About IET

The Jennie Lee Building

The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology (IET) is a global leader in the field of pedagogy, known for advancing open and distance learning globally.

For over 50 years IET has established a world-class reputation for pioneering the way education can be advanced with innovative technology, driven by our researcher experts who lead in distance learning at-scale in learning, teaching and industry.

Since IET was established in 1970 we have been central to The Open University’s mission to be the world leader in researching, innovating and delivering supported, open and distance learning. Since then we have contributed to research across many significant developments within education, driving understanding of how innovative technology can support learning, teaching and assessment. Our current research programmes focus on distinct areas of our innovative research including Performance Augmentation, Learning Futures and more, as can be seen on our Research page. 

As we operate within the OU, our academics have the capability to drive leading research through IET alongside teaching at the largest academic institution in the UK. This has allowed us to build a rich history of world-leading educational research, working with some of the pioneers in educational technology, open learning and many other areas of innovative pedagogy. Resultantly, there are a number of affiliated groups, teams and research areas associated to IET.

The history of IET covers our leadership in some of the most ground-breaking developments within educational technology including developments in computer-based learning, digital learning and remote learning. This has allowed us to support the advancements of The Open University, establishing how distance teaching and learning can be successful across all levels of education. More recently we have contributed research to mainstream topics such as open learning, virtually augmented reality learning and distance learning during the Covid-19 pandemic and new normal. 

In July 2020 Denise Whitelock was appointed as the new Director of IET, developing from her background of over twenty years’ experience in designing, researching and evaluating online and computer-based learning in Higher Education. Denise leads IET’s research and development strategy, responsible for academic and administrative management, planning and delivery.

Professor Denise Whitelock​, ​​Director of IET​
Professor Denise Whitelock​, ​​Director of IET​

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