About Academic IT

The Academic IT Services Group proactively supports and develops IT services to facilitate learning, teaching, and research, and the overall digital experience of students and academics within Oxford.

There are two Directors of the group:

Melissa Highton – Director of Academic IT Services (Learning and Teaching)

Melissa  is responsible for developing use of technology in learning and teaching across the University.  The two co-Directors of Academic IT are responsible for maintaining Oxford’s world-class reputation in the areas of IT support for learning, teaching and research and for leading and managing the understanding and investigation of all aspects of the digital experience of students and academics.  Melissa works closely with Sebastian Rahtz, the other co-Director, to ensure a coherent and unified service in Academic IT which meets the needs of lecturers and researchers in furthering the strategic academic, research, learning and teaching goals of the University.  She is an enthusiast for open approaches to teaching and blogs regularly about learning technology at Oxford.

Melissa was previously Head of the Learning Technologies Group in OUCS. She is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and associate of the Centre for Research into Assistive Learning Technologies.  Before coming to Oxford, Melissa worked for the University of Leeds, Royal Holloway University of London and Edinburgh Napier University.

She is a fellow of Kellogg College.

Sebastian Rahtz – Director of Academic IT Services (Research)

Sebastian is responsible, with the other Director of Academic IT Services (Melissa Highton), for leading and managing the understanding and investigation of all aspects of the digital experience of students and academics in the areas of IT support for learning, teaching and research. He also takes particular responsibility for research facilitation and support and for working with the CIO on Information and Open Data architecture for the department.

Sebastian is an information specialist and digital humanist. He has been closely associated for the last decade with the Text Encoding Initiative as a member of its Technical Council, architect of its revised metaschema system, and author of a library of XSL transforms. Since 2008 he has been part of the team developing CLAROS (“the world of ancient art on the semantic web”) at Oxford, for which he leads the Metamorphoses sub-project to manage its place and name linking. He led the successful bids to JISC for OSS Watch and Erewhon (Mobile Oxford), and he is a bigot for open source, XML, TEI, XSL and (latterly) RDF and linked data.

Sebastian has a degree in Classics and Modern Greek from Oxford and an MA in Archaeology from London.  He worked as a field archaeologist, was a computer science lecturer at Southampton University. He has  co-authored two books on TeX, has edited several sets of conference proceedings, written many articles, is the author of  a slew of TeX- and TEI-related software, has presented at many archaeological computing, TeX and XML conferences, and taught practical courses around the world. He has been working at Oxford University since 1999.

The Group include the following teams:

Educational Media Services

WebLearn VLE Service

IT Teaching Team

Courses and Events

Education Enhancement Team

Research Support Services

Posted in | Leave a comment

Leave a Reply