Dr Mark Dixon
Profiles

Dr Mark Dixon

Lecturer

School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics (Faculty of Science and Engineering)

Role

Lecturer in Computer Science:
 - Module Leader for Soft051 and Soft234 modules.
 - Member of  Faculty of Science and Environment Ethics Committee.
 - PhD Supervisor.
 - Final Year Project Supervisor.
 - Mentor to new staff undertaking LTHE qualification.
 - International Student Mentor.
 - Academic Liaison Person for 3 FdSc courses.

Qualifications

  Postgraduate Certificate in 'Learning and Teaching in Higher Education', University of Plymouth, November 2003

  PhD in 'User-centred methods in the analysis and design of software tools to support management consultants', University of Plymouth, April 2000

  BSc (Hons) in Computing and Informatics (2:1), University of Plymouth, June 1993

Professional membership

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Teaching interests

I have a wide range of teaching experience both across qualification levels (from access course to MSc), and across computing disciplines (programming, systems analysis, artificial intelligence, web-development, multi-media, presentation and communication skills).

My current teaching focuses on a first stage introduction to software engineering for multimedia and internet based applications. I also supervise final year projects, and PhD students.

Research interests

The underlying theme of my research is the adaptation and application of social science methodology to the software development process by software engineers themselves, rather than social scientists. To date, I have worked on three projects:

·Perinatal Medicine: This is my focal application domain: Fetal death and brain-damage during birth (although rare) is a major concern in the UK and worldwide. Both in terms of human suffering and financial cost (individual settlements are now reaching £3m, and successful defences £0.5m). The 1997 UK Confidential Enquiry into Stillbirths and Deaths in Infancy (CESDI) identified a significant cause as misinterpretation of the cardiotocogram (CTG), which is widely used to record fetal heart rate and uterine contractions onto paper trace during birth. It was introduced at the end of the 1960s on the assumption that real-time interpretation by clinicians and midwives would be easy.

Over the past 30 years, studies have shown large variations in inter and intra observer agreement, indicating that CTG interpretation is both difficult to learn and to practice. As a result, a considerable amount of work has been undertaken worldwide towards developing software that analyses the CTG in a more objective and consistent manner. However, so far, no system has moved out of the laboratory into routine clinical practice.

I am working as part of an inter-disciplinary group of clinicians, midwives, software developers, social scientists, and mathematicians to develop the first clinically viable computer system that analyses fetal heart rate in real-time during birth.

My key contribution is to use observational techniques (derived from the social sciences) to reveal critical, yet subtle, aspects of the human decision-making process, which are then embedded into software, thereby enhancing its effectiveness. This contrasts with previous work, which focused on technology and was based on an over-simplified and incomplete understanding of the human decision-making process.

· Teaching and Learning of Computer Programming in Higher Education: The development of a software tool to support rapid student development of accurate mental models of the interaction between computer program code and memory.

· Diagnosis of Organisational Issues by Management Consultants: This application domain was the topic for my PhD, and involved the development of a software tool to support management consultants in the analysis of interviewee information.

  Dixon M (2014) Software Support for Lecturers Investigating Intra-corpal Source-code Plagiarism: Influence on Student Behaviour. Proceedings of International Conference on Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. Hong Kong. (winner of best paper award).
  Spellmann C, Dixon M, Bleimann U, and Jones R (2012) Collaborative Formative Assessment Using Web 2.0 Technologies. In Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (pp. 1680-1685). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.
  Dixon M, and Prior M (2012) Design and Usability Testing of Anonymous Touch-Screen Electronic Queuing System: Towards Improving Patient Satisfaction. Proceedings of the International conference in Healthcare Informatics and Biomedical Engineering Systems, Bandung, Indonesia, July 7-8.
  Dixon M (2011) Learnability, Usability, and Educational Effectiveness in an Authoring Tool for Computer Program Code Animation. Proceedings of the 14th IASTED International Conference on Computers and Advanced Technology in Education, July 11-13, Cambridge, UK. ACTA Press. ISBN (CD) 978-0-88986-888-5.
  Dixon M (2010) Development of a Lean Learning Platform for UK Primary Schools: Towards On-line Reporting. Proceedings of the IASTED International Conference on Web-based education, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, March 15-17.
  Dixon M (2010) Student-Lecturer Interactions during First Year Computer Programming Tutorials: Towards a model to help guide new lecturers. 10th Conference on Teaching Programming, Brighton, UK, March 31.
  Spellmann C, and Dixon M (2009) Lecturer Perceptions of Automated Grading of Constructed Response Answers: Towards Evaluation in a Naturalistic Environment. World Conference on E-Learning, Vancouver, Canada, October 26-30. ISBN 1-880094-76-2
  Dixon M (2008) Student and Lecturer Experiences of Using Code-memory Diagram Animation Software in Teaching and Learning Programming. 8th Conference on Teaching Programming, Glasgow, UK, March 31.
  Dixon M (2007) Comparative study of disabled vs. non-disabled evaluators in user-testing: Dyslexia and first year students learning computer programming. Proceedings of 4th International Conference on Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction, Beijing, China, July 22-27.
  Dixon M (2006) Generic Code-Memory Diagram Animation Authoring Tool: Impact on Learning and Teaching Object-Oriented Programming. Proceedings of the 2nd International conference on Education and Technology, Calgary, Canada , 17-19 July, pp. 84-89 ACTA Press. ISBN 0-88986-579-5
  Dixon M (2005) Year Long 3-User Trial of Code-Memory Diagram Animation Software for Teaching Computer Programming: Learning, Object Oriented Programming, & Workloads. Accepted for 8th International Conference on Computers and Advanced Technology in Education, Aruba , 29-31 August.
  Dixon M (2005) Code-Memory Diagram Animation Software for Teaching Computer Programming: contributions for and by dyslexic students. Accepted for 3rd International Conference on Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction, Las Vegas, July 22-27.
  Dixon M (2005) Domain-specific computer-aided requirements elicitation and validation (CAREV): critical role in fetal heart rate analysis. Accepted for 11th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, Las Vegas, July 22-27.
  Dixon M (2004) Generic Code-Memory Diagram Animation Creator: An Aid for Effective Computer-Programming Teaching. Proceedings of the 7th IASTED International Conference on Computers and Advanced Technology in Education, Kauai Island, Hawaii, USA, 16-18th August, pp. 179-184. ACTA Press. ISBN 0-88986-422-5
One of 18 papers nominated for best paper award (139 papers were presented).
  Dixon M (2004) Disability as a Vehicle for Identifying Hidden Aspects of Human Activity: Inclusive Design and Dyslexia in Educational Software Development. Revised selected papers from the 8th ERCIM workshop on User Interfaces for All, Vienna, Austria, 28-29th June, pp. 254-261. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. ISBN 3-540-23375-X
  Dixon M (2004) Code-memory diagram animation software tool: towards on-line use. Proceedings of the IASTED International Conference on Web-based education, Innsbruck, Austria, 14-16th February, pp. 601-603 ACTA Press. ISBN 0-88986-406-3
  Dixon M & Jagodzinski AP (2003) Qualitative data analysis of thinking-aloud role-play exercises: usefulness in software engineering requirements analysis. Proceedings of the 10th ISPE International Conference on Concurrent Engineering: Research and Applications. 26-30th July 2003. Madeira. pp 107-113. AA Balkema Publishers. Lisse. ISBN 90 5809 622 X.
  Dixon M, and Greene K R (2003) Implications of labour ward co-ordination and information flow for decision making, clinical error, and computer-based decision support. In: Gordon H. (ed.), Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, volume 23 (supplement 1), S54-S55. Proceedings of 8th British Maternal and Fetal Medicine Society Conference, York, 20th-21st March. Taylor and Francis Limited. ISSN 0144-3615.
  Jagodzinski A P, and Dixon M (2002) Softening the Edges of Software Engineering. Workshop on “Interpretive” Approaches to Information Systems and Computing Research, Brunel University, 26th-27th July 2002.
  Harris M, Dixon M, and Greene K R (2001) Analysis of the vulnerability of the care of women in central delivery suites to clinical error. In: Hawkins D F (ed.), Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, volume 21 (supplement 1), S48. Proceedings of 6th British Maternal and Fetal Medicine Society Conference, University of Warwick, 22nd-23rd March. Carfax Publishing, London.
  Dixon M (2000) User-centred methods in the analysis and design of software tools to support management consultants. PhD Thesis, University of Plymouth.
  Dixon M, Harris M, and Greene K R (1999) Computer analysis of fetal response to intrapartum scalp stimulation. In: Hawkins D F (ed.), Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. Volume 19 (supplement 1); S50-S51. Proceedings of 4th British Maternal and Fetal Medicine Society Conference, University of York, 17th-19th March. Carfax Publishing, London.
  Dixon, M; Jagodzinski, P; Pearce, P (1998) Software Support for Management Consultants: An Integrated Quantitative and Qualitative Tool. Proceedings of 7th International Conference on Management of Technology, 16-20 February 1998. Orlando, Florida, USA.