Photo of Dr Koula Charitonos

People

Dr Koula Charitonos Ph.D

Senior Lecturer

About

I am a Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Educational Technology in the Open University.

My research is integrative and spans three areas: 1. Professional learning for complex professional knowledge work; 2. Pedagogies and educational practices for connected learning across formal and informal settings and 3. Participatory approaches to research with educational technology. My current research activity contributes to understanding contemporary issues in education; in particular the role of digital, mobile and online technologies in creating a more inclusive education, especially for underserved and marginalized communities with a particular focus on education in crisis contexts. This was recognised through the OU Early Career Research Excellence Award in 2019.

I am currently leading a participatory project with teachers in refugee settings in Jordan that examines communicative approaches to English Language learning during Covid19 pandemic (2021-2022, funded by ASU/Mastercard Foundation and QR GCRF). I am the co-Investigator in an AHRC GCRF Network+ Mobile Arts for Peace (2020-2024) that investigates participatory arts-based methods to support peacebuilding processes in conflict and post-conflict societies. I am further working on two OU-funded Impact Accelerator Projects: (i) 'Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance through professional learning: Impact Insights from Nepal' (PI, 2021-2022) and (ii) 'Developing contextually-sensitive Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) for out-of-school adolescents in refugee settings' (co-I, 2021-2022).

In the academic year 2022-2023, I am leading the monthly knowledge exchange events ‘Connected Higher Education in Crisis contexts’, in collaboration with UNHCR and the Connected Learning Consortium. I am also serving as a member of the working group of the University of Sanctuary at the OUthat aims to create pathways into studying at the OU for refugees and people seeking asylum. 

I recently completed two major UK Aid projects: (i) Fleming Fund Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance Project (Academic Lead (Learning), 2018-2021) and (ii) ACCESS - Approaches in Complex and Challenging Environments for Sustainable Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (2019-2021). Recent research activities also include leading the Evaluation of the Frontline Immigration Advice Project (FIAP) (2018-2019) through funding received by the Refugee Action (2018-19).

My current teaching responsibilities include contribution to the programme portfolio within IET, in alignment with the OU’s Strategic plan, particularly ‘Excellent Teaching and Research’ and ‘Enhancing Growth and Sustainability’. I am working on the production of a micro-credential on Education and Climate Emergency that will be launched in October 2022. I joined the OU as a Lecturer in 2017 and since then I have had academic responsibility in two university-wide strategic projects: i. Project MINERVA that explored new ways in course production (March-July 2017); ii. Academic Evaluation of the Group Tuition Policy (March 2017 - January 2018). I have further led the analysis of the work practices developed by the Teaching Excellence & Innovation (TEI) workstream team as part of the Students First strategic objectives (August 2017 - February 2018). Additionally, I am acting as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Interactive Media in Education JIME

I serve as the OU co-lead in the Connected Learning in Cricis Consortiumthat promotes, coordinates, and supports the provision of quality higher education in contexts of conflict, crisis and displacement through connected learning.

I am currently supervising two PhD students and two EdD students.

Biography

Koula Charitonos is a Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Educational Technology in the Open University. Her research is integrative and spans three areas: 1. Professional learning for complex professional knowledge work; 2. Pedagogies and educational practices for connected learning across formal and informal settings and 3. Participatory approaches to research with educational technology. Koula's current research activity contributes to understanding contemporary issues in education; in particular the role of digital, mobile and online technologies in creating a more inclusive education, especially for underserved and marginalized communities, with a particular focus on education in crisis contexts. This was recognised through the OU Early Career Research Excellence Award in 2019.

Koula is currently leading a participatory project with teachers in refugee settings in Jordan that examines communicative approaches to English Language learning during Covid19 pandemic (2021-2022, funded by ASU/Mastercard Foundation and QR GCRF). She is also the co-Investigator in an AHRC GCRF Network+ Mobile Arts for Peace (2020-2024) that aims to generate qualitative and quantitative data using arts-based peace building approaches, research-as-practice and participatory action research methodologies to critically analyze the use of the arts to meaningful engage youth in policy processes across diverse contexts (Kyrgyzstan, Rwanda, Indonesia and Nepal). Koula is further leading an Impact Accelerator Project 'Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance through professional learning: Impact Insights from Nepal' (OU funded, 2021-2022) and she is the co-investigator in a second Impact accelerator project 'Developing contextually-sensitive Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) for out-of-school adolescents in refugee settings' (OU funded, 2021-2022).

In the academic year 2022-2023, Koula is leading the monthly knowledge exchange events ‘Connected Higher Education in Crisis contexts’, in collaboration with UNHCR and the Connected Learning Consortium. She is also serving as a member of the working group of the University of Sanctuary at the OU that aims to create pathways into studying at the OU for refugees and people seeking asylum.

Dr Charitonos recently completed two major UK Aid projects: (i) Fleming Fund Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance Project (Academic Lead (Learning), 2018-2021) that examined how professional learning can strengthen surveillance of drug resistance and laboratory capacity. We have been working with Mott MacDonald and the UK Department of Health and Social Care, as well as colleagues in STEM Faculty and partners in specific LMICs to design a global curriculum on AMR and implement and test a series of learning events to support capacity building; and (ii) ACCESS - Approaches in Complex and Challenging Environments for Sustainable Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (2019-2021).The ACCESS consortium sought to engage communities before, during, and after crises to co-design, test, evaluate, and refine innovative solutions to their expressed needs and priorities. Partners included IPPF, Frontline AIDS, Women Refugee Commission, Internews and the LSHTM. Koula's recent research activities also included leading the Evaluation of the Frontline Immigration Advice Project (FIAP) (2018-2019) through funding received by the Refugee Action (2018-19).

Koula's current teaching responsibilities include contribution to the programme portfolio within IET, in alignment with the OU’s Strategic plan, particularly ‘Excellent Teaching and Research’ and ‘Enhancing Growth and Sustainability’. She is currently working on the production of a micro-credential on Education and Climate Emergency that will be launched in October 2022. Koula joined the OU as a Lecturer in 2017 and since then I have had academic responsibility in two university-wide strategic projects: i. Project MINERVA that explored new ways in course production (March-July 2017); ii. Academic Evaluation of the Group Tuition Policy (March 2017 - January 2018). I have further led the analysis of the work practices developed by the Teaching Excellence & Innovation (TEI) workstream team as part of the Students First strategic objectives (August 2017 - February 2018). Additionally, she is acting as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Interactive Media in Education JIME.

Koula serves as the OU co-lead in the Connected Learning in Crisis Consortium that promotes, coordinates, and supports the provision of quality higher education in contexts of conflict, crisis and displacement through connected learning.

She is currently supervising two PhD students and two EdD students.

Koula has also led the following research projects:

Close-Up on Heritage Language Learners: An inquiry learning project. Funded by: British Academy Schools Language Awards, November 2015 - July 2016. Role: Principal Investigator 

Creative approaches to Heritage Language Learning through mobile technologies. (partly) Funded by: Santander Universities UK, February 2014 - July 2015. Role: Principal Investigator 

Prior to joining the Open University, Koula held a post as a Research Associate at the Disruptive Media Learning Lab (DMLL) in Coventry University (November 2015-February 2017), where she worked extensively for a number of international and national projects related to learning in formal and informal settings. Specifically, she worked for the following projects: 

Arts Gymnasium Project. Funded by: Esmee Fairbarn, in partnership with the Belgrade Theatre, Age UK Coventry (May 2016-on-going)

Immersive Telepresence in Theatre. Funded by: DMLL Innovation projects, Joint project with students and staff at Coventry University and University of Tampere (November 2016 - on-going) 

Beaconing Breaking Educational Barriers with Contextualised, Pervasive and Gameful Learning project: Funded by: European Union Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme (December 2015 - September 2016)

ImparApp Pervasive Gaming for Language Learning. Funded by: DMLL Innovation Funds . In collaboration with the Coventry University’s Languages Centre (December 2015 - February 2017) 

Open Badges. Funded by DMLL Innovation Projects. (November 2015 - February 2017)

Further to her academic posts, Koula has worked as a teacher in formal education settings for more than five years. She also has work experience as a Community co-ordinator in the Learning and National Partnerships Department at The British Museum (2012-2016). She was an Intern at Tate Britain (2007) and volunteered at the Science Museum London and the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art Gallery. 

Publications

2022

Charitonos, Koula (). Opening spaces of learning: a sociomaterial investigation of object-based approaches with migrant youth in and beyond the heritage language classroom. In: Anderson, James; Lytra, V.; Macleroy, Vicky and Ros I Sole, C. eds. Decentring Language Education. New Perspectives on Language and Education Bristol: Multilingual Matters, pp. (In press).
Vogiatzis, Dimitrios; Charitonos, Koula; Giaxoglou, Korina and Lewis, Timothy (). Can WhatsApp facilitate interaction? A case study of adult language learning. In: Rienties, Bart; Hampel, Regine; Scanlon, Eileen and Whitelock, Denise eds. Open World Learning: Research, Innovation and the Challenges of Higher Quality Education Routledge.
Iniesto, Francisco; Charitonos, Koula and Littlejohn, Allison. (). A review of research with co-design methods in health education. Open Education Studies, 4 pp. 273-295.
Kaatrakoski, Heli; Charitonos, Koula and Littlejohn, Allison. (). Professional learning as a response to societal challenges at this time of continuing struggle. In: Nordic-Baltic ISCAR, 14-16 Jun 2022, Helsinki, Finland.

2021

Charitonos, Koula; Hoggart, Lesley; Jones, Rebecca; Keogh, Peter and Scott, Ellen (). Principles in practice. Co-creation of Learning in complex and challenging environments. Discussion Guide and Toolkit.. The Open University and the ACCESS consortium.
Charitonos, Koula; Littlejohn, Allison and Kaatrakoski, Heli. (). Design considerations for a systemic approach to technology-supported professional learning. In: 19th Biennial EARLI Conference EARLI 2021, 23-27 Aug 2021, Sweden.
Kaatrakoski, Heli; Littlejohn, Allison and Charitonos, Koula. (). Antimicrobial resistance challenging professional learning in three LMICs. Journal of Workplace Learning (Early Access).
Charitonos, Koula; Goshtasbpour, Fereshte; Dawadi, Saraswati; Littlejohn, Allison; Badger, S.; Vaidya, Abhinav; Giri, Santosi and Owusu-Ofori, Alex (). Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance: The AMR Surveillance Toolkit. The Open University.

2020

Fox, Alison; Charitonos, Koula; Baker, Sally; Moser-Mercer, Barbara and Jack, Victoria. (). Ethics-in-practice in fragile contexts: research in education for displaced persons, refugees and asylum seekers. British Educational Research Journal, 46 (4) pp. 829-847.
Baker, Sally; Jack, Victoria; Moser-Mercer, Barbara; Charitonos, Koula and Fox, Alison (). Ethics-in-practice in fragile contexts: The value of the CERD ethical appraisal framework. BERA.

2019

Charitonos, Koula; Littlejohn, Allison; Kaatrakoski, Heli; Fox, Alison; Chaudhari, Vasudha; Seal, Timothy and Tegama, Natalie (). Technology-supported Capacity Building on AMR Surveillance: Findings from the Pilot Phase. The Open University.
Charitonos, Koula; Witthaus, Gabi; Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes and Anastopoulou, Stamatina (). Evaluation of the Frontline Immigration Advice Project. The Open University, Milton Keynes.
Charitonos, Koula (). Crossing over settings, practices and experiences: connecting learning in museums and classrooms. In: Looi, Chee-Kit; Wong, Lung-Hsiang; Glahn, Christian and Cai, Su eds. Seamless Learning: Perspectives, Challenges and Opportunities Springer, pp. 111-137.
Charitonos, Koula and Littlejohn, Allison. (). Ways of working in uncertain times: a Teaching and Learning Framework development within a large-scale transformation programme on digital innovation in Higher Education. In: CSCL2019 Workshop “Theories and Methods for Researching Interdisciplinary Learning”, 17-21 Jun 2019, Lyon, France.
Littlejohn, Allison; Charitonos, Koula; Kaatrakoski, Heli and Seal, Timothy. (). Professional Learning to Tackle Global Development Challenges. In: Pan-commonwealth Forum 2019, 9-12 Sep 2019, Edinburgh.
Kruger, M.; Aal, K.; Bustamante, A.; Tachtler, F.M.; Talhouk, R.; Fisher, K.; Yafi, E.; Charitonos, Koula and Wulf, V.. (). Technology at/of the border: a workshop about stories and experiences. In: ACM Communities & Technologies 2019, 3-4 Jun 2019, Vienna.
Mohan, Giles; Taylor, Faye and Charitonos, Koula. (). Online, Blended and Distance Learning for Education in Fragile Contexts. In: PanCommonwealth Forum PCF9, 9-12 Sep 2019, Edinburgh.

2018

Davies, Gareth; Gaved, Mark; Charitonos, Koula; McAndrew, Patrick; Jones, Ann and Scanlon, Eileen (). Comparative evaluation of the MAZI pilots (version 3). The MAZI Consortium.
Charitonos, Koula; Littlejohn, Allison; Seal, Timothy and Kaatrakoski, Heli (). Ways of Working and Learning in AMR surveillance systems in LMICs: Findings from the scoping phase. The Open University.
Charitonos, Koula and Littlejohn, Allison. (). Learning in uncertain situations: an examination of tensions within a large-scale transformation programme in a HE institution. In: 9th International conference of the EARLI SIG 14 Learning and Professional Development: Interaction, learning and professional development, 12-14 Sep 2018, University of Geneva, Switzerland.
Talhouk, Reem; Bustamante, Ana; Aal, Konstantin; Charitonos, Koula; Weibert, Ana and Vlachokyriakos, Vasilis. (). HCI and Refugees: Experiences and Reflections. Interactions, 25 (4) pp. 46-51.
Charitonos, Koula; Anastopoulou, Stamatina; Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes and Albuerne, Carolina. (). Evaluating the Frontline Immigration Advice Project. In: CALRG Annual Conference 2018, 18-19 Jun 2018, The Open University, Milton Keynes.
Jones, Ann; Scanlon, Eileen and Charitonos, Koula (). Learning across locations and settings. In: Luckin, Rosemary eds. Enhancing Learning and Teaching with Technology: What the Research Says UCL IOE Press.
Davies, Gareth; Gaved, Mark; Charitonos, Koula; McAndrew, Patrick; Jones, Ann and Scanlon, Eileen (). D3.10 Comparative study of the MAZI pilots (version 3). European Commission.

2017

Charitonos, Koula (). Cultural Citizen Inquiry: Making space for the ‘everyday’ in language teaching and learning. In: Herodotou, Christothea; Sharples, Mike and Scanlon, Eileen eds. Citizen Inquiry: A fusion of citizen science and inquiry learning London: Taylor & Francis.
Charitonos, Koula and Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes. (). Community-based interventions for language learning among refugees and migrants. In: Refugees & HCI Workshop: The Role of HCI in Responding to the Refugee Crisis, Communities & Technologies 2017, 26-30 Jun 2017, Troyes, France.

2016

Charitonos, Koula; Morini, Luca; Arnab, Sylvester; Cervi-Wilson, Tiziana and Brick, Billy. (). Urban explorations for language learning: a gamified approach to teaching Italian in a university context. In: CALL communities and culture – short papers from EUROCALL 2016, Research-publishing.net, Dublin, 94-99.
Charitonos, Koula; Charalampidi, Marina and Scanlon, Eileen. (). Using object-based activities and an online inquiry platform to support learners’ engagement with their heritage language and culture. In: CALL communities and culture – short papers from EUROCALL 2016, Research-publishing.net, Dublin, Ireland, 87-93.
Morini, Luca; Charitonos, Koula; Arnab, Sylvester; Cervi-Wilson, Tiziana; Brick, Billy; Bellamy-Wood, Tyrone and Van Leeuwen, Gaetan. (). ImparApp: designing and piloting a game-based approach for language learning. In: 10th European Conference on Games Based Learning, 6-7 Oct 2016, Paisley, Scotland.

2015

Charitonos, Koula and Charalampidi, Marina (). Designs for Heritage Language Learning: A Photography project in the UK Supplementary Education. In: Brown, Tom H. and van der Merwe, Herman J. eds. The Mobile Learning Voyage - From Small Ripples to Massive Open Waters: 14th World Conference, mLearn 2015, Venice, Italy, October 17-24, 2015, Proceedings Cham: Springer, pp. 198-216.

2012

Charitonos, Koula; Blake, Canan; Scanlon, Eileen and Jones, Ann. (). Trajectories of learning across museums and classrooms. In: The Transformative Museum, 22-25 May 2012, Roskilde, Denmark.

2011

Charitonos, Koula. (). Museum Learning via Social Media: (How) Can Interactions on Twitter Enhance the Museum Learning Experience?. In: Learning, Media and Technology Doctoral Conference, 4/7/2011, London, UK.
Charitonos, Koula; Blake, Canan; Scanlon, Eileen and Jones, Ann. (). Museum learning 2.0: how (can) Web 2.0 technologies be used for enhancing the museum learning experience?. In: EVA London 2011: Electronic Visualisation and the Arts, 6-8 Jul 2011, London, UK.

2010

Charitonos, Koula. (). Promoting positive attitudes in children towards museums and art: a case study of the use of Tate Kids in primary arts education. In: Museums and the Web 2010: the International Conference for Culture and Heritage Online, 13-17 Apr 2010, Denver, Colorado, USA.

Awards

Best Early Career Researcher

Open University Research Excellence Awards

British Academy Schools Language Awards.

Project: Close-Up on Heritage Language Learners: An inquiry learning project