Dr Andrew Middleton

Deputy Head of Anglia Learning & Teaching

Location: Cambridge

Research Supervision:Yes


[email protected]


Andrew is Deputy Head of Anglia Learning & Teaching

Andrew is a National Teaching Fellow known for promoting academic innovation in support of a rewarding student-centred learning experience. He leads work on developing the active curriculum and is currently building upon the innovative approaches ARU staff have adopted in response to Covid-19 pandemic including ARU’s unified active learning model.  

Andrew has been working with the academic community and colleagues across professional services to develop ARU’s Digital Fluency Framework. The new framework enhances goes beyond the development of digital skills and our understanding digital literacy. It signals the importance for staff and students of developing digital agency, agility and inclusivity in the service of teaching, learning and graduate employability.

Andrew continues to lead METaL (media-enhanced teaching and learning) as a dimension of ARU’s LMS Ecosystem, integrating the use of media with Canvas, Teams and third-party tools to create a vibrant online space for teaching and learning. Building upon many years of experience leading media-enhanced innovation in the sector, Andrew is working with a large community of academic innovators to adopt a wide range of rich pedagogies using new forms of video and audio, which are now possible through ARU’s new YuJa tool.  

Andrew remains committed to the development of Live Briefs and other ways of connecting learning experience to contexts beyond the curriculum. 

The student experience is at the centre of Andrew’s practice and scholarship, whether that is in consideration of spaces for learning, building learning communities, developing studio-based learning models, or developing course-focused practice. 

Andrew is also supporting prospective National Teaching Fellows and teams submitting for recognition under AdvanceHE’s Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) scheme.

Andrew co-hosts the Exquisite Corpse podcast with Beatriz Acevedo, which uses a novel conversational approach to explore innovative teaching. He blogs on teaching and learning at Tactile Learning. He leads ARU’s Active Learning Network with Isobel Gowers and Jamie Heywood and is a co-ordinator of the national ALN network

Research interests

Andrew maintains his scholarly profile around academic innovation and publishes regularly on his practice.

He published Reimagining Spaces for Learning in Higher Education (2018, Palgrave) which develops a holistic appreciation of space as it is experienced in the course of learning and the implications of hybrid and co-operative learning for the future of higher education.


PhD: The situated agency of studio learning and its value for non-studio disciplines (2017 - 2022)

MSc E-learning, Multimedia and Consultancy (Sheffield Hallam University) (2005)

eTutor - Certificate in eTutoring (OCN/Sheffield College) (2005)

BA (Hons) Fine Art 2:1 (Sheffield Hallam University) (1993)

Memberships, editorial boards

Andrew has been instrumental in developing the UK Active Learning Network and its annual Global Festival of Active Learning and Active Learning Conference, being a leading member of the ALN steering group. 

As Chair of the UK Media-Enhanced Learning Special Interest Group (MELSIG), he is known for his pioneering work on developing audio feedback, smart learning, social media for learning, future learning spaces, and digital placemaking. Andrew has led over 30 MELSIG events across the UK and Ireland. 

Andrew is part of the organising committee for the Social Media for Learning in Higher Education Conference, now in its sixth year.

In 2009 he organised A Word in Your Ear, a conference attracting international participation and exploring the use of audio feedback.

Selected books

Middleton, A. (2018) Reimagining spaces for learning in higher education. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Middleton, A. (ed) (2015) Smart learning: teaching and learning with smartphones and tablets in post compulsory education. Media-Enhanced Learning Special Interest Group & Sheffield Hallam University.

Middleton, A. (ed) (2013) Digital voices: a collaborative exploration of the recorded voice in post-compulsory education. Media-Enhanced Learning Special Interest Group & Sheffield Hallam University.

Selected chapters and articles 

Middleton, A., Pratt-Adams, S. and Priddle, J. (2021) Active, inclusive and immersive: using course design intensives with course teams to rethink the curriculum across an institution. Educational Developments, 22(1), March 2021. 

Middleton, A., Hawkins, C., Acevedo, B., Scruton, A., Kite, L. and Boz, M. (2021) Making sense of employability through an active blended curriculum. B. C. P. Rodriguez and A. Armellini Cases on active blended learning in higher education. IGI Global. 

Boz, M., Acevedo, B., Middleton, A., Scruton, A., Hawkins, C., Outteridge, J. and Kite, L. (2021) Work-integrated learning as an inclusive pedagogy for employability: the case of live briefs at Anglia Ruskin University. S. Norton & R. Dalrymple (eds) Employability: breaking the mould: a case study compendium. AdvanceHE. Online at: https://www.advance-he.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/employability-breaking-mould 

Middleton, A. (2020) Using place to develop a culture for active pedagogy, in S. Pratt-Adams, U.M. Richter and M. Warnes (eds) Innovations in active learning in higher education. London: UCL Press.

Middleton, A. and Spiers, A. (2019) ‘Learning to twalk: an analysis of a new learning environment’, in C. Rowell (ed) Social media in higher education: case studies, reflections and analysis. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, pp. 223-235.

Huntley, B., Middleton, A. and Waldock, J. (2018) Using virtual and physical learning spaces to develop a successful mathematical learning community, both for on-site and distance provision. DELTA.

Jones-Devitt, S., Austen, L., Chitwood, L., Donnelly, A., Fearn, C., Heaton, C., Latham, G., LeBihan, J., Middleton, A., Morgan, M., Parkin, H. J. and Pickering, N. (2017) 'Creation and Confidence: BME students as academic partners… but where were the staff?'. Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change, 3(2), Special Edition, Reacting to the 'Hard to Reach' through Student Engagement Initiatives.

Middleton, A. (2016) Reconsidering the role of recorded audio as a rich, flexible and engaging learning space. Research in learning technology. 24(1), pp. 28035-13.

Middleton, A. (2015) Facilitation as a personal engagement in an open space. Learning and Teaching in Action. 11(1), pp. 74-80.

Rushton, D., Malone, C. and Middleton, A. (2015) Digital posters: Talking cycles for academic literacy. T. Lillis et al (eds) Working with Academic Literacies: Research, Theory, Design. ‘Studies in Writing’ series, editor Gert Rijlaarsdam, WAC Clearing House with Parlor Press.

Nerantzi, C., Middleton, A. and Beckingham, S. (2014) Facilitators as co-learners in a collaborative open course for teachers and students in higher education. Learning in cyberphysical worlds. eLearning papers (Open Education Europa), 39, 1–10.

Middleton, A. (2014) Learning in the open: considering MOOCs, openness and social media for learning. Student Engagement and Experience Journal. 3(1), np.

Nortcliffe, A. and Middleton, A. (2013) The innovative use of personal smart devices by students to support their learning. In: L.A. Wankel and P. Blessinger (eds) Increasing Student Engagement and Retention Using Mobile Applications Smartphones, Skype and Texting Technologies. Bingley: Emerald.