I am a 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 opportunities provided by digital and web technologies to open up access to quality education and to support capacity-building to address global challenges.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). Recently, I have been the PI on the project ‘The evaluation of the Frontline Immigration Advice Project’ (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 an EdD student.

Koula Charitonos is a 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 opportunities provided by digital and web technologies to open up access to quality education and to support capacity-building to address global challenges. 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).

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, she have worked as a teacher in primary education in Cyprus for five years and as a language teacher in the UK for three years (Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture). 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). 

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2012

2011

2010

Current

Fleming Fund: Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance 2017 - 2022

Completed

Close-Up on Heritage Language Learners: An Inquiry project 2016
Evaluation of the Frontline Immigration Advice Project (FIAP) 2018 - 2019

Awards

British Academy Schools Language Awards.

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