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 (OU). My research is concerned with understanding aspects of human learning supported by technology in ways that contribute to projects of educational justice. My research is integrative and spans three areas: 1. Professional learning for complex professional knowledge work; 2. Socio-technical practices for learning across formal and informal settings and 3. Participatory approaches to research and development of educational technology. My current research projects maintain a strong interest in education in crisis contexts and foreground that educational spaces and practices are political; they can be transformative and bring possibilities to help create more just futures. I draw on ethnographic and participatory approaches in my scholarly work that help develop disciplinary expertise while expanding disciplinary boundaries. I have taught in a range of educational settings and take a collaborative approach to the research and design of technology, partnering with students, educators, researchers, civil-society organisations and policy organisations.

I am currently leading a pan-university, cross-faculty project ‘Transitions to distance and online education for students from refugee backgrounds’ that focuses on the first cohort of forcibly displaced students at the OU on the Open Sanctuary programmes (OU-funded, 2022-23). The Open Sanctuary Hub at the OpenLearn platform has been developed within this project. I am also the co-Investigator in the 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. As part of this project, the podcasting series 'Everyday peace building through the arts" I'll be co-producing will be out in Autumn 2023. I am also a co-I in the OU-funded Open Societal Challenge project "Addressing antimicrobial resistance through professional learning" (2023-24). In my role at the OU, I am also serving as a member of the Sanctuary Advisory Network at the OU that aims to create pathways into studying at the OU for refugees and people seeking asylum.

My current teaching responsibilities include chairing the online course Online Teaching: Embedding Social, Race and Gender-Related Equity on Futurelearn platform. I'm the academic lead of the blended course "Digital Education for youth and adult learning in contexts of forced displacement"(to be launched in Autumn 2023) in collaboration with UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning,UNHCR, theUN Refugee Agency and the Connected Learning in Crisis Consortium. I am also a member of the authoring team of the online course "Online Teaching: Addressing climate emergency", leading on the topics 'Climate Justice' and 'Education Futures with Climate uncertainty'. 

In 2021-22 I led a participatory project with teachers in refugee settings in Jordan that examined communicative approaches to English Language learning during Covid19 pandemic (2021-2022, funded by ASU/Mastercard Foundation and QR GCRF). I was further involved in 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, 2021-2023). I have been co-leading the monthly knowledge exchange events ‘Connected Higher Education in Crisis contexts’, in collaboration with UNHCR and the Connected Learning Consortium (2021-22). Further to these research activities, 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). Past research activities also include leading the Evaluation of the Frontline Immigration Advice Project (FIAP) (2018-2019) through funding received by the Refugee Action, a national charity in the UK (2018-19).

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.

In 2019 I received the OU Early Career Research Excellence Award in 2019.

Biography

Dr Koula Charitonos is a Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Educational Technology in the Open University (OU). Her research is concerned with understanding aspects of human learning supported by technology in ways that contribute to projects of educational justice. 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 and development of educational technology. Her current research projects maintain a strong interest in education in crisis contexts and foreground that educational spaces and practices are political; they can be transformative and bring possibilities to help create more just futures. She draws on ethnographic and participatory approaches in her scholarly work that help develop disciplinary expertise while expanding disciplinary boundaries. She has taught in a range of educational settings and take a collaborative approach to the research and design of technology, partnering with students, educators, researchers, civil-society organisations and policy organisations.

Dr Charitonos is currently leading a pan-university, cross-faculty project ‘Transitions to distance and online education for students from refugee backgrounds’ that focuses on the first cohort of forcibly displaced students at the OU on the Open Sanctuary programmes (OU-funded, 2022-23). She is also the co-Investigator in the 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. As part of this project, the podcasting series 'Everyday peace building through the arts" she will be co-producing will be out in Autumn 2023. She is also a co-I in the OU-funded Open Societal Challenge project "Addressing antimicrobial resistance through professional learning" (2023-24). In her role at the OU, 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.

Her current teaching responsibilities include chairing the online course Online Teaching: Embedding Social, Race and Gender-Related Equity on Futurelearn platform. She is the academic lead of the blended course "Digital Education for youth and adult learning in contexts of forced displacement"(to be launched in Autumn 2023) in collaboration with UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR and the Connected Learning in Crisis Consortium. She is also a member of the authoring team of the online course "Online Teaching: Addressing climate emergency", leading on the topics 'Climate Justice' and 'Education Futures with Climate uncertainty'.

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.

In 2019 she was awarded the OU's Research Excellence award for Early Career Researchers. 

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). 

Publications

2023

Charitonos, Koula; Gillespie, Marie; Graffin, Neil; Wilding, Colin; O'Malley, Olwyn; Al-Rashid, Ahmad; Martin, Shannon; Mutwarasibo, Fidèle; Babjak, Mahlea and Dancu, Lidia (). Researching transitions to distance higher education with students from refugee backgrounds: A case from the Sanctuary programme at the Open University. The Open University.
Charitonos, K.; Gillespie, M.; Dancu, L.; O'Malley, O.; Al-Rashid, A.; Martin, S.; Wilding, C.; Graffin, N.; Mutwarasibo, F. and Babjak, M.. (). Examining transitions to distance and online higher education with students from refugee backgrounds. In: BERA 2023 Conference, 12-14 Sep 2023, Birmingham, UK.
Littlejohn, Allison; Charitonos, Koula and Kaatrakoski, Heli. (). Expanding healthcare practice: forms of meta-work generated when healthcare processes are digitalised. In: EARLI2023 Conference, 22-26 Aug 2023, Thessaloniki, Greece.
Charitonos, Koula; Littlejohn, Allison; Dawadi, Saraswati; Vaidya, Abhinav; Giri, Santosi; Owusu-Ofori, Alex and Goshtasbpour, Fereshte. (). Developing Relational Work as a Design Tool in activities with health professionals. In: EARLI2023 Conference, 22-26 Aug 2023, Thessaloniki, Greece.
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.
Charitonos, Koula; Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes; Huxley, Sarah; Hedges, Claire; Law, Patrina; Power, Tom; Akyeampong, Kwame; Mwoma, Teresa; Al-Awidi, Hamid and Whitelock, Denise (). Consultation for the 2023 GEM Report on Technology and Education. The Open University.
Jones, Rebecca L.; Bbaale, Leilah; Charitonos, Koula; Alla-Mensah, Joyceline; Hewitt, Jenny; Matova, Quraish; Daira Marylyn, Fanta; Ireen, Munyandinda; Blessing, Miskat Mariata and Pross, Ninsiima (). Knowledge, resources and access to sexual and reproductive health and rights: The views and experiences of young refugees living in Kyangwali refugee settlement, Western Uganda. The Open University, Milton Keynes.
Charitonos, Koula and Uwihoreye, Chaste (). Studying participatory arts-based psychosocial support and peacebuilding at a distance through a topological lens: the case of MAP at Home project in Rwanda. In: Breed, Ananda; Pells, Kirrily; Marambio, Helena and Timalsina, Rajib eds. Arts-based Approaches for Peacebuilding in Kyrgyzstan, Rwanda, Indonesia and Nepal. Abingdon: Routledge (In Press).
Charitonos, Koula; Khalil, Betul; Ross, Tara; Bonfini-Hotlosz, Cindy; Webster, Ben and Aristorenas, Miki. (). “We have dealt with this situation randomly”: A peer ethnographic approach with teachers in refugee settings in the age of COVID19. Education & Conflict Review Journal, 4 pp. 97-104.
Langdridge, Darren; McMullan, Rachel; Virhia, Jennika; Banks, Duncan; Charitonos, Koula; Giri, Santoshi; Olupot-Olupot, Peter and Vaidya, Abhinav (). Work-based learning interventions for antimicrobial stewardship: a systematic review. PROSPERO, CRD42023447115.

2022

Charitonos, Koula; Khalil, Betul; Bonfini-Hotlosz, Cindy; Webster, Ben; Tara, Ross; Salim, Ahmed; Abu Allan, Ekhlass; Badwi, Wajeeh and Aristorenas, Miki (). Researching communicative approaches to English language teaching using peer ethnographic method in Jordan’s refugee settings.. INEE, New York.
Charitonos, Koula (). Opening spaces of learning: a sociomaterial investigation of object-based approaches with migrant youth in and beyond the heritage language classroom. In: Lytra, Vally; Ros i Solé, Cristina; Anderson, Jim and Macleroy, Vicky eds. Liberating Language Education Bristol: Multilingual Matters, pp. 205-225.
Vogiatzis, Dimitrios; Charitonos, Koula; Giaxoglou, Korina and Lewis, Tim (). 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 High-Quality Education New York, USA: Routledge, pp. 44-62.
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, 33 (6) pp. 446-459.
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