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Dr Canan Blake

Dr Canan Blake

Profile summary

  • Visiting Informal Academic
  • Honorary Associate
  • Learning and Teaching Innovation
  • Institute of Educational Technology
  • canan.blake

Professional biography

I am now an Honorary Associate in IET and continue my research activities in the area of technology enhanced learning in science and collaboration in online learning environments.  

Research interests

My main research interest is technology enhanced learning. Within that broad topic I am interested in collaborative learning and interaction in computer supported learning environments, mobile learning, technology enhanced learning in science and in work places and open learning and open educational resources (OER).

below you can find a list of projects I was involved:

PI Project

The three year Personal Inquiry project aimed to help young people to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to understand and contribute to their changing world. It was a collaboration with the Universityof Nottingham and was awarded nearly £1.2m from ESRC and EPSRC through the TEL ‘Technology Enhanced Learning’ initiative, part of the national Teaching and Learning Research Programme.  

The research involved 11-14 year-old children and helped them to take advantage of hand-held computer technology – both inside and outside the classroom to help personalise the way children learn, making it more accessible and more effective. We explored a new approach called ‘scripted inquiry learning’, in which pupils investigated a topic with classmates, by carrying out explorations in their classrooms, in their homes and outside, supported by technology. 

Members of the project team worked with a panel of teachers and curators to develop specific scripts related to the topic themes and with students and teachers at Oakgrove School.

The project website is at:


Mobile Clinical Learning

This project set out to review the potential of learning resources provided in PDAs linked to VLEs (Virtual Learning Environments) and to investigate the ways in which clinical learning within two comparative institutions can be supported by using small handheld computers also called personal digital assistants (PDAs).Working with UCL CHIME and Ibn-i Sina Turkish Teaching Hospital mobile devices were distributed to clincians to support them in their work-based learning activities. A comparative mixed method evaluation of these mobile support mechanisms will support an international viewpoint on the use of mobile learning in a global arena. 


OLnet is an international research hub for aggregating, sharing, debating and improving Open Educational Resources (OERs), taking the OU's expertise in researching the Open Learn initiative out to support research by and of the OER world. The aim of OLnet (Open Learning network) is to tackle gathering evidence and methods about how we can research and understand ways to learn in a more open world, particularly linked to Open Educational Resources (OER) but also looking at other influences. OLnet is funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation together with Carnegie Mellon University.

For more information see the project website at

Earlier projects:


InterLoc is a joint project on collaborative argumentation, funded by JISC, between the OU and London Metropolitan University, and others. In the area of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning where the advantages of group working are widely recognised in the literature, researchers have tried to understand the particular characteristics of collaborative working which can make it an effective learning experience. This research examines how dialogue can be structured to support higher-order mental processes used within academic practice. In particular it investigates how collaborative argumentation can introduce students to academic practice.

An interface to support structured dialogue (using Internet Chat) has been implemented as an online computer-based tool and recent JISC funding has enabled further work to develop the software for more general use.

Researchers: Canan Blake, Eileen Scanlon and Simon McAlister, Andrew Ravenscroft from London Metropolitan University.

Kaleidoscope Network of Excellence

Several CALRG members belong to the Kaleidoscope Network of Excellence which brings together European experts to share knowledge and to study and develop new concepts and methods for investigating the future of learning with digital technologies. CALRG members are involved in a project funded by Kaleidoscope on Mobile Learning in Informal Science Settings (MELISSA).

Recent technological developments mean that many mobile devices (such as SmartPhones) now have some of the functionality of personal computers as well as communication capabilities. This project is investigating what this means in the area of informal learning in Science; where, for example, learners might be using portable devices to support their interests in this area such as field work for amateur naturalists, geologists or in weather forecasting.

Researchers: Canan Blake; Gill Clough; Pascale Hardy; Ann Jones; Patrick McAndrew; Daisy Mwanza; Eileen Scanlon; Josie Taylor; Giasemi Vavoula.



Teaching interests

I supervised research students Eunice Olakanmi, Koula Charitonos Katy Jordan and Tina Papathoma.Eunice investigated self-regulation in school science and Koula's work is related to use of 'social software' for enhancing the museum learning experience. Katy investigates social networks for academics and Tina investigates assessment in MOOCs.

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Computers and Learning Research Group (CALRG)GroupInstitute of Educational Technology


Design for collaboration (2013-10)
Blake, Canan and Scanlon, Eileen
Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2013, Article 10(Autumn)
Challenges in personalisation: supporting mobile science inquiry learning across contexts (2013-03)
Jones, Ann; Scanlon, Eileen; Gaved, Mark; Blake, Canan; Collins, Trevor; Clough, Gill; Kerawalla, Lucinda; Littleton, Karen; Mulholland, Paul; Petrou, Marilena and Twiner, Alison
Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning, 8(1) (pp. 21-42)
Doing geography: a multimodal analysis of students' situated improvisational interpretation during fieldtrips (2012)
Kerawalla, Lucinda; Littleton, Karen; Scanlon, Eileen; Collins, Trevor; Gaved, Mark; Mulholland, Paul; Jones, Ann; Clough, Gill and Blake, Canan
Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 1(2) (pp. 78-89)
Museum learning via social and mobile technologies: (How) can online interactions enhance the visitor experience? (2012)
Charitonos, Koula; Blake, Canan; Scanlon, Eileen and Jones, Ann
British Journal of Educational Technology, 43(5) (pp. 802-819)
Personal inquiry learning trajectories in geography: technological support across contexts (2011)
Kerawalla, Lucinda; Littleton, Karen; Scanlon, Eileen; Jones, Ann; Gaved, Mark; Collins, Trevor; Mulholland, Paul; Blake, Canan; Clough, Gill; Conole, Grainne and Petrou, Marilena
Interactive Learning Environments, 21(6) (pp. 497-515)
Using netbooks to support mobile learners' investigations across activities and places (2010-11)
Gaved, Mark; Collins, Trevor; Mulholland, Paul; Kerawalla, Lucinda; Jones, Ann; Scanlon, Eileen; Littleton, Karen; Blake, Canan; Petrou, Marilena; Clough, Gill and Twiner, Alison
Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning, 25(3) (pp. 187-200)
Reconsidering simulations in science education ata distance: features of effective use (2007-12)
Blake, Canan and Scanlon, Eileen
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 23(6) (pp. 491-502)
Evaluating learning technologies: frameworks and case studies (2006)
Scanlon, Eileen; Blake, Canan; Issroff, Kim and Lewin, Cathy
International Journal of Learning Technology, 2(2-3) (pp. 243-263)
Technologically mediated complex problem‐solving on a statistics task (2005-07)
Scanlon, Eileen; Blake, Canan; Joiner, Richard and O'Shea, Tim
Learning, Media and Technology, 30(2) (pp. 165-183)
Digital maps for learning: a review and prospects (2004-09)
Jones, Ann; Blake, Canan; Davies, Clare and Scanlon, Eileen
Computers and Education, 43(1-2) (pp. 91-107)
Enriching accounts of computer supported collaboration by using video data (2003-06-01)
Blake, C.T. and Scanlon, E.
ALT-J: Research in Learning Technology, 11(2) (pp. 5-13)
Evaluating complex digital resources (2003-01-01)
Blake, Canan Tosunoglu; Davies, C.; Jones, A.; Morris, E. and Scanlon, E.
ALT-J: Research in Learning Technology, 11(1) (pp. 4-16)
Conferencing in communities of learners: examples from social history and science communication (2000)
Jones, Ann; Scanlon, Eileen and Blake, Canan
Educational Technology and Society, 3(3) (pp. 215-226)
Evaluating CAL at the Open University: 15 years on (1996-04)
Jones, Ann; Scanlon, Eileen; Blake, Canan; Butcher, Philip; Greenberg, Joel; Murphy, Pat and Ross, Shelagh
Computers and Education, 26(1-3) (pp. 5-15)
The Works Metallurgist: an evaluation of a CAL package on phase diagrams (1996)
Blake, Canan; Butcher, Philip; Scanlon, Eileen and Jones, Ann
ALT-J: Research in Learning Technology, 4(1) (pp. 55-57)
Inquiry learning in semi-formal contexts (2011-12-02)
Jones, Ann; Blake, Canan and Petrou, Marilena
In: Littleton, Karen; Scanlon, Eileen and Sharples, Mike eds. Orchestrating Inquiry Learning (pp. 192-213)
ISBN : 978-0-415-60113-9 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon, UK
The role of self-regulated learning in enhancing conceptual understanding of rate of chemical reactions (2010-12)
Olakanmi, Eunice; Blake, Canan and Scanlon, Eileen
In: Dettori , Giuliana and Persico , Donatella eds. Enhancing Fostering Self-Regulated Learning through ICT (pp. 248-267)
ISBN : 9781616929015 | Publisher : IGI Global
Usability evaluation of distributed groupware in distance learning (2004)
Blake, Canan and Rapanotti, Lucia
In: Akpinar, Y. ed. Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Information Technology Besed Higher Education and Training (pp. 500-504)
ISBN : 0-7803-8596-9 | Publisher : IEEE | Published : New York, USA
Reflections on a model of evaluating learning technologies (1998)
Jones, Ann; Scanlon, Eileen and Blake, Canan
In: Oliver, Martin ed. Innovation in the Evaluation of Learning Technology (pp. 25-40)
ISBN : 1-85377-256-9 | Publisher : University of North London | Published : London
Investigating Learners’ Views of Assessment Types in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) (2015)
Papathoma, Tina; Blake, Canan; Clow, Doug and Scanlon, Eileen
In : EC-TEL 2015: Tenth European Conference on Technology-Enhanced Learning (16–17 September 2015, Toledo, Spain) (pp. 617-621)
Analysing online discussions in educational and work based settings (2014-04)
Blake, Canan and Scanlon, Eileen
In : Ninth International Conference on Networked Learning 2014 (7-9 April, 2014, Edinburgh, UK) (pp. 25-32)
Analysis of learners’ fieldtrip talk during a collaborative inquiry task (2013-09)
Blake, Canan; Scanlon, Eileen; Twiner, Alison; Collins, Trevor; Jones, Ann and Kerawalla, Lucinda
In : EC-TEL 2013 Eighth European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (17 - 21 September 2013, Paphos (Cyprus)) (pp. 32-42)
Analysing collaborative processes and interaction patterns in online discussions (2012-04)
Blake, Canan and Scanlon, Eileen
In : Eighth International Conference on Networked Learning 2012 ( 02-04 April 2012, Maastricht, The Netherlands) (pp. 10-17)
Trajectories of learning across museums and classrooms (2012)
Charitonos, Koula; Blake, Canan; Scanlon, Eileen and Jones, Ann
In : The Transformative Museum (22-25 May 2012, Roskilde, Denmark)
Live linking of fieldwork to the laboratory increases students inquiry based reflections (2011-07-04)
Adams, Anne; Coughlan, Tim; Rogers, Yvonne; Collins, Trevor; Davies, Sarah-Jane; Blake, Canan and Lea, John
In : CSCL 2011: International Conference on Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (04-08 July 2011, Hong Kong)
Collaboration in communities of inquirers: an example from a geography field trip (2011-07)
Scanlon, Eileen; Blake, Canan; Twiner, Alison; Collins, Trevor; Jones, Ann and Kerawalla, Lucinda
In : 9th International Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Conference (04-08 July 2011, Hong Kong)
Effectiveness of mobile learning across various settings (2011-04)
Blake, Canan; Adams, Anne and Scanlon, Eileen
In : CAL Conference 2011, Learning Futures: Education, Technology & Sustainability ( 13 - 15 April 2011, Manchester)
Museum learning 2.0: how (can) Web 2.0 technologies be used for enhancing the museum learning experience? (2011)
Charitonos, Koula; Blake, Canan; Scanlon, Eileen and Jones, Ann
In : EVA London 2011: Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (6-8 July 2011, London, UK)
Using PDAs in healthcare settings (2010-10)
Blake, Canan; Adams, Anne and Scanlon, Eileen
In : Proceedings of mLearn 2010, World Conference on Mobile and contextual Learning, Valetta, Malta. University of Malta, (19-22 October 2010, Valetta, Malta)
Personal Inquiry: scripting support for inquiry learning by participatory design (2010-07)
Scanlon, Eileen; Kerawalla, Lucinda; Twiner, Alison; Mulholland, Paul; Collins, Trevor; Jones, Ann; Gaved, Mark; Littleton, Karen; Blake, Canan and Conole, Grainne
In : Computer-Based Learning in Science (7-10 Jul 2010, Warsaw, Poland)
The challenge of supporting networked personal inquiry learning across contexts (2010)
Scanlon, Eileen; Kerawalla, Lucinda; Gaved, Mark; Jones, Ann; Collins, Trevor; Mulholland, Paul; Blake, Canan; Petrou, Marilena and Littleton, Karen
In : The 7th International Conference on Networked Learning 2010 (3-4 May 2010, Aalborg, Denmark)
Being a Geographer: the role of mobile, scripted inquiry in mediating embodied meaning-making during Geography fieldtrips (2010)
Kerawalla, Lucinda; Scanlon, Eileen; Jones, Ann; Littleton, Karen; Mulholland, Paul; Collins, Trevor; Twiner, Alison; Clough, Gill; Blake, Canan; Petrou, Marilena; Conole, Grainne and Gaved, Mark
In : 9th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning (mlearn 2010) (19-22 Oct 2010, Valletta, Malta)
Promoting co-and self-regulation among young science learners in a computer supported collaborative (CSCL) environment. (2010)
Olakanmi, Eunice; Scanlon, Eileen; Blake, Canan and Jones, Ann
In : STELLA workshop on Self-Regulated Learning in Technology Enhanced Learning Environments: Problems and Promises (1st October 2010, Barcelona) (pp. 71-85)
Technological mediation of personal inquiry in UK GCSE geography: opportunities and challenges (2009)
Kerawalla, Lucinda; Scanlon, Eileen; Twiner, Alison; Jones, Ann; Littleton, Karen; Conole, Grainne; Mulholland, Paul; Collins, Trevor; Blake, Canan; Clough, Gill and Gaved, Mark
In : CAL09 - Learning in Digital Worlds (23-25 March 2009, Brighton, UK)
Supporting location-based inquiry learning across school, field and home contexts (2008-10)
Collins, Trevor; Gaved, Mark; Mulholland, Paul; Kerawalla, Cindy; Twiner, Alison; Scanlon, Eileen; Jones, Ann; Littleton, Karen; Conole, Grainne and Blake, Canan
In : Proceedings of the MLearn 2008 Conference (7 - 10 Oct 2008, Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire, UK)
From design to narrative: the development of inquiry-based learning models (2008-07)
Conole, Grainne; Scanlon, Eileen; Kerawalla, Lucinda; Mulholland, Paul; Anastopulou, Stamatina and Blake, Canan
In : World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications (EDMEDIA) (30 June - 4 July 2008, Vienna)
Investigating personal inquiry: An activity theory approach (2008)
Scanlon, Eileen; Jones, Ann; Collins, Trevor; Conole, Grainne; Gaved, Mark; Kerawalla, Lucinda; Littleton, Karen; Mulholland, Paul; Twiner, Alison and Blake, Canan
In : Proceedings of mLearn (8-10 October 2008, Wolverhampton, UK)
PDAS as workplace tools for science teachers (2007)
Scanlon, Eileen; Banks, Frank; Blake, Canan; Clough, Gill; Jones, Ann; Holliman, Richard; Issroff, Kim; Marshall, Christine; Roche, Nel; Smidt, Samantha and Waycott, Jenny
In : IADIS International Conference - Mobile Learning 2007 (5-7 July, Lisbon, Portugal)
Investigating mobile science learning in workplace settings (2007)
Marshall, Christine; Issroff, Kim; Scanlon, Eileen; Blake, Canan; Holliman, Richard; Smidt, Samantha; Clough, Gill; Banks, Frank; Jones, Ann; Roche, Nel and Waycott, Jenny
In : CAL07: Development, Disruption and Debate - D3 (26-28 March 2007, Dublin, Ireland)
Using mobile devices for learning in informal settings: is it motivating? (2006)
Jones, Ann; Issroff, Kim; Scanlon, Eileen; Clough, Gill; McAndrew, Patrick and Blake, Canan
In : IADIS International Conference on Mobile Learning (14-16 July 2006, Dublin) (pp. 251-255)
Evidence from a series of experiments on video-mediated collaboration: does eye contact matter? (2002-01)
Joiner, Richard; Scanlon, Eileen; O'Shea, Tim; Smith, Randall B. and Blake, Canan
In : Computer Support for Collaborative Learning Conference, CSCL 2002 (7-11 Jan 2002, University of Colorado, USA)
eTutorials with voice groupware: real-time conferencing to support computing students at a distance (2002)
Rapanotti, Lucia; Blake, Canan Tosunoglu and Griffiths, Robert
In : Proceedings of the 7th annual conference on Innovation and technology in computer science education (24-26 June, 2002, Aarhus, Denmark)
Voice groupware to support students at a distance (2002)
Rapanotti, Lucia; Blake, Canan T. and Griffiths, Rob
In : 4th International Conference on Environmental Education (24-28 Nov 2002, Lugano, Switzerland)
Mapping interactions in a computer conferencing environment (2001-03)
Blake, Canan T. and Rapanotti, Lucia
In : European Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (Euro-CSCL) (22-24 March 2001, Maastricht)
The physical world: multimedia physics at a distance (2001)
Rosewell, Jonathan; Thomson, Fiona and Blake, Canan
In : Computers and Learning 2001: Learning across the ages - looking back and looking forwards (2 - 4 April 2001, University of Warwick)