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Professor Martin Weller

Professor Martin Weller

Professor of Educational Technology

The Open University Institute of Educational Technology Professoriat

Martin's Blog


I've been involved in many of the OU's e-learning developments, including being director of the VLE, leading the SocialLearn project and chairing the first major online course (T171 with 12,000 students).  I am currently leading on a strategic project to bring a learning design approach to the University's module design systems, called Curriculum Business Models. 

My research area is in digital scholarship - I blog about this, and have recently written a book on the subject (published by Bloomsbury Academic under an open access licence). I have been involved in the open education movement for a number of years, being part of the original team that gained funding for the OpenLearn project. I have been the lead on a number of research projects in this area, including FLOSSCom (looking at open source models for education) and Sidecap (promoting open education resources in African, Caribbean and Pacific universities)

I'm a regular and reasonably well known blogger at



BSc (Hons) Psychology

MSc Artificial Intelligence

PhD Artificial Intelligence

Teaching Interests

I am currently authoring on two courses in the MAODE - H817, where my block focuses on open education and will be run as an open course (or a MOOC), 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 Telematics department, in the Faculty of Technology at the OU. My main work there was on the course T171, You, your computer and the Net. I chaired the production and presentation of the initial course and later co-chaired it. I also authored two of the modules. The course was based entirely online and had around 12,000 students annually. I also worked on T396 Artificial Intelligence for Technology which was my first course at the OU. I have also authored on H807 and H808.

Research Interests

Most of my research falls under the broad category of digital scholarship:

The impact of new technology on academic practice

Changing nature of academic identity in a networked world

Open education - the uptake of OERs, implementation of MOOCs, etc

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


Authored Book
Weller, Martin (2011). The Digital Scholar: How Technology Is Transforming Scholarly Practice. Basingstoke: Bloomsbury Academic.
Weller, Martin (2007). Virtual Learning Environments: Using, Choosing and Developing your VLE. Oxford, UK: Routledge.
Weller, Martin (2002). Delivering Learning on the Net: the why, what and how of online education. Open and Flexible Learning. London, UK: RoutledgeFalmer.
Book Chapter
Weller, Martin and Dalziel, James (2009). Bridging the gap between Web 2.0 and higher education. In: Hatzipanagos, Stylianos and Warburton, Steven eds. Handbook of Research on Social Software and Developing Community Ontologies. PA, USA: IGI, pp. 1659–1671.
Weller, Martin (2003). E-learning. In: Jones, D. C. ed. The New economy handbook. San Diego, USA: Academic Press, pp. 1044–1068.
Conference Item
Weller, Martin (2010). Big and little OER. In: OpenED2010: Seventh Annual Open Education Conference, 2-4 November 2010, Barcelona, Spain.
Conole, Grainne ; Brasher, Andrew ; Cross, Simon ; Weller, Martin ; Nixon, Stewart ; Clark, Paul and Petit, John (2008). A new methodology for learning design. In: Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications (EDMEDIA), 30 June - 4 July 2008, Vienna.
Cross, Simon ; Conole, Grainne ; Clark, Paul ; Brasher, Andrew and Weller, Martin (2008). Mapping a landscape of learning design: Identifying key trends in current practice at the Open University. In: 2008 European LAMS Conference, 25-27 June 2008, Cadiz, Spain.
Brasher, Andrew ; Conole, Gráinne ; Cross, Simon ; Weller, Martin ; Clark, Paul and White, Juliette (2008). CompendiumLD – a tool for effective, efficient and creative learning design. In: Proceedings of the 2008 European LAMS Conference: Practical Benefits of Learning Design, 25-27 June 2008, Cadiz, Spain.
Journal Article
Weller, Martin and Anderson, Terry (2013). Digital resilience in higher education. European Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 16(1), p. 53.
Weller, Martin (2012). Digital scholarship and the tenure process as an indicator of change in universities. RUSC. Universities and Knowledge Society Journal, 9(2), pp. 347–360.
Weller, Martin (2012). The openness-creativity cycle in education: a perpsective. Journal of Interactive Media in Education
Weller, Martin (2011). A pedagogy of abundance. Spanish Journal of Pedagogy, 249 pp. 223–236.
Siemens, George and Weller, Martin (2011). Higher education and the promises and perils of social network. Revista de Universidad y Sociedad del Conocimiento (RUSC), 8(1), pp. 164–170.
Pearce, Nick ; Weller, Martin ; Scanlon, Eileen and Kinsley, Samuel (2010). Digital scholarship considered: how new technologies could transform academic work. In Education, 16(1),
Weller, Martin (2010). The centralisation dilemma in educational IT. International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments, 1(1), pp. 1–9.
Weller, Martin (2009). Using learning environments as a metaphor for educational change. On the Horizon, 17(3), pp. 181–189.
Conole, Grainne ; Brasher, Andrew ; Cross, Simon ; Weller, Martin ; Clark, Paul and Culver, Juliette (2008). Visualising learning design to foster and support good practice and creativity. Educational Media International, 45(3), pp. 177–194.
Conole, Grainne and Weller, Martin (2008). Using learning design as a framework for supporting the design and reuse of OER. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 5
Weller, Martin (2007). The distance from isolation: Why communities are the logical conclusion in e-learning. Computers and Education, 49(2), pp. 148–159.
Weller, Martin (2007). Learning objects, learning design, and adoption through succession. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 19(1), pp. 26–47.
McAndrew, Patrick ; Weller, Martin and Barret-Baxendale, Mark (2006). Learning Design and Service Oriented Architectures:a mutual dependency? Journal of Learning Design, 1(3), pp. 51–60.
Weller, Martin ; Little, Alex ; McAndrew, Patrick and Woods, Will (2006). Learning Design, generic service descriptions and universal acid. Educational Technology and Society, 9(1), pp. 138–145.
Weller, Martin ; Mason, Robin and Pegler, Chris (2005). Students’ experience of component versus integrated Virtual Learning Environments. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 21(4), pp. 253–259.
Mason, R D ; Pegler, C A and Weller, M J (2005). A learning object success story. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 9(1), pp. 97–105.
Weller, Martin ; Pegler, Chris and Mason, Robin (2005). Use of innovative technologies on an e-learning course. The Internet and Higher Education, 8(1), pp. 61–71.
Mason, Robin ; Pegler, Chris and Weller, Martin (2004). E-portfolios: an assessment tool for online courses. British Journal of Educational Technology, 35(6), pp. 717–727.
Weller, Martin and Robinson, Ley (2002). Scaling up an online course to deal with 12,000 students. Education, Communication and Information, 1(3), pp. 307–323.
Weller, Martin (2002). Assessment issues on a web-based course. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 27(2), pp. 109–116.
MacDonald, Janet; Weller, Martin and Mason, Robin (2002). Meeting the assessment demands of networked courses. International Journal on E-Learning, 1(1), pp. 9–18.
Weller, Martin J. (2000). The use of narrative to provide a cohesive structure for a web based computing course. Journal of Interactive Media in Education(1),
de los Arcos, B. ; Farrow, R. ; Perryman, L.-A. ; Pitt, R. and Weller, M. (2014). OER Evidence Report 2013-2014. OER Research Hub.
Cross, Simon ; Galley, Rebecca ; Brasher, Andrew and Weller, Martin (2012). OULDI-JISC Project Evaluation Report: the impact of new curriulum design tools and approaches on institutional process and design cultures. OULDI Project (Open University).
Weller, Martin (2012). The Virtues of Blogging as Scholarly Activity. Chronicle of Higher Education, US.

Blog posts


Where do you go for community?

(It is a little known fact that every time a pub closes, an angel dies) I use the site Blipfoto to do the photo a day thing. I’m not that active over there, but it is one of those sites that some people really, really, love. It has developed a strong community over the years, Continue reading


Good vs Evil Unicorns

I’ve done variations on my Battle for Open talk 3 times this week, and one slide I’ve used is to talk about the way false dichotomies are created. I characterised it as you are forced to be a good or evil unicorn (these are actually a thing, but a not real thing). This is often Continue reading


The hidden tech shift in higher ed

It is quite common to hear statements along the lines of “education hasn’t changed in 100 years”. This is particularly true from education start-up companies, who are attempting to create a demand for their product by illustrating how much change is required in the sector. At a conference I attended once a speaker invited the Continue reading


The duty of care

(don’t worry, the elbow patches won’t be retired anytime soon) Some of you may have seen a recent article about the drop in part-time student numbers and the OU. First of all, some perspective, it’s not quite the end of the OU as some have interpreted it – they anticipated a drop following the introduction Continue reading


Just the twenty years

This month marks twenty years since I started at the OU. In five years time I get a clock. I know you’re thinking ‘he doesn’t look a day over 30′ – oh, you’re not. Anyway, time for some reflection, and as I said few posts back, I think those of us in ed tech in Continue reading


The goals, the goals

At the start of the year, I set myself a number of goals. I’ve found that I need goals to keep doing stuff, I am inherently lazy, so the guilt of having to achieve a regular commitment is necessary to get me off my arse. In the past few years I’ve done the photo a Continue reading


Social media and Open Access

(image – I often make this point in talks on digital scholarship, but don’t think I’ve done it in a blog sized chunk before. There is an interesting relationship between social media and open access. As you develop an online identity as an academic, so the role of social media (twitter, blogs, – Continue reading


Waiting for the great leap forward

Now that it’s 2015 (it is, check your phone!), it’s interesting to think about changes in ed tech over the past five years. People often use the 5 year timespan to make predictions, so it’s a convenient chunk of time. The major advance in technology in society, which has then impacted upon education, has been Continue reading


The network corrections

(doesn’t make cloud pun) At the Open University we get a ‘study leave’ allowance every year, which was meant to replace the traditional summer breaks enjoyed by academics at campus universities. I try to take mine in December and January every year, last year it was when I wrote the Battle for Open book. This Continue reading


The stories in the legs

For the past five years I’ve done an end of year review of my running (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013) . It’s the only running post I do now, and I usually add some philosophical rambling to justify it. I’d like to do it again this year, to carry on my own little tradition, but Continue reading

Other Interests

I'm a mediocre runner, I take photographs over at blip or flickr, and I'm studying for an MA in History.

last updated 06-Jul-2012