Student Services

Dr. Steven White

Academic Practice and Development Manager – Student Services

PhD Web Science (Learning Design); MA Education; MSc Web Science; SFHEA


My current role involves supporting academic staff in their teaching and research across all subject areas in the university. I have a background in supporting and teaching Academic Communication in higher education, working with academic staff and students in universities in the UK and Finland.

My academic qualifications include a Masters in Education from the University of Bath, and a Masters in Web Science from the University of Southampton. After winning a studentship at the Web Science Centre for Doctoral Training at the University of Southampton, I gained a PhD in Web Science, focusing on the interaction of academics, learning designers and technology in a ‘third space’ in UK higher education.

I’ve presented at conferences related to educational research, learning technology, and online learning, and have also published in these areas.

Professional practice

I taught English for Academic Purposes to students at the universities of Lancaster, Oxford, Bath and Southampton, before working as Teaching Fellow in online learning at Southampton. As part of the Teaching Fellow role I helped produce the innovative Online MA in English Language Teaching in collaboration with the British Council. I also created materials for the Online Pre-Sessional Course, and supervised and trained tutors in online tutoring roles. I also contributed to the development of various Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) at Southampton. This learning design role involved collaboration with a range of internal and external stakeholders, including academics, academic librarians, and ICT specialists. 

It was during these adventures in working with technology in higher education that I noticed the unusual ‘space’ in which I and others were working, and the distinctive perspective it required on roles and boundaries in HE. This ultimately became the subject of my PhD research.

In more general educational development work, I assisted the professional development unit in helping Masters and PhD students develop learning and teaching strategies appropriate to their subject disciplines. 



Professional memberships

  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Associate member of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT)
  • Member of the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA)


  • PhD Studentship, University of Southampton Web Science Centre for Doctoral Training (2013–2018)

Research Specialism

Learning Design, Online learning, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

Educational Development, Learning Development, Academic Writing


White, S., White, S., & Borthwick, K. (in press). Blended professionals, technology and online learning: Identifying a socio-technical third space in higher education. Higher Education Quarterly.

White, S., & Nichols, M. (In Press). Making an argument in the arts: using genre analysis to inform embedded academic writing support at a UK arts university. In M. Leon Urrutia (Ed.), Innovation in Education. Barcelona: Octaedro.

White, S., and White, S. (2016) Learning designers in the ‘Third Space’: the socio-technical construction of MOOCs and their relationship to educator and learning designer roles in HE. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2016 (1), 1-12. (doi:10.5334/jime.429).

White, S. and White, S. (2016) A research agenda for exploring MOOCs and change in higher education using Socio-Technical Interaction Networks. eMOOCs European MOOCs Stakeholder Summit 2016, Austria. 22 – 24 Feb 2016. pp. 123-134

Leon Urrutia, M., White, S., and White, S. (2016) MOOCs in Higher Education magazines: A content analysis of internal stakeholder perspectives. Zvacek, Susan, Restivo, Maria Teresa, Uhomoibhi, James and Helfert, Markus (eds.) In Computer Supported Education. Springer. pp. 395-405 . (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-29585-5_23).

White, S., Leon Urrutia, M., Borthwick, K., and White, S. (2015) Massive Open Online Course mentoring for a connected community of practice of Language teachers. eLearning Papers, 45, 43-48.

Leon Urrutia, M., White, S., Dickens, K., and White, S. (2015) Mentoring at scale: MOOC mentor interventions towards a connected learning community. EMOOCs 2015 European MOOC Stakeholders Summit 2015, Belgium. 18 – 20 May 2015.

Watson, J. and White, S. (2012) Designing and delivering an e-presessional course in EAP for the 21st first century international student. Bradley, Linda and Thouësny, Sylvie (eds.) 2012 EUROCALL Proceedings, Sweden. 22 – 25 Aug 2012. pp. 314-319.

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