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Dr Tim Coughlan

Tim Coughlan

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Lecturer
  • Learning and Teaching Innovation
  • Institute of Educational Technology
  • Academic Team
  • tim.coughlan

Professional biography

I am a Lecturer in the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University.

My research interests cross the areas of Education and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). I’m particularly focused on the design and evaluation of systems that support inclusion, creativity, and openness in learning.

I am the Accessibility Coordinator for the Learning and Teaching Innovation (LTI) curriculum, and also an Open Media Associate. The OU has a mission to widen participation and success in education, and through these roles my work involves understanding how we can offer the most effective learning opportunities to the most people.

I supervise two PhD students, both funded under the Leverhulme Open World Learning programme: George Alain and Francisco Iniesto.

I am a Co-Investigator on the AHRC-funded Empowering Design Practices project and a core member of the Leverhulme-funded international network: Disabled students, ICT, post compulsory education and employment: in search of new solutions

Previously I worked as a Horizon Research Fellow and Lecturer in the School of Computer Science at the University of Nottingham. I was involved in a range of research projects including ArtMaps, Creativity Greenhouse, and Stories of User Appropriation.

Before that, I worked as a researcher at the Institute of Educational Technology at the OU, working on the Open Learning: Bridge to SuccessDigital Scholarship  and Out There and In Here projects.

Before that, I completed my PhD research in Computer Science at the University of Bath, studying how computers can be designed to support creative interaction.

Research interests

Areas of interest and expertise include:

Open education

Creativity support tools

Open data as a material for learning activities

Design for inclusion and widening participation

Computer Science education, digital skills and literacies

Technology in the home

Assistive technologies

Mobile and Ubiquitous computing

Device and display ecologies

Processes of User-centred, participatory and co-design

Teaching interests

Co-chair of H810: Accessible online learning

Module team for H880: Technology enhanced learning: practices and debates

Associate Lecturer on TM470: The Computing and IT Project

I also have a role as a Data Wrangler, using analysis of Open University student data to inform teaching.

Previously, I taught introductory programming at the University of Nottingham, and maintain a strong interest in learning to code, and computer science education.


Building digital estates: Multiscreening, technology management and ephemeral television (2017-06-01)
Evans, Elizabeth; Coughlan, Tim and Coughlan, Vicky
Critical Studies in Television: The International Journal of Television Studies, 12(2) (pp. 191-205)
Accessibility of MOOCs: Understanding the Provider Perspective (2016-12-28)
Iniesto, Francisco; McAndrew, Patrick; Minocha, Shailey and Coughlan, Tim
Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2016, Article 20(1)
Enhancing the Design Process with Drama-Related Methods (2016-07-05)
Lawson, Glyn; Brown, Michael; Floyde, Anne; Coughlan, Tim; Baurley, Sharon; Elliot, Meretta; Koppe, Therese and Tsai, Allen
The Design Journal, 19, Article 4(4) (pp. 605-623)
Creativity Greenhouse: At-a-distance collaboration and competition over research funding (2016-03)
Schnädelbach, Holger; Sun, Xu; Kefalidou, Genovefa; Coughlan, Tim; Meese, Rupert; Norris, James and Mcauley, Derek
International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 87 (pp. 1-19)
Using mobile media creation to structure museum interpretation with professional vision (2016-02)
Muñoz Civantos, Angeles; Brown, Michael; Coughlan, Tim; Ainsworth, Shaaron and Lorenz, Katharina
Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 20(1) (pp. 23-36)
Creativity Bento Box: a physical resource pack to support interaction in virtual space (2015)
Schnädelbach, Holger; Coughlan, Tim; Kefalidou, Genovefa; McAuley, Derek and Meese, Rupert
International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 31(11) (pp. 790-804)
Tailored Scenarios: A Low-Cost Online Method to Elicit Perceptions of Home Technologies Using Participant-Specific Contextual Information (2014-07-25)
Brown, Michael; Coughlan, Tim; Blum, Jesse; Lawson, Glyn; Houghton, Robert; Mortier, Richard; Goulden, Murray and Arunachalam, Unna
Interacting with Computers, 27(1) (pp. 60-71)
Exploring Interpretations of Data from the Internet of Things in the Home (2013-02-06)
Brown, Michael; Coughlan, Tim; Lawson, Glyn; Goulden, Murray; Houghton, Robert J. and Mortier, Richard
Interacting with Computers, 25(3) (pp. 204-217)
Current Issues and Future Directions in Methods for Studying Technology in the Home (2013)
Coughlan, Tim; Leder Mackley, Kerstin; Brown, Michael; Martindale, Sarah; Schlögl, Stephan; Mallaband, Becky; Arnott, John; Hoonhout, Jettie; Szostak, Dalila; Brewer, Robin; Poole, Erika; Pirhonen, Antti; Mitchell, Val; Pink, Sarah and Hine, Nicholas
PsychNology Journal, 11(2) (pp. 159-184)
The conceptual framing, design and evaluation of device ecologies for collaborative activities (2012-09)
Coughlan, Tim; Collins, Trevor D.; Adams, Anne; Rogers, Yvonne; Haya, Pablo A. and Martin, Estefania
International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 70(10) (pp. 765-779)
Local connections: designing technologies for discovery and creativity within the community (2012-01)
Coughlan, Tim; van der Linden, Janet and Adams, Anne
Interactions, 19(1) (pp. 18-22)
Designing personal information management systems for creative practitioners (2009)
Coughlan, Tim and Johnson, Peter
Journal of Digital Information, 10(5)
An exploration of constraints and end user development in environments for creative tasks (2008-06-01)
Coughlan, Tim and Johnson, Peter
International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 24(5) (pp. 444-459)
Using Open Data as a Material for Introductory Programming Assignments (2015-11)
Coughlan, Tim
In: Atenas, Javiera and Havemann, Leo eds. Open Data as Open Educational Resources: Case studies of emerging practice (pp. 38-48)
Publisher : Open Knowledge: Open Education Working Group | Published : London
An investigation into the perspectives of providers and learners on MOOC accessibility (2017-10)
Iniesto, Francisco; McAndrew, Patrick; Minocha, Shailey and Coughlan, Tim
In : TEEM'17: international conference technological ecosystems for enhancing multiculurality (18-20 October 2017, Cadiz, Spain)
Auditing the accessibility of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) (2017-09)
Iniesto, Francisco; McAndrew, Patrick; Minocha, Shailey and Coughlan, Tim
In : 14th AAATE Congress 2017 (13-14th September 2017, Sheffield)
What do MOOC providers think about accessibility? (2017-08)
Iniesto, Francisco; McAndrew, Patrick; Minocha, Shailey and Coughlan, Tim
In : EARLI 2017: Education in the crossroads of economy and politics – Role of research in the advancement of public good (29th August - 2nd Sept 2017, Tampere, Finland)
How can MOOCs be more accessible? (2017-04)
Iniesto, Francisco; McAndrew, Patrick; Minocha, Shailey and Coughlan, Tim
In : OER17: The Politics of Open (5 & 6 April 2017, London)
What are the expectations of disabled learners when participating in a MOOC? (2017)
Iniesto, Francisco; McAndrew, Patrick; Minocha, Shailey and Coughlan, Tim
In : L@S 2017: Fourth (2017) ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale Proceedings (20-21 Apr 2017, Cambridge, MA, USA)
Understanding Accessibility as a Process through the Analysis of Feedback from Disabled Students (2017)
Coughlan, Tim; Ullmann, Thomas Daniel and Lister, Kate
In : Web for All 2017 (2 - 4 April 2017, Perth, Australia) ((In press))
OLA! A Scenario-Based Approach to Enhance Open Learning Through Accessibility (2016-07-06)
Coughlan, Tim; Rodriguez-Ascaso, Alejandro; Iniesto, Francisco and Jelfs, Anne
In : 15th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs (11th - 15th July 2016, University of Linz, Austria) (pp. 445-452)
The current state of accessibility of MOOCs: What are the next steps? (2016-04)
Iniesto, Francisco; McAndrew, Patrick; Minocha, Shailey and Coughlan, Tim
In : Open Education Global Conference 2016 (12-14 April 2016, Krakow, Poland)
A systematic review of dementia focused assistive technology (2015-08-05)
Evans, Joanna; Brown, Michael; Coughlan, Tim; Lawson, Glyn and Craven, Michael P.
In : 17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI International 2015) (2-7 August 2015, Los Angeles, California, USA) (pp. 406-417)
Spatial Humanities Moving Beyond the Dot on a Map (2015-08)
Baron, Nick; Carletti, Laura; Muñoz Civantos, Angeles; Coughlan, Tim; Allen, Robert; Lach, Pamella; Davies, Catherine; Tyler-Jones, Richard and Ferran, Bronac
In : Digital Research in the Humanities and Arts (DHRA2014) (31 August - 3 September 2014, London) (pp. 111-116)
ArtMaps: interpreting the spatial footprints of artworks (2015-04)
Coughlan, Tim; Carletti, Laura; Giannachi, Gabriella; Benford, Steve; McAuley, Derek; Price, Dominic; Locatelli, Cristina; Sinker, Rebecca and Stack, John
In : ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) 2015 (18th - 23rd April, Seoul, Republic of Korea)
Wearables or infrastructure: contrasting approaches to collecting behavioural data in the home (2014-09)
Shipp, Victoria; Coughlan, Tim; Martindale, Sarah; Ng, Kher Hui; Evans, Elizabeth; Mortier, Richard and Reeves, Stuart
In : HomeSys 2014 (7th September, 2014, Seattle, WA, USA) (pp. 931-938)
Living with the user: design drama for dementia care through responsive scripted experiences in the home (2014-09)
Coughlan, Tim; Brown, Michael; Lawson, Glyn; McAuley, Derek; Baurley, Sharon; Tsai, Allen; Koppe, Therese; Elliott, Meretta; Green, Stephen and Martin, Jen
In : UbiComp 2014 (13-17 September 2014, Seattle, WA, USA) (pp. 35-38)
Using cultural probes to inform the design of assistive technologies (2014-06)
Brown, Michael; Tsai, Allen; Baurley, Sharon; Koppe, Therese; Lawson, Glyn; Martin, Jen; Coughlan, Tim; Elliott, Meretta; Green, Stephen and Arunachalam, Unna
In : 16th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI International 2014) (22 - 27 June 2014, Crete) (pp. 35-46)
Evocative computing – creating meaningful lasting experiences in connecting with the past (2013-09-02)
van der Linden, Janet; Rogers, Yvonne; Coughlan, Tim; Adams, Anne; Wilson, Caroline; Haya, Pablo; Martin, Estafania and Collins, Trevor
In : Interact 2013 (2-6 September 2013, Cape Town. South Africa)
Building open bridges: collaborative remixing and reuse of open educational resources across organisations (2013-04)
Coughlan, Tim; Pitt, Rebecca and McAndrew, Patrick
In : 2013 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems ‘changing perspectives’ (CHI 2013) (29 April - 02 May 2013, Paris, France) (pp. 991-1000)
Tailored scenarios: a low-cost online method to elicit perceptions on designs using real relationships (2013-04)
Coughlan, Tim; Brown, Michael; Lawson, Glyn; Mortier, Richard; Houghton, Robert J. and Goulden, Murray
In : CHI 2013 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (27 April-02 May 2013, Paris) (pp. 343-348)
Assessing OER impact across varied organisations and learners: experiences from the "Bridge to Success" initiative (2013-03-27)
Coughlan, Tim; Ebrahimi, Nassim; McAndrew, Patrick and Pitt, Rebecca
In : OER13: Creating a Virtuous Circle (26-27 March 2013, Nottingham, UK)
Exploring acceptance and consequences of the Internet of Things in the home (2012-11-20)
Coughlan, Tim; Brown, Michael; Mortier, Richard; Houghton, Robert J.; Goulden, Murray and Lawson, Glyn
In : iThings 2012 (20-23 November 2012, Besancon, France) (pp. 148-155)
Exploring new connections between the physical and digital for future heritage interpretations (2012-05-06)
Coughlan, Tim; Brown, Michael; Houghton, Robert and Lawson, Glyn
In : CHI 2012 Workshop: Heritage Matters (5-10 May 2012, Austin, Texas)
Live linking of fieldwork to the laboratory increases students inquiry based reflections (2011-07-04)
Adams, Anne; Coughlan, Tim; Rogers, Yvonne; Collins, Trevor; Davies, Sarah-Jane; Blake, Canan and Lea, John
In : CSCL 2011: International Conference on Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (04-08 July 2011, Hong Kong)
Enabling live dialogic and collaborative learning between field and indoor contexts (2011-07-04)
Coughlan, Tim; Adams, Anne; Rogers, Yvonne and Davies, Sarah-Jane
In : The 25th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction (04-08 July 2011, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK) (pp. 88-98)
Designing interconnected distributed resources for collaborative inquiry based science education (2011-06-13)
Adams, Anne; Coughlan, Tim; Lea, John; Rogers, Yvonne; Davies, Sarah-Jane and Collins, Trevor
In : ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (13-17 June 2011, Ottawa)
Working with ‘mission control’ in scientific fieldwork: supporting interactions between in situ and distanced collaborators (2011-03-19)
Coughlan, Tim; Adams, Anne; Collins, Trevor; Davies, Sarah-Jane; Lea, John and Rogers, Yvonne
In : The 2011 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (19 - 23 Mar 2011, Hangzhou, China)
Designing for balance: 'Out There and in Here' (2010-09-06)
Coughlan, Tim; Adams, Anne and Rogers, Yvonne
In : 24th BCS Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI2010): Play is a Serious Business (6- 10 September 2010, Dundee, Scotland)
How Creative Groups Structure Tasks through Negotiating Resources (2010-05)
Middup, Christopher P.; Coughlan, Tim and Johnson, Peter
In : COOP 2010: the 9th International Conference on Designing Cooperative Systems (18-21 May 2010, Aix-en-Provence, France) (pp. 203-221)
Understanding productive, structural and longitudinal interactions in the design of tools for creative activities (2009-10-26)
Coughlan, Tim and Johnson, Peter
In : Creativity and Cognition (26- 30 Oct 2009, Berkeley, California)
Interaction in creative tasks: ideation, representation and evaluation in composition (2006-04)
Coughlan, Tim and Johnson, Peter
In : ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2006) (22-27 April 2006, Montreal, Quebec, Canada) (pp. 531-540)
Scholarly Insight Spring 2017: A Data Wrangler Perspective (2017-06-01)
Rienties, Bart; Rogaten, Jekaterina; Nguyen, Quan; Edwards, Chris; Gaved, Mark; Holt, Deborah; Herodotou, Christothea; Clow, Doug; Cross, Simon; Coughlan, Tim; Jones, Jan and Ullmann, Thomas
Open University UK
MOOCs: What the research of FutureLearn’s UK partners tells us (2017-01)
Ferguson, Rebecca; Coughlan, Tim; Herodotou, Christothea and Scanlon, Eileen
Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, Milton Keynes.
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
MOOCS: What The Open University research tells us (2016-07)
Ferguson, Rebecca; Coughlan, Tim and Herodotou, Christothea
Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, Milton Keynes.