The team

David Balch - Senior Web Developer
David Balch

David's work is centered on TALL’s XML based development process and the Moodle and Drupal platforms. Using technology including PHP, XML, and XSLT, David develops, maintains, and operates software tools for research and production of TALL’s web properties and high quality online learning materials.

David has a Bsc (Hons) in Food Marketing Management from Sheffield Hallam University. After university he spent two years with a commercial Internet firm, before joining TALL in early 2002.

Currently, most of David's spare time is consumed by playing the drums in a couple of bands, and trying to learn enough electronics to build electronic instruments and light-based artwork.

Emma Bolton – Project Officer
Emma Bolton

Emma joined TALL in July 2013 as Project Officer working with Tom, Sue and Zoe on the delivery and development of the Department's online courses. Before joining the team, Emma worked for several years as a Web Content Manager in local government.

Emma has a BA in History of Art & Computing, and has first-hand experience of studying at the Department for Continuing Education, where she took the Foundation Certificate in History in 2012.

Tom Box - Project Officer
Tom Box

Tom joined TALL in March 2005 but since 2008 has been working in the Project Officer role. As such he is responsible for overseeing the development and delivery of a number of TALL's online courses and managing the procedure for requesting to use copyrighted material from third parties.

Tom has a degree in Earth Sciences and a PGCE qualification in General Primary, both obtained from Oxford Brookes University. Before joining TALL, he worked on an online export, sales lead system for the Department of Trade and Industry.

Zoe Burns – Project Assistant
Zoe Burns

Zoe joined TALL in October 2010 and helps the team with the delivery of a number of online courses. Prior to joining TALL Zoe worked as an Assistant Web Producer for BBC GCSE Bitesize before moving to Oxfordshire where she joined a conservation charity as Web Editor.

Zoe has a degree in Geography from the University of Wales, Lampeter and is currently studying towards an AAT Accounting Diploma.

Sue Dale - Administration and Project Assistant
Sue Dale

Sue joined TALL in April 2009 where her role is to ensure the smooth running of the office, provide administrative support for the team and contribute in a variety of ways to TALL’s course development and course delivery activities.

Sue has a degree in modern languages from Oxford University and is a qualified librarian. Before joining TALL, she worked for a number of years as a library manager in further education.

Alexei du Bois - Online Support Assistant
Alexei du Bois

Alexei is the Online Support Assistant at TALL. He is responsible for providing first-line customer support to the Department's online students and tutors. Outside of term time he works with the TALL project team to prepare online courses for delivery.

After graduating from the University of Cape Town in 2010 with a BA in History & English, Alexei spent three years working as a teacher and community organization leader, and completed a PGCE through the University of South Africa. Alexei was awarded an Oppenheimer Foundation Scholarship in 2013 and completed an MSc in Comparative & International Education at the University of Oxford in August 2014. He joined the TALL unit in September 2014 and is currently working towards a DPhil in Education degree at the University on an Oppenheimer Memorial Trust scholarship.

Sean Faughnan - Director of TALL
Sean Faughnan

Sean joined the Department for Continuing Education at the University of Oxford in 2002. Though it is not widely known, the University of Oxford has one of the UK's largest continuing education departments, and its operation is one of the most successful globally. For over 120 years the Department has enabled learners to engage with the University, and each year more than 15,000 students study with the Department. As the Director of Finance and Administration Sean is responsible for all aspects of the Department's commercial management and for the core services (such as Human Resources, Finance, Facilities and Services, and IT) provided to the academic divisions of the Department.

In addition to these duties Sean became Director of TALL in 2005. TALL has become one of the most successful and innovative e-learning groups in the continuing education sector. In September 2010 the team was awarded, by the Association for Learning Technology (ALT), a prestigious national award in recognition of its excellent practice and achievement in the learning technology field. As well as delivering online distance learning to more than 3,000 students each year, TALL offers e-learning consultancy services, which are informed by its extensive range of research projects that focus on new ways of using technology to enhance teaching and learning at a distance. This work helps the Department and its clients to deliver its wide range of high-quality courses to students in innovative ways, giving an even broader range of students the opportunity to benefit from continuing education.

Sean's recent projects have included: the Cascade project, which investigated how technology can be harnessed to improve effectiveness and efficiency in curriculum delivery; the exploration of the size and shape of the UK online learning market; and the application of process review to improve organizational efficiency.

Ian Gloster - Web Developer/IT Support
Ian Gloster

Ian joined TALL in 2001 as a Web developer, and IT support assistant. He works predominantly on developing web material for the online 'Diploma in Computing' and 'Advanced Diploma in Local History', but also works closely with the other members of the technical team producing materials for all of TALL’s projects utilising XML, Flash, and Video technology. More recently he has been involved in TALL’s implementation of streaming media. In addition to his Web development responsibilities, Ian assists the head of IT in providing support to the department’s online students.

Ian graduated from the BBC engineering training programme in Electronics and Broadcast engineering (Wood Norton, Evesham), and went on to acquire considerable experience in broadcast and video technical operations. Having moved to Internet based media, he continues to develop his skills in Web technology.

Marion Manton - eLearning Research Project Manager
Marion Manton

Marion’s web profile

Marion is TALL's eLearning Research Project Manager. As well as managing research projects, she is responsible for ensuring that all online courses developed by the team are best practice examples of learning online for their audience.

In her role, Marion works closely with academic colleagues and course teams to specify the learning they want to achieve with their programme and to identify the best uses of technology to do this. She also maintains currency with the latest research in eLearning to ensure that the Department is aware of and exploits the best current knowledge of what works in terms of effective eLearning. Marion managed the learning design for two programmes  (MSc Public Policy and Management, University of York and MA War in the Modern World, King's College, London) that have been runners up in HEFCE's eTutor of the year competition. She is also an active member of the UK eLearning community and regularly take part in events.

Marion holds an MA (Hons) in History from the University of Edinburgh and an MSc in Information Management from the University of Sheffield. Prior to joining the University she was eLearning Manager at Henley Management College before moving to FTKnowledge where she worked on projects with several leading business schools.

Mike Taylor - IT Support & Systems Administrator
Mike Taylor

Mike joined TALL in June 2000 to lead the IT support team where he provides support to the in-house staff, the TALL students and the TALL tutors. Since joining TALL Mike has overhauled the server architecture that underpins TALL, improving performance for students, tutors and staff. At present he is working with the TALL team to move all online courses to a Moodle environment running on Linux servers.

Mike Taylor has a degree in Business Information Systems from Anglia University. He then spent 4 years with BancTec Limited, he joined BancTec as a Project engineer before moving to the MIS department to support PCs and the company Intranet.

Sara Tindall - Project Manager
Sara Tindall

Sara is TALL’s Project Manager and is responsible for the development and delivery of the wide range of projects undertaken by the TALL unit. Sara has several years’ digital project management experience, gained in the commercial and not for profit sectors. Prior to joining TALL Sara worked for the Oxford Internet Institute, an academic centre at the University of Oxford for the study of the societal implications of the Internet.

Sara has a degree in English Literature from University College of Wales Swansea and an MA in Mass Communications from the University of Leicester.

Nicola Warren - Co-Manager (Administration)
Nicola Warren

Nicola is TALL's Co-Manager (Administration) and is responsible for the administration, personnel and finances of the TALL unit as well as overseeing the group's course production and delivery services.

After graduating from the University of Leicester in 1995 with a BSc in Combined Sciences, Nicola spent six years supporting the use of networked services at the University of Sussex Computing Service, UKERNA, and the Trans-European Research and Education Networking Association (TERENA), based in Amsterdam. Nicola joined the University of Oxford in 2001 as Online Learning Research/Project Officer to manage online projects and assist the University's Director of Distance and Online Learning to seek funding and further develop the University's provision of online courses. Nicola joined TALL in February 2005 as Administration Manager and was promoted to be co-manager of the unit in October 2007.