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. Interdisciplinary Research and Practice in Technology-Enhanced Learning. 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. This was recognised through the OU Early Career Research Excellence Award in 2019.

I am the Academic Lead (Learning) in the OU-led Fleming Fund: Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance Project (UK Aid, 2018-2021) and the Co-I in two projects: i. ACCESS - Approaches in Complex and Challenging Environments for Sustainable Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (UK Aid, 2019-2023); and ii. AHRC GCRF Network+ MAP - Mobile Arts for Peace (2020-2024). In 2021 I was awarded a grant by the OU GCRF to lead a participatory project with refugee teachers in Jordan to advance knowledge of connected learning language programmes for refugee education. More recent research activities 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 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). I recently led a LATIS scholarship project with colleagues in the Learning Design (LD) Team that developed evidence-based profiles for designing learning for professionals in limited-resource settings. Further to these, I am the Academic Lead of the eLearning Community at the OU that supports OU staff to engage in developing and sharing innovations for teaching through monthly university-wide events. 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. Interdisciplinary Research and Practice in Technology-Enhanced Learning. Her 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. This was recognised through the OU Early Career Research Excellence Award in 2019.

Koula is the Academic Lead (Learning) in the OU-led Fleming Fund: Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance Project (UK Aid, 2018-2021) that examines how professional learning can strengthen surveillance of drug resistance and laboratory capacity. We are 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. This work takes place over the period 2018-2021 in Low-Middle Income Countries worldwide.

Koula is also the Co-I in two projects:

i. ACCESS - Approaches in Complex and Challenging Environments for Sustainable Sexual Reproductive Health Rights SRHR (UK Aid, 2019-2023). The ACCESS consortium aims to engage communities before, during, and after crises to co-design, test, evaluate, and refine innovative solutions to their expressed needs and priorities. Partners include IPPF, Frontline AIDS, Women Refugee Commission, Internews and the LSHTM. ACCESS will develop a core set of evidence-based tools and models that can be adapted and transferred to a range of settings across the humanitarian-development continuum to better meet the SRHR of those living in complex and challenging environments.

ii. AHRC GCRF Network+ MAP - Mobile Arts for Peace (2020-2024). MAP 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).

In 2021 she was awarded a grant by the OU GCRF to lead a participatory project with refugee teachers in Jordan to advance knowledge of connected learning language programmes for refugee education.

More recent research activities include leading the Evaluation of the Frontline Immigration Advice Project (FIAP) (2018-2019) through funding received by the Refugee Action. The project was primarily concerned with the development of the FIAP as a technology-supported professional programme in the Voluntary and Community sector in the UK with the aim of improving access to good quality, regulated immigration advice and support to vulnerable people. The project i. generated evidence of the impact the FIAP has had on advice organisations as well as the frontline workers, by considering the wider community-based legal advice context within which the FIAP is operating; and ii. provided insights to Refugee Action to improve the design and delivery of the programme.

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.

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 (2006). 

Publications

2021

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).
Kaatrakoski, Heli; Littlejohn, Allison and Charitonos, Koula. (). Antimicrobial resistance challenging professional learning in three LMICs. Journal of Workplace Learning (Early Access).

2020

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.
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 (Early access).

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

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.

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