Curriculum Vitae

Niall S F Barr

Address : *************

Glasgow *** ***.

Tel. 0141‑*** ****

Mobile. ***** ******


I am a specialist in the use of computers in education, originally with a background in Engineering and Biomedical Sciences. In recent years much of my research and development work has concentrated on interoperability standards that allow educational material to be moved between different systems, in particular in relation to the use of computers for formative and summative assessment. I have also developed open source tools to support formative assessment and classroom interaction using the students’ mobile devices.

I have several years of experience of developing course-ware for both desktop and Web delivery, of developing and maintaining education related web sites, and of using and maintaining Virtual Learning Environments.

I was a member of the IMS Global Question and Test Interoperability versions 2.0 and 2.1 and Tools Interoperability version 1 working groups and have developed software to demonstrate these standards including the open source APIS assessment item rendering and processing software which has been also used as a basis for projects at other Universities.

As well as developing software for education I have experience as a teaching assistant for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Information Technology and Life Sciences, and have developed and run an open studies course on PHP programming.

Employment history

University of Glasgow (2009-)

IT Services, Senior Educational Software Developer (2017-)

Learning & Teaching Centre, Educational Software Developer (2009-2016)

360 Innovate (2008-2009)

Senior PHP Developer

I.T. Consultant and Independent Software Vendor (2007-2008)

Questionmark Computing (2005 – 2006)

C# Developer.

Learning Services, University of Strathclyde/ JISC CETIS (2001-2005)

E-Assessment software and interoperability standards developer.

University of Glasgow (1993-2001)

Glasgow Dental School, Computing Manager (1998, 1999-2001)

Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Delphi Developer (1998-1999)

Department of Computer Science, GTA for MSc IT (1997)

Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences (Anatomy), FAB Project team lead (1996-1997)

Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences (Zoology), TILT Project Research Assistant & GTA (1993-1995)

Shareware author (1991-1992)

Bioengineering Unit, University of Strathclyde (1986-1991)

Research Assistant


B.Sc. (2.2) In Natural Sciences, Open University. (2014)

M.Sc. in Bioengineering, University of Strathclyde. (1985‑1986)

Thesis title ‑ Development of a Dynamic Grip Strength Instrument.

B.Sc. in Aeronautical Engineering, University of Glasgow. (1980-1985)

Information Technology Skills

Software and Web Development

I am an experienced software designer and programmer and am able to develop using several general purpose and specialised computer programming languages, development environments and design techniques.

My preferred platform for server application development is a standard LAMP (Linux, Apache, PHP & MySQL) stack, though I also am comfortable with C# on a Microsoft server platform and have experience of Java/Tomcat development.

For desktop development I currently use C#, and am able to do cross platform development either using Eto.Forms or using native UI with shared back-end for Macintosh and Windows computers. I also am experienced with C++/MFC, Visual Basic and Delphi.

System Administration and Internet

I have experience of setting up and maintaining web servers on both Linux and Windows Server operating systems including virtual servers on Amazon EC2:

I am comfortable carrying out routine system administration tasks such as running backups, adding and updating users and updating on these server platforms.

I also have experience of providing desktop computer support covering hardware and software issues for systems running Windows and Microsoft Office.

Other software experience

I am familiar with a variety of software applications including Microsoft Office, LibreOffice, tools for desktop publishing, graphic design, and image, audio and video editing. I am comfortable using Windows, OS X and Linux desktop operating systems.

Teaching Experience

I have been a teaching assistant in animal neurophysiology laboratories (Level 2 and Level 3 Zoology, University of Glasgow.) and in Pascal programming (I.T. M.Sc., University of Glasgow and Bioengineering M.Sc., University of Strathclyde). I also have given guest lectures on medical instrumentation (Bioengineering M.Sc., University of Strathclyde), Arthropod Biomechanics (L3 Zoology, University of Glasgow) and Internet technology (I.T. M.Sc., University of Glasgow).

I have been supervisor for five Information Technology M.Sc. projects at the University of Glasgow.

Lisa McGuggan “Development and Controlled Evaluation of an Interactive Computer Package to Promote Oral Health in Anxious Children Attending for GA Extractions” (1999)

Martine Petale "Oral Health Education Software for Pre-school Children" (1998)

Richard Donaldson "Development of Java Applets for interactive on-line quiz software" (1997)

Chen Chi-Wai "Development of Windows Controls (Dynamic link library) specific for use in Biomedical Applications" (1993)

Lynette Lim Horng Ching "Development of a program to collect and manipulate data from an analytical electron microscope using an A/D interface" (1993)


Standards contributions

Riley, K. & Smythe, C. eds., 2005. IMS Tools Interoperability Guidelines version 1.0. Available at:

Krann, W., Lay, S. & Gorissen, P. eds., 2012. IMS Question and Test Interoperability Version 2.1, Available at:

Lay, S. ed., 2005. IMS Question and Test Interoperability Version 2.0, Available at:

Selected Publications

Arnold, S. et al., 1994. Constructing and implementing multimedia teaching packages P. J. Donnelly, ed., Glasgow: University of Glasgow.

Barr, N., Milne, S. & Neve, P., 2012. Contextualizing formative assessment in Mathematics and Statistics. In 1st HEA STEM Annual Conference: Aiming for Excellence in STEM Learning and Teaching. London, UK: Higher Education Academy.

Barr, N.S.F. & Honeychurch, S.L., 2013. Scoping the future: A model for integrating learning environments. In Enhancement and Innovation in Higher Education conference. 10th Enhancement Themes Conference. Glasgow: The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, pp. 616–623. Available at:

Barr, N.S.F., McAteer, E. & Neil, D.M., 1995. CBL in the laboratory. Life Sciences Educational Computing, 5, pp.11–13.

Gray, N. et al., 2013. Tagging and Linking Lecture Audio Recordings: Goals and Practice. arXiv preprint arXiv:1311.1725.

Honeychurch, S. et al., 2013. Peer assessment assisted by technology. International Journal of e-Assessment, 3(1).

Honeychurch, S. & Barr, N., 2010. Why the Daleks will never beat us. In C. Lewis & P. Smithka, eds. Doctor Who and Philosophy: Bigger on the Inside. Popular culture and philosophy. Open Court, pp. 189–198.

McAteer, E. et al., 1996. Simulation software in a life sciences practical laboratory. Computers & Education, 26(1-3), pp.101–112.

Milne, S. et al., 2013. Sharing assessment across institutions and VLEs. In CETL-MSOR Conference 2013. Coventry, UK. Available at:

Milne, S., Barr, N. & McKain, D., QTI Delivery Integration Final Report, Available at:

Milne, S., Barr, N. & Neve, P., 2012. User-oriented tools for feedback-rich formative assessment. In Association for Learning Technology Conference (ALT-C 2012). Manchester, U.K.

Milne, S., Honeychurch, S. & Barr, N., 2013. Module facelift: engaging student technology teachers with maths. In CAA 2013 International Conference. International Computer Assisted Assessment (CAA) Conference. Southampton: University of Southampton. Available at:

Neil, D.M. et al., 1995. Evaluation of a neuro-physiological simulation in a real teaching context. In Society for Experimental Biology Annual Meeting. St. Andrews.

Neil, D.M., Barr, N.S.F. & McAteer, E., 1996. Combining real and virtual experiments in Neurophysiological practical classes. Life Sciences Educational Computing, 6, pp.27–28.

Sclater, N., Low, B. & Barr, N., 2002. Interoperability with CAA: does it work in practice? In Proc 6th International Computer Assisted Assessment Conference. 6th International Computer Assisted Assessment Conference. Loughborough.

Shaw, R. & Doughty, G., eds. 1995. Using learning technologies: interim conclusions from the TILT project, University of Glasgow’s.

Software Publications

BiblioRenamer Utility for giving consistent and helpful filenames to downloaded bibliographys. (2018)

YACRS (Yet Another Class Response System). Web based classroom interaction application, with separate desktop control application for teachers.

TimeLog 2. Time monitor program for Windows (2007)

SecureNotepad (2007)

HTML Meta-data Editor. (2005)

APIS. Open Source IMS QTI version 2 item engine. (2004-2006)

QTIViewer. Freeware IMS Content Package and QTI version 1.2 assessment item viewer. (2003-2007)

Pocket Charting Assistant version 2. Dental charting software (2001)

AppLaunch. Application launcher with hotkey support. (2000)

QuizMaker and WebQuiz. Software for creating and delivering quizzes and questionnaires on the world wide web. (1997-1999)

Time Logger. Time monitor program for DOS. (1992)

Diary. Appointments and contacts manager (1991)

Kill-V. Boot sector virus removal software (1989)

Display and analysis software for the Penny & Giles DL1000 biomedical data logger. Version 1 for IBM PC and Version 1 for NEC-9801 series. (1987)

Other Interests

Photography, DIY, Electronics.