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Professor Martin James Weller

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Professor of Educational Technology
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies
  • LTIA
  • Institute of Educational Technology Academic
  • martin.weller

Professional biography

I joined the OU in 1995, as a Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence. I have pioneered much of the elearning shoft at the OU since that time. I chaired the OU's first major elearning course, T171, in 1999 with nearly 15,000 students. This involved a number of strategic shifts in the OU to make in an online provider. I was the first director of the VLE, recommending the adoptoon of Moodle. I am currently academic director for the Learning Design project and also Director of the OER Hub

My research area is in open education and  digital scholarship - I blog about this, and have authored two books, The Digital Scholar and the Battle for Open (both available under open licence). 

I'm a regular and reasonably well known blogger at


Research interests

Most of my research falls under the open education including open educational practices, impact of Open educational resources (OERs), MOOCs, etc. I have a long interest in digital scholarship and the impact of new technologies on scholarly practice.

I'm a co-editor of JIME journal

I am the Director of the OER Hub, leading on projects such as GO-GN, UK OpenTextbooks, OER Research Hub, and bizMOOC.

I've published quite a few papers and three books, so if you're interested, see the publications page.

Teaching interests

I am an author on two courses in the MAODE - H817, where my block focuses on open education, which anyone can access, and H818, the project based course.

I chaired the Masters course H806 Learning in the Connected Economy. This was the first, and as it turned out last, course to be launched by the UK e-University. It was the first OU course to be developed purely as learning objects. I joined IET in 2002, but prior to that I worked in the Faculty of Technology at the OU. My main work there was on the course T171, You, your computer and the Net, which with nearly 15,000 online students in 1999 pre-dated the MOOC phenomenon by 12 years. 

I am the Academic Director of the Learning Design project which provides a uniform method and representation for course design across the university.

Research Activity

Externally funded projects

Sustainability path for OER Research Centre

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01/Aug/201531/Jul/2016Hewlett Foundation
This proposal sets out a one-year transition plan to take forward the Open Educational Resources Research Hub (OERRH). OERRH was established to provide a focus for research on ‘What is the impact of OER on learning and teaching practices?’ and identify the particular influence of openness. The structure of the project was to work in collaboration with projects across four education sectors (K12, college, higher education and informal) to develop a network of research with shared methods and shared results. It has provided: • A targeted collaboration program with existing OER projects; • An international fellowship program; • Networking to make connections; and • A hub for research data and OER excellence in practice. The sustainability project is aimed at drawing value of this work and transition to a portfolio approach that is aligned with the strategy for research in openness from the Hewlett Foundation and other funders. It is intended to build on the strong identity established as OER Research Hub but with a refocus on broader ways of working as the OER Research Centre. The sustainability path will developed across two key areas. 1. Identifying and building a portfolio of relationships with funders and organisations 2. Support building capacity in OER research

Go-Gn Network

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01/Mar/201531/Jan/2016The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
GO-GN is a global network connecting PhD researchers (and their supervisors) in OER and - broader - Opening up Education. GO-GN provides various services, mostly online, for better support and quality of the PhD studies and for significant interaction. Prominent are the GO-GN Seminars, linked to relevant global events and offering a full week’s learning experience primarily for the PhD members through in-depth discussion of their research plans and work. This proposal requests funding for: (A) the 2015 Seminar in April as a continuation of the earlier Grant 2013-8942; and (B) a specific GO-GN PhD study on ‘Impact of International Organizations on Governmental OER Policies’. This work aligns with the Education Program’s overall goal of achieving a robust OER infrastructure.


How is Digitalisation Affecting the Flexibility and Openness of Higher Education Provision? Results of a Global Survey Using a New Conceptual Model (2019)
Orr, Dominic; Weller, Martin and Farrow, Rob
Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2019, Article 5(1) (pp. 1-12)
Learning Design for Student Retention (2018-10-24)
Weller, Martin; van Ameijde, Jitse and Cross, Simon
Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 6(2)
Twenty Years of Edtech (2018-07-05)
Weller, Martin
Educause Review Online, 53(4) (pp. 34-48)
The Digital Scholar Revisited (2018-07)
Weller, Martin
The Digital Scholar: Philosopher’s Lab, 1(2) (pp. 52-71)
Mapping the open education landscape: citation network analysis of historical open and distance education research (2018-04-20)
Weller, Martin; Jordan, Katy; DeVries, Irwin and Rolfe, Viv
Open Praxis, 10(2) (pp. 109-126)
Communication, collaboration and identity: factor analysis of academics’ perceptions of online networking (2018-04-10)
Jordan, Katy and Weller, Martin
Research in Learning Technology, 26
Academics and Social Networking Sites: Benefits, Problems and Tensions in Professional Engagement with Online Networking (2018-01-26)
Jordan, Katy and Weller, Martin
Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2018, Article 1(1)
Different Aspects of the Emerging OER Discipline (2016-09)
Weller, Martin
Revista Educacao e Cultura Contemporanea, 13(31)
The Open Flip – a digital economic model for education (2016-07)
Weller, Martin
Journal of Learning for Development - JL4D, 3(2) (pp. 26-34)
Adapting the Curriculum: How K-12 Teachers Perceive the Role of Open Educational Resources (2016-03-31)
de los Arcos, Beatriz; Farrow, Robert; Pitt, Rebecca; Weller, Martin and McAndrew, Patrick
Journal of Online Learning Research, 2(1) (pp. 23-40)
Who are the Open Learners? A Comparative Study Profiling non-Formal Users of Open Educational Resources (2015-12-08)
Farrow, Robert; de los Arcos, Beatriz; Pitt, Rebecca and Weller, Martin
EURODL (European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning), 18(2) (pp. 50-74)
The Impact of OER on Teaching and Learning Practice (2015-11-26)
Weller, Martin; de los Arcos, Bea; Farrow, Rob; Pitt, Beck and McAndrew, Patrick
Open Praxis, 7(4) (pp. 351-361)
Impact of OER use on teaching and learning: data from OER Research Hub (2013–2014) (2015-08-13)
Farrow, Robert; Pitt, Rebecca; de los Arcos, Beatriz; Perryman, Leigh-Anne; Weller, Martin and McAndrew, Patrick
British Journal of Educational Technology, 46(5) (pp. 972-976)
MOOCs and the Silicon Valley Narrative (2015-04-10)
Weller, Martin
Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2015(1) (pp. 1-7)
The potential social, economic and environmental benefits of MOOCs: operational and historical comparisons with a massive ‘closed online’ course (2014-04)
Lane, Andy; Caird, Sally and Weller, Martin
Open Praxis, 6(2) (pp. 115-123)
The Battle for Open - a perspective (2013-12-03)
Weller, Martin
Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2013(3)
Digital resilience in higher education (2013-03-21)
Weller, Martin and Anderson, Terry
European Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 16(1) (p 53)
Digital scholarship and the tenure process as an indicator of change in universities (2012-07)
Weller, Martin
RUSC. Universities and Knowledge Society Journal, 9(2) (pp. 347-360)
The openness-creativity cycle in education: a perpsective (2012-04)
Weller, Martin
Journal of Interactive Media in Education
A pedagogy of abundance (2011-05)
Weller, Martin
Spanish Journal of Pedagogy, 249 (pp. 223-236)
Higher education and the promises and perils of social network (2011-01)
Siemens, George and Weller, Martin
Revista de Universidad y Sociedad del Conocimiento (RUSC), 8(1) (pp. 164-170)
Digital scholarship considered: how new technologies could transform academic work (2010-05)
Pearce, Nick; Weller, Martin; Scanlon, Eileen and Kinsley, Samuel
In Education, 16(1)
The centralisation dilemma in educational IT (2010)
Weller, Martin
International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments, 1(1) (pp. 1-9)
Using learning environments as a metaphor for educational change (2009)
Weller, Martin
On the Horizon, 17(3) (pp. 181-189)
Visualising learning design to foster and support good practice and creativity (2008)
Conole, Grainne; Brasher, Andrew; Cross, Simon; Weller, Martin; Clark, Paul and Culver, Juliette
Educational Media International, 45(3) (pp. 177-194)
Using learning design as a framework for supporting the design and reuse of OER (2008)
Conole, Grainne and Weller, Martin
Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 5
The distance from isolation: Why communities are the logical conclusion in e-learning (2007-09)
Weller, Martin
Computers and Education, 49(2) (pp. 148-159)
Learning objects, learning design, and adoption through succession (2007)
Weller, Martin
Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 19(1) (pp. 26-47)
Learning Design and Service Oriented Architectures:a mutual dependency? (2006)
McAndrew, Patrick; Weller, Martin and Barret-Baxendale, Mark
Journal of Learning Design, 1(3) (pp. 51-60)
Learning Design, generic service descriptions and universal acid (2006)
Weller, Martin; Little, Alex; McAndrew, Patrick and Woods, Will
Educational Technology and Society, 9(1) (pp. 138-145)
Students’ experience of component versus integrated Virtual Learning Environments (2005-08)
Weller, Martin; Mason, Robin and Pegler, Chris
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 21(4) (pp. 253-259)
A learning object success story (2005-03)
Mason, R D; Pegler, C A and Weller, M J
Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 9(1) (pp. 97-105)
Use of innovative technologies on an e-learning course (2005)
Weller, Martin; Pegler, Chris and Mason, Robin
The Internet and Higher Education, 8(1) (pp. 61-71)
E-portfolios: an assessment tool for online courses (2004-11)
Mason, Robin; Pegler, Chris and Weller, Martin
British Journal of Educational Technology, 35(6) (pp. 717-727)
Scaling up an online course to deal with 12,000 students (2002-04-01)
Weller, Martin and Robinson, Ley
Education, Communication and Information, 1(3) (pp. 307-323)
Assessment issues on a web-based course (2002-03-01)
Weller, Martin
Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 27(2) (pp. 109-116)
Meeting the assessment demands of networked courses (2002)
MacDonald, Janet; Weller, Martin and Mason, Robin
International Journal on E-Learning, 1(1) (pp. 9-18)
The use of narrative to provide a cohesive structure for a web based computing course (2000-08-15)
Weller, Martin J.
Journal of Interactive Media in Education(1)
OER Hub Researcher Pack (2016-12-16)
Farrow, Rob; Perryman, Leigh-Anne; de los Arcos, Beatriz; Weller, Martin and Pitt, Rebecca
Publisher : OER Hub | Published : Milton Keynes, UK
Open Research (2016-11-03)
Pitt, Rebecca; de los Arcos, Beatriz; Farrow, Rob and Weller, Martin
Publisher : OER Hub | Published : Milton Keynes, UK
The Battle for Open: How openness won and why it doesn't feel like victory (2014-11-30)
Weller, Martin
Publisher : Ubiquity Press | Published : London
The Digital Scholar: How Technology Is Transforming Scholarly Practice (2011-09)
Weller, Martin
ISBN : 9781849664974 | Publisher : Bloomsbury Academic | Published : Basingstoke
Virtual Learning Environments: Using, Choosing and Developing your VLE (2007-02)
Weller, Martin
ISBN : 041541430X | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Oxford, UK
Delivering Learning on the Net: the why, what and how of online education (2002-06-01)
Weller, Martin
Open and Flexible Learning
ISBN : 749436751 | Publisher : RoutledgeFalmer | Published : London, UK
A Tale of Two Globes: Exploring the North/South Divide in Engagement with Open Educational Resources (2018-03)
de los Arcos, Beatriz and Weller, Martin
In: Schöpfel, Joachim and Herb, Ulrich eds. Open Divide: Critical Studies on Open Access (pp. 147-155)
ISBN : 978-1-63400-029-1 | Publisher : Litwin Books | Published : Sacramento, CA
The development of new disciplines in Education – the Open Education example (2017-05)
Weller, Martin
In: dos Santos Ferreira, Giselle Martins; da Silva Rosado, Luiz Alexandre and de Sá Carvalho, Jaciara eds. Education and Technology: critical approaches (pp. 464-486)
ISBN : 978-85-5548-465-0 | Publisher : Universidade Estácio de Sá | Published : Rio de Janeiro
What Can OER Do for Me? Evaluating the Claims for OER (2017-03-27)
Weller, Martin; de los Arcos, Beatriz; Farrow, Robert; Pitt, Rebecca and McAndrew, Patrick
In: Jhangiani, R. S. and Biswas-Diener, R. eds. Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science (pp. 67-78)
Publisher : Ubiquity Press | Published : London, UK
Identifying Categories of Open Educational Resource Users (2016-12-19)
Weller, Martin; de los Arcos, Beatriz; Farrow, Rob; Pitt, Rebecca and McAndrew, Patrick
In: Blessinger, Patrick and Bliss, TJ eds. Open Education: International Perspectives in Higher Education (pp. 73-92)
ISBN : 9781783742790 | Publisher : Open Book Publishers
Bridging the gap between Web 2.0 and higher education (2009)
Weller, Martin and Dalziel, James
In: Hatzipanagos, Stylianos and Warburton, Steven eds. Handbook of Research on Social Software and Developing Community Ontologies (pp. 1659-1671)
ISBN : 978-1-60566-208-4 | Publisher : IGI | Published : PA, USA
E-learning (2003-10-13)
Weller, Martin
In: Jones, D. C. ed. The New economy handbook (pp. 1044-1068)
ISBN : 123891728 | Publisher : Academic Press | Published : San Diego, USA
GO-GN: Lessons in Building an Open Research Community (2019)
Weller, Martin; Farrow, Robert and Pitt, Rebecca
In : Pan Commonwealth Forum 9 (PCF9) (9-12 Sep 2019, Edinburgh, Scotland)
How to design for persistence and retention in MOOCs? (2016)
Brasher, Andrew; Weller, Martin and McAndrew, Patrick
In : WOW! Europe embraces MOOCs (30 Nov 2015, Rome) (pp. 179-187)
Big and little OER (2010-11)
Weller, Martin
In : OpenED2010: Seventh Annual Open Education Conference (2-4 Nov 2010, Barcelona, Spain)
A new methodology for learning design (2008-07)
Conole, Grainne; Brasher, Andrew; Cross, Simon; Weller, Martin; Nixon, Stewart; Clark, Paul and Petit, John
In : Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications (EDMEDIA) (30 Jun - 4 Jul 2008, Vienna)
Mapping a landscape of learning design: Identifying key trends in current practice at the Open University (2008-06)
Cross, Simon; Conole, Grainne; Clark, Paul; Brasher, Andrew and Weller, Martin
In : 2008 European LAMS Conference (25-27 Jun 2008, Cadiz, Spain)
CompendiumLD – a tool for effective, efficient and creative learning design (2008)
Brasher, Andrew; Conole, Gráinne; Cross, Simon; Weller, Martin; Clark, Paul and White, Juliette
In : Proceedings of the 2008 European LAMS Conference: Practical Benefits of Learning Design (25-27 Jun 2008, Cadiz, Spain)
Innovating Pedagogy 2019: Open University Innovation Report 7 (2019-01-02)
Ferguson, Rebecca; Coughlan, Tim; Egelandsdal, Kjetil; Gaved, Mark; Herodotou, Christothea; Hillaire, Garron; Jones, Derek; Jowers, Iestyn; Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes; McAndrew, Patrick; Misiejuk, Kamila; Ness, Ingun Johanna; Rienties, Bart; Scanlon, Eileen; Sharples, Mike; Wasson, Barbara; Weller, Martin and Whitelock, Denise
The Open University, Milton Keynes.
The UK Open Textbooks Report (2019)
Pitt, Rebecca; Farrow, Robert; Jordan, Katy; de los Arcos, Beatriz; Weller, Martin; Kernohan, D and Rolfe, V
Open Education Research Hub
Models for online, open, flexible and technology enhanced higher education across the globe – a comparative analysis (2018-05-31)
Orr, Dominic; Weller, Martin and Farrow, Robert
International Council for Distance Education
Innovating Pedagogy 2017: Exploring new forms of teaching, learning and assessment, to guide educators and policy makers. Open University Innovation Report 6 (2017-12)
Ferguson, Rebecca; Barzilai, Sarit; Ben-Zvi, Dani; Chinn, Clark A; Herodotou, Christothea; Hod, Yotam; Kali, Yael; Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes; Kupermintz, Haggai; McAndrew, Patrick; Rienties, Bart; Sagy, Ornit; Scanlon, Eileen; Sharples, Mike; Weller, Martin and Whitelock, Denise
The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.
Openness and education: a beginner’s guide (2017-11-03)
Jordan, Katy and Weller, Martin
Global OER Graduate Network
Innovating Pedagogy 2016: Open University Innovation Report 5 (2016-12-01)
Sharples, Mike; de Roock, Roberto; Ferguson, Rebecca; Gaved, Mark; Herodotou, Christothea; Koh, Elizabeth; Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes; Looi, Chee-Kit; McAndrew, Patrick; Rienties, Bart; Weller, Martin and Wong, Lung Hsiang
The Open University
OER Research Hub Data 2013-2015: Educators (2015)
de los Arcos, Beatriz; Farrow, Robert; Pitt, Rebecca; Perryman, Leigh-Anne; Weller, Martin and McAndrew, Patrick
Open Education Research Hub
OER Research Hub Data 2013-2015: Formal Learners (2015)
de los Arcos, Beatriz; Farrow, Robert; Pitt, Rebecca; Perryman, Leigh-Anne; Weller, Martin and McAndrew, Patrick
Open Education Research Hub
OER Research Hub Data 2013-2015: Informal Learners (2015)
de los Arcos, Beatriz; Farrow, Robert; Pitt, Rebecca; Perryman, Leigh-Anne; Weller, Martin and McAndrew, Patrick
Open Education Research Hub
OER Evidence Report 2013-2014 (2014-11-20)
de los Arcos, B.; Farrow, R.; Perryman, L.-A.; Pitt, R. and Weller, M.
OER Research Hub
OULDI-JISC Project Evaluation Report: the impact of new curriulum design tools and approaches on institutional process and design cultures (2012-07-31)
Cross, Simon; Galley, Rebecca; Brasher, Andrew and Weller, Martin
OULDI Project (Open University)
The Virtues of Blogging as Scholarly Activity (2012-04-29)
Weller, Martin
Chronicle of Higher Education, US.