About Deb

 Contact Details

Please get in touch via twitter @debbaff


MA Online and Distance Education, MSc Business Psych, BSc (Hons) Psych, PG Cert ODE (Open), Cert Mgmt (Open) ,Dip Surv, MAUA, FHEA

PHd Student in E Research and Technology Enhanced Learning – Lancaster University


Membership Manager for the Association for Learning Technology 

Debbie has over 20 years’ experience of working in the Higher Education Sector. First working for the Open University in 1996 within Student Support, she later became Deputy IT Facilitator and an Associate Lecturer. Moving to join the University of Wales Newport in 2002 working first as Deputy Head of Admissions and then subsequently as School Registrar for the School of Education. In 2011, she was appointed as Head of Student Registry with a remit of ensuring a high-quality experience for applicants, students and alumni with line management responsibility for admissions & enrolment, curriculum and assessment and award functions.

Debbie joined Swansea Academy of Learning and Teaching (SALT) at Swansea University in January 2016 as a Senior Academic Developer. Debbie’s role is to develop, support and embed best practice in Learning and Teaching across the university . She has responsibility for the organisation of the annual Learning and Teaching Conference and various learning and teaching projects.

OERWalespowerbuttonlogoIn 2014 Debbie was appointed as Project Manager for OER Wales Cymru, a pan wales Universities Wales Open Educational Resources initiative on behalf of the HE Sector in Wales in January 2014. During this time Debbie was based within CELT (Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching)  at the University of South Wales in Caerleon.   In September 2013 the university sector in Wales signed a declaration of intent to embed the use of online resources by staff and students. This declaration is a public commitment which underscores the work carried out by an expert group comprising representatives from Welsh Universities and key sector agencies. As Open Educational Resources and Practice (OER/P) Wales Project Manager Debbie’s main role was to support the declaration and the Universities Wales initiative with a lead role in embedding Open Educational Resources and Practice across all nine universities in

Prior to her work as an educator, Debbie spent the early part of her career within estate management and is a fully qualified Chartered Surveyor specialising in Commercial and Industrial property and residential land development.

Passionate about Open Educational Practice, Open Digital Badges and Online Learning, Debbie achieved her Masters in Online and Distance Education from the Open University in December 2015. She is now pursuing a part time PHd programme in E -Research and Technology Enhanced Learning programme at Lancaster University and is in her third year.

You can find out more about Debbie at http://about.me/debbaff

Enhancing the Student Experience

Students as Partners – Student Transition & Enrolment (July 2012 – September 2012)

Debbie piloted the development of a student partnership model in collaboration with key university staff that placed the student participants alongside staff members in equal partnership within project teams. Particular areas of success were in projects that resulted in the co-development of resources for new and existing students and the redesign of the physical enrolment process and experience. The strength of this work was in the equality of the working partnership and effective relationship that was developed. Additional support and guidance was provided in the form of coaching and mentoring which served to enhance the communications and understanding of practices that could otherwise have been overwhelming due to the tight deadlines and high profile of the activities undertaken.

CELT Award) Enhancing the Student Experience through improved communication: Provision of Electronic Enrolment and Induction Information (April 2012 – September 2012)

Debbie submitted a successful Bid for a CELT (Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching) Teaching Innovation Grant to develop a web based resource in relation to induction and enrolment information in order to enable students to be better informed for attendance during induction and enrolment week. Significantly reducing the amount of paper based information that is provided to students at the start of the year and allow students to access generic and course specific enrolment and induction information via the internet. Other benefits include reduced cost to the University in terms of staff time, consumables and postal cost. The project team included the recruitment of two students to ensure that the student perspective was fully taken into account throughout all stages of the project in addition to providing valuable work based experience and meeting the aims and objectives of the University of Wales Newport Learning and Teaching Strategy

Other Responsibilities

Secretary for the Association of Learning Technology Special Interest Group in Open Education

oe-sigDebbie acts as Secretary and Co-Chair for the ALT OE SIG. The Open Education SIG (OESIG) was established in March 2012.

The remit of this SIG is to support, develop, sustain and influence policy in open education.

Conference Organisation

Debbie has organised and managed a number of high profile conferences including the Annual Learning and Teaching Conference at Swansea University as part of her role as Senior Academic Developer for the Swansea Academy of Learning and Teaching.

Debbie was the project lead for the sixth international Open Educational Resources conference (OER15) that took place in Cardiff on the 14th & 15th April 2015 as part of her role as Project Manger for OER Wales Cymru.  The Conference was chaired by Haydn Blackey (USW) and Professor Martin Weller (OU) and run in conjunction with the Association for Learning and Teaching.

She has served on the committees for the organisation of OER16 , OER17 ,  OER18 OER19  and OER20

OBHE OrganiserDebbie was a Founder member of the inaugural Open Badges in HE Conference at the University of Southampton 8th March 2016.


Baff, D. and Burnett, S (2014) ‘Adopting OER Models at a National Level: the Experience of Wales’ Lightening Talk Presentation at OER14 Conference, University of Newcastle
Baff, D (2014) ‘OER Wales Cymru …a small nation with big ideas’ – Poster Presentation at HEA (Wales) Future Directions Conference, Aberystwyth University, April 2014.
Baff, Debbie (2014) OER Wales Cymru : a small nation with big ideas – Poster Presentation Gregynog 10th June 2014
Baff, Debbie (2014) OER Wales Cymru Project: A Collaboration to embed Open Educational Resources and Practice in the HE Sector in Wales 2nd September 2014 http://www.slideshare.net/debbaff/oer-wales-cymru-project-a-collaboration-to-embed-open-educational-resources-and-practice-in-the-he-sector-in-wales-paddling-getting-wet-and-aiming-to-catch-the-good-waves
Baff, Debbie (2014) Embedding Open Education Resources and Open Education Practice in Wales 24th November 2014 Invited Speaker at CoPilot Conference in Cardiff http://www.informationliteracy.org.uk/2014/11/free-open-educational-resources-event-in-cardiff/
Richardson, Paul and Baff, Debbie (2014) Open Educational Resources: the Welsh Experience. In: Open Educational Resources: the Welsh Experience. ALT OE SIG Available from https://sas.elluminate.com/p.jnlp?psid=2014-06-05.0501.M.6C8C9D2E7A24469BD7BBFBBC608A06.vcr&sid=7565


Association for Learning Technology (ALT)
Higher Education Academy (HEA) Fellow
ALT Open Education Special Interest Group Committee Member (ALT OE SIG)
Association of University Administrators (AUA)
Evaluation of Learners’ Experiences of e-learning Special Interest Group (ELESIG)
OER14 Conference (Newcastle) Planning Committee
OER15 Conference (Cardiff) Planning Committee
Open Education Europa
The Open Education Consortium
E-Mundus Community Partner


Debbie was awarded her MSc in Business Psychology in 2014 following her dissertation on student attitudes towards the use of online services. Debbie has always had a keen interest in Open Educational Resources and Open Educational Practice from a professional and personal perspective. Debbie has recently achieved her Masters in Online and Distance Education with the Open University (2015). Debbie’s research interests include the use of Open Digital Badges and Social Learning.

Areas of Expertise

Open Educational Resources
Open Educational Practice
Open Digital Badges
Student Administration
Enhancing the Student Experience


Oh … and Deb loves anything Pink and drives a Pink Car ….

pink cars - Copy

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