I am a Research Associate in Technology Enhanced Learning at the Institute of Educational Technology (IET). In June 2019, I successfully passed my doctoral viva. My PhD is part of the Open World Learning programme based at The Open University, where I had a fully funded Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarship. My research project was titled “An Investigation into the accessibility of MOOCs". During my PhD, I have investigated tools and approaches that may lead to more accessible MOOCs and raise awareness among the various stakeholders of accessibility challenges in this educational environment. I have designed and validated a four-component audit for improving the accessibility in MOOCs for disabled learners from an expert evaluation perspective.
My background is as a Computer Engineer (bachelor’s degree at the Autonomous University of Madrid, UAM) with extensive experience in IT consulting and software development using Agile techniques (for more than seven years), and I have participated in several international projects in Spain, Belgium and The Netherlands. I conducted my master's studies at the National Distance Education University (UNED) in EdTech. Since that moment, I have been collaborating and participating in several international research groups such as Technology and Accessibility UNED-Vodafone Foundation Research Chair, FutureLearn Academic Network (FLAN), OLA! Open Learning and Accessibility and YourMOOC4all.
During his time as an employee in IET Francisco has been a full-time research associate for OpenTEL for one year. OpenTEL is a priority research area that brings together researchers across the university, with existing research capabilities and established excellence on TEL projects. He was responsible for coordinating OpenTEL several lines of research and events including the creation of the special interest group “Open & Inclusive” which still coordinates.
Other projects where he has been involved part-time include the early stages of ACCESS, a project which is drawing on existing and emerging evidence to inform the design of the programme through an adaptive, people-centred approach through co-creation for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. In this case, Francisco was responsible for investigating the latest methods on codesign within the area of educational technology and health education. More recently he has overseen the trials and research of the most up to date technology in educational virtual assistants for Assistants to the Disclosure and Management of Information about Needs and Support (ADMINS) a project which implies using participatory design, to build a virtual assistant as an alternative to the forms disabled students complete to access study support.
One of the projects Francisco invests currently more time in is the GO–GN Global OER Graduate Network (GO-GN) a network to support PhD candidates around the world whose research projects include a focus on open education. I this case he coordinates the fellowship scheme, where IET is supporting the research of nine alumni of the network with a strong focus on the Global South and EDI values. GO-GN has started a mentoring program in Latin America named Collega.
Other international projects that complement Francisco’s research in Open Education and Inclusion are Erasmus + funded projects Accelerating the transition towards Education 4.0 in HEIs (TEACH4EDU4), European MOOC Consortium Labour Market (EMC-LM) and Relevant assessment and pedagogies for inclusive digital education (RAPIDE), these projects include the use of Microcredentials in the labour market and new concepts such as Education 4.0 in Computer Science.
During his time at IET, he has got teaching experience, since 2019 he is an associate lecturer for the School of Computing and Communications, currently tutor at the modules TM354 “Software Engineering”, M269 “Algorithms, Data Structures and Computability” and TM470 “The computing and IT project”. He has been involved in the creation of the OU Microcredential in FutureLearn “Online teaching: accessibility and inclusive learning”. As well he is tutor for the Master in “Secondary Education, Professional Training and Language teaching” (HE teaching certificate) and the two modules on the development of accessible mobile apps, all these posts are at the School of Computer Science, UNED.
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy