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Dr Christothea Herodotou

Christothea Herodotou

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Lecturer in Innovating Pedagogy
  • Learning and Teaching Innovation
  • Institute of Educational Technology
  • Academic Team
  • christothea.herodotou

Professional biography

I am a Lecturer at The Open University, UK. My research interests focus on the evaluation of technologies for learning (web-based technologiesdigital games, and mobile applications) through innovative research methodologies including crowdsourcing and learning analytics. I hold funding from the National Science FoundationWellcome Trust, and ESRC for researching learning in online citizen science communities with the aim to make learning science more accessible and productive for youth. I also hold funding from the British Academy for evaluating the impact of mobile maths applications on young children's learning and development. I also run an eSTEeM funded project on improving online pedagogy around the use of virtual microscopy in VLEs and work with a broader academic team on the BBC/OU online citizen science partnership. 

Qualifications: I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).I received my Ph.D. degree in Digital Games and Psychology from the University College London (UCL) Institute of Education with very minor amendments (4 weeks), an MSc in Education, Technology, and Society at the University of Bristol, UK (with Distinction) and a BA (Hons) degree in Primary Education, University of Cyprus

Teaching: I am chairing the master module H800:Technology-enhanced learning: practices and debates (MA in Open and Distance Learning; MAODE) and I am Data Wrangler for the Faculty of Business and Law (FBL).  I also work with the Early Alert Indicators team and consult on the evaluation approaches to be used for assessing university-wide learning analytic interventions and their impact on students' performance and attainment.  

Funding awards:

  • Examining learning processes through the integration of two informal science learning approaches: Natural History Museum-led citizen science, Funded by: National Science Foundation (NSF), Wellcome Trust, ESRC. Role: co-Investigator, leading the online evaluation of citizen science programmes, May 2017-April 2021.
  • m-Evaluate: Devising an evaluation framework for the design and use of mobile learning applications in early years' education, Funded by: British Academy. Role: Principal Investigator, Oct 2017-Sept 2018

  • Understanding and improving students’ learning experience and engagement with practical science on-line: The case of virtual and remote microscopes, Funded by: eSTEeM, The OU centre for STEM pedagogy. Role: Principal Investigator, Feb 2016 - Jan2018 http://www.open.ac.uk/about/teaching-and-learning/esteem/projects​ 

  • mobiGame: How can touch screen mobile game applications support inclusion and participation in science learning of preschoolers from disadvantaged backgrounds?, http://mobilegameschildren.blogspot.co.uk/, Funded by: British Educational Research Association (BERA), Role: Principal Investigator – BERA BJET Fellow, Feb 2015-Nov 2016.

  • Police Knowledge Fund (PKF):  National Centre for Policing Research and Professional Development, Improving investigations through utilising technology, community and psychology. Funded by: Home Office and the Higher Education Funding Council for England,Role: Leading "Building policing-practitioner ocmmunities online" http://centre-for-policing.open.ac.uk/research#technology-data-knowledge-management, Jan 2016 - March 2017.

In the past, I worked extensively for a number of international and national projects related to learning analytics and formal and informal science education and developed a number of technologies for supporting science learning and understanding. Specifically, I worked for the following projects:

  • A4A: Analytics for action, Funded by: The Open University, UK. Role: Collaborating Investigator leading the evaluation of learning analytics interventions, 2015-2016.
  • nQuire: Young Citizen Inquiry, http://nquire.wordpress.com/, Funded by: Nominet Trust, UK, Role: Postdoctoral research associate (Educational developer)

  • PROFILES, www.cut.ac.cy/profiles/indexEN.html, Funded by: European Commission, Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), Role: Postdoctoral research associate

  • Digital support for Inquiry, Collaboration, and Reflection on Socio-Scientific Debates CoReflect, www.coreflect.org, Funded by: European Commission, Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), Role: Postdoctoral research associate

Research interests

  • Development and evaluation of educational software
  • Game-based learning
  • Learning analytics
  • Citizen science / crowdsourcing
  • Science learning and engagement
  • Mixed-methods research 

Teaching interests

As a Visiting Lecturer at the Cyprus University of Technology I was teaching in higher education for two years at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I chaired and taught the following master courses:

  • “New media and Children”
  • “Innovative Technologies”

and undergraduate courses:

  • “Digital Games and Communication”
  • “Communication Technology Environment”.  

As part of my duties, I supervised a number of master and undergraduate students.

Also, I worked for 7 years as a primary teacher in the UK and abroad.

Impact and engagement

Peer-reviewed journal publications (most recent only):

  • Herodotou, C. (2017). Mobile Games and Science Learning: A Comparative Study of 4 and 5 years old Playing the Game Angry Birds. British Journal of Educational Technology.
  • Herodotou, C., Rienties, B, Heiser, S. (2017). Implementing Randomised Control Trials in Open and Distance Learning: A Feasibility Study. Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning.
  • FitzGerald, E., Kucirkova, N., Jones, A., Cross, S., Ferguson, R., Herodotou, C., Hillaire, G., Scanlon, E. (2017). Dimensions of personalisation in technology-enhanced learning: a framework and implications for design. British Journal of Educational Technology.
  • Sharples, Mike; Aristeidou, Maria; Villasclaras-Fernández, Eloy; Herodotou, C. and Scanlon, Eileen (2017). The Sense-it App: A Smartphone Toolkit for Citizen Inquiry Learning. International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, 9(2) pp. 16–38. 
  • Herodotou, C., Villasclaras-Fernández, E., Sharples, M. (2015). Exploring the world by the scientific method: The nQuire website and sensor toolkit for mobile devices. Teaching Earth Sciences magazine.
  • Herodotou, C., Winters, N. & Kambouri, M. (2014). An iterative, multidisciplinary approach to studying digital play motivation: The Model of Game Motivation. Games & Culture. DOI:10.1177/1555412014557633. 
  • Herodotou, C., Kambouri, M., & Winters, N. (2014). Dispelling the myth of the socio-emotionally dissatisfied gamer. Computers in Human Behaviour, 32, 23-31.
  • Kyza, E. A., Herodotou, C., Nicolaidou, I., Redfors, A., Hansson, L., Schanze, S., Saballus, U., Papadouris, N.  & Michael, G. (2014).  Adapting Web-Based Inquiry Learning Environments from One Country to Another: The CoReflect Experience. In C. Bruguière, A. Tiberghien & P. Clément (Eds.), Topics and Trends in Current Science Education (Vol. 1, pp. 567-582): Springer Netherlands.

Peer-reviewed conference publications (most recent only):

  • Herodotou, C., Aristeidou, M., Kelley, S., Scanlon, E. (2017). Students' engagement with practical science online: Pedagogical implications of the use of virtual microscope in distance learning, EARLI 2017.
  • Gilmour, A., Boroowa, A., Herodotou, C. (2017). The issue of retention in distance learning: strategic approaches to using data to inform retention interventions. NTU conference. 
  • Herodotou, C., Rienties, B., Boroowa, A., Zdrahal, Z., Hlosta, M., Naydenova, G. (2017). Implementing Predictive Learning Analytics on a Large Scale: The Teacher's Perspective. To be published in Proceedings of LAK 2017, March, 2017.
  • Herodotou, C. (2016). Are mobile games good for preschoolers? Angry Birds and science learning in a group of 5-years old. Proceedings of the AACE- ELearn world conference on E-Learning, Washington D.C., Nov. 14-16.
  • Herodotou, C. (2016). Touchscreen mobile games and science learning: Do preschoolers benefit from their use? Proceedings of the BERA conference, University of Leeds, UK, Sept. 13-15
  • Herodotou, C., Rienties, B, Heiser, S. (2016). A randomised control study about the effects of different assessment registration encouragements. EARLI Sig 1 2016.
  • Rienties, B.., Boroowa, A., Cross, S., Farrington-Flint, L., Herodotou, C., Prescott, L., Mayles, K., Olney, T., Toetenel, L., Woodthorpe, J. (2016). Reviewing three case-studies of learning analytics interventions at the Open University UK. The 6th International Conference on Leaning Analytics and Knowledge. Poster presentation, LAK 2016, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK,  April 25-29.

Books (Upcoming)

  • Herodotou, C., Sharples, M., Scanlon, E. (under press) (Eds). Citizen Inquiry: Synthesizing Science and Inquiry Learning. London: Taylor & Francis.
  • Herodotou, C. (under press). Citizen science. In R. Luckin (Ed.) What The Research Says. UCL press. (Book chapter)

Technical reports (most recent only)

  • Ferguson, Rebecca; Coughlan, Tim; Herodotou, Christothea and Scanlon, Eileen (2017). MOOCs: What the research of FutureLearn’s UK partners tells us. Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, Milton Keynes.
  • Sharples, Mike; de Roock, Roberto; Ferguson, Rebecca; Gaved, Mark; Herodotou, Christothea; Koh, Elizabeth; Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes; Looi, Chee-Kit; McAndrew, Patrick; Rienties, Bart; Weller, Martin and Wong, Lung Hsiang (2016). Innovating Pedagogy 2016: Open University Innovation Report 5. The Open University.
  • Rienties, B., Edwards, C., Gaved, M., Marsh, V., Herodotou, C., Clow, D., Cross, S., Coughlan, T., Jones, J., Ullmann, T. (2016). Scholarly insight 2016: a Datawrangler perspective. Open University: Milton Keynes.

Other Awards:

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Christothea_Herodotou 

Research Activity

Externally funded projects

How can touchscreen mobile game applications support inclusion and participation in science learning of preschoolers from disadvantaged backgrounds?

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01/Feb/201531/Aug/2016BERA
The proposed research relates to the 'use of mobile technology to support inclusion and participation' aspect of the call and the impact of mobile technology in the UK on preschool children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Preschoolers from Disadvantaged Backgrounds (PDB) face higher risks of exclusion for, their personal or social circumstances may comprise obstacles to educational achievement and reaching the basic minimum level of skills for inclusion in society (OECD, 2012). It is more likely to experience anxiety and lack of confidence when it comes to learning (Hirsch, 20007). Preschool learning experiences are crucial as they affect youngers' cognitive and socioemotional development as well as longer-term educational, professional and social inclusion (Sylva, 2010). Touchscreens (smartphones and tablets) is the most popular play activity amongst children of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, overtaking more traditional forms of play (Michael Cohen Group, 2014).However, their impact on learning and inclusion is relatively underexplored. The aim of this study is to shed light in this area of research by examining the impact touch screen game applications have on PDB participation in science learning. Engagement with science is a thorny issue within the field of education with students being disinterested in STEM topics and careers (Tapscott, 2012). Science teaching in early years is underemphasized despite the critical role of early exposure to increasing comfort, engagement and long-term achievement later in school life, especially for PDB (Bowman, Donovan, & Burns, 2001; Greenfield et al., 2011). This study will specifically examine how touch screen mobile game applications relate to domain-specific and domain-general scientific thinking, that is, conceptual knowledge to solve a science task and development of reasoning skills about causal relationships respectively. Scientific thinking skills are essential for effective problem-solving and personal and professional development throughout life (Williams, Papierno, Makel, Ceci, 2004) contributing to inclusion and participation in society. A comparative study will be conducted with 100 preschoolers. Participants will be divided into two groups - a control group and a group of PDB - in order to address the following research objectives (a) describe usage patterns when preschoolers make use of touch screen mobile game applications, (b) measure the impact of using touch screen game applications on scientific thinking, and (c) examine how preschoolers' previous subject theories about cause and effect relationships mediate scientific thinking. Data will be collected through semi-structured interviews with preschoolers, observation check-lists and tape-recording of preschoolers' use of touch screens. To achieve greater impact, outcomes will be reported in international, scientific conferences and high-ranked peer-reviewed journals, to educational stakeholders through policy briefings, presentations in academic and public events, and through official website and social network sites. Considering the involvement of children in research, BERA ethical guidelines will be followed ensuring privacy, security and ethical conduct during the implementation of the project.

Publications

The Sense-it App: A Smartphone Toolkit for Citizen Inquiry Learning (2017-03)
Sharples, Mike; Aristeidou, Maria; Villasclaras-Fernández, Eloy; Herodotou, Christothea and Scanlon, Eileen
International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, 9(2) (pp. 16-38)
Mobile games and science learning: A comparative study of 4 and 5 years old playing the game Angry Birds (2017)
Herodotou, Christothea
British Journal of Educational Technology ((Early view))
Dimensions of personalisation in technology-enhanced learning: a framework and implications for design (2017)
FitzGerald, Elizabeth; Kucirkova, Natalia; Jones, Ann; Cross, Simon; Ferguson, Rebecca; Herodotou, Christothea; Hillaire, Garron and Scanlon, Eileen
British Journal of Educational Technology ((In press))
Implementing Randomised Control Trials in Open and Distance Learning: A Feasibility Study (2017)
Herodotou, Christothea; Heiser, Sarah and Rienties, Bart
Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-learning, 32(2) (pp. 147-162)
An Iterative, Multidisciplinary Approach to Studying Digital Play Motivation: The Model of Game Motivation (2015-05)
Herodotou, Christothea; Winters, Niall and Kambouri, Maria
Games and Culture, 10(3) (pp. 249-268)
Dispelling the myth of the socio-emotionally dissatisfied gamer (2014-03)
Herodotou, C.; Kambouri, M. and Winters, N.
Computers in Human Behavior, 32 (pp. 23-31)
A Motivationally Oriented Approach to Understanding Game Appropriation (2012)
Herodotou, Christothea; Winters, Niall and Kambouri, Maria
International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 28(1) (pp. 34-47)
The development and validation of the GMOAS: an instrument measuring secondary students’ attitudes towards Genetically Modified Organisms. (2012)
Herodotou, Christothea; Kyza, Eleni A.; Nicolaidou, Iolie ; Hadjichambis, Andreas ; Kafouris , Dimitris and Terzian, Freda
International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, 2(2) (pp. 131-147)
The role of trait emotional intelligence in gamers' preferences for play and frequency of gaming (2011-09)
Herodotou, Christothea; Kambouri, Maria and Winters, Niall
Computers in Human Behavior, 27(5) (pp. 1815-1819)
The design and evaluation of a sensor-based mobile application for citizen inquiry science investigations (2014-09)
Herodotou, Christothea; Villasclaras Fernandez, Eloy and Sharples, Mike
In: Rensing, Christoph; de Freitas, Sara; Ley, Tobias and Muñoz-Merino , Pedro J. eds. Open Learning and Teaching in Educational Communities: 9th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2014, Graz, Austria, September 16-19, 2014, Proceedings. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (8719) (pp. 434-439)
ISBN : 978-3-319-11199-5 | Publisher : SpringerInternational Publishing
Adapting web-based inquiry learning environments from one country to another: the CoReflect experience (2014)
Kyza, Eleni A.; Herodotou, Christothea; Nicolaidou, Iolie; Redfors, Andreas; Hansson, Lena; Schanze, Sascha; Saballus, Ulf; Papadouris, Nicos and Michael, Georgia
In: Bruguière, Catherine; Tiberghien, Andrée and Clément, Pierre eds. Topics and Trends in Current Science Education. Contributions from Science Education Research (1) (pp. 567-582)
ISBN : 978-94-007-7280-9 | Publisher : Springer Netherlands | Published : Dordrecht
Do children learn from playing Angry Birds? A comparative study of 4 and 5 years old (2017-06-14)
Herodotou, Christothea
In : CALRG Annual Conference 2017 (14-16 Jun 2017, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK)
Predictive modelling for addressing students’ attrition in Higher Education: The case of OU Analyse (2017-06-14)
Herodotou, Christothea; Gilmour, Alison; Boroowa, Avinash; Rienties, Bart; Zdrahal, Zdenek and Hlosta, Martin
In : CALRG Annual Conference 2017 (14-16 Jun 2017, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK)
Predictive modelling and student retention: A collaborative enhancement project (2017-06)
Gilmour, Alison; MacLeod, Lucy; Naydenova, Galina; Boroowa, Avinash; Ward, Rebecca and Herodotou, Christothea
In : 3rd International Enhancement in Higher Education Conference (6 - 8 June 2017, Glasgow, UK)
Implementing predictive learning analytics on a large scale: the teacher's perspective (2017-03-13)
Herodotou, Christothea; Rienties, Bart; Boroowa, Avinash; Zdrahal, Zdenek; Hlosta, Martin and Naydenova, Galina
In : 7th International Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference (13-17 March 2017, Vancouver, Canada) (pp. 267-271 )
Students' engagement with practical science online: Pedagogical implications of the use of virtual microscope in distance learning (2017)
Herodotou, Christothea; Aristeidou, Maria; Kelley, Simon and Scanlon, Eileen
In : EARLI 2017 (29th August - 2nd Sept 2017)
A Comparative Study of Blended and Online Learning using the Virtual Microscope for Earth Sciences (2017)
Muirhead, David K.; Herodotou, Christothea; Aristeidou, Maria; Hole, M. J.; Kelley, Simon; Scanlon, Eileen and Duffy, M.
In : Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference: Making Connections and Sharing Pedagogy (39 June - 30 June 2017, Heriot-Watt University, UK)
Are mobile games good for preschoolers? Angry Birds and science learning in a group of 5-years old (2016-11-14)
Herodotou, Christothea
In : E-Learn 2016: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (14-16 November 2016, Washington DC) (pp. 679-687)
Touchscreen mobile games and science learning: Do preschoolers benefit from their use? (2016-09-13)
Herodotou, Christothea
In : BERA conference 2016 (13-15 Sept 2016, Leeds, UK)
A randomised control study about the effects of different assessment registration encouragements (2016-08-24)
Herodotou, Christothea; Heiser, Sarah and Rienties, Bart
In : 8th Biennial conference of EARLI Sig 1: Assessment & Evaluation (24-26 August 2016, Munich, Germany)
OpenQuest: Designing a Motivational Framework for MOOCs Instruction (2016-06-30)
Mystakidis, Stylianos and Herodotou, Christothea
In : WOW! Europe embraces MOOCs (30 November 2015, Rome) (pp. 141-145)
Sense-it: A Smartphone Toolkit for Citizen Inquiry Learning (2015-10)
Sharples, Mike; Aristeidou, Maria; Villasclaras-Fernández, Eloy; Herodotou, Christothea and Scanlon, Eileen
In : Proceedings of 14th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning, mLearn 2015 (October 17–24, 2015, Venice, Italy) (pp. 366-377)
Addressing the Retention Gap in MOOCs: Towards a Motivational Framework for MOOCs Instructional Design (2015-08-26)
Herodotou, Christothea and Mystakidis, Stylianos
In : 16th Biennial EARLI Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction (25-29 August 2015, Limassol, Cyprus)
What characteristics of the gamers' profile should be taken into account in player-centred game design? (2015)
Herodotou, Christothea; Kambouri, Maria and Winters, Niall
In : 11th International Conference on Intelligent Environments (13-14 July 2015, Prague, Czech Republic) (pp. 289-297)
Scaffolding citizen inquiry science learning through the nQuire toolkit. (2014)
Herodotou, Christothea; Villasclaras-Fernandez, Eloy and Sharples, Mike
In : EARLI SIG 20: Computer Supported Inquiry Learning (18-20 August 2014, Malmö University, Sweden) (p 5)
Game Appropriation: Where does the gamer fit? (2009-04-01)
Herodotou, Christothea
PhD thesis UCL Institute of Education
Scholarly Insight Spring 2017: A Data Wrangler Perspective (2017-06-01)
Rienties, Bart; Rogaten, Jekaterina; Nguyen, Quan; Edwards, Chris; Gaved, Mark; Holt, Deborah; Herodotou, Christothea; Clow, Doug; Cross, Simon; Coughlan, Tim; Jones, Jan and Ullmann, Thomas
Open University UK
MOOCs: What the research of FutureLearn’s UK partners tells us (2017-01)
Ferguson, Rebecca; Coughlan, Tim; Herodotou, Christothea and Scanlon, Eileen
Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, Milton Keynes.
Scholarly insight 2016: a Data wrangler perspective (2016-12-21)
Rienties, Bart; Edwards, Chris; Gaved, Mark; Marsh, Vicky; Herodotou, Christothea; Clow, Doug; Cross, Simon; Coughlan, Tim; Jones, Jan and Ullmann, Thomas
Open University UK
Innovating Pedagogy 2016: Open University Innovation Report 5 (2016-12-01)
Sharples, Mike; de Roock, Roberto; Ferguson, Rebecca; Gaved, Mark; Herodotou, Christothea; Koh, Elizabeth; Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes; Looi, Chee-Kit; McAndrew, Patrick; Rienties, Bart; Weller, Martin and Wong, Lung Hsiang
The Open University
MOOCS: What The Open University research tells us (2016-07)
Ferguson, Rebecca; Coughlan, Tim and Herodotou, Christothea
Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, Milton Keynes.
How can touchscreen mobile game applications support inclusion and participation in science learning of preschoolers from disadvantaged backgrounds? ()
Herodotou, Christothea