Ella is currently working with colleagues in the Centre for Computing Education Research
. The Associate Student Project
aims to ease transitions for direct entrant students coming from college to university. The CfE Transitions project
explores the impact of the Curriculum for Excellence on the transition from school to university for undergraduate computing students; Graduate Outcomes, part of the e-Placement Scotland project, explores work placements from the perspectives of computing graduates; GEP Identity uses an
identity theory framework to study the student experiences of graduate employability programmes across four disciplines.
In 2016, Ella completed her PhD: "Participation
Space Studies: a socio-technical exploration of activist and community groups’
use of online and offline spaces to support their work
2007 to 2011, Ella was a Senior Research Fellow within the Centre for Social
informatics, primarily working on the projects: Research in Librarianship -
Impact Evaluation Study (RiLIES1: 2011),
Hub Websites for Youth Participation (HUWY; 2009-2011), and Western
Balkans Democratic Participation (WEB-DEP: 2007-2009).
The EU funded project HUWY: Hub Websites for Youth Participation
piloted a distributed discussion (combining on and offline processes). The project explored ways to support young people to discuss Internet problems and improvements and to encourage policy-makers to interact with the resulting ideas. The HUWY project started in January 2009 and ran for 28 months. Ella led the proposal and consortium: Edinburgh Napier coordinated the project, working with noine other partners, from four countries: Estonia, Germany, Republic of Ireland and the UK.
project (Western Balkans Democratic Participation) established communication and information management networks, hosted by the National News Agencies of the Western Balkan countries. Edinburgh Napier's role within the project focused on specifying and supporting the e-participation aspects and designing and implementing the project evaluation.
Ella is active in a number of participation networks (digital and otherwise). In 2009, she organised the ESRC-funded eParticipation Scotland Baseline Workshop
Ella joined Edinburgh Napier's International Teledemocracy Centre (ITC)
in September 2001, where her research focused on using
the Internet to get people more involved in democracy, especially young
people: ITC projects working with young people
. In around 2007, the ITC merged into CSI
(The Centre for Social Informatics).
Ella's work within the ITC (2001 -6) included development of a suite of e-democracy tools for Highland Youth Voice
(a youth parliament for the Highland region of Scotland). These tools take the form of a website, including an online policy debating forum, a content management system for news and information and an e-voting section, which was used to elect new HYV members in Autumn 2002 and 2004.
As one of the ITC's researcher/ developers, Ella was involved in the ITC's e-Petitioning projects
Initially Ella joined the ITC to work on the "What sort of Scotland do we want to live in?" e-consultation as part of her dissertation: "Usability and Community in a Dynamic e-Democracy Website
.", completing an MSc in Multimedia Technology (Napier University, Edinburgh).
Ella is on the Program Committee of the following conferences:
Ella is on the editorial board of JeDEM - eJournal of eDemocracy and Open Government http://www.jedem.org/
Until July 2007, Ella worked under her maiden name: Ella Smith. Her CV (2016, pdf) contains a full list of projects and publications for both names.