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Prof Christothea Herodotou PhD, SFHEA, MSc, BA (Hons)

Professor of Learning Technologies and Social Justice

About

I am a Professor of Learning Technologies and Social Justice at the Open University UK and Associate Director of the Institute of Educational Technology, Quality Enhancement and Innovation. I have expertise in the design and evaluation of learning technologies that promote education opportunity and social justice, including learning analytics dashboards, online citizen science websites, and mobile game applications. I use mixed-methods research approaches (e.g., learning analytics, interviews, surveys, participatory workshops, RCTs) to co-design with end-users learning technologies that meet their needs and bring positive impact to society.

I am the academic lead of nQuire, a community and citizen science platform developed in partnership with the BBC, which supports the engagement of the public with scientific studies in ways that promote their learning and development and nQuire for students, a teaching and learning platform aiming to develop students' research skills through design thinking projects. I am also the academic co-lead of the Early Alert Indicators project, a university-wide initiative that uses predictive learning analytics to identify and support students who are struggling with their studies through early teacher interventions.I hold funding from Horizon Europe and Innovate UK (2022-2025) to design sustainable models of formal education that use design thinking and digital technologies (Augmented reality, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Robotics, 3-D printing) - see ExtenDT2.

As Associate Director of the Institute of Educational Technology, I manage the design and delivery of activities related to two 'challenges' - set by the university's Pro-Vice-Chancellors - that aim to improve teaching, learning and assessment across the Open University: a) design and evaluation of online courses using artificial intelligence (AI) and the design of an AI digital assistant to support students, and b) design and evaluation of technological and pedagogical interventions to support students at risk of failing when joining the university. As part of the second challenge, I am leading the evaluation of a student-facing learning analytics dashboard that provide students with information about their study progress as well as recommendations of what to study in order to pass an assignment.

Completed projects - externally funded

I was a co-I on the Erasmus+ funded project "Accelerating the transition towards Edu 4.0 in HEIs - TEACH4EDU4" (2020-2023) that examined the teaching and learning of computer science university courses. I held funding from the National Science Foundation, Wellcome, and ESRC to improve the design of online citizen science platforms (Zooniverse and iNaturalist) and make science learning more accessible and productive to young people (LEARN Cit Sci) (completed in 2022). I was a co-I on MAPPS, aNuffield funded project that examined through a systematic review the value of maths apps to learning and showcased the importance of good quality feedback and levelling in supporting app learning outcomes (completed in 2022). I was the PI of the project "Democratising research through Citizen Science: A mental health pilot", which was co-funded by the Mental Health Foundation and the Open University and explored ways we can engage young people who face mental health issues with scientific research (completed 2021).I was the PI of the UKRI funded project EduCS: EDUcating Citizens and organisations in Citizen Science methodologies, that delivered a series of participatory workshops for developing citizen science capacity in organisations not normally involved in citizen science, including academic and non academic organisations such as the Royal Meteorological Society and BBC Weather.

Completed projects - internally funded

I held internal funding from the eSTEeM centre, at the Open University for a number of projects: (i) as a PI to identify effective ways feedback could be provided to students when remotely interacting with a virtual microscope - feedback was in the form of written material and synchronous on demand guidance by a teacher, (ii) as a co-I to improve the accuracy of predictive analytics of at risk students, by identifying and explaining errors in student predictions, and (iii) as a PI, I produced evidence-based recommendations as to how to improve the design of activities that make use of the virtual microscope in undergraduate courses, examining both the teachers' and the students' perspectives.

I am a fellow of the British Academy as I received a mid-career fellowship that produced evidence-based guidelines for the design of mobile applications for young children (m_Evaluate). I was an elected member of the International society for Artificial Intelligence in EDucation (IAIED)  – co-leading the public engagement stream of work (2020-2023).

Teaching

I single authored the free OpenLearn course "Children’s experiences with digital technologies" which aims to  help parents and teachers with choosing and using digital technologies such as mobile apps with children. I was the Chair of the Master course: Technology-enhanced learning: Practices and debates (H800) for three years. 

Awards

UNESCO ICT in Education Prize 2nd place (International competition with 73 entries) (Predictive learning analytics and OU Analyse) (2021)

Data IQ Award 2nd place. Category: Green data for citizen science (Citizen science and nQuire) (2021)

The Guardian Research Impact Award (Citizen science and nQuire) (2020)

Data IQ Award Best use of data by a not-for-profit organisation (OU Analyse) (2020)

Excellence in Enhancing Teaching and Learning 2020 by The Open University Recognition of Excellence in Teaching team (predictive analytics) (2020)

The Times Higher Education Finalist in Digital Innovation of the year (OU Analyse) (2019) 

Outstanding Impact on Teaching, Curriculum and Students 2019 by the OU Research Excellence Awards (Predictive analytics) (2019)

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action, Seal of Excellence (2018)

The Open University Inaugural Engaging Research Award by the RCUK Public Engagement with Research Catalyst ‘An open research university’ (2014)

Qualifications

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and a Honorary Associate of UCL. I received my Ph.D. degree in Digital Games and Psychology from University College London (UCL) Institute of Education with very minor amendments (4 weeks), a MSc in Education, Technology, and Society, University of Bristol, UK (with Distinction) and a BA (Hons) in Primary Education, University of Cyprus.

PhD/EdD supervision

I am currently supervising a number of PhD and EdD students.

External consultancy

I am advising on the online design and delivery of university programmes. I am an advisory board member on projects using learning analytics to support students' learning.  

Biography

Dr Christothea Herodotou is a Professor of Learning Technologies and Social Justice at the Open University UK and Associate Director of the Institute of Educational Technology, Quality Enhancement and Innovation. She has expertise in the design and evaluation of learning technologies that promote education opportunity and social justice, including learning analytics dashboards, online citizen science websites, and mobile game applications. She is the academic lead of nQuire - a community citizen science platform developed in partnership with the BBC, which supports the engagement of the public with scientific practices in ways that promote learning and awareness and nQuire for students, a teaching and learning platform aiming to develop students' research skills through design thinking projects. She is also the academic co-lead of the Early Alert Indicators project, a university-wide initiative that uses predictive learning analytics to identify and support students who are struggling with their studies through early teacher interventions. She has recently won funding from Horizon Europe to devise sustainable models of formal education that are based on co-production, design thinking and digital technologies (See ExtenDT2). In the past, she has held funding from major funding bodies including the National Science Foundation, ESRC and Wellcome to improve the design of online citizen science platforms and make science learning more accessible and productive to young people; UKRI and the Mental Health Foundation for developing community and citizen science capacity in large organisations and underserved communities; Nuffield foundation, British Academy and BERA for examining and improving the design of educational mobile applications for children. She has authored more than 120+ outputsthe great majority of which in peer-reviewed outlets and as a first author. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). She received her Ph.D. degree in Digital Games and Psychology from the University College London (UCL): Institute of Education and her MSc in Education, Technology, and Society from the University of Bristol (with Distinction). She has received several awards over the years including ones from The Guardian and UNESCO. 

Publications

2024

Rienties, Bart; Domingue, John; Duttaroy, Subroto; Herodotou, Christothea; Tessarolo, Felipe and Whitelock, Denise. (). What distance learning students want from an AI Digital Assistant. Distance Education (In press).
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.

2023

Toosy, Fesal; Mehmood, Zarqa; Talib, Maria; Siddiqi, Hafsa; Herodotou, Christothea; Poslad, Stefan and Hamid, Khurram. (). The Impact of Gender on Female Engineering Students. In: 2023 IEEE International Conference on Teaching, Assessment and Learning for Engineering (TALE), 28 Nov - 01 Dec 2023, Auckland, New Zealand.
Scanlon, Eileen; Herodotou, Christothea and McLeod, Kevin. (). Community Citizen Inquiry: The Case of nQuire. In: Proceedings of the European Distance and eLearning Network Conference 2023, 18-20 Jun 2023, Dublin.
Rienties, Bart; Ferguson, Rebecca; Gonda, Dalibor; Hajdin, Goran; Herodotou, Christothea; Iniesto, Francisco; Llorens Garcia, Ariadna; Muccini, Henry; Sargent, Julia; Virkus, Sirje and Isidori, Maria Vittoria. (). Education 4.0 in higher education and computer science: A systematic review. Computer Applications in Engineering Education, 31 (5) pp. 1339-1357.
Milrad, Marcelo; Herodotou, Christothea; Grizioti, Marianthi; Lincke, Alisa; Girvan, Carina; Papavlasopoulou, Sofia; Shrestha, Sagun and Zhang, Feiran. (). Combining Design Thinking with Emerging Technologies in K-12 Education. In: Methodologies and Intelligent Systems for Technology Enhanced Learning, Workshops - 13th International Conference., Springer, Cham, 15-27.
Bonnin, Geoffray; Bayer, Vaclav; Fernandez, Miriam; Herodotou, Christothea; Hlosta, Martin and Mulholland, Paul. (). CERSEI: Cognitive Effort Based Recommender System for Enhancing Inclusiveness. In: Responsive and Sustainable Educational Futures. EC-TEL 2023. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 14200, Springer, Cham, 692-697.
Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes; Bossu, Carina; Charitonos, Koula; Coughlan, Tim; Deacon, Andrew; Deane, Nawaal; Ferguson, Rebecca; Herodotou, Christothea; Huang, Cheng-Wen; Mayisela, Tabisa; Rets, Irina; Sargent, Julia; Scanlon, Eileen; Small, Janet; Walji, Sukaina; Weller, Martin and Whitelock, Denise (). Innovating Pedagogy 2023: Open University Innovation Report 11. The Open University, Milton Keynes.
Herodotou, Christothea; Maguire, Claire; Hlosta, Martin and Mulholland, Paul. (). Predictive Learning Analytics and University Teachers: Usage and perceptions three years post implementation. In: LAK2023: LAK23: 13th International Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference, 68-78.
Rets, Irina; Herodotou, Christothea and Gillespie, Anna. (). Six Practical Recommendations Enabling Ethical Use of Predictive Learning Analytics in Distance Education. Journal of Learning Analytics, 10 (1) pp. 149-167.
Outhwaite, Laura A.; Early, Erin; Herodotou, Christothea and Van Herwegen, Jo. (). Understanding how educational maths apps can enhance learning: A content analysis and qualitative comparative analysis. British Journal of Educational Technology, 54 pp. 1292-1313.
Herodotou, Christothea; Ismail, Nashwa; Lahnstein, A.I. Ana; Aristeidou, Maria; Young, Alison; Johnson, F. Rebecca; Higgins, M. Lila; Khanaposhtani, G. Maryam; Robinson, D. Lucy and Ballard, L. Heidi. (). Young people in iNaturalist: a blended learning framework for biodiversity monitoring. International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement (Early access).
Mavrikis, Manolis; Milrad, Marcelo; Kynigos, Chronis; Grizioti, Marianthi; Herodotou, Christothea; Van Langenhove, Lieva; Strubbe, Katrien; Papavlasopoulou, Sofia; Girvan, Carina; Chalvatza, Filothei and Nikolaou, Maria-Stella. (). Extending Design Thinking with Digital Technologies. In: 20th Biennial EARLI Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction, 22-26 Aug 2023, Thessaloniki, Greece.

2022

Toosy, Fesal; Arif, Arslan; Ahmad, Ali; Herodotou, Christothea; Poslad, Stefan and Hamid, Khurram. (). How do Final Year Projects of Engineering Students Relate to Myer-Briggs Type Indicator Assessment?. In: 2022 IEEE International Conference on Teaching, Assessment and Learning for Engineering (TALE), 04-07 Dec 2022, Hung Hom, Hong Kong.
Toosy, Fesal; Raza, Farah Naz; Zafar, Maria; Zaheer, Ayesha and Herodotou, Christothea. (). On Gender Disparity in Engineering Academia. In: 2022 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), IEEE.
Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes; Bossu, Carina; Charitonos, Koula; Coughlan, Tim; Ferguson, Rebecca; FitzGerald, Elizabeth; Gaved, Mark; Guitert, Montse; Herodotou, Christothea; Maina, Marcelo; Prieto-Blázquez, Josep; Rienties, Bart; Sangrà, Albert; Sargent, Julia; Scanlon, Eileen and Whitelock, Denise (). Innovating Pedagogy 2022: Open University Innovation Report 10. The Open University, Milton Keynes.
Herodotou, Christothea; Ismail, Nashwa; Aristeidou, Maria; Miller, Grant; I.Benavides Lahnstein, Ana; Ghadiri Khanaposhtani, Maryam; D.Robinson, Lucy and L. Ballard, Heidi. (). Online Community and Citizen Science supports environmental science learning by young people. Computers and Education.
Scanlon, Eileen and Herodotou, Christothea. (). Advancing the Democratization of Research: Citizen Science. In: L@S '22: Proceedings of the Ninth ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale, Association for Computing Machinery, New York, 280-283.
Poslad, Stefan; Irum, Tayyaba; Charlton, Patricia; Mumtaz, Rafia; Azam, Muhammad; Zaidi, Hassan; Herodotou, Christothea; Yu, Guangxia and Toosy, Fesal. (). How IoT-Driven Citizen Science Coupled with Data Satisficing Can Promote Deep Citizen Science. Sensors.
Boroowa, A. and Herodotou, C. (). Learning Analytics in Open and Distance Higher Education: The Case of the Open University UK. In: Prinsloo, P.; Slade, S. and Khalil, M. eds. Learning Analytics in Open and Distributed Learning Singapore: Springer, pp. 46-62.
Benavides Lahnstein, A.; Ballard, H.; Ghadiri Khanaposhtani, M.; Lorke, J.; Herodotou, Christothea; Miller, A.; Pratt-Taweh, S.; Jennewein, J.; Aristeidou, Maria and Ismail, Nashwa. (). Youth environmental science learning and agency: A unifying lens across community and citizen science settings. In: NARST International Conference, 27-30 Mar 2022, Vancouver, BC (online).
Rienties, Bart and Herodotou, Christothea (). Making sense of learning data at scale. In: Sharpe, Rhona; Bennett, Sue and Varga-Atkins, Tünde eds. Handbook for Digital Higher Education Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 260-270.
Hall, Johanna; Herodotou, Christothea and Iacovides, Ioanna (). Measuring player creativity in digital entertainment games using the Creativity in Gaming Scale. In: Rienties, Bart; Hampel, Regine; Scanlon, Eileen and Whitelock, Denise eds. Open World Learning: Research, Innovation and the Challenges of High-Quality Education London: Rutledge, pp. 158-170.
Herodotou, Christothea; Mangafa, Chrysoula and Srisontisuk, Pinsuda. (). An Experimental Investigation of ‘Drill-and-Practice’ Mobile Apps and Young Children. International journal of interactive mobile technologies.
Herodotou, Christothea; Twiner, Alison; Scanlon, Eileen; McLeod, Kevin and Seale, Jane. (). From participants to creators: Considerations for community-led citizen science. In: Proceedings of the 16th International Conference of the Learning Sciences - ICLS 2022, International Society of the Learning Sciences, Hiroshima, Japan, 11-18.
Herodotou, Christothea; Aristeidou, Maria; Scanlon, Eileen and Kelley, Simon. (). Virtual Microscopes and online learning: Exploring the perceptions of 12 teachers about pedagogy. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-learning (Early access).
Hlosta, Martin; Herodotou, Christothea; Papathoma, Tina; Gillespie, Anna and Bergamin, Per. (). Predictive learning analytics in online education: A deeper understanding through explaining algorithmic errors. Computers and Education: Artificial Intelligence.

2021

Kaliisa, Rogers; Gillespie, Anna; Herodotou, Christothea; Kluge, Anders and Rienties, Bart (). Teachers’ Perspectives on the Promises, Needs and Challenges of Learning Analytics Dashboards: Insights from Institutions Offering Blended and Distance Learning. In: Sahin, Muhittin and Dirk, Ifenthaler eds. Visualizations and Dashboards for Learning Analytics Cham: Springer, pp. 351-370.
Herodotou, Christothea; Maguire, Claire; McDowell, Nicola D.; Hlosta, Martin and Boroowa, Avinash. (). The engagement of university teachers with predictive learning analytics. Computers & Education.
Iniesto, Francisco; Sargent, Julia; Rienties, Bart; Llorens, Ariadna; Adam, Araceli; Herodotou, Christothea; Ferguson, Rebecca and Muccini, Henry. (). When industry meets Education 4.0: What do Computer Science companies need from Higher Education?. In: TEEM'21: Ninth International Conference on Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality, Association for Computing Machinery, New York, USA, 367-372.
Whitelock, Denise; Herodotou, Christothea; Cross, Simon and Scanlon, Eileen (). Open Voices on Covid-19: Covid challenges and opportunities driving the research agenda. England: Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and E-learning.
Robinson, L.D.; Miller, A.E.; Burton, V.J.; Herodotou, Christothea; Higgins, L.; Miller, G.R.M.; Young, A.N.; Ghadiri Khanaposhtani, M.; Benavides Lahnstein,, A.I.; Sanghera, H.K.; Johnson, R.F.; Aristeidou, Maria; Ballard, H.L.; Jennewein, J.; Lorke, J.; Pratt-Taweh, S.; Wardlaw, J.; Ismail, Nashwa; Pauly, G.B.; Papathoma, Tina and Swanson, R.D. (). Enhancing youth learning through Community and Citizen Science: a guide for practitioners. Natural History Museum, London.
Aristeidou, Maria; Herodotou, Christothea; Ballard, Heidi L.; Higgins, Lila; Johnson, Rebecca F.; Miller, Annie E.; Young, Alison N. and Robinson, Lucy D.. (). How Do Young Community and Citizen Science Volunteers Support Scientific Research on Biodiversity? The Case of iNaturalist. Diversity.
Herodotou, Christothea. (). MAD Learn: An Evidence-based Affordance Framework to Assessing Learning Apps. In: 7th International Conference of the Immersive Learning Research Network, iLRN 2021, 17 May - 10 Jun 2021, Online.
Herodotou, Christothea; Ismail, Nashwa; Aristeidou, Maria; Miller, Grant; Robinson, Lucy and Ballard, Heidi. (). Making citizen science accessible and productive for young volunteers: Lessons learnt from a 3-year study of Zooniverse.. In: Citizen Science Association Conference, May 2021, Virtual.
Herodotou, Christothea; Scanlon, Eileen and Sharples, Mike. (). Methods of Promoting Learning and Data Quality in Citizen and Community Science. Frontiers in Climate.
Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes; Bossu, Carina; Coughlan, Tim; Ferguson, Rebecca; FitzGerald, Elizabeth; Gaved, Mark; Herodotou, Christothea; Rienties, Bart; Sargent, Julia; Scanlon, Eileen; Tang, Jinlan; Wang, Qi; Whitelock, Denise and Zhang, Shuai (). Innovating Pedagogy 2021: Open University Innovation Report 9. The Open University, Milton Keynes.
Hall, Johanna; Stickler, Ursula; Herodotou, Christothea and Iacovides, Ioanna. (). Using Reflexive Photography to Investigate Design Affordances for Creativity in Digital Entertainment Games. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 37 (9) pp. 867-883.
Aristeidou, Maria; Herodotou, Christothea; Ballard, Heidi L.; Young, Alison N.; Miller, Annie E.; Higgins, Lila and Johnson, Rebecca F.. (). Exploring the participation of young citizen scientists in scientific research: The case of iNaturalist. PLoS ONE.
Hlosta, Martin; Herodotou, Christothea; Fernandez, Miriam and Bayer, Vaclav. (). Impact of Predictive Learning Analytics on Course Awarding Gap of Disadvantaged students in STEM. In: Artificial Intelligence in Education: 22nd International Conference, AIED 2021, Utrecht, the Netherlands, June 14-18, 2021, Proceedings, Part II, Springer, Cham, 190-195.
Rets, Irina; Herodotou, Christothea; Bayer, Vaclav; Hlosta, Martin and Rienties, Bart. (). Exploring critical factors of the perceived usefulness of a learning analytics dashboard for distance university students. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education.
Rienties, Bart; Balaban, Igor; Ferguson, Rebecca; Herodotou, Christothea; Iniesto, Francisco; Muccini, Henry; Sargent, Julia and Virkus, Sirje. (). Education 4.0 and Computer Science: A European perspective. In: Central European Conference on Information and Intelligent Systems (CECIIS), Oct 13-15, Varazdin, Croatia.
Herodotou, Christothea; Fox, Kate and Scanlon, Eileen (). Evaluation of the new version of the Virtual Microscope (VM) with OU student [eSTEeM funded project]. The Open University.
Whitelock, Denise; Herodotou, Christothea; Cross, Simon and Scanlon, Eileen. (). [Editorial] Open voices on COVID-19: covid challenges and opportunities driving the research agenda. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 36 (3) pp. 201-211.

2020

Hall, Johanna; Stickler, Ursula; Herodotou, Christothea and Iacovides, Ioanna. (). Player conceptualizations of creativity in digital entertainment games. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 26 (5-6) pp. 1226-1247.
Bruckermann, T; Lorke, J; Rafolt, S; Scheuch, M; Aristeidou, Maria; Ballard, H; Bardy-Durchhalter, M; Carli, E; Herodotou, Christothea; Kelemen-Finan, J; Robinson, L; Swanson, R; Winter, S and Kapelari, S. (). Learning Opportunities and Outcomes in Citizen Science: A Heuristic Model for Design and Evaluation. In: Electronic Proceedings of the ESERA 2019 Conference. The Beauty and Pleasure of Understanding: Engaging With Contemporary Challenges Through Science Education, University of Bologna, 889-898.
Pratt-Taweh, S.; Jennewein, J.N.; Miller, A.E.; Robinson, L.D.; Burton, V; Ballard, H.L.; Ghadiri Khanaposhtani, M.; Lorke, J.; Wardlaw, J; Higgins, L.M.; Young, A.N.; Johnson, R.F.; Herodotou, Christothea; Aristeidou, Maria; Miller, G.; Sanghera, H.; Benavides-Lahnstein, A.I. and Ismail, N.. (). Perspectives on a researcher-practitioner partnership: Our role as practitioner researchers studying youth learning through participation in NHM-led citizen science. In: European Citizen Science Association</