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Research & Innovation

The Institute of Educational Technology (IET) at the Open University (OU) connects innovation and expertise in learning and teaching and uses this collective power to change the face of education. Its programme of work is at the heart of The Open University’s mission to be a world leader in the design, content and delivery of supported open and distance learning through the innovative use of technology. As part of the Learning and Teaching Innovation Portfolio, IET leads research into design and evaluation of teaching, learning and assessment with technology. Distinctive features are::

  • Open approaches to research
  • Co-design of new technology and innovative learning
  • International collaboration with world class researchers
  • Linking research and practice

We are informing major open learning initiatives including the OpenScience Laboratory and OpenLearn. We are international leaders in new methods of open and distance learning, citizen science, learning analytics, and learning design. Our research directly influences Open University teaching and support, benefitting hundreds of thousands of students.

IET research is organised around four major themes:

IET is involved in a number of projects within these themes. IET Research has a notable impact in open education, influencing professional practice and public policy.

IET has published a series of OU Innovation Reports which explore new forms of teaching, learning and assessment for an interactive world.  This most recent report, called Innovating Pedagogy 2016 proposes ten innovations that are already current but haven't yet had a profound influence on education.

Research in IET has strong links with the Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET) and forms the Technology Enhanced Learning Cluster within CREET.

IET coordinates the inter-faculty openTEL.

Members of IET also contribute to the Centre for Research in Computing (CRC).

IET's research is also prominent in the University's institutional research activity, especially in survey and evaluation work.  The Computers and Learning Research Group (CALRG) is an inter-faculty group based in IET.  Some IET researchers use the Jennie Lee Research laboratory facilities for empirical work to capture video records of human-computer interaction.

Open Research Online lists IET 'Research & Scholarship' publications

Juxtalearn exploits performance to enhance science and technology learning ... more

MASELTOV is making strides boosting the integration of immigrant learners .... more

OpenScience laboratory is an international virtual laboratory for innovative practical science teaching ... more

iSpot encourages participatory learning via social networking ... more