Photo of Dr Irina Rets


Dr Irina Rets

Lecturer in Online Teaching


I am a Lecturer in Online Teaching at the Institute of Educational Technology, the Open University (UK), and a Visiting Researcher at the Department of Management Science, Lancaster University. My research seeks to understand how technology can be leveraged to improve social justice in the learning contexts, and more generally - in society.

I am a Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA). As a seminar leader and then an Assistant Professor, I taught a variety of academic university courses on education on the undergraduate (e.g. 'Second Language Acquisition', 'Literature and Language Teaching') and graduate (e.g. 'Research Methods and Thesis Writing', 'International Development and Education') levels in international English-medium settings, as well as in the UK.

My research has been published in such leading education journals, as Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, Interactive Learning Environments, International Journal of Ed Tech in HE, Computer Assisted Language Learning, English for Specific Purposes, and in such CORE A conference proceedings, as Learning at Scale.



Rets, Irina; Astruc, Lluïsa; Coughlan, Tim and Stickler, Ursula. (). Approaches to simplifying academic texts in English: English teachers’ views and practices. English for Specific Purposes, 68 pp. 31-46.
Lewis, Tim; Rienties, Bart and Rets, Irina (). Communication, Metacommunication and Intercultural Effectiveness in Virtual Exchange: The Evaluate Project. In: Potolia, Anthippi and Derivry-Plard, Marine eds. Virtual Exchange for Intercultural Language Learning and Teaching: Fostering Communication for the Digital Age London & New York: Routledge, pp. 133-155.
Konnikov, Alla; Rets, Irina; Hughes, Karen D.; Alshehabi Al-Ani, Jabir; Denier, Nicole; Ding, Lei; Hu, Shenggang; Hu, Yang; Jiang, Bei; Kong, Linglong; Tarafdar, Monideepa and Yu, Dengdeng (). Responsible AI for labour market equality (BIAS). In: Hantrais, Linda eds. How to Manage International Multidisciplinary Research Projects Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 75-87.
Tarafdar, Monideepa; Rets, Irina and Hu, Yang. (). Can ICT enhance workplace inclusion? The role of ICT-enabled inclusion practices. In: ECIS 2022 Research-in-Progress Papers.
Hu, Yang; Tarafdar, Monideepa; Alshehabi Al-Ani, Jabir; Rets, Irina; Hu, Shenggang; Denier, Nicole; Hughes, Karen D.; Konnikov, Alla and Ding, Lei (). Gendered STEM Workforce in the United Kingdom: The Role of Gender Bias in Job Advertising. HMSO.
Rets, Irina; Stickler, Ursula; Coughlan, Tim and Astruc, Lluïsa (). Simplification of open educational resources in English: Its effect on text processing of English learners. In: Rienties, Bart; Hampel, Regine; Scanlon, Eileen and Whitelock, Denise eds. Open World Learning: Research, Innovation and the Challenges of High-Quality Education London: Routledge, pp. 89-102.
Rienties, Bart; Lewis, Tim; O'Dowd, Robert; Rets, Irina and Rogaten, Jekaterina. (). The impact of virtual exchange on TPACK and foreign language competence: reviewing a large-scale implementation across 23 virtual exchanges. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 35 (3) pp. 577-603.


Farrow, Robert; Iniesto, Francisco; Weller, Martin; Pitt, Rebecca; Algers, Anne; Bozkurt, Aras; Cox, Glenda; Czerwonogora, Ada; Elias, Tanya; Essmiller, Kathy; Funk, Johanna; Lambert, Sarah; Mittelmeier, Jenna; Nagashima, Tomo; Rabin, Eyal; Rets, Irina; Spica, Elizabeth; Vladimirschi, Viviane and Witthaus, Gabi (). GO-GN Guide to Conceptual Frameworks. Global OER Graduate Network (GO-GN). The Open University (UK).
Rets, Irina; Coughlan, Tim; Stickler, Ursula and Astruc, Lluïsa. (). Accessibility of Open Educational Resources: how well are they suited for English learners?. Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning (Early Access).
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.
Savasci, Merve and Rets, Irina. (). “As the Twig is bent, so is the Tree Inclined”: Research engagement among pre-service EFL teachers. The Journal of Language Teaching and Learning, 11 (2) pp. 114-137.


Rets, Irina. (). What if ‘eye’ find it too difficult? English L2 users’ response to text simplification. In: SIG27: Sharpening the facets of online measures: Research at the cutting edge, 14 Dec - 16 Dec 2020, [Online].
Papathoma, Tina; Ferguson, Rebecca; Iniesto, Francisco; Rets, Irina; Vogiatzis, Dimitrios and Murphy, Victoria. (). Guidance on how Learning at Scale can be made more accessible. In: Proceedings of the Seventh ACM Conference on Learning@ Scale, Aug 12-14, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA.


Rets, Irina and Ilya, Ali. (). Eliciting ELT students’ Understanding of Plagiarism in Academic Writing. Eurasian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 4 (2) pp. 193-211.


Rets, Irina. (). Vocabulary Retention and Concordance-based Learning in L3 Acquisition. Eurasian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 3 (2) pp. 313-324.

Media appearances

First time OU students commented on their own learning analytics data in a research study – how did it go?

Blog post

OpenTEL blog | 30th September 2021

How can Text Inspector help with comparative readability analysis?

Blog post

Text Inspector blog | 8th November 2021

Virtual exchange: supporting online collaboration to benefit all learners


The Times Higher Education (THE) | 27th January 2021

Why open educational resources are failing to widen access to education


British Educational Research Association (BERA) blog | 13th January 2021


Going the Extra Mile (GEM) Award

An award for my work on QEI’s Learning Gains project and going the extra mile to ensure my work runs smoothly, the data I collected and insight have been of excellent quality, and I am sharing methods and findings with others on the team to help direct their tasks.

WELS research degree student prize for research excellence

An award for the outstanding contribution to the research environment of the university