Simon McIntyre

PhD candidate




Building.Room: .


elearning, professional development, pedagogy, higher ed

Research project description

This thesis traces the development and implementation of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) funded ‘Learning to Teach Online’ project by COFA Online at The University of New South Wales This professional development project comprised a series of video and PDF episodes freely disseminated through a variety of popular online mediums. The release of the resource resulted in an unexpectedly high level of international dissemination and adoption, and an extremely positive perception of its merit and value in a wide range of education sectors.

When the reasons for this were investigated, the way that the project was discovered, shared by teachers via a wide range of different digital networks bore remarkable similarity to the concept of the rhizome - a horizontal system of roots that grows underground, comprised of a series of nodes and connecting shoots. The study examines the role that dissemination of this resource through the digital rhizomic network that evolved played in its discovery and use by teachers all over the world, in a variety of educational contexts. Data will be analysed from a series of interviews with professional development facilitators around the world who have adopted the resource into their own programs, a global online survey for individual teachers using the resource, and careful analysis of data from several online social and professional networks. The observations from this research will highlight the implications for professional development design and management in an increasingly digitally networked world.

Ultimately, this thesis aims to propose strategies to better inform the pedagogical design of professional development resources in online education, to improve their effectiveness across different disciplines and maximise their adoption using digital rhizomic networks.

Simon McIntyre is a Senior Lecturer with COFA Online, at The University of New South Wales. Since 2003, he has co-developed sustainable online learning strategies, and helped staff improve their online teaching skills by creating and running a series of professional development programs. He also developed and supervises a fully online international postgraduate Master of Cross-Disciplinary Art & Design degree, and is the leader of the Learning to Teach Online project.

Conference presentations:

  • McIntyre, S. (2010). Learning to teach online: industry applications of a free online professional development resource.  Automotive Educators Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand.



  • 2011 Ascilite Innovation and Excellence Award

    Exemplary and research informed use of technologies for teaching and learning in tertiary education.  McIntyre, S., & Watson, K., The Learning to Teach Online Project.

  • 2012 MERLOT Award for Exemplary Online Learning Resources - MERLOT Classics

    Faculty Development Editorial Board Award for peer reviewed Open Educational Resource (OER)

  • 2012 Award for best PhD paper presented at conference - 2012 ICEL 7th International Conference on E-Learning

    Exploring a Rhizomic Model for the Design and Dissemination of Professional Development in Online Teaching.  McIntyre, S.

  • 2012 ACUADS Distinguished Teaching Award

    National award from the Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools. 'For excellence and significant contributions to online learning and teaching'. McIntyre, S.

  • 2013 Ascilite Innovation and Excellence Award

    Awarded in recognition of outstanding innovation and excellence in the development of a major professional development initiative which promotes the exemplary and research informed use of technologies for teaching and learning in tertiary education. McIntyre, S.


Professional and community roles

  • 2005 - present Member of Ascilite (Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education)

  • 2005 - present Member of COFA Technology Co-ordinating Committee, The University of New South Wales, Australia

  • 2007 Member of Academic Advisory Panel, ConnectEd Conference 2007, 1st International Design Education Conference, ConnectED 07 (

  • 2009 - present Invited member of International Conference on eLearning (ICEL) Academic Committee – peer review of international conference papers for proceedings

  • 2008 - present Member of COFA Education Committee

  • 2008 - present Elected Member of COFA Standing Committee

  • 2009 Member of UNSW ALTC Competitive Grant Review Panel – Review and advising upon competitive grant applications before submission to the ALTC

  • 2010 Member of Editorial Advisory Panel for ‘Iridescent: Icograda Journal of Design Research’. Iridescent is an international peer reviewed journal produced by Icograda Education Network (IEN)

  • 2011 Invited member of Billy Blue College of Design (Think Education) Reaccreditation Course Advisory Committee for Digital Media and Communication Design degrees.


Thesis work

Project title Degree Supervisor
A global digital rhizome: Using digital networks to increase innovation and construction of new knowledge, within professional development contexts in online education. PhD Professor Peter Goodyear

Selected publications


  • McIntyre, S. (2011). Final report: Learning to teach online, developing high quality video and text resources to help educators teach online.. Sydney: Australian Learning and Teaching Council.

Journal articles

  • Watson, K., McIntyre, S., & McArthur, I. (2009). Trust and relationship building: critical skills for the future of design education in online contexts. Iridescent: Icograda Journal of Design Research, 1(1).

Conference papers

  • Watson, K., McIntyre, S. (2012). "Too hard, too busy": A case study in overcoming these barriers to online teaching. In Lam, P. ICEL 2012 - 7th International Conference on E-Learning (pp. 453–460).
  • McIntyre, S. (2012). Exploring a Rhizomic Model for the Design and Dissemination of Professional Development in Online Teaching. In Lam, P. ICEL 2012 - 7th International Conference on E-Learning (pp. 492–501).
  • McIntyre, S., Watson, K., & Larsen, S. (2009). Strategies for large scale blended learning initiatives: Training, teaching and management. In Terry, E.B, Jefferies, A.L. & Bracq, A. (Eds) Proceedings of the 4th International Blended Learning Conference (pp. 295–308). University of Hetfordshire, Hatfield, UK, 17-18 June 2009.
  • McIntyre, S. (2008). Leap of faith: effective steps for establishing online collaborative learning initiatives. In Remenyi, D. (Ed) Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on e-Learning (pp. 283–292). University of Cape Town, South Africa, 26-27 June 2008.
  • Liu, X., Bonk, C. J., McIntyre, S., & Magjuka, R . (2008). An investigation of the relationship between flow in computer-mediated interaction and virtual learning team effectiveness. In Bonk, C.J., Lee, M.M., & Reynolds, T. (Eds) Proceedings of E-Learn 2008: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (pp. 2919–2928).