Dr Nigel Newbutt

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  • Qualifications:BSc (1st Class Hons), MA, PGDip, PhD, FHEA, FRSA
  • Position:Senior Lecturer/Senior Researcher in Digital Education
  • Department:Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries, and Education (ACE)
  • Telephone:+44 (0)117 32 87881
  • Email:Nigel.Newbutt@uwe.ac.uk
  • Social media: LinkedIn logo Twitter logo

About me

​​I have gained industry experience of working in animation, TV and digital media industries, coupled with experience of designing, validating and running programmes of study at UK and Irish Universities. I  have an active and growing research profile including presenting at conferences, article publication, book chapters and awards for my work. 

My current role at UWE, in the Department of Education and Childhood, involves helping to develop and expand the digital education agenda.  In doing so, I will help to deliver the BA (Hons) Education award in addition to undertaking research in schools involving the use of technology (specifically VR).  My role involves 50% protected time for research (until 2021) to help develop digital education agendas in the department, faculty and across UWE.  ​

I am the Editor for the Journal of Enabling Technologies that seeks to "provide a strong, insightful, international, and multi-disciplinary evidence-base in health, social care, and education".

I have a BSc in Multimedia Technology, a Masters in Education, and a PG Certificate in Research Methods in addition to interests in HE pedagogy including: assessment, E- learning and Higher Education policy. More recently I have been working with virtual worlds and users with autism to help teach social and communication skills (the focus of my PhD study). This saw me engaged in fieldwork with a school in the UK carrying out a case study examining the role of and development of HCI in virtual environments. 
I completed an EPSRC Fellowship (over 4-months) at Michigan State University (College of Education) investigating the acceptance and role of virtual reality technology used by people on the autism spectrum.  Other research includes the role that virtual environments can play to develop communication and social skill opportunities for young people with autism; in addition to the manner in which technology can be successfully deployed in schools and developed by teachers to enable successful solutions.

Some recent research​ (2018) was featured on BBC Somerset Breakfast that explored the use of VR by autistic pupils in a school; audio link here​ and video link here.  In addtion, BBC Click featured some of the VR work in April 2019, as part of the National Autism Awareness month (16 mins. into this clip).

A brief clip of some of the EPSRC-funded work (with MSU) can be seen here and link to the MSU news item, here​.

UWE press release of the project here.​

Area of expertise

Digital media, technology, digital mediated communication, virtual reality technologies (VRTs), education, autism, research methodologies


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