I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Technology Enhanced Learning at The Open University (OU) and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). My work focuses on designing and evaluating engaging learning technologies, and improving diverse student bodies' learning experiences and outcomes. I am a mixed-methods researcher that combines expertise from the Education, Human-Computer Interaction and Citizen Science fields.
I am the Academic Conduct Officer for the Institute of Educational Technology (IET) curriculum and I am directly involved in developing academic conduct policy and practice across the university. I also contributed to authoring the MA in Online Teaching courses H880: Technology-enhanced learning: foundations and futures and HZFM889: Teacher Development: Addressing the Climate Emergency, and I am the lead educator for HZFM889. Previously, I was in the module team for the MA in Childhood and Youth courses E808: Children and young people's worlds and E809: Frameworks for critical practice with children and young people, and the MA in Online and Distance Learning courses H800: Technology-enhanced learning: practices and debates and H819: The critical researcher: educational technology in practice. I also tutored on EK313: Issues in research with children and young people.
I am currently co-authoring the OpenLearn course 'Writing your Research Proposal', which is a general guide for prospective PhD and EdD students. I am also delivering the following seminars for the Professional Doctorate programme (for EdD and DHSC students): 'Connecting research and practice' (Year 3) and 'Getting ready for your viva' (Year 4). I supervise one EdD student (Helen Darlaston) and one PhD student (Sarah Alcock).
As a member of the Quality Enhancement and Innovation (QEI) team in IET, I contribute to pan-university and cross-faculty scholarship projects. Insights from these projects help the OU to take useful actions to better support the learning experience and outcomes of students. I am currently leading the evaluation of the National Enrichment Programme, a pan-Wales enrichment programme with the aim to enrich the studies of FE learners and support them with developing transferrable skills that employers and HE providers look for. I am also leading the online exams project, exploring OU students’ views on the nuances and variants of online exams.
In the past, I explored the motivations and experiences of OU's younger students (18-19-year-olds); I explored the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on the learning activities of the OU undergraduate students; I evaluated the use of Virtual Microscope by OU students and tutors; and I evaluated the benefits and challenges of producing and presenting OU courses of high quality (i.e. H880, BXM840, BXM850 & D890) on the FutureLearn platform, for students and staff.
I held internal funding for several projects: (a) as a PI to study the OU students' views about assessment, delivery, invigilation and quality assurance in online exams with the OU's Assessment Programme (pan-university scholarship funding); (b) as a PI to study the impact of Covid-19 on the research progress and well-being of PhD students worldwide in collaboration with the UCL School of Management (coronavirus research fund); and (c) as a PI to study the impact of Covid-19 on the learning, assessment and social activities of undergraduate OU students (coronavirus research fund).
I am the UK principal investigator for the Erasmus+ VISITOR project (2021-2023), which is developing virtual visits to museums for schools and professional development resources for teachers. In the past, I held Santander funding to understand and improve the experience of educators who engage young people in citizen science activities (CitSci Edu) (completed in 2021). I also received funding from the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) (2019) to develop a methodology (settings, instructions, modes, time-frame, evaluation) for applying diary studies in citizen science as a way of capturing citizen engagement, in collaboration with the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (CitSci Diaries). I contributed to the LEARN CitSci project (funded by National Science Foundation, Welcome and ESRC) to improve the design of online citizen science platforms (Zooniverse and iNaturalist) for younger citizen science volunteers (2017-2022). I also contributed to the development of the nQuire platform, which supports large-scale public psychology and social science experiments in collaboration with the BBC.
I am on the editorial board of the journal Citizen Science: Theory and Practice and chairing the European Citizen Science Association's Citizen Science and Universities working group. I have co-edited the special issue Citizen Science in Higher Education.
- Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).
- Qualified Teacher (QTS) – National College for Teaching & Leadership
- PhD in Educational Technology - Institute of Educational Technology (IET), The Open University, UK.
- MSc in Technology Education & Digital Systems (track: e-Learning) - Department of Digital Systems, University of Piraeus, Greece.
- BA (Hons) in Education Studies and Primary Education - Primary Education Department, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece.
Dr Maria Aristeidou is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at The Open University (OU), UK, and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). She is currently working with the Quality Enhancement and Innovation (QEI) group at the Institute of Educational Technology, and her interests lie in the boundary between education, human-computer interaction and citizen science. She has contributed to the MA in Online Teaching, the BA/MA in Childhood and Youth, and the evaluation of the OU FutureLearn courses. Her research focuses on designing and evaluating engaging learning technologies and the higher education experience. She is the UK principal investigator for the Erasmus+ VISITOR project, which is developing virtual visits to school museums. She has a scholarship award from Santander to explore the experience of educators who involved their classrooms in citizen science activities (CitSci Edu). She was also involved in the LEARN CitSci project (funded by the National Science Foundation, Wellcome Trust, and ESRC), researching young people’s participation and learning in online citizen science. Further to her research projects, Maria has scholarship funding to develop projects around the 'changing learner' portfolio to help the university take useful actions to better support students' learning experiences and outcomes. Maria is an active member of the Citizen Science Association, and the European Association of Technology-Enhanced Learning. She is an Associate Editor for the Citizen Science: Theory and Practice journal and chairing the European Citizen Science Association's 'Citizen Science and Universities' working group.
Contribution with findings from OU students' experience with online exams
JISC | 20th May 2021
Exploring participation of young citizen scientists
OU Life | 28th January 2021
Men ‘worse at coping with disruption to research’ during pandemic
Covid-19 research in collaboration with UCL, highlighting the importance of funding extension and coping mechanisms in lowering the depression levels of PhD students
Times Higher Education | 10th December 2020
Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on PhD students
Project funded by the Open University (OU) COVID-19 Rapid Response funding scheme is supporting research which considers the impact of COVID-19 on the wellbeing and progress of PhD students.
Open University Research | 1st October 2020
Coronavirus research fund:
I received £6400 from PVC-RES and £3000 from IET and the UCL School of management to study the impact of Covid-19 on the research progress and well-being on PhD students worldwide.
Coronavirus research fund:
I received £7700 from PVC-RES to study the impact of Covid-19 on the studies of OU students.
Early Career Research Travel Award
I received 1000€ from the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA) for a research visit at the Department of Education in University of Haifa, Israel.
Pan-university scholarship funding
I received £8,125.50 for the project 'Online exams: a cross-faculty approach' in collaboration with the Assessment Programme and the four faculties
Santander Research & Scholarship Award:
I received £5000 to study the experiences of educators who have engaged young people in citizen science activities.
Short Term Scientific Mission (STSM) grant:
I received 2500€ for travel expenses to visit/collaborate with IPN in Kiel (Germany) to study citizen diaries as a method to capture citizens' engagement in science projects.
- Association of Learning Technologists
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy