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IET PhD Student Research projects

Current and recent IET PhD Students and their Technology Enhanced Learning research project topics:
Recently passed PhD viva
Jamie Dorey (completed May 2016)
PhD thesis title:
Jamie’s research explored how ‘big science’ becomes public within an era of digital scholarship and evolving professional practices. Focusing on research conducted at CERN, he explored the strategic approaches and operational principles and practices of communication professionals and researchers working in High-Energy Physics.
Supervised by: Rebecca Ferguson, Eileen Scanlon and Jamies Gillies.
Lynn Coleman (completed November 2013)
PhD thesis title: Literacy Practices and the Curriculum Context: exploring the production of assignments in a South African vocational higher education institution
Supervised by Robin Goodfellow and Mary Lea 
Koula Charitonos
PhD Thesis title: The use of web 2.0 technologies for museum learning
Koula's PhD research is investigating the use of social and mobile technologies by young people as means for enhancing museum learning. Her work centers in meaning making in museums and other learning spaces, such as schools and the role of new media and technologies in different aspects of knowledge production. She is particularly interested in the evolution of technology-enhanced learning, characterised by 'seamless learning spaces' and marked by continuity of the learning experience across different scenarios or contexts.
Supervised by Ann Jones, Canan Blake and Eileen Scanlon 
Kasia Kozinska (based in the Faculty of Education and Language Studies) (completed September 2013)
PhD thesis title: Motivations for various ways of learning and teaching with Open Educational Resources (OER) – case studies of different OER initiatives and their role in supporting inclusive lifelong learning 
Supervised by Patrick McAndrew, Ann Jones, Eileen Scanlon and Tina Wilson
David Buck (completed July 2013)
PhD Thesis title:  The effectiveness of the governance of HEIs in the United Kingdom 
Supervised by John Richardson, Chris Cornforth and William Locke 
Bethany Alden (completed April 2013)
PhD thesis title: Distance learners' conceptions of reflection in higher education
The thesis comprises three separate phenomenographic studies that investigate tertiary distance learners' conceptions of reflection and whether these notions change over their higher education experience. 
Supervised by Linda Price and John Richardson (internal examiner Mary Thorpe, external examiner Ray Land, University of Durham)
Chris Kubiak (based in the Faculty of Health and Social Care) (completed December 2012)
PhD thesis title: Understanding support worker learning: practice, participation and identity 
This PhD research investigated the practice-based learning of support workers in health and social care.  It was found that participants considered their capability as resting upon three foundations – practical experience, natural ability and knowledge of the service user.  Practice-based learning was a multimodal process arising out of a wide range of complementary and interacting workplace participatory opportunities.  Participatory opportunities support a process of alignment in which participants establish collective coherence in their understanding, goals or standards.  This alignment represents a countervailing force to the subjective and situational reconstruction of care work.  Engagement in participatory opportunities is afforded or restricted through controls over access and fullness of participation, density of opportunity, relationship quality and presence or absence of formalisation but is ultimately a negotiated practice.  Individual construal of, and engagement in, participatory opportunities reflects the individual’s identification and pursuit of recognition.
Supervised by Mary Thorpe and Doug Clow
Binhui Shao (based in the Faculty of Education and Language Studies) (completed September 2012)
PhD thesis title: University students' use of technologies in China 
My PhD focuses on evaluating students' experiences of e-learning. I am particularly interested in technology assisted language learning. Before joining IET, I was doing an MPhil in second language education at Cambridge.
Supervised by John Richardson and Chris Jones.
Jo Iacovides (completed June 2012)
PhD thesis title: Digital Games: Motivation, Engagement and Informal Learning
The aim of my PhD is to explore the relationship between motivation, engagement and informal learning through digital games. My first study involved carrying out a series of email interviews with adult games players to find out more about their game playing experiences and how they view learning in this context. The second phase of my research involved adopting an exploratory case study approach consisting of mixed methods. These include observation, interview, questionnaires, diaries and physiological data in order to build an in-depth picture of how motivation, engagement and informal learning come together in practice. I also completed a final questionnaire study looking at players game-related experiences and attitudes on a larger scale. My findings indicate the importance of overcoming breakdowns and achieving breakthroughs during play, the range of activities players engage in around play which support their learning, the variety of learning players experience as a result of their involvement with games and highlight the influence of player identity on these experiences.
Supervised by James Aczel and Eileen Scanlon
Anne Pike (Completed December 2014)
PhD thesis title: Prison-based transformative learning and its role in life after prison.
This research investigated how prison-based higher education related to life after release from prison. The learning journeys of serving prisoners provided an understanding of change through learning and the prisoners’ aspirations for a different future. More than half of the participants were traced after release and engaged with for up to one year, as they attempted to integrate back into society. Thematic analysis identified key structural and support factors affecting the participants before and after release and those who were able to capitalise on their learning were better placed to integrate into society.
Supervised by Anne Adams and John Richardson
Pauline Ngimwa  (Completed 2011)
PhD thesis title: A Collaborative Design Process for Educational Digital Resources in African Higher Education 
Supervised by Anne Adams, Eileen Scanlon and Bob Moon
Vickie Curtis
PhD Thesis title: How are New developments in Communication Technologies Influencing Public Engagement Activities in Science 
Supervised by Eileen Scanlon, Ann Jones and Rick Holliman
Eunice Olakanmi (completed 2011)
PhD thesis title: Self and Co-Regulation in a Computer Supported Collaborative Learning environment Among Key Stage Three Students 
Supervised by Canan Blake, Eileen Scanlon, Ann Jones
Chris Pegler (completed 2011)
PhD thesis title: Reuse and Repurposing of Online Digital Resources, Including Learning Objects within UK Higher education: 2003-2010 
Supervised by Patrick McAndrew and Martin Weller  
Current PhD students
Maria Aristeidou
PhD Thesis title: Evolution of Collaboration Between Professionals and non-Professionals
Supervised by Eileen Scanlon and Mike Sharples
Jamie Dorey
PhD Thesis title: Exploring digital scholarship within a climate of openness and transparency: Promoting the Large Hadron Collider and high-energy physics 
My PhD research will investigate aspects of science communication and public engagement in the digital age through what will ultimately become a case study of aspects of scientific research conducted at CERN.
Supervised by Eileen Scanlon and Rick Holliman
Katy Jordan
PhD Thesis title: Reshaping the Higher Education network? Analysis of an academic social networking site 
Supervised by: Professor Martin Weller and Dr Canan Blake
George Alain
PhD Thesis title: Using technology to provide education to millions of refugee children living in war / conflict zones: the case of Syrian children 
Supervised by: 


Popi Anastasiou
PhD Thesis title: Digital storytelling in science class: a lesson to be learned 
Supervised by: 

Sian Beavers
PhD Thesis title: A study of the informal learning of history through popular media Lesley Boyd Using technology-enabled learning networks to achieve practical improvement outcomes in the not-for-profit sector 
Supervised by: 

Helen Crump
PhD Thesis title: Literacies for learning in a digital age 
Supervised by: 

Inge De Waard
PhD Thesis title: Mobile Learning and MOOCs 
Supervised by: 

Garron Hillaire
PhD Thesis title: Self-regulated learning with emotion and cognition analytics 

Supervised by: 

Francisco Iniesto
PhD Thesis title: Accessibility and MOOCs: an adaptive model for developing services for people with special needs 
Supervised by: 

Clare Kemp
PhD Thesis title: Drawing children from different cultural contexts into science 
Supervised by: 

Ralph Mercer
PhD Thesis title: Promoting self-regulated learning habits in a technology-mediated learning environment 
Supervised by: 

Jenna Mittelmeier
PhD Thesis title: 
Understanding Evidence-Based Interventions for Cross-Cultural Group Work: A Learning Analytics Perspective​
Supervised by: 
Bart Rienties and Denise Whitelock

Tina Papathoma
PhD Thesis title: Learners’ motivations for engaging with MOOCs 
Supervised by: 

Janesh Sanzgiri
PhD Thesis title: MOOCs for development? A study of Indian learners in massive open online courses 
Supervised by: 
Prof. Martin Weller, Dr. Leigh-Anne Perryman and Dr. Robert 

Jessica Sampurna
PhD Thesis title: Investigating the pedagogical value of social networking sites on language teaching and learning 
Supervised by: 
Ursula Stickler, Agnes Kukulska-Hulme, and Regine Hampel.