This is how the research projects I have been working on describe themselves:

Augmented Education

Book published in spring 2014, co-authored with Kieron Sheehy and Gill Clough.

What happens when learning in the ‘real world’ is augmented by use of the virtual, and learning in virtual environments is augmented by use of the ‘real’? Augmented Education explores learning that takes place at the frontiers of reality. Using electronic devices, learners’ interactions with and perceptions of their environment are extended. The book provides a detailed overview of the educational possibilities that are created by technologies which include augmented reality applications, social media, and virtual worlds. It considers how pedagogy and augmenting technologies can be harnessed to inspire, motivate and engage learners and transform their learning experiences.


The LAEP team is exploring the implications and opportunities of learning
analytics for European educational policy. We are investigating the state of the art of learning analytics in Europe and beyond. We are also looking at what may happen in the field during the next 10–15 years. To do this, we are putting together an inventory of evidence as well as carrying out in-depth case studies and expert consultations. The project will provide recommendations for European education policy to guide and support the take-up and adaptation of this technology to enhance education in Europe.

LACE (learning analytics community exchange)

The LACE project brings together existing key European players in the field of learning analytics and educational data mining who are committed to building communities of practice and sharing emerging best practice. The aim is to build bridges between research, policy and practice in order to realise the potential of learning analytics and educational data mining in Europe.


FutureLearn brings together a range of free, open, online courses from leading UK universities, in the same place and under the same brand. The company draws on The Open University’s unparalleled expertise in delivering distance learning and in pioneering open education resources. These enable FutureLearn to present a single, coherent entry point for students to the best of the UK’s online education content. To support my work in this area, I collect resources related to massive open online courses (MOOCs) in Scoopit. The FutureLearn go-live event took place at the British Library on 18 September 2013; six months later the platform had more than 250,000 registered users, and in May 2015 it announced that a single MOOC had attracted over 400,000 registrations.

OpenScience Laboratory

The Open University developed The OpenScience Laboratory, an online laboratory for practical science teaching, funded through a £1m grant awarded by the Wolfson Foundation. Guided by rigorous research, the laboratory will inspire students and transform access to the world of science.  As well as housing existing Open University practical science applications, we are developing new applications using cutting-edge technology. The OpenScience Lab was launched at the Royal Society, London, on 24 July 2013. In November 2014, it won ‘Outstanding ICT Initiative of the Year’ at the THE Awards.

Educational Futures

The work of the network engaged with the substantial challenges associated with learning for life in the 21st century. Rooted in the university’s distinctive history of educational innovation and commitment to social justice and widening participation, the network was set up to showcase the diverse ways in which The Open University was working to build educational futures.


This project, funded by the Learning Futures programme in 2010-2011, tuned a blogging tool to scaffold authentic enquiry-based learning. That initial project ended in Sept 2011 with the release of the software. The software is currently being used by children aged 9-11 to support enquiry projects within school.

Run jointly by the Open University’s Knowledge Media Institute, and University of Bristol’s Centre for Systems Learning & Leadership, EnquiryBlogger provides a set of plugins which extend one of the world’s most popular, robust, open source blogging platforms, WordPress (multisite edition, enabling admin of many child blogs under a parent blog).


Schome is an ongoing research initiative which is working to develop a ‘fit for purpose’ education system for society today. We are working on developing a system which will support people learning throughout their lives, from the cradle to the grave. Unlike other initiatives to transform education the Schome Initiative takes the view that you need to start with a vision of the ideal education system that would genuinely meet the needs of society and individuals in the 21st Century and would be unconstrained by preconceptions of existing education systems.

As part of this work, the Schome Park Programme consisted of a series of research projects, which set out to extend thinking about what education systems might be like. Nearly two hundred 13 to 17 year olds, and around 50 adults, have had some level of involvement with the programme, which used our ‘closed’ island(s) in Teen Second Life™ virtual world alongside a project wiki and forum. The programme generated a series of research publications.


The SocialLearn Project was part of Open University R&D, playing at the intersection of the tectonic forces moulding the learning landscape.
Think new models of social learning, collective sensemaking, open educational resources, quality, p2p/mentoring relationships, authentic inquiry, learning narratives, internet business…
SocialLearn investigated ways of tuning social media spaces for learning – work which fed into the development of FutureLearn.


The Society for Learning Analytics Research is an inter-disciplinary network of leading international researchers who are exploring the role and impact of analytics on teaching, learning, training and development.

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