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Professor Martin James Weller

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Professor of Educational Technology
  • Institute of Educational Technology
  • Professoriat
  • martin.weller

Professional biography

I've been involved in many of the OU's e-learning developments, including being director of the VLE, leading the SocialLearn project and chairing the first major online course (T171 with 12,000 students).  I am currently leading on a strategic project to bring a learning design approach to the University's module design systems, called Curriculum Business Models. 

My research area is in digital scholarship - I blog about this, and have recently written a book on the subject (published by Bloomsbury Academic under an open access licence). I have been involved in the open education movement for a number of years, being part of the original team that gained funding for the OpenLearn project. I have been the lead on a number of research projects in this area, including FLOSSCom (looking at open source models for education) and Sidecap (promoting open education resources in African, Caribbean and Pacific universities)

I'm a regular and reasonably well known blogger at


Research interests

Most of my research falls under the broad category of digital scholarship:

The impact of new technology on academic practice

Changing nature of academic identity in a networked world

Open education - the uptake of OERs, implementation of MOOCs, etc

I've published quite a few papers and three books, so if you're interested, see the publications page.

Teaching interests

I am currently authoring on two courses in the MAODE - H817, where my block focuses on open education and will be run as an open course (or a MOOC), which anyone can access, and H818, the project based course.

I chaired the Masters course H806 Learning in the Connected Economy. This was the first, and as it turned out last, course to be launched by the UK e-University. It was the first OU course to be developed purely as learning objects. I joined IET in 2002, but prior to that I worked in the Telematics department, in the Faculty of Technology at the OU. My main work there was on the course T171, You, your computer and the Net. I chaired the production and presentation of the initial course and later co-chaired it. I also authored two of the modules. The course was based entirely online and had around 12,000 students annually. I also worked on T396 Artificial Intelligence for Technology which was my first course at the OU. I have also authored on H807 and H808.

Research Activity

Research groups

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


Externally funded projects

Sustainability path for OER Research Centre

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01/Aug/201531/Jul/2016Hewlett Foundation
This proposal sets out a one-year transition plan to take forward the Open Educational Resources Research Hub (OERRH). OERRH was established to provide a focus for research on ‘What is the impact of OER on learning and teaching practices?’ and identify the particular influence of openness. The structure of the project was to work in collaboration with projects across four education sectors (K12, college, higher education and informal) to develop a network of research with shared methods and shared results. It has provided: • A targeted collaboration program with existing OER projects; • An international fellowship program; • Networking to make connections; and • A hub for research data and OER excellence in practice. The sustainability project is aimed at drawing value of this work and transition to a portfolio approach that is aligned with the strategy for research in openness from the Hewlett Foundation and other funders. It is intended to build on the strong identity established as OER Research Hub but with a refocus on broader ways of working as the OER Research Centre. The sustainability path will developed across two key areas. 1. Identifying and building a portfolio of relationships with funders and organisations 2. Support building capacity in OER research

Go-Gn Network

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01/Mar/201531/Jan/2016The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
GO-GN is a global network connecting PhD researchers (and their supervisors) in OER and - broader - Opening up Education. GO-GN provides various services, mostly online, for better support and quality of the PhD studies and for significant interaction. Prominent are the GO-GN Seminars, linked to relevant global events and offering a full week’s learning experience primarily for the PhD members through in-depth discussion of their research plans and work. This proposal requests funding for: (A) the 2015 Seminar in April as a continuation of the earlier Grant 2013-8942; and (B) a specific GO-GN PhD study on ‘Impact of International Organizations on Governmental OER Policies’. This work aligns with the Education Program’s overall goal of achieving a robust OER infrastructure.


Impact of OER use on teaching and learning: data from OER Research Hub (2013–2014) (2015-09)
Farrow, Robert; Pitt, Rebecca; de los Arcos, Beatriz; Perryman, Leigh-Anne; Weller, Martin and McAndrew, Patrick
British Journal of Educational Technology, 46(5) (pp. 972-976)
MOOCs and the Silicon Valley Narrative (2015-04-10)
Weller, Martin
Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2015(1) (pp. 1-7)
The potential social, economic and environmental benefits of MOOCs: operational and historical comparisons with a massive ‘closed online’ course (2014-04)
Lane, Andy; Caird, Sally and Weller, Martin
Open Praxis, 6(2) (pp. 115-123)
The Battle for Open - a perspective (2013-12-03)
Weller, Martin
Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2013(3)
Digital resilience in higher education (2013-03-21)
Weller, Martin and Anderson, Terry
European Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 16(1) (p 53)
Digital scholarship and the tenure process as an indicator of change in universities (2012-07)
Weller, Martin
RUSC. Universities and Knowledge Society Journal, 9(2) (pp. 347-360)
The openness-creativity cycle in education: a perpsective (2012-04)
Weller, Martin
Journal of Interactive Media in Education
A pedagogy of abundance (2011-05)
Weller, Martin
Spanish Journal of Pedagogy, 249 (pp. 223-236)
Higher education and the promises and perils of social network (2011-01)
Siemens, George and Weller, Martin
Revista de Universidad y Sociedad del Conocimiento (RUSC), 8(1) (pp. 164-170)
Digital scholarship considered: how new technologies could transform academic work (2010-05)
Pearce, Nick; Weller, Martin; Scanlon, Eileen and Kinsley, Samuel
In Education, 16(1)
The centralisation dilemma in educational IT (2010)
Weller, Martin
International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments, 1(1) (pp. 1-9)
Using learning environments as a metaphor for educational change (2009)
Weller, Martin
On the Horizon, 17(3) (pp. 181-189)
Visualising learning design to foster and support good practice and creativity (2008)
Conole, Grainne; Brasher, Andrew; Cross, Simon; Weller, Martin; Clark, Paul and Culver, Juliette
Educational Media International, 45(3) (pp. 177-194)
Using learning design as a framework for supporting the design and reuse of OER (2008)
Conole, Grainne and Weller, Martin
Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 5
The distance from isolation: Why communities are the logical conclusion in e-learning (2007-09)
Weller, Martin
Computers and Education, 49(2) (pp. 148-159)
Learning objects, learning design, and adoption through succession (2007)
Weller, Martin
Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 19(1) (pp. 26-47)
Learning Design and Service Oriented Architectures:a mutual dependency? (2006)
McAndrew, Patrick; Weller, Martin and Barret-Baxendale, Mark
Journal of Learning Design, 1(3) (pp. 51-60)
Learning Design, generic service descriptions and universal acid (2006)
Weller, Martin; Little, Alex; McAndrew, Patrick and Woods, Will
Educational Technology and Society, 9(1) (pp. 138-145)
Students’ experience of component versus integrated Virtual Learning Environments (2005-08)
Weller, Martin; Mason, Robin and Pegler, Chris
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 21(4) (pp. 253-259)
A learning object success story (2005-03)
Mason, R D; Pegler, C A and Weller, M J
Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 9(1) (pp. 97-105)
Use of innovative technologies on an e-learning course (2005)
Weller, Martin; Pegler, Chris and Mason, Robin
The Internet and Higher Education, 8(1) (pp. 61-71)
E-portfolios: an assessment tool for online courses (2004-11)
Mason, Robin; Pegler, Chris and Weller, Martin
British Journal of Educational Technology, 35(6) (pp. 717-727)
Scaling up an online course to deal with 12,000 students (2002-04-01)
Weller, Martin and Robinson, Ley
Education, Communication and Information, 1(3) (pp. 307-323)
Assessment issues on a web-based course (2002-03-01)
Weller, Martin
Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 27(2) (pp. 109-116)
Meeting the assessment demands of networked courses (2002)
MacDonald, Janet; Weller, Martin and Mason, Robin
International Journal on E-Learning, 1(1) (pp. 9-18)
The use of narrative to provide a cohesive structure for a web based computing course (2000-08-15)
Weller, Martin J.
Journal of Interactive Media in Education(1)
The Battle for Open: How openness won and why it doesn't feel like victory (2014-11)
Weller, Martin
Publisher : Ubiquity Press | Published : London
The Digital Scholar: How Technology Is Transforming Scholarly Practice (2011-09)
Weller, Martin
ISBN : 9781849664974 | Publisher : Bloomsbury Academic | Published : Basingstoke
Virtual Learning Environments: Using, Choosing and Developing your VLE (2007-02)
Weller, Martin
ISBN : 041541430X | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Oxford, UK
Delivering Learning on the Net: the why, what and how of online education (2002-06-01)
Weller, Martin
Open and Flexible Learning
ISBN : 749436751 | Publisher : RoutledgeFalmer | Published : London, UK
Bridging the gap between Web 2.0 and higher education (2009)
Weller, Martin and Dalziel, James
In: Hatzipanagos, Stylianos and Warburton, Steven eds. Handbook of Research on Social Software and Developing Community Ontologies (pp. 1659-1671)
ISBN : 978-1-60566-208-4 | Publisher : IGI | Published : PA, USA
E-learning (2003-10-13)
Weller, Martin
In: Jones, D. C. ed. The New economy handbook (pp. 1044-1068)
ISBN : 123891728 | Publisher : Academic Press | Published : San Diego, USA
Big and little OER (2010-11)
Weller, Martin
In : OpenED2010: Seventh Annual Open Education Conference (2-4 November 2010, Barcelona, Spain)
A new methodology for learning design (2008-07)
Conole, Grainne; Brasher, Andrew; Cross, Simon; Weller, Martin; Nixon, Stewart; Clark, Paul and Petit, John
In : Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications (EDMEDIA) (30 June - 4 July 2008, Vienna)
Mapping a landscape of learning design: Identifying key trends in current practice at the Open University (2008-06)
Cross, Simon; Conole, Grainne; Clark, Paul; Brasher, Andrew and Weller, Martin
In : 2008 European LAMS Conference (25-27 June 2008, Cadiz, Spain)
CompendiumLD – a tool for effective, efficient and creative learning design (2008)
Brasher, Andrew; Conole, Gráinne; Cross, Simon; Weller, Martin; Clark, Paul and White, Juliette
In : Proceedings of the 2008 European LAMS Conference: Practical Benefits of Learning Design (25-27 June 2008, Cadiz, Spain)
OER Evidence Report 2013-2014 (2014-11-20)
de los Arcos, B.; Farrow, R.; Perryman, L.-A.; Pitt, R. and Weller, M.
OER Research Hub
OULDI-JISC Project Evaluation Report: the impact of new curriulum design tools and approaches on institutional process and design cultures (2012-07-31)
Cross, Simon; Galley, Rebecca; Brasher, Andrew and Weller, Martin
OULDI Project (Open University)
The Virtues of Blogging as Scholarly Activity (2012-04-29)
Weller, Martin
Chronicle of Higher Education, US.