I work with students, professional translators (both in-house and freelance), project managers, lecturers, researchers, learning technologists, central services and support staff throughout my University; international organisations such as the UN and the EU, as well as numerous UN and EU agencies; freelance and in-house instructional designers around the world – mainly thanks to my involvement with the global Articulate community.

My Translation Studies work has combined project-based learning for my students who now get involved with global NGOs at an early stage in their careers, with research into optimising the use of Automatic Speech Recognition tools by translators, and with insights into the profession provided through the Professionalisation Talks series I have been managing on and off since 2013.

Moreover, I have been contributing to redesigning modules to incorporate technology; creating a true blend of engaging face-to-face sessions and online synchronous and asynchronous activities that feed into continuous assessment; finding more effective ways of supporting students with appropriate tools; and designing and creating online interactive multimedia resources for several international projects. I organised the annual European Articulate Conference between 2009 and 2012 and I co-organised the Text Access conference in 2013.

View Dragos Ciobanu's profile on LinkedIn | My academic and industry work so far

Since my PhD in Computer-Assisted Language Learning, I have been constantly striving to innovate in my roles of Associate Professor in Translation Studies, and before that the roles, of Research Fellow, Instructional Designer, and Academic Staff Development Officer at the University of Leeds. I have been bringing new, exciting technologies on campus, helping colleagues implement them in their work, as well as look after and increase interest in other tools which our University already had.

The following  is a short list of e-learning resources designed and implemented for some of the projects I have been involved in:

WASH resource screenshot

A very exciting multilingual project for UNICEF, part of the Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for All (WASH) Campaign. Together with subject matter experts, I designed and built a 1-hour interactive resource to enable trainees to deal much more efficiently with crises and challenges which happen so often in the area of water, sanitation and hygiene around the world. Through our scenarios and interactive elements, they will become familiar with the available support structures, form an individual opinion on the role of each organisation involved in this area, and thus be able to operate quickly and proficiently. The resource has been distributed in three languages in approximately 140 countries.


Leeds Building Capacity Project animated roadmap

Part of the Leeds Building Capacity project, for which I had filmed and edited several videos, we decided to do something different when it came to the reporting stage. Together with the project officer, an animator, and a consultant, we created this video-scribed resource. Not only that, but we also wrote down everything we’ve been through to produce such a resource: approach, time, software, challenges, solutions, lessons learned. The video is available here, and a follow-up reflection here. The video and How-to guide were shortlisted for the Epigeum Video Award associated with the ALT-C 2011 Conference.


Adobe Acrobat Connect ProI introduced and promoted Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro at the University of Leeds for three years. Thanks to this tool, colleagues throughout the University have, among others, engaged with the world-wide research and teaching communities synchronously, invited external speakers into their sessions without the travel costs, recorded their lectures, conducted online open days and more. You can find a more detailed guide here, and this is the recording of the session I presented with two colleagues – Alina Secara and Neil Morris – at the ALT-C 2011 Conference.


e-votingI promoted e-voting at the University of Leeds for four years, and I also looked after the University support website. Do visit it for numerous video and text-based short and sweet tutorials, practical examples, printable guides and tips. Moreover, In 2010 I co-delivered a session on e-voting at ALT-C 2010, and here is the recording of a follow-up session I co-delivered at ALT-C 2011.


Articulate Captain Smiley at #articulateuk2010 (Second European Articulate Conference, University of Leeds, UK, 17 May, 2010)

I also looked after the Articulate community at the University of Leeds. We have a support website which I maintained, with lots of examples, tutorials and useful resources. I organised the European Articulate Conference every year between 2009 and 2012, a truly exciting e-learning event which attracted over 300 in-house and freelance, academic and corporate instructional designers and e-learning developers. Thanks to the mind-blowing amount of sharing which happens at this event, a lot of us are now much better at what we do.


Image of the NNI Know your Europe exercise

For two years I had serious fun working with professional EU, public service and freelance interpreters on the UK National Network for Interpreting project, creating multimedia, multilingual online resources. I had the chance of using a wide range of tools to engage 16-18-year-old visitors to our website with the superb art that is interpreting, and with the many benefits brought about by knowing foreign languages. If you want to know more about how I designed an interactive resource with lots of drag-and-drop quizzes, games and interactive screens, please see this description.


The ORCIT project

Apart from the video scribing project already mentioned, my work in the area of visual communication is also illustrated by this resource on Public Speaking, created as part of the EU-funded ORCIT project – a follow-up project to the UK National Network for Interpreting. This resource benefits from audio narration as well as a transcript, but the main attraction is arguably the hand-drawn visual representations which appear in sync with the narration.


Articulate guru 2010 screenshot

In my spare time, I like to test my skills by taking part in the Articulate Guru competition. This is a game/simulation I created in 2010 while I was off work for a few weeks with one hand in plaster after a wrist ligament reconstruction operation (I know, I just can’t stay away from all the fun of work). In this simulation I experimented with lots of hand drawings, automatic text-to-speech, 3D animations, wacky PowerPoint effects, Articulate branching and more. To find out more about how I did it and why, please read this extended description.


These are just a few examples. The reality is that I get involved in a lot more and I tend to tweet and blog about most of it, and I also publish my work. If you’re curious about other practical things I have done, and if you would also like to read what the folks I have worked with within and outside of the University of Leeds think of my work, please see this page I created for the ALT 2011 Learning Technologist of the Year competition.

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