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Sean McCusker

Reader in Education

Department: Social Work, Education & Community Wellbeing

Sean McCusker is a Reader in Education and joined Northumbria University in 2015.

HLS_Northumbria -University -Staff _Sean -Mc Cusker _ELLHe has a background in Engineering with a Ph.D in Civil Engineering. However, since moving to Education, he has spent many years in educational research and development. He has worked on large scale Assessment projects, including the World Class Arena and World Class Tests and the KS3 ICT Tests. He has been applying creative ideas to adapt practices and techniques from a range of environments for use in education. He has led projects in Storytelling and ICT-enabled distance learning.  He has been and continues to be involved in a number of European Projects, taking part in and leading the UK partnership in projects on; Girls and STEM, Girls and Technology, LEGO® Serious Play® and Seniors and Technology.

His research interests are centred on Understanding and Communication within broad educational contexts.  This covers many strands including; developing methods for representing large and complex data sets, understanding how data is interpreted and used, Assessment and Assessment for Learning and LEGO® Serious Play®!

0191 215 6301


  • FHEA
  • Ph.D.
  • B.Eng (Hons)

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

  • Barriers to Assessment for Learning
  • Data Visualisation and Representation
  • Storytelling

Sponsors and Collaborators

SMART Centre
Various European partners for ERASMUS+

Current/Recent Projects

First Steps: Introduction to Computer Programming, Innovate UK.(2014) - Principal Investigator –

Travelling AHEAD: Active Ageing with Technology and Travel,  European Commission(2013) - Principal Investigator -

INCENSE Influencing Policy and Practice by Stimulating Public Debate about Census Data

(2013) ESRC-  Co-Investigator

LEGO Serious Play Learning for SMEs European Commission(2012) Principal Investigator

Teach First Impact Assessment – Teach First (2012) Co-Investigator

NorthEast Storytelling Project - Vital (Open University); (2010) Principal Investigator

Maldivian E-Learning course in Assessment  UNICEF (2008)  Principal Investigator

Reasoning from Evidence – Nuffield Foundation  (2010) Co-investigator

PREMA:Promoting Equality in Mathematics Achievement II (2007-08) European Commission.Co-Investigator -

PREDIL - Promoting Equality in Digital Literacy: (2008) European Commission Co-Investigator  

SESTEM –Supporting Equality in Science Technology and Mathematics (2010)

 European Commission Co-Investigator

Key Publications

McCusker, Sean (2014) “Lego® Seriously Play: Thinking about Teaching and Learning”, International Journal of Knowledge, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Volume 2 No. 1, 2014, pp. 27—37

Ridgway, J, Nicholson, J. and McCusker, S. (2013)“‘Open Data’ and the Semantic Web Require a Rethink on Statistics Teaching”Technology Innovations in Statistics Education, 7(2).

Nicholson, J., Ridgway, J. and McCusker, S. (2013) “Getting Real Statistics into all Curriculum Subject Areas: Can Technology Make this a Reality?”Technology Innovations in Statistics Education, 7(2).

McCusker, S.(2013). “Picture this: A learning journey with a difference” Practical Pre-School (145): 16-17.

Nicholson, J., Ridgway, J. and McCusker, S. (2013) “Health, wealth and lifestyle choices - Provoking discussion on public spending”. Teaching Citizenship 36, 23 – 27

Botturi, L., Bramani, C. and McCusker, S. (2012) “Boys are like Girls: Insights in the Gender Digital Divide in Higher Education in Switzerland and Europe”. Journal of Universal Computer Science  18(3): 353-376 


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