Photo of Chris Edwards


Chris Edwards

Senior Lecturer


Building on many years of experience in producing and delivering OU modules, I chair the module team for the masters module H880 Technology-enhanced learning, a 60 credit (30 ECTS credits) masters module in our Online and Distance Education programme delivered through the FutureLearn platform. I previously chaired H817 Openness and innovation in elearning which has now completed its final presentation. In addition, I help run this programme which includes an increasing number of microcredentials, through staff tutor and assessment responsibilities. My contribution to teaching also includes supporting faculties in areas of learning analytics. Primarily through supporting projects in the University's Scholarship Centres, and in particular, PRAXIS, the Scholarship Centre for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) by providing analyses and reflection that enables colleagues to better pursue the enhancement of their curriculum and the student experience.

My research and scholarship interests call on extensive experience of working across faculties and University units, and centres on methods to better structure and understand student study pathway and experience data (Edwards, 2017; Rienties et al, 2018; Clow et al, 2019; Edwards and Gaved, 2020). This links strongly to the Erasmus+ Complex Trajectories project I am currently working on. This interest in the student experience also encompasses assessment and feedback. Including the development of a permanently available, automated feedback tool for the coherence in essay writing, the Open Essay Optimiser, which further develops OpenEssayist (Edwards et al, 2022). Previously, my research activity was directed towards the TeSLA project, which explored the use of e-authentication tools within online student assessment (Edwards et al, 2018 (a) and (b); Edwards et al, 2019; Okada et al, 2019). Also, The MOVEME project, also called 'MOOC Italiano Inglese in Tandem', in the project section (Perez-Cavana and Edwards, 2017).


Chris is a senior lecturer in the Institute of Educational Technology IET and chairs the masters module ‘H880 Technology-enhanced learning’, one of the University's first modules to be delivered through the FutureLearn platform as part of the exploration of how new approaches can benefit OU students and learners. He has authored on ‘H819 The critical researcher: educational technology in practice’. He has also written and taught on a FutureLearn MOOC to develop international students academic English, provides learning analytics support to faculties, and has held institutional responsibilities for the Stage-gate process and for scrutiny and use of learning outcomes. Chris has a range of research interests that centre on understanding and improving the student experience. He has developed a student experience pathways model that introduces a step change in enabling a full understanding of the student experience; advised in the development of the Open Essay Optimiser, and led the trial of this new student facing tool; and reviews wider issues, for example, the impact of different assessment strategies and students' experience of the National Student Survey.



Bektik, Duygu; Ullmann, Thomas; Edwards, Chris; Herodotou, Christothea and Whitelock, Denise. (). AI-Powered Curricula: Unpacking the Potential and Progress of Generative Technologies in Education. In: EDEN 2024 Annual Conference, 16-18 Jun 2024, Graz, Austria.
Ullmann, Thomas; Bektik, Duygu; Edwards, Chris; Herodotou, Christothea and Whitelock, Denise. (). Teaching with Generative AI: moving forward with content creation. In: EDEN 2024 Annual Conference, 16-18 Jun 2024, Graz, Austria.


Pérez Cavana, Maria Luisa; Edwards, Chris and Luelmo del Castillo, Maria José. (). Older language learners: 'always too late' vs 'never too late'. A mixed-methods approach. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 25 (2) pp. 88-113.


Edwards, Chris; Whitelock, Denise; Cross, Simon and Wild, Fridolin. (). Towards autonomous, confident academic writing : supporting students in developing their writing through a stand alone online tool. In: AHE2022, 22-24 Jun 2022, Manchester, UK.
Edwards, Chris; Whitelock, Denise; Cross, Simon and Wild, Fridolin. (). Developing automated ways to give essay writing feedback to students. In: INTED2022 Proceedings: 16th International Technology, Education and Development Conference, IATED Academy, Valencia, Spain, 5446-5450.
Edwards, Chris and Whitelock, Denise. (). Was our pilot study successful? An approach when data are sparse. In: Proceedings of EDEN 2022, 20-22 Jun 2022, Tallinn, Estonia.


Rogaten, Jekaterina; Clow, Doug; Edwards, Chris; Gaved, Mark and Rienties, Bart (). Are Assessment Practices Well Aligned Over Time? A Big Data Exploration. In: Bearman, M; Dawson, P; Ajjawi, R.; Tai, J. and Boud, D. eds. Re-imagining University Assessment in a Digital World Cham: Springer, pp. 147-164.
Edwards, Chris and Gaved, Mark. (). The student study experience – analysing student study choices. In: 29th EDEN (European Distance Education Network) Annual Conference 2020 - Human and Artificial Intelligence for the Society of the Future, 21-24 Jun 2020, Politehnica University, Timisoara, Romania.
Whitelock, Denise; Edwards, Chris and Okada, Alexandra. (). Can e-Authentication Raise the Confidence of Both Students and Teachers in Qualifications Granted through the e-Assessment Process?. Journal of Learning for Development - JL4D, 7 (1) pp. 46-60.
Edwards, Chris and Gaved, Mark. (). Understanding student experience: a pathways model. In: L@S '20: Proceedings of the Seventh ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale, 12-14 Aug 2020, Virtual event, USA.


Edwards, Chris; Whitelock, Denise and Okada, Alexandra. (). Did you really do this? E-authentication raising confidence in e-assessment. In: 9th Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning - Innovations for Quality Education and Lifelong Learning (PCF9), 9-12 Sep 2019, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Clow, Doug; Coughlan, Tim; Cross, Simon; Edwards, Chris; Gaved, Mark; Herodotou, Christothea; Nguyen, Quan; Rienties, Bart; Thorne, Sam and Ullmann, Thomas (). Scholarly insight Winter 2019: a Data wrangler perspective. Open University, Milton Keynes.
Okada, Alexandra; Whitelock, Denise; Holmes, Wayne and Edwards, Chris. (). e-Authentication for online assessment: A mixed-method study. British Journal of Educational Technology, 50 (2) pp. 861-875.
Edwards, Chris; Whitelock, Denise; Brouns, Francis; Rodríguez, M. Elena; Okada, Alexandra; Baneres, David and Holmes, Wayne. (). An embedded approach to plagiarism detection using the TeSLA e-authentication system. In: TEA 2018 Technology Enhanced Assessment Conference, 10-11 Dec 2018, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Edwards, Chris and Gaved, Mark. (). Analysing student study choices to qualification: which study routes are best?. In: ALT Annual Conference 2019, 3-5 Sep 2019, Edinburgh.
Scanlon, Eileen; Herodotou, Christothea; Whitelock, Denise and Edwards, Chris (). STEM Learning: Foundations. In: Ferguson, Rebecca; Jones, Ann and Scanlon, Eileen eds. Educational Visions: Lessons from 40 years of innovation London: Ubiquity Press, pp. 127-138.


Ullmann, Thomas; Lay, Stephanie; Cross, Simon; Edwards, Chris; Gaved, Mark; Jones, Edwina; Hidalgo, Rafael; Evans, Gerald; Lowe, Sue; Calder, Kathleen; Clow, Doug; Coughlan, Tim; Herodotou, Christothea; Mangafa, Chrysoula and Rienties, Bart (). Scholarly insight Spring 2018: a Data wrangler perspective. Open University UK, Milton Keynes.
Okada, Alexandra; Whitelock, Denise; Holmes, Wayne and Edwards, Chris. (). Student acceptance of online assessment with e-authentication in the UK. In: 20th International Conference Technology Enhanced Assessment (TEA 2017): Revised Selected Papers, 109-122.
Edwards, Chris; Holmes, Wayne; Whitelock, Denise and Okada, Ale. (). Student Trust in e-Authentication. In: L@S 2018: Fifth (2018) ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale, 26-28 Jun 2018, London, UK.
Edwards, C.; Whitelock, D.; Okada, A. and Holmes, W.. (). Trust in online authentication tools for online assessment in both formal and informal contexts. In: ICERI2018 Proceedings, 12-14 Nov 2018, Seville, Spain.


Edwards, Chris. (). Understanding student experience in the age of personalised study. In: ALT Online Winter Conference 2017, 12-13 Dec 2017.
Rienties, Bart; Clow, Doug; Coughlan, Tim; Cross, Simon; Edwards, Chris; Gaved, Mark; Herodotou, Christothea; Hlosta, Martin; Jones, Jan; Rogaten, Jekaterina and Ullmann, Thomas (). Scholarly insight Autumn 2017:a Data wrangler perspective. Open University UK.
Rienties, Bart; Rogaten, Jekaterina; Nguyen, Quan; Edwards, Chris; Gaved, Mark; Holt, Deborah; Herodotou, Christothea; Clow, Doug; Cross, Simon; Coughlan, Tim; Jones, Jan and Ullmann, Thomas (). Scholarly insight Spring 2017: A Data Wrangler Perspective. Open University UK.
Pérez Cavana, Maria Luisa and Edwards, Chris (). Fostering student-centred pedagogy through the language learning support dimensions (LLSD). In: Krings, Hans P and Kühn, Bärbel eds. Inhalt und Vielfalt - Neue Herausforderungen für das Sprachenlernen und -lehren an Hochschulen. Bochum, Gernabt: AKS Verlag, pp. 149-161.
Herodotou, Christothea and Edwards, Chris (). Factors explaining students’ satisfaction and performance in Business and Law modules. The Open University.


Rienties, Bart; Edwards, Chris; Gaved, Mark; Marsh, Vicky; Herodotou, Christothea; Clow, Doug; Cross, Simon; Coughlan, Tim; Jones, Jan and Ullmann, Thomas (). Scholarly insight 2016: a Data wrangler perspective. Open University UK.


Edwards, Chris (). Learning Outcomes at the Open University. IET, The Open University, Milton Keynes.


Pérez Cavana, Maria and Edwards, Chris (). Developing the Language Learning Support Dimensions (LLSD) from research into second language acquisition and informed by the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI). In: Krings, Hans P. and Kühn, B. eds. Fremdsprachliche Lernprozesse beobachten: - initiieren - steuern - begleiten Bochum ( Germany): AKS-Verlag Bochum.


Edwards, Chris and Perez Cavana, Maria Luisa. (). Developing approaches to enhancing the orientation and success of language learning in higher education. In: 17th Annual Conference of the Education, Learning, Styles, Individuals Differences Network, 26-28 Jun 2012, Cardiff, Wales.


Edwards, Chris. (). Embedding reflective thinking on approaches to learning - moving from pilot study to developing institutional good practice. In: The 16th Annual Conference of Education, Learning, Styles, Individual differences Network, 29 Jun - 1 Jul 2011, University of Antwerp.


Edwards, Chris. (). Can reflections on approaches to learning improve induction, performance and retention?. In: Exploring Styles to Enhance Learning and Teaching in Diverse Contexts: Proceedings of the 15th Annual Conference of the European Learning Styles Information Network, 28-30 Jun 2010, Aveiro, Portugal.


Edwards, Chris and Hush, Michael. (). Supporting self-reflection in students learning at a distance. In: Learning in Higher Education - How Style Matters: Proceedings of the 14th Annual Conference of the European Learning Styles Information Network, 17-19 Jun 2009, Bulle-en-Gruyere, Switzerland.
Edwards, Chris. (). Linking learning - towards bringing learning in formal, informal, education and work settings together. In: HEA Annual Conference 2009, 30 Jun - 2 Jul 2009, Manchester, UK.


Edwards, Christopher. (). Evaluating European public awareness of science initiatives: A review of the literature. Science Communication, 25 (3) pp. 260-271.


Whitelegg, Elizabeth and Edwards, Chris (). Beyond the laboratory: learning physics in real-life contexts. In: Behrendt, Helga; Dahncke, Helmut; Duit, Reinders; Graber, Wolfgang; Komorek, Michael; Kross, Angela and Reiska, Priit eds. Research in science education: past, present and future Dordrect, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 337-342.