also held posts at Manchester Metropolitan University, the Open University and the Free University of Amsterdam. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an active member of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT). She is a member of the Editorial Board for the journal  'Research in Learning Technology' and was co-chair of ALT's annual conference in 2014.  Co-authored books include 'Live online learning: strategies for the web conferencing classroom' published by Palgrave Macmillan and the successful textbook 'An introduction to geographical information systems' published by Pearson Education.


Research Interests

Sarah's research interests focus on learners' and teachers' experiences of technology enhanced learning. Recent and current projects include:

Vocational teacher education - collaboration with Dr Blair Stevenson, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Finland, has explored learning through boundary crossing during international collaboration and global education for vocational educators. This work is in press for the Journal of Vocational Education and Training. 

Mobile Learning in Higher Education - the University of Aberdeen are partners in an European ERASMUS+ partnership  (MINE - exploring mobile learning experiences and developing curricular and resources for learners and teachers. 

Teaching and learning in virtual classrooms projects include an ELESIG funded investigation into learners' experiences of virtual classrooms conducted with Carole Gordon; an investigation into teachers' experiences (published in the British Journal of Educational Technology); and a book 'Live online learning: strategies for teaching in the web conferencing classroom' (co-authored with Jan Schyma and Carole Gordon) as part of Palgrave Macmillan's 'Teaching and Learning' series (ed. Sally Brown).

Technology for professional development - completed projects have explored how technology can be used to effectively support Masters project supervisors (with Sandra Nicol) and PhD supervisors in intercultural contexts (with Yvonne Bain and Reem Alekaiban, King Saud University). 

Sharing all our stories - expertise in technology enhanced learning supported a diverse range of community projects across Scotland as part of this AHRC funded project

Mobile devices in schools (MODIS) - this project was undertaken with colleagues from the University of Aberdeen to investigate the impact of mobile devices on teachers and learners in schools in two local authority areas. Outcomes have been published in the journal Technology, Pedagogy and Education

Learning with online role play - the design and impact of flexible strategies for online role play has been investigated and published in the International Review of Research in Online and Distance Learning (IRRODL).



Teaching Responsibilities

Current teaching responsbilities:

  • Teaching Qualification (Further Education) - degree and masters level
  • PgCert Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (including eLearning module)
  • MEd, MSc, MRes, EdD and PhD supervision

Current PhD students

  • Shahrzad Ardavani (Elphinstone Scholar) - Cultural aspects of MOOCs
  • David McCusker - Educating prisoners for self-employment

Completed education PhD students

  • Khawla Addoweesh - Assessment of online discussions
  • Yvonne Bain - A framework for online discussions
  • Chris Fraser - Professional development in science
Further Info

External Responsibilities

External examiner, University of Huddersfield (Teacher Training: Lifelong Learning)

Member of Editorial Board, Research in Learning Technology

Co-chair ALTC 2014 21st Annual Conference of the Association for Learning Technology, September 1-3 2014, University of Warwick. (with Linda Creanor, Glasgow Caledonian University and Joe Wilson, Independent Consultant)


Admin Responsibilities

Project Lead - University of Aberdeen's FutureLearn MOOCs

Director of Postgraduate Studies (School of Education) (2012-2014)

Elected staff representative for School of Education on University Senate (2012-2016)

Programme Director - Work Based Projects and Dissertations (2011-2016)

School of Education e-Learning Champion

Member - University of Aberdeen Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Recognition Panel (leading to Higher Education Academy accreditation)

Prizes and awards

2010 Scottish e-assessment awards: Innovation award for SMS Disaster Simulation and Best Poster Prize (voted by 250 delegates) with Alastair Gemmell (School of Geosciences) and Phil Marston (School of Education)

2012 4th International Conference on Computer Supported Education (Porto, Portugal): Best paper award for 'Effective teaching with web conferencing: recommendations based on learners' experiences' co-authored with Carole Gordon (School of Education)