Digital Examinations Forum 2021: Meet the speakers

Suzanna Doran
June 10, 2021

The Digital Examinations Forum is an annual event that brings together experts from around the world to talk about digital assessment. The year, the focus was on the student experience with sessions covering everything from implementing digital solutions, to proctoring, to institution success stories.

If you missed this year's event, or you want to re-watch the sessions, you can access the DEF recordings for free

Here are a few of our excellent speakers:

Dr Donald Lancaster, The University of Bath


Dr Donald Lancaster is a Lecturer in Marketing and Director of Studies for the Executive MBA at Bath University’s School of Management. He came to the University in 2014 after an established international advertising career. Working with Ad Agencies big and small, he trained in London before embarking internationally to the Middle East, the Far East, Asia Pacific, back to Europe and finally, 23 years later, London again. His clients have included many famous brands; e.g. Mars, Unilever, P&G, HSBC, Citi, Beefeater Gin, Stella Artois, Mazda, Toyota and even Aston Martin. He has led agencies for DMB&B, WPP (JWT, Ogilvy) and IPG (Lowe, Lintas) among others and has championed marketing strategy and multi-channel communications, content creation and evaluation across sectors, cultures and borders. 

His interest and experience in the field led to guest-lecturing, then doctoral research and now a full-time commitment to teaching tomorrow’s marketers. His PhD examined the complex inter-company and inter-country relationships that drive the business of international advertising, looked at through the lens of Institutional Work. As part of his teaching practice, he champions the use of digital exams at the University of Bath.


Dr Mary Richardson, UCL Institute of Education


Mary is an Associate Professor of Educational Assessment at UCL Institute of Education in London. She leads an MA Assessment programme and most of her research is focused on assessment, rights-based education and philosophy of assessment.  Mary is currently completing a book looking at public confidence in assessment and starting a new research project examining the user-experience of AI technologies for language testing.  Mary worked in policy departments and an awarding body before moving into academia where she has been for the past 16 years.


Deveral Capps, Leeds Beckett Law School


Deveral is the Dean of Leeds Law School. He joined Leeds Beckett in 2015 and has been involved in Higher Education for over 20 years. As a barrister, in both civil and criminal law, Deveral has appeared in courts across the North of England and is a door tenant at Trinity Chambers in Newcastle upon Tyne. As a legal academic he has taught undergraduate, postgraduate and professional courses and published widely on legal education, legal skills and eCommerce law.


Dr Simon McCallum, 32 Stylus and Victoria University of Wellington


Dr Simon McCallum is an advisor and consultant at 32 stylus, Senior Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington NZ, and førsteamanuensis at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology Norway. He has been lecturing for 20 years in New Zealand and Norway. He has won teaching awards in both New Zealand and Norway for teaching excellence and innovation in teaching methods. He teaches game development, user experience, and games for health. Fun fact: he is an expert in Medieval siege weapons, having published in Experimental Archeology and building two trebuchet for the movie Redbad.


Matthew Godfrey, Inspera 


Matthew is an E-Assessment Consultant who has been working for Inspera for the past two years. In his role at Inspera, Matthew works closely with both new and prospective clients to gain an understanding of their e-assessment requirements and provide unique digital assessment solutions. Working with a diverse range of clients and sectors means he has a rich understanding of both the similarities and unique differences that every organisation can require from an online examination tool. He is looking forward to showing you some of the innovative authoring features which Inspera has to offer, providing some useful tips and tricks, hearing about your e-assessment projects and answering any authoring questions you can throw at him. 


John Byrne, Inspera


John is working as a Community Manager in Inspera’s Marketing Team. Prior to Inspera, John received his business education from University College Dublin in Ireland and from Norges Handelshøyskole (NHH) in Bergen, Norway. He started out his career in Microsoft and spent five years working for Visma, a large SaaS ERP company based in Oslo, allowing him to get a good grasp of the software industry. In his free time, he is usually travelling or outside taking advantage of nature’s opportunities.


Ishan Kolhatkar, Inspera


Ishan Kolhatkar is General Manager of Inspera UK. Prior to joining Inspera he implemented the platform across an entire University, eliminating pen and paper exams.  Ishan was a practising barrister for almost a decade before moving into education, first as a Lecturer on the Bar Exams, then he became Deputy Dean of Learning and Teaching and finally Director of Group Education before moving to Inspera.  He therefore has first hand knowledge of the things that faculty, administrators and senior leaders want from digital assessment, along with the digital transformation and change management required to make it happen.  Away from work he's a keen amateur chef, posting pictures and videos of his food online.


If you'd like to catch up on their sessions, you can watch the recordings here. You may also be interested in our free Student Experience Toolkit which includes the results of our 2021 Student Survey, testimonials and a practical guide to improving student satisfaction with digital assessment. 

View the student experience toolkit

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