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Professional biography

My main interest is new technology in HE learning. Within that broad topic, my interests include open educational resources; the boundary between informal and HE learning; mobile devices, mobile learners and mobile learning; virtual learning environments; learning technology standards; metadata; e-learning systems; educational multimedia; knowledge management and sharing; accessibility; usability; and student learning.

I am a member of the Computers And Learning Research Group (CALRG).

Current Activities

I am currently working on two large research projects.

The first is the Biodiversity Observatory (to be launched as iSpot), a website to help people learn about the natural world, get help from experts with identifying what they see, and to connect to the wealth of learning resources available.  This is part of a larger project called OPAL, which is an exciting new initiative open to anyone with an interest in nature. It aims to create and inspire a new generation of nature-lovers by getting people to explore, study, enjoy and protect their local environment. In 2007 OPAL received a grant of £11.75m from the Big Lottery Fund, of which the OU share is £2m.  I also work on a related project, the Evolution Megalab, which enables learners to make observations of evolution in action by counting banded snails.

The second is OLnet, an international research hub for aggregating, sharing, debating and improving Open Educational Resources (OERs), taking the OU's expertise in researching the Open Learn initiative out to support research by and of the OER world.  The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is supporting The Open University to work with Carnegie Mellon University to develop OLnet.

I currently supervise three PhD students: Anesa Hosein, Chris Kubiak, and Andreas Meiszner.

 

Recent activities

From 2004-2008, I was Head of the Centre for the Study of Educational Technologies, then part of the Institute of Educational Technology. I was part of IET's management team, responsible for about 30 academic and research staff.

I contributed to the development of the new Jennie Lee Building, including the Ambient Technologies Research Lab. This was a £17m research-led project to build a new state-of-the-art lab to explore mobile, ambient and ubiquitous technologies and their application to learning. It also provides office accommodation for the Institute of Educational Technology and the OU's Computing Department.

Older activities

Work with Health and Social Care

I worked with the Faculty of Health and Social Welfare, broadly on 'educational technology' topics as necessary, but primarily as course team chair for the project which became K223 Knowledge, Information and Care. I led a small team to develop a 30-point second-level course for people who work with information in a health or social care setting. The first presentation was in February 2003.. I also analyse the Courses Survey data for the School to make the PLUM Faculty Media Profile each year, and sat on the School's Learning and Teaching Strategy Group.

Staff development

The Knowledge Network has taken up much of my time. I did a lot of planning and prototyping when the project was very small-scale; I'm still actively involved now we have greater resources and a project team.

I helped design and tutor on an external short course on Managing Online Educational Media (MOLEM) in 1999, and on the follow-on internal staff development course Managing Online Educational Resources and Media (MOLERM) in 2000.

I've also run workshops on using new technology effectively for external audiences ranging from hospital consultants to science faculty staff.

Evaluation and developmental testing

I ran the developmental testing of the CD-ROMs for the Learning Schools Programme, from the Faculty of Education and Language Studies. The materials help school teachers use new technology effectively in their teaching. There were nearly twenty separate packs to test. (LSP has been very successful: by the end of 2000, over 100,000 teachers in 3000 different schools had signed up.)

I also did some evaluation work for H/HH851 Teaching in Higher Education, a course from the Centre for Higher Education Practice, and other small bits and pieces of evaluation.

Other work

I worked on the 'media use' parts of the annual Courses Survey, as part of my work with the Programme on Learner Use of Media (PLUM).

In 2000 I was also a tutor on one of IET's postgraduate courses, H802 Applications of Informations Technology in Open and Distance Education.

Previous work (to late 1998)

After completing a Chemistry degree in 1992, I worked in the Department of Chemistry at the University of York from September 1992 to October 1998. I was engaged variously as a Research Technician, a postgraduate student, and a post-doctoral Research Fellow. I submitted my D.Phil thesis, entitled "Computer Simulations of Laboratory Experiments" in December 1996.

My work involved designing, implementing, customising, using, teaching with, evaluating, and generally musing about computer simulations of laboratory experiments in chemistry and biochemistry. I also developed a more general interest in teaching and learning at tertiary level, particularly issues around innovation and the use of information technology.

I was heavily involved with the eLABorate project since it was first funded in 1993 under the UK HE funding bodies' Teaching and Learning Technology Programme until 1998. The project's remit was to design and prepare computer simulations of laboratory experiments in chemistry and biochemistry (the phrase that pays) for teaching practical design and data handling.

We produced around a dozen different simulation packages. I was most heavily involved in packages covering statistics, enzyme kinetics, high field NMR, radiolabelling to investigate bacterial protein and nucleic acid synthesis, electrochemistry, and the titration of a diprotic acid.

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)CentreFaculty of Education and Language Studies

Publications

Consistent Commitment: Patterns of Engagement across Time in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) (2015-12)
Ferguson, Rebecca and Clow, Doug
Journal of Learning Analytics, 2(3) (pp. 55-80)
Setting learning analytics in context: overcoming the barriers to large-scale adoption (2015-02)
Ferguson, Rebecca; Macfadyen, Leah P.; Clow, Doug; Tynan, Belinda; Alexander, Shirley and Dawson, Shane
Journal of Learning Analytics, 1(3) (pp. 120-144)
Informal participation in science in the UK: identification, location and mobility with iSpot (2014)
Scanlon, Eileen; Woods, William and Clow, Doug
Journal of Educational Technology and Society, 17(2) (pp. 58-71)
An overview of learning analytics (2013-08-19)
Clow, Doug
Teaching in Higher Education, 18(6) (pp. 683-695)
An Open Future for Higher Education (2010)
McAndrew, Patrick; Scanlon, Eileen and Clow, Doug
Educause Quarterly, 33(1)
Facing the challenge in evaluating technology use in mobile environments (2010)
McAndrew, Patrick; Taylor, Josie and Clow, Doug
Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning, 25(3) (pp. 233-249)
The evolutionary design of a Knowledge Network to support knowledge management and sharing for lifelong learning (2004-11)
McAndrew, Patrick; Clow, Doug; Taylor, Josie and Aczel, James
British Journal of Educational Technology, 35(6) (pp. 739-746)
iSpot: your place to share nature (2014-03-07)
Pinto, Ana; Thompson, Kate; Jones, Chris and Clow, Doug
In: Carvalho, Lucila and Goodyear, Peter eds. The Architecture of Productive Learning Networks (pp. 225-238)
ISBN : 978-0-415-81656-4 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon
Learning Analytics: Visions of the Future (2016-04-28)
Ferguson, Rebecca; Brasher, Andrew; Clow, Doug; Griffiths, Dai and Drachsler, Hendrik
In : 6th International Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK) Conference (25-29 April 2016, Edinburgh, Scotland)
LAK Failathon (2016-04-25)
Clow, Doug; Ferguson, Rebecca; Macfadyen, Leah; Prinsloo, Paul and Slade, Sharon
In : 6th International Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK) Conference (25-29 April 2016, Edinburgh, Scotland) (pp. 509-511)
Learning Analytics Community Exchange: Evidence Hub (2016)
Ferguson, Rebecca and Clow, Doug
In : 6th International Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK) Conference (25-29 April, 2016, Edinburgh, Scotland)
Moving through MOOCS: pedagogy, learning design and patterns of engagement (2015-11-26)
Ferguson, Rebecca; Clow, Doug; Beale, Russell; Cooper, Alison J; Morris, Neil; Bayne, Siân and Woodgate, Amy
In : EC-TEL 2015: Tenth European Conference on Technology-Enhanced Learning (16–17 September 2015, Toledo, Spain) (pp. 70-84)
Examining engagement: analysing learner subpopulations in massive open online courses (MOOCs) (2015-03)
Ferguson, Rebecca and Clow, Doug
In : 5th International Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference (LAK15) (16–20 March 2015, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA)
Investigating Learners’ Views of Assessment Types in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) (2015)
Papathoma, Tina; Blake, Canan; Clow, Doug and Scanlon, Eileen
In : EC-TEL 2015: Tenth European Conference on Technology-Enhanced Learning (16–17 September 2015, Toledo, Spain) (pp. 617-621)
Setting learning analytics in context: overcoming the barriers to large-scale adoption (2014-03-22)
Ferguson, Rebecca; Clow, Doug; Macfadyen, Leah; Essa, Alfred; Dawson, Shane and Alexander, Shirley
In : LAK '14 Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference 2014 (24-28 March 2014, Indianapolis, IN, USA) (pp. 251-253)
Data wranglers: human interpreters to help close the feedback loop (2014-03)
Clow, Doug
In : Fourth International Conference on Learning Analytics And Knowledge - LAK '14 (24-28 March 2014, Indianapolis, USA) (pp. 49-53)
MOOCs and the funnel of participation (2013)
Clow, Doug
In : Third Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK 2013) (8-12 April 2013, Leuven, Belgium) (pp. 185-189)
The learning analytics cycle: closing the loop effectively (2012)
Clow, Doug
In : LAK12: 2nd International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge (29 April - 2 May 2012, Vancouver, BC) (p 134)
iSpot Analysed: Participatory Learning and Reputation (2011-10)
Clow, Doug and Makriyannis, Elpida
In : Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge (28 Feb-01 Mar 2011, Banff, Alberta, Canada) (pp. 34-43)
Some issues affecting the sustainability of open learning courses (2011-06)
Aczel, James; Cross, Simon; Meiszner, Andreas; Hardy, Pascale; McAndrew, Patrick and Clow, Doug
In : EDEN 2011 Annual Conference: Learning and Sustainability: The New Ecosystem of Innovation and Knowledge (19-22 June 2011, Dublin, Ireland)
Mathematical thinking of undergraduate students when using three types of software (2008-07)
Hosein, Anesa; Aczel, James; Clow, Doug and Richardson, John T. E.
In : The 11th International Congress on Mathematics Education (06-13 Jul 2008, Monterrey, Mexico)
Comparison of black-box, glass-box and open-box software for aiding conceptual understanding (2008)
Hosein, Anesa; Aczel, James; Clow, Doug and Richardson, John T. E.
In : Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME 32) (17-21 July 2008, Morelia, Mexico)
Technology - Empowering the Educational Researcher through Remote Observation (2007-03)
Hosein, Anesa; Aczel, James; Clow, Doug and Richardson, John T. E.
In : Computer Assisted Learning (CAL '07) (26-28 March 2007, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)
An Illustration of Students’ Engagement with Mathematical Software using Remote Observation (2007)
Hosein, Anesa; Aczel, James; Clow, Doug and Richardson, John T. E.
In : 31st Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (8-13 July 2007, Seoul)
The teaching of linear programming in different disciplines and in different countries (2006-06)
Hosein, Anesa; Aczel, James and Clow, Doug
In : 3rd International Conference on the Teaching of Mathematics at Undergraduate Level (30 Jun-5 Jul 2006, Istanbul, Turkey)
Scholarly insight 2016: a Data wrangler perspective (2016-12-21)
Rienties, Bart; Edwards, Chris; Gaved, Mark; Marsh, Vicky; Herodotou, Christothea; Clow, Doug; Cross, Simon; Coughlan, Tim; Jones, Jan and Ullmann, Thomas
Open University UK
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.