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Aaron Burrell

Head of Learning Information and Environments

Learning Services


Aaron Burrell

Learning Services

T: 01473 338627
Twitter: @iaaronburrell
Website: Department Profile

As Head of Learning Information and Environments Aaron works to strategically design and deliver the University’s learning and research information systems and environments. As University system owner, he has responsibility for the review, identification, procurement, integration and development of these spaces, and the management of the University's Learning Innovation Hub.   Working in partnership with academic and researchers Aaron develops opportunities to showcase learning and research through the provision of Carpe Diem course design and 'make-over' events to support validations and pedagogic practice development.  Alongside this work he is also a member of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. 

He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, an Associate Member of the Association of Learning Technology having recently submitted his portfolio for full Certified Membership, a member of Heads of eLearning Forum (HeLF).

Having studied Software Engineering, Aaron took up his first role in technology within a Marketing and International Development team.  In 1998 he moved into educational technology with the Centre for Research in Educational Applications of Telematics where he worked closely with the first iterations of virtual learning environments in a jointly funded project with BT Labs at Adastral Park.  Aaron became the technical lead for the centre which was absorbed into the then newly created 'University Campus Suffolk' initiative during 2007.

Those early years in 'EdTech' cemented his passion in creating environments (virtual and physical) that allow people to improve themselves and their lives by gaining a better education.  Supporting the work of the Directorate of Learning and Teaching by leading and ensuring the University of Suffolk has appropriate, fit for purpose environments, systems and processes, allowing both the institution and its people to grow in a digital society.

Aaron has strategic overview and managerial responsibility for the team that supports:

  • OLE - Online Learning Environment
  • LMS - Library Management Systems
  • ERM - Electronic Resource Management
  • OPAC - Open Public Access Catalogue
  • OARS - Open Access Repository Suffolk
  • Digitisation and Copyright
  • Video and Audio production
  • Assistive Technologies
  • Reprographics
  • Learning Innovation Hub
  • Course (re)design 
  • Learner Analytics Platform

Aaron also supports the development of course (re)design through activity based workshops allowing course teams to use the available technology to align their course activities to their learning outcomes.   Alongside other Senior Managers in the directorate Aaron forms part of the University's Validation panel for new and revalidated courses.  He also manages and resources the Learning Innovation Hub based within the University.

Day-to-day he also supports the Digital Learning Opportunities Manager in his role by working closely with staff and students to encourage, enable and evaluate the use of technology in learning and teaching. In particular, to;

  • Help staff to integrate innovative technologies to enhance their teaching programmes
  • Share innovation and good practice through facilitating an active community
  • Evaluate the impact of enhancements on the student learning experience
  • Develop and pilot ways to enhance and develop learning through innovative technologies

Current Projects

Aaron is currently involved in a number of institutionally important projects that are running alongside the business as usual tasks.  These projects include:

  • Brightspace Implementation
  • VLE Review
  • Learner Analytics
  • Lecture Capture
  • Library Move Feasibility Project
  • EMA Review

Notable Achievements

  • Broadband Britain Challenge winner - Technical Lead
  • University Project of the Year nominee - Applicant Portal development
  • Development of first UK University Augmented Reality Prospectus
  • Development of HLF funded Augmented Reality project - Holywells Park
  • University Team of the Year winner - ELEVATE Team
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • University Project of the Year 2018 nominee - VLE Review Project
  • University Unsung Hero nominee 2019
  • University Project of the Year 2019 - Winner - Brightspace Implementation

Current areas of interest

  • Learning Spaces
  • Learner Analytics
  • Mobile Learning
  • Personal Learning Networks
  • Location Aware Activities
  • Augment Reality
  • Visual Browsing
  • Curriculum Design

Recent Conference Presentations

  • Burrell, A. (2019) The Learner Journey, University of Suffolk Learning and Teaching Forum, Ipswich, 18 December 2019
  • Burrell, A. (2019) Roundtable: Supporting Workplace Learning & Apprenticeships with the VLE, D2L Connections, Dublin, 10 October 2019
  • Buck, E. and Burrell, A. (2019) Creating an Environment for Change, Leading Change in HE - Advance HE, Cambridge, 28 June 2019
  • Burrell, A (2019) Setting the Academic Context. University of Suffolk Library and Learning Services Mini Conference, Ipswich, 25 February 2019
  • Burrell, A (2016) Blackboard Tools for Teaching and Learning. University of Suffolk Learning and Teaching Day, Ipswich, 14 December 2016
  • Burrell, A. and Mullett, D. (2014) Sequential Overlays - Engaging the Cognitive Processes.  JISC RSC Eastern eFair, 4 July 2014. Bury St Edmunds: West Suffolk College
  • Burrell, A. (2014) Multimedia use in Learning, Teaching and Assessment.  UCS Learning & Teaching Day, 13 June 2014. Ipswich: University Campus Suffolk
  • Burrell, A. and Mullett, D. (2013) Creating an Augmented Reality Poster.  JISC RSC Eastern eFair, 4 July 2013. Cambridge: Writtle College
  • Burrell, A. and Ramsden, A. (2013) AR SIG Launch Webinar.  4 April 2013. Ipswich: University Campus Suffolk
  • Burrell, A. and Mullett, D. (2013) Designing Location Aware Learning Activities: QR Codes and Augmented Reality.  JISC RSC Eastern Workshop, 13 February 2013. Cambridge: Anglia Ruskin University
  • Ramsden, A. and Burrell, A. (2012) Designing Location Aware Learning Activities: QR Codes and Augmented Reality. JISC RSC Eastern Workshop, 9 May 2012. Ipswich: University Campus Suffolk
  • Burrell, A. and Mullett, D. (2011) Location Aware Learning Activities. UCS Learning and Teaching Day, 8 July 2011. Ipswich: University Campus Suffolk
  • Burrell, A. (2011) Location Aware Learning Activities. JISC RSC Eastern VLE Forum, 4 March 2011. Bedford: Bedford College
  • Burrell, A. and Mullett, D. (2011) Implementing a QR Code Generating Service. Durham Blackboard Users Conference, 5-7 January 2011. Durham: University of Durham


  • Buck, E. Burrell, A. Watts, S. (2019) How VLE Technology can Support Active and Blended Learning for Degree Apprenticeships, Educational Technology D2L Webinar, Ipswich, 4 December 2019


  • Burrell, A. (2014) Getting Started with Augmented Reality as a Learning Technology  [ ]
  • Burrell, A & Mullett, D. (2013) What is the Role of eBooks: The Student Perspective [ ]
  • Smith, C., and Burrell, A. (2013) Creativity in learning spaces: We can all gain! Paper presented at the University Campus Suffolk Annual Learning and Teaching Day, Ipswich, 5 July 2013.

Professional Qualifications

  • ITILv3 Foundation
  • Professional Certificate in eLearning

Interests Outside of the University

  • Architectural Heritage

    Aaron is a Director and Trustee of the Trimley Station Community Trust.  The Trust are running a community project to try and save the station buildings at Trimley St Mary, built in 1891, the buildings are under threat of demolition by Network Rail.

    The company have recently been successful in their application to become a Registered Charity.

To see Aaron's full profile.

Selected experience

1999 - 2005
Senior Technical Officer
Centre for Research in Educational Applications of Telematics

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