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Technology-enhanced learning

ResearchTtechnology enhanced learning with The Open University

The Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Cluster is located within the Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET). Students in this cluster will be members of the Institute of Educational Technology

Research interests in the TEL Cluster include Open Educational Resources (OER), citizen science, inquiry learning, participatory learning, accessibility of learning systems, learning design, technology-enhanced assessment, mobile learning, game-based learning, learning analytics, informal learning, social learning Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), professional and organisational learning, and understanding the changing experience of distance learning. Our expertise in these fields is world renowned and our researchers carry out exciting projects funded by organisations such as The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Leverhulme Trust, the European Commission, Nominet Trust, and the UK Research Councils. IET has a strong background in linking research and practice, directly influencing OU teaching, and providing expertise for FutureLearn. In 2013 IET was granted the first ever Regius Professorship in Open Education to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Students’ research will be within one of the Institute’s three Research and Innovation programmes:

  • Innovating Pedagogy
  • Learning in an Open World
  • Learning Analytics. 

Qualifications available:

PhD. See also our Doctorate in Education (EdD).


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent). See also our Doctorate in Education (EdD)

Potential research projects

  • Effective design for learning
  • Openness in education
  • Massive open online learning
  • New forms of digital scholarship and discourse
  • Mobile learning enabled by portable and handheld devices
  • Technology adoption and emergent innovative practice among teachers and learners
  • Understanding the changing experience of distance learning
  • Higher education practice: student retention, student support, quality enhancement, and academic development
  • Disciplinary teaching, learning, writing and assessment
  • Citizen science and inquiry-based learning
  • Participatory learning
  • Accessibility of learning systems
  • Learning analytics
  • Technology-enhanced assessment
  • Scholarship of teaching and learning

Current/recent research projects

  • A concept-based pedagogical and technological framework that exploits performance to enhance science and technology learning
  • Mobile assistance for social inclusion and empowerment of immigrants with persuasive learning technologies and social network services
  • Community and support work for researchers and practitioners in learning analytics and educational data-mining
  • Mobile app and support website for students’ investigations in the field
  • Digital games: motivation, engagement and informal learning
  • Collaborative design processes for educational digital resources in African higher education
  • Self- and co-regulation in a computer supported collaborative learning environment
  • Using social and mobile technologies to enhance the museum learning experience
  • Self-directed learning in mobile open online courses
  • Citizen inquiry: a synergy of inquiry learning, online social networking and citizen science
  • University students’ use of technologies in China
  • Explorations of student academic literacy practices in digital multimodal disciplinary contexts in South African vocational higher education
  • The influence of new developments in communication technologies on public engagement in science
  • Prison-based higher level distance learning and its role in resettlement
  • Online citizen cyberscience projects: an exploration of motivation, contribution and participation
  • Reshaping the higher education network? Analysis of an academic social networking site
  • Investigating ‘digital scholarship’ and its relationship to ideas about openness and transparency: exploring the communication, engagement and information sharing practices of academics and professionals working at CERN
  • Distance learners’ conceptions of reflection in higher education

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Mrs Anne Foward
+44 (0)1908 655364

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.