Andrew Brasher

LTD Manager (Research Projects)


I work in the Learning and Teaching Development team in the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University. My role is to get involved in a wide variety of research and development projects, with the aim of  determining new tools and practices which will benefit the university's teaching and learning strategies. (You can get an overview of the sort of work the Learning and Teaching Development team does by looking at the publications that various members of the current team have led or contributed to since the team was formed in 2004).

My current and  recent projects include:

  • LACE (Learning Analytics Community Exchange)
    I'm working on a study of Visions of the Future in learning analytics. This will be informed by experts' views and perceptions of  what is desirable, what is feasible and the obstacles to making what is desirable happen
  • HOME (Higher education Online: MOOCs the European way), which aims to develop and strengthen a European network of organisations interested in cooperating about open education in general, and MOOCs in particular.
  • Metis (Meeting teachers' co-design needs by means of Integrated Learning Environments)
    In this project I'm working with the Metis partners to produce and run a series of workshops on designing elearning activities. The first workshop on designing collaborative activities was held at the OU on October 24th 2013.
  • Maseltov  "Mobile Assistance for Social Inclusion and Empowerment of Immigrants with Persuasive Learning Technologies and Social Network Services"
     My work included developing an initial version of  'Incidental learning framework' in collaboration with others here at the OU and partners from Spain and elsewhere in the UK. I edited and co-wrote Deliverable D7.1.1 "Incidental Learning Framework".

 Past work includes

  • Work on the OU learning design initiative the aim of which is "to develop and implement a methodology for learning design composed of tools, practice and other innovation that both builds upon, and contributes to, existing academic and practicioner research". Most of my work within this initiative has focused on the development of CompendiumLD a software tool for designing learning activities using a flexible visual interface.
  • Pelagios "Pelagios: Enable Linked Ancient Geodata In Open Systems'"
    A JISC funded project to help introduce Linked Open Data into online resources that refer to places in the Ancient World. Applying linked open data in this way will make lots of things possible, including new modes of discovery and visualization for scholars and the general public. Working with Liz  Fitzgerald and Juliette Culver I organised requirements gathering surveys and usability testing events to help develop some visualisation widgets, and reported on this in a series of blog posts. (Liz focused on the research aspects, and Juliette did all the technical development work).
  • Bridge to Success
    I wrote a review of literature related to teaching maths online, focusing on best practice, mechanisms to engender peer support, and mechanisms to deal with the anxiety that affects some people when they encounter maths in school or elsewhere.

Other stuff


In general the aim of a technology roadmap is to provide a consensus view or vision of the future landscape available to decision makers. I have worked on several roadmap studies aiming to define future research activities related to educational technology. The first of these aimed at creating a roadmap for research into e-learning relevant to Higher Education in Europe and is described in the paper "Determining Research Questions in e-learning" (McAndrew, Brasher, Hardy, 2004). In the Mobilearn project I led the development of the Mobilearn roadmap which considered ways that the lessons from MOBIlearn can inform future research and activity on mobile learning.

In 2005-2006 I worked on a roadmap for e-assessment (funded by the JISC e-Learning programme). This work has attempted to combine inputs such as governmental and organisational policies with the views and research outputs of domain experts into a coherent vision of the future of e-Assessment in the UK HE and FE sectors. My colleagues Denise Whhitelock and Simon Cross have just started a study of the current state-of-art in e-assessment: it'll be interesting to see how (in)accurate our roadmap is even after such a short time has passed.

Relevant projects: eLearnTN, Mobilearn, JISC e-assessment roadmap

Structuring of content, description of content

I am interested in how content (e.g. web pages, Word™ or text files, images, movies, or any multimedia combination of these) may be structured so that it provides some form of added value for its users. Related to this is how content can be described in ways which add value for users. In particular, I am interested in the human factors affecting the design, creation, and exploitation of structures within educational resources and descriptions of educational resources. My work in this area includes  semi-automatic generation of audio versions of learning content which built on  investigations into issues concerning metadata (e.g.  the paper "A Model For The Creation Of Human-Generated Metadata Within Communities")  but it also covers a variety of topics including schema design and vocabulary selection.

Relevant projects: GUARDIANS, Mobilearn, Subtle.



Brasher, Andrew; Whitelock, Denise; Holmes, Wayne; Pozzi, Francesca; Persico, Donatella; Manganello, Flavio; Passarelli, Marcello and Sangrà, Albert. (). Comparing the comparators: how should the quality of education offered by online universities be evaluated?. European Journal of Education (In press).


Ferguson, Rebecca; Clow, Doug; Griffiths, Dai and Brasher, Andrew. (). Moving Forward with Learning Analytics: Expert Views. Journal of Learning Analytics, 6 (3) pp. 43-59.
Pozzi, Francesca; Manganello, Flavio; Passarelli, Marcello; Persico, Donatella; Brasher, Andrew; Holmes, Wayne; Whitelock, Denise and Sangrà, Albert. (). Ranking Meets Distance Education: Defining Relevant Criteria and Indicators for Online Universities. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 20 (5) pp. 42-63.


Jones, Ann; Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes; Norris, Lucy; Gaved, Mark; Scanlon, Eileen; Jones, Jan and Brasher, Andrew. (). Supporting immigrant language learning on smartphones: A field trial. Studies in the Education of Adults, 49 (2) pp. 228-252.


Brasher, A.; Holmes, W. and Whitelock, D.. (). Comparing online distance universities. In: EDULEARN17 Proceedings, IATED, 5411-5415.
Jones, Ann; Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes and Brasher, Andrew. (). Editorial Special Collection on Migrants, Education and Technologies.. Journal of Interactive Media in Education., 1 (5) pp. 1-3.


Beavers, Sian; Brasher, Andrew; Buckler, Alison and Iniesto, Francisco. (). Book Reviews. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 1 pp. 16.
Ferguson, Rebecca; Brasher, Andrew; Clow, Doug; Griffiths, Dai and Drachsler, Hendrik. (). Learning Analytics: Visions of the Future. In: 6th International Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK) Conference, 25-29 Apr 2016, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Ferguson, Rebecca; Brasher, Andrew; Clow, Doug; Cooper, Adam; Hillaire, Garron; Mittelmeier, Jenna; Rienties, Bart; Ullmann, Thomas and Vuorikari, Riina (). Research Evidence on the Use of Learning Analytics: Implications for Education Policy. Joint Research Centre, Seville, Spain.


Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes; Gaved, Mark; Paletta, Lucas; Scanlon, Eileen; Jones, Ann and Brasher, Andrew. (). Mobile Incidental Learning to Support the Inclusion of Recent Immigrants. Ubiquitous Learning: an international journal, 7 (2) pp. 9-21.
Brasher, Andrew; McAndrew, Patrick; Chacón, J.; Christodoulaki, K.; Serrano, M. A.; Asensio, J. I.; Dimitriadis, Y.; Pozzi, F.; Derntl, M. and Persico, D. (). METIS D3.4: Final workshops packages: workshops for different educational levels and education contexts. European Union.
Brasher, Andrew and Cross, Simon (). Reflections on developing a tool for creating visual representations of learning designs: towards a visual language for learning designs. In: Maina, Marcelo; Craft, Brock and Mor, Yishay eds. The Art and Science of Learning Design Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, pp. 169-180.


Pearson, Charlie; Gaved, Mark; Brasher, Andrew; Jones, Ann; Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes; Scanlon, Eileen; Jones, Janet; Neumann, Lukas and Busta, Michal (). Mobile Situated Language Learning. MASELTOV Consortium, Graz, Austria.


Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes; Gaved, Mark; Brasher, Andrew; Jones, Ann; Scanlon, Eileen and Paletta, Lucas. (). Designing for inclusion through incidental language learning. In: ICT for Language Learning (5th Edition), 15-16 Nov 2012, Florence, Italy.
Brasher, Andrew; Dunwell, Ian; Akiki, Oula and Gaved, Mark (). MASELTOV Deliverable D7.1.1: Incidental Learning Framework. MASELTOV Consortium, Graz, Austria.


Conole, Grainne; Wilson, Tina; McAndrew, Patrick; Culver, Juliette; Brasher, Andrew and Cross, Simon. (). New methods and approaches to the design and evaluation of open educational resources. In: EDEN Annual Conference 2009, 10-13 Jun 2009, Gdansk, Poland.
Cross, Simon; Clark, Paul and Brasher, Andrew. (). Preliminary findings from a series of staff surveys on perceptions, attitudes and practices of learning design. In: ALT-C 2009 “In Dreams Begins Responsibility”: Choice, Evidence and Change, 8-10 Sep 2009, Manchester, UK.


Conole, Grainne; Culver, Juliette; Williams, Perry; Cross, Simon; Clark, Paul and Brasher, Andrew. (). Cloudworks: social networking for learning design. In: ASCILITE 2008 conference: Hello! Where are you in the landscape of educational technology?, 30 Nov - 3 Dec 2008, Melbourne, Australia.
Conole, Grainne; Brasher, Andrew; Cross, Simon; Weller, Martin; Nixon, Stewart; Clark, Paul and Petit, John. (). A new methodology for learning design. In: Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications (EDMEDIA), 30 Jun - 4 Jul 2008, Vienna.
Cross, Simon; Conole, Grainne; Clark, Paul; Brasher, Andrew and Weller, Martin. (). Mapping a landscape of learning design: Identifying key trends in current practice at the Open University. In: 2008 European LAMS Conference, 25-27 Jun 2008, Cadiz, Spain.
Conole, Grainne; Brasher, Andrew; Cross, Simon; Weller, Martin; Clark, Paul and Culver, Juliette. (). Visualising learning design to foster and support good practice and creativity. Educational Media International, 45 (3) pp. 177-194.
Brasher, Andrew; Conole, Gráinne; Cross, Simon; Weller, Martin; Clark, Paul and White, Juliette. (). 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 Jun 2008, Cadiz, Spain.


Whitelock, Denise M. and Brasher, Andrew (). Developing a Roadmap for e-Assessment: Which Way Now?. In: Danson, Myles eds. Proceedings of the 10th CAA International Computer Assisted Assessment Conference Loughborough, UK: Professional Development, Loughborough University, pp. 487-501.
Taylor, Josie; Minocha, Shailey; McAndrew, Patrick; Brasher, Andrew and Joinson, Adam. (). Smart labs and social practice: social tools for pervasive laboratory workspaces: a position paper. In: Designing for e-Science: Interrogating New Scientific Practice for Usability, in the Lab and Beyond, 26-27 Jan 2006, e-Science Institute, Edinburgh, UK.


Brasher, Andrew and Taylor, Josie (). Development of a research plan for use of ambient technology to test mobile learning theories. In: Attewell, Jill and Savill-Smith, Carol eds. Mobile learning anytime everywhere London: Learning and Skills Development Agency, pp. 33-37.
Brasher, Andrew and Taylor, Josie (). Development of a research plan for use of ambient technology to test mobile learning theories. In: Attewell, Jill and Savill-Smith, Carol eds. Mobile Learning Anytime Everywhere: a book of Papers from MLEARN 2004 Learning and Skills Development Agency, pp. 33-37.


McAndrew, Patrick; Brasher, Andrew and Hardy, Pascale. (). Determining Research Questions in e-learning. In: Networked Learning Conference 2004, 5-7 Apr 2004, Lancaster University, UK.
Brasher, Andrew and McAndrew, Patrick (). Human-Generated Learning Object Metadata. In: Meersman, R; Zahir, Tari and Corsaro, A eds. On the Move to Meaningful Internet Systems 2004: OTM 2004 Workshops Berlin: Springer, pp. 723-730.