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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 Research Associate for OpenTEL. My research in the Insitute of Educational Technology focuses on curriculum internationalisation and international student transition experiences. I am a lead researcher for a UKCISA-funded project unpacking international postgraduate social support networks. I also contribute to the ESRC-funded International Distance Education for African Students (IDEAS) project. The project considers the role of South African distance education in providing equitable in access to higher education for students across Africa. 

I have recently submitted my PhD thesis, which was conducted in IET at the Open University. My PhD research project explored social tensions in intercultural group work and the role of internationalised academic content in driving successful group collaborations in diverse blended classrooms. My PhD was supervised by Prof Bart Rienties and Prof Denise Whitelock.

I frequently use Twitter and occasionally post to a research blog. My publications are compiled in the OU's Open Research Online repository and on ResearchGate.


Projects and Activities

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

  • International Distance Education and African Students (IDEAS)
  • Book Reviews Editor for Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning
  • Student Experience of Feedback, Assessment and Revision (SEFAR) -- internal Open University project 
  • Learning Analytics for European Educational Policy (LAEP)
  • Organising member of CALRG (Computers and Learning Research Group), Open University


Conference Presentations

I frequently speak at top conferences in the fields of education and educational technology, including:

  • 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 
  • EARLI 2017 - August 29 to September 2, Tampere, Finland
    Presentation: Encouraging participation in cross-cultural group work: An RCT of local vs internationalised content

Workshops Led

  • EARLI JURE 2017 - August 27 to 28, 2017, Tampere, Finland
    Title: Three different perspectives on why you need learning analytics and educational data mining
  • June 9 - Nairobi, Kenya
    Title: Learning design for blended and online courses
    In collaboration with the African Network for Internationalization of Education (ANIE) and the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD)
  • May 14 to 16 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Learning analytics and educational policy expert workshop



PhD in Education and Educational Technology (expected September 2017)
Open University, United Kingdom
Thesis title: Supporting intercultural collaborations in blended and online settings: A randomised control trial of internationalised academic content

Master of Arts in Global and International Studies (2014)
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)
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 



UKCISA - one year grant to explore international postgraduate student social supports networks (£5000)


Research interests

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

Research interests: internationalisation and globalisation of higher education, international student transitions, intercultural group work, social experiences in higher education, sociocultural influences on learning, curriculum internationalisation, social media and computer-supported collaborative learning

Methods experiences:  learning analytics, social network analysis, survey instruments, qualitative interviews, randomised control trials


Student profiling in a dispositional learning analytics application using formative assessment (2017-08)
Tempelaar, Dirk; Rienties, Bart; Mittelmeier, Jenna and Nguyen, Quan
Computers in Human Behavior ((Accepted Manuscript))
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.