Introducing Duygu Bektik

I am Duygu Bektik, Postdoctoral Research Associate for the IET’s OpenTEL. Over the last 10 years, I have been studying in the fields of computer science, instructional technologies and education, to explore and understand how students learn, what makes them better learners, how to measure the learning gain, what makes the environments in which learning takes place better and specifically how the use of technology can enhance learning activities.

I have started my journey in 2006 by studying at the five-year combined undergraduate and graduate programme, which leads to B.A. and M.A. degrees from Computer and Instructional Technology Teacher Education department at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey. Afterwards, I became part of the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton as an MSc. Software Engineering postgraduate student, where I started working on learning analytics in 2011. I carried my interest to this newly emerging field to the next level and, in 2012, started doing a Ph.D. in Learning Analytics, particularly discourse centric learning analytics, at the Knowledge Media Institute, the Open University UK and completed my Ph.D. in 2016. The aim of my research was to investigate whether computational techniques can automatically identify the attributes of good academic writing in undergraduate student essays; and if this proves possible, how best to feed back actionable analytics to support educators in their essay assessment processes. My PhD thesis is available here:

Prior to my current position, just after my PhD I started working for the IET as contractor postdoctoral researcher for about five months. During this time frame, I worked in three different internal and external projects simultaneously: EU-funded TeSLA project, HEFCE-funded ABC Learning Gains project and an internal OU initiative Single Component Assessment project.

Having an interdisciplinary background, with an area of expertise right at the intersection of computer science and educational technology, technology enhanced learning (TEL) has always been in the centre of my academic career and research interest, which is the primary reason I wanted to join the OpenTEL. My research interests currently lie primarily in the fields of learning analytics, particularly discourse-centric learning analytics, and e-assessment. These areas tally well with the OpenTEL’s research. Within this post, in addition to publishing post-Ph.D. articles, my personal research as part of the OpenTEL would involve conducting further research which focuses distinctively on how discourse centric learning analytics can be used to support and improve students’ writing skills and how academic tutors and markers can be supported in the e-assessment process.