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Ms Jenna Mittelmeier

Profile summary

  • Learning and Teaching Innovation
  • Institute of Educational Technology
  • jenna.mittelmeier

Professional biography

I am currently a postdoctoral researcher for the ESRC-funded International Distance Education for African Students (IDEAS) project. This project considers the role of South African distance education in providing equality in access to higher education for students across Africa. 

I am also in the final writing stages of my PhD in the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University. My PhD research project explores social tensions in cross-cultural group work and the role of internationalised academic content in driving successful group collaborations in diverse classrooms. 

More information can be found on my LinkedIn page. I also use Twitter and post to a research blog.

My publications are compiled in the OU's Open Research Online repository

Projects and Activities

I have been involved (or am currently involved) in the following research-related activities:

Conference Presentations

  • Educational Innovation in Economics and Business (EDINEB) - June 3 to 5, 2015, Brighton, UK
    Presentation: The role culture and personality play in an authentic online group learning experience
  • Higher Education Race Action Group (HERAG) Think Tank - June 1, 2015, London, UK
    Presentation: The role of culture and personality in student group work contributions
  • Computers and Learning Research Group (CALRG) - June 15 to 17, 2015, Milton Keynes, UK
    Presentation: The role of culture in student contributions to an online group learning activity
  • European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (ECTEL) doctoral consortium - September 14, 2015, Toledo, Spain
    Presentation: Using learning analytics to implement evidence-based interventions to support ethnic minority and international student social integrations
  • LAEP Learning Analytics Expert Workshop, March 16 to 17, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Learning Analytics and Knowledge doctoral consortium - April 26, 2016, Edinburgh, UK 
    Presentation: Understanding evidence-based interventions for cross-cultural group work: a learning analytics perspective
  • ACM Web Science  - May 22 to 25, 2016, Hannover, Germany
    Presentation: The influence of social networks on contributions to cross-cultural online collaboration 
  • EARLI SIG 10, 21, 25 - August 28 to 29, 2016, Tartu, Estonia
    Presentation: Student reflections on cross-cultural group work: Benefits, challenges and suggested teacher interventions
  • SRHE 2016 - December 7 to 9, 2016, Newport, Wales
    Presentation: Cross-cultural collaborations in higher education: Anticipated versus realised teacher roles in dissolving group work tensions 
  • Upcoming: EARLI 2017 - August 29 to September 2, Tampere, Finland
    Presentation: Encouraging participation in cross-cultural group work: An RCT of local vs internationalised content


Master of Arts in Global and International Studies (2014)
The University of Kansas, United States
Area focus: East Asia (particularly modern China)
Subject focus: globalisation of education
Thesis title: Chinese International Student Campus Involvement and Friendship Network Patterns in the United States (defended with honours, May 2014)

Bachelor of Science in Education (2011)
The University of Kansas, United States
Teacher education programme 


Practical Experiences

Orientation Coordinator (2011 - 2014), International Student Services, University of Kansas - coordinated pre-arrival communication and induction programmes for over 500 international students per year

Conversation Leader (2010 - 2012), Applied English Center, University of Kansas - assisted international students with practising English language skills 

Project Coordinator (2008 - 2010), America Reads, University of Kansas - directed a remedial reading tutoring programme for primary school students 



I am currently supervised by Prof Bart Rienties and Prof Denise Whitelock.


Research interests

My research tends to be multi-disciplinary and mixed method.

Research interests: internationalisation and globalisation of higher education, international student adjustment, social experiences in higher education, sociocultural influences on learning, cross-cultural interactions on campus and education in developing contexts. 

Methods background:  Learning analytics, social network analysis, survey instruments, qualitative interviews


Overcoming cross-cultural group work tensions: mixed student perspectives on the role of social relationships (2017)
Mittelmeier, Jenna; Rienties, Bart; Tempelaar, Dirk and Whitelock, Denise
Higher Education ((Early Access))
Adapting Together: Chinese Student Experience and Acceptance at an American University (2016-02-03)
Mittelmeier, Jenna and Kennedy, John James
In: Jindal-Snape, Divya and Rienties, Bart eds. Multi-dimensional Transitions of International Students to Higher Education. New Perspectives on Learning and Instruction (pp. 161-180)
ISBN : 9781138890909 | Publisher : Routledge
Using Social Network Analysis to predict online contributions: The impact of network diversity in cross-cultural collaboration (2016-05-22)
Mittelmeier, Jenna; Héliot, YingFei; Rienties, Bart and Whitelock, Denise
In : ACM Web Science 2016 (22 - 25 May, 2016, Hannover, Germany) (pp. 269-273)
Understanding Evidence-Based Interventions for Cross-Cultural Group Work: A Learning Analytics Perspective (2016-04-22)
Mittelmeier, Jenna
In : LAK 16: The 6th International Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference (25 29 April, 2016, Edinburgh, UK)
Does the Quality and Quantity of Exam Revision Impact on Student Satisfaction and Performance in the Exam Itself?: Perspectives from Undergraduate Distance Learners (2016)
Cross, Simon; Whitelock, Denise and Mittelmeier, Jenna
In : 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies (EDULEARN16) (4-6 July 2016, Barcelona, Spain) (pp. 5052-5061)
Learning analytics to understand cultural impacts on technology enhanced learning (2016)
Mittelmeier, Jenna; Tempelaar, Dirk; Rienties, Bart and Nguyen, Quan
In : 13th International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age (CELDA 2016) (28-30 October 2016, Mannheim, Germany)
The role culture and personality play in an authentic online group learning experience (2015-06)
Mittelmeier, Jenna; Heliot, Yingfei; Rienties, Bart and Whitelock, Denise
In : Proceedings of the 22nd EDINEB Conference: Critically Questioning Educational Innovation in Economics and Business: Human Interaction in a Virtualising World (03-05 June 2015, Brighton, UK) (pp. 139-149)
Research Evidence on the Use of Learning Analytics: Implications for Education Policy (2016)
Ferguson, Rebecca; Brasher, Andrew; Clow, Doug; Cooper, Adam; Hillaire, Garron; Mittelmeier, Jenna; Rienties, Bart; Ullmann, Thomas and Vuorikari, Riina
Joint Research Centre, Seville, Spain.
Using Learning Analytics to Implement Evidence-Based Interventions to Support Ethnic Minority and International Student Social Integrations (2015-09-15)
Mittelmeier, Jenna
10th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, ECTEL doctoral consortium.