I am a lecturer in Technology-enhanced learning at the Institute of Educational Technology.

My research focuses on learning and teaching in open and scaled online educational contexts (specifically MOOCs). I am particularly interested in online educators and their practices to facilitate learning. This includes exploration of educators’ contributions to online discussions, their facilitation strategies and their communications with learners. My other research interests are:

Digital technology in higher education

Open online education

Online communications

I am currently working on the following projects:

  1. 2021 Co-investigator, Digital Decisions: Understanding and supporting key choices in online and blended teaching in Sub-Saharan Africa (Funder: British Council)
  2. 2020-23 Capacity building lead, Skills for Prosperity programme (Kenya), Establishing the National Open University of Kenya (Funder: FCDO)
  3. 2020-21 Co-investigator, Impact of COVID-19 on Equitable Access to Quality Education in the Context of Higher Education in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (Funder: OU RES)
  4. 2020-21 Academic Lead [maternity cover], Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in Low-and-Middle Income Countries (Flunder: Fleming Fund)
  5. 2020-24 Co-investigator [maternity cover], Mobile Arts for Peace (MAP) in Kyrgyzstan, Rwanda, Indonesia and Nepal (Funder: AHRC and GCFR)

Fereshte has over ten years of teaching experience in UK higher education as a lecturer and programme co-ordinator in digital education and TESOL (Teaching English to the Speakers of Other Languages). Her main area of research and teaching has been technology-supported learning and teaching particularly in language education and professional contexts.

As a lecturer at IET (maternity cover), Fereshte is the academic lead for the OU-led Fleming Fund project (Tacking Antimicrobial Resistance) and the Co-I for Mobile Arts for Peace (MAP) which is a AHRC GCRF Network Plus funded project. In addition, she contributes to the eLearning Community at OU which supports staff to engage in developing and sharing innovations for teaching through pan-university events. Fereshte also acts as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Interactive Media in Education (JIME).

From October 2020, Fereshte will be working as a Co-I on an internally funded project (Impact of COVID-19 on Equitable Access to Quality Education in the Context of Higher Education) which examines the impact of COVID on learning from home and access to education in Low and Middle-Income Countries where there is a digital divide among citizens.

Academic Biography

PhD in Education (2019).University of Leeds (UK)

Trinity CertTESOL (2010). University of Manchester (UK)

MA in TEFL(2009). Manchester Metropolitan University (UK)

BA Translation Studies (2003). Azad University (Iran)




Invited Talk

29th January 2020

The role of online instructors in facilitating students’ learning

Masterclass’ series at University of Leeds Leeds, UK (Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence, LITE)

Invited Talk

17th January 2019

Facilitating learning in MOOCs: Challenges of scale and openness for educators

TESOL and Language Education seminars at Queen’s University Belfast

Invited Talk

5th December 2018

How do educators facilitate learning of educationally and culturally diverse learners in MOOCs?

TESOL and Linguistics seminars at Manchester Metropolitan University Manchester, UK.


Best Presentation Award

The 8th International Conference on Distance Learning and Education, Barcelona, Spain.

Best Presentation Prize for Education, Childhood and Youth Pathway

The 7th White Rose DTP Annual Conference, York, UK.

Staff Award (Highly Commended) for Exceptional Contribution to Student Experience

Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK.

External Appointments