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Dr Maria Aristeidou PhD, FHEA, MSc, BA (Hons)

Lecturer - Technology Enhanced Learning

About

I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Technology Enhanced Learning at The Open University (OU) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). 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.

OU-related work

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: Online Teaching: Addressing the Climate Emergency, and I will continue to chair 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'. 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 Younger Students project, exploring the motivations and experiences of OU's younger students (18-19-year-olds) and the online exams project, exploring OU students’ views around the nuances and variants of online exams. In the past, 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).

External work

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 have co-edited the special issue 'Citizen Science in Higher Education', and I am on the editorial board of the journal 'Citizen Science: Theory and Practice'.

Qualifications:

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).
  • 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.


Biography

Dr Maria Aristeidou is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at The Open University (OU), UK, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). 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 Open and Distance Education, the MA in Childhood and youth, and the evaluation of the OU FutureLearn courses. Her research focuses on the design and evaluation of engaging learning technologies and the evaluation of the Higher Education experience. She is the UK principal investigator for the Erasmus+ VISITOR project, which is developing virtual visits to museums for schools, and she has a scholarship award from Santander to explore the experience of educators who involved their classrooms in citizen science activities (CitSci Edu). She is 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 university scholarship funding to develop projects around the 'changing learner' portfolio to help the university take useful actions to better support the learning experience and outcomes of students. Maria is an active member of the Citizen Science Association, and the European Association of Technology-Enhanced Learning. She is also an Associate Editor for the Citizen Science: Theory and Practice journal.


Publications

2022

Herodotou, Christothea; Ismail, Nashwa; Aristeidou, Maria; Miller, Grant; I.Benavides Lahnstein, Ana; Ghadiri Khanaposhtani, Maryam; D.Robinson, Lucy and L. Ballard, Heidi. (). Online Community and Citizen Science supports environmental science learning by young people. Computers and Education.
Tessarolo, Felipe; Aristeidou, Maria and Coughlan, Emily. (). From face-to-face environments to distance learning universities: the transition period of first-year students. In: 8th International Conference on Higher Education Advances (HEAd’22), 14-17 Jun 2022, Valencia.
Aristeidou, Maria; Kouvara, Theodora; Karachristos, Christoforos; Spyropoulou, Natalia; Benavides-Lahnstein, Ana; Vulicevic, Bojana; Lacapelle, Alexis; Orphanoudakis, Theofanis and Batsi, Zoe. (). Virtual Museum Tours for Schools: Teachers’ Experiences and Expectations. In: 2022 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON), 28-21 Mar 2022, Tunis, Tunisia.
Benavides Lahnstein, A.; Ballard, H.; Ghadiri Khanaposhtani, M.; Lorke, J.; Herodotou, Christothea; Miller, A.; Pratt-Taweh, S.; Jennewein, J.; Aristeidou, Maria and Ismail, Nashwa. (). Youth environmental science learning and agency: A unifying lens across community and citizen science settings. In: NARST International Conference, 27-30 Mar 2022, Vancouver, BC (online).
Herodotou, Christothea; Aristeidou, Maria; Scanlon, Eileen and Kelley, Simon. (). Virtual Microscopes and online learning: Exploring the perceptions of 12 teachers about pedagogy. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-learning (Early access).
Cross, Simon; Aristeidou, Maria; Rossade, Klaus-Dieter; Wood, Carlton and Brasher, Andrew. (). The impact of online exams on the quality of distance learners' exam and exam revision experience? perspectives from The Open University UK. In: Innovating Higher Education Conference 2022, 19-21 Oct 2022, Athens, Greece.
Aristeidou, Maria; Lorke, Julia and Ismail, Nashwa. (). Citizen Science: Schoolteachers’ Motivation, Experiences, and Recommendations. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education (Early Access).

2021

Hitchcock, Colleen; Vance-Chalcraft, Heather and Aristeidou, Maria (). Citizen Science in Higher Education. .
Aristeidou, Maria. (). First-Year University Students in Distance Learning: Motivations and Early Experiences. In: Technology-Enhanced Learning for a Free, Safe, and Sustainable World: 16th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2021 Bolzano, Italy, September 20–24, 2021 Proceedings, Springer, Cham, 110-121.
Aristeidou, Maria and Cross, Simon. (). Disrupted distance learning: the impact of Covid-19 on study habits of distance learning university students. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-learning, 36 (3) pp. 263-282.
Aristeidou, Maria; Sharples, Mike and Scanlon, Eileen (). Technologies for citizen inquiry: participatory research in online communities. In: Burns, Danny; Howard, Joanna and Ospina, Sonia M. eds. The SAGE Handbook of Participatory Research and Inquiry London: SAGE Publications, pp. 496-512.
Robinson, L.D.; Miller, A.E.; Burton, V.J.; Herodotou, Christothea; Higgins, L.; Miller, G.R.M.; Young, A.N.; Ghadiri Khanaposhtani, M.; Benavides Lahnstein,, A.I.; Sanghera, H.K.; Johnson, R.F.; Aristeidou, Maria; Ballard, H.L.; Jennewein, J.; Lorke, J.; Pratt-Taweh, S.; Wardlaw, J.; Ismail, Nashwa; Pauly, G.B.; Papathoma, Tina and Swanson, R.D. (). Enhancing youth learning through Community and Citizen Science: a guide for practitioners. Natural History Museum, London.
Aristeidou, Maria and Cross, Simon. (). The impact of the Covid-19 disruption on distance learning higher education students and activities. In: Seventh International Conference on Higher Education Advances proceedings (HEAd'21), UPV Press, València, Spain, 695-702.
Aristeidou, Maria; Herodotou, Christothea; Ballard, Heidi L.; Higgins, Lila; Johnson, Rebecca F.; Miller, Annie E.; Young, Alison N. and Robinson, Lucy D.. (). How Do Young Community and Citizen Science Volunteers Support Scientific Research on Biodiversity? The Case of iNaturalist. Diversity.
Aristeidou, Maria. (). Transition and support experiences of first-year STEM students in distance learning universities. In: Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference: Making Connections and Sharing Pedagogy, 29-30 Jun 2021, Virtual.
Aristeidou, Maria and Ismail, Nashwa. (). Experiences of teachers who have engaged their classrooms in citizen science activities. In: Citizen Science Association Conference, May 2021, Virtual.
Herodotou, Christothea; Ismail, Nashwa; Aristeidou, Maria; Miller, Grant; Robinson, Lucy and Ballard, Heidi. (). Making citizen science accessible and productive for young volunteers: Lessons learnt from a 3-year study of Zooniverse.. In: Citizen Science Association Conference, May 2021, Virtual.
Aristeidou, Maria; Herodotou, Christothea; Ballard, Heidi L.; Young, Alison N.; Miller, Annie E.; Higgins, Lila and Johnson, Rebecca F.. (). Exploring the participation of young citizen scientists in scientific research: The case of iNaturalist. PLoS ONE.
Hitchcock, Colleen; Vance-Chalcraft, Heather and Aristeidou, Maria. (). Citizen Science in Higher Education. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice.

2020

Bruckermann, T; Lorke, J; Rafolt, S; Scheuch, M; Aristeidou, Maria; Ballard, H; Bardy-Durchhalter, M; Carli, E; Herodotou, Christothea; Kelemen-Finan, J; Robinson, L; Swanson, R; Winter, S and Kapelari, S. (). Learning Opportunities and Outcomes in Citizen Science: A Heuristic Model for Design and Evaluation. In: Electronic Proceedings of the ESERA 2019 Conference. The Beauty and Pleasure of Understanding: Engaging With Contemporary Challenges Through Science Education, University of Bologna, 889-898.
Pratt-Taweh, S.; Jennewein, J.N.; Miller, A.E.; Robinson, L.D.; Burton, V; Ballard, H.L.; Ghadiri Khanaposhtani, M.; Lorke, J.; Wardlaw, J; Higgins, L.M.; Young, A.N.; Johnson, R.F.; Herodotou, Christothea; Aristeidou, Maria; Miller, G.; Sanghera, H.; Benavides-Lahnstein, A.I. and Ismail, N.. (). Perspectives on a researcher-practitioner partnership: Our role as practitioner researchers studying youth learning through participation in NHM-led citizen science. In: European Citizen Science Association, 9-11 Sep 2020, Trieste, Italy.
Herodotou, Christothea; Papathoma, Tina; Aristeidou, Maria; Miller, Grant; Ghadiri, Maryam; Lorke, Julia and Ballard, Heidi. (). What do young volunteers learn from participation in online crowdsourced citizen science? Environmental science learning through Zooniverse. In: ECSA conference 2020, 7-10 Sep 2020, Trieste, Italy.
Herodotou, Christothea; Aristeidou, Maria; Miller, Grant; Ballard, Heidi and Robinson, Lucy. (). What Do We Know about Young Volunteers? An Exploratory Study of Participation in Zooniverse. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, 5 (1) pp. 1-14.
Herodotou, Christothea; Muirhead, Dave K.; Aristeidou, Maria; Hole, Malcolm J.; Kelley, Simon; Scanlon, Eileen and Duffy, Marcus. (). Blended and online learning: A comparative study of virtual microscopy in Higher Education. Interactive Learning Environments, 28 (6) pp. 713-728.
Aristeidou, Maria; Scanlon, Eileen and Sharples, Mike. (). Learning outcomes in online citizen science communities designed for inquiry. International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, 10 (4) pp. 277-294.
Wardlaw, J.; Ballard, H.; Robinson, L.; Johnson, R.; Young, A.; Higgins, L.; Herodotou, Christothea; Lorke, J.; Ghadiri Khanaposhtani, M.; Miller, G.; Pratt-Taweh, S.; Jennewein, J.; Aristeidou, Maria; Burton, V; Papathoma, T. and Miller, G.. (). Partnering science education research and citizen science practice: lessons from using a design-based research approach in the informal learning setting of natural history museums. In: ECSA conference 2020, 7-10 Sep 2020, Trieste, Italy.

2019

Sharples, Mike; Aristeidou, Maria; Herodotou, Christothea; McLeod, Kevin and Scanlon, Eileen. (). Inquiry learning at scale: pedagogy-informed design of a platform for citizen inquiry. In: L@S 2019: Sixth ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale, 24-25 Jun 2019, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Ballard, Heidi; Herodotou, Christothea; Lorke, Julia; Aristeidou, Maria; Robinson, Lucy; Johnson, Rebecca; Young, Alison; Higgins, Lila; Jennewein, Jessie; Miller, Annie; Pratt-Taweh, Sasha; Sanghera, Harpreet; Miller, Grant and Pauly, Greg. (). Characterizing Youth Participation in Natural History Museum-led Citizen Science: Online and in the Field. In: Citizen Science Association, 13-17 Mar 2019, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Lorke, Julia; Ballard, Heidi L.; Aristeidou, Maria; Herodotou, Christothea; Ghadiri, Maryam; Swanson, Rebecca D. and Robinson, Lucy D.. (). “Don’t step on the volcanoes!” – Developing Environmental Science Agency through participation in Museum-Led Citizen Science Projects. In: The beauty and pleasure of understanding: engaging with contemporary challenges through science education (Proceeding of ESERA 2019), 26-30 Aug 2019, Bologna, Italy.

2018

Aristeidou, Maria and Herodotou, Christothea. (). Tomorrow’s World nQuire: young people’s requirements for engaging with inquiry-led, civic engagement technologies. In: Proceedings of 17th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning (mLearn 2018), LearnTechLib, 51-53.
Herodotou, Christothea; Aristeidou, M.; Scanlon, E. and Kelley, S.. (). Best Practice in Teaching with the Virtual Microscope: A Comparative Study of Blended and Online Learning. In: 7th eSTEeM Annual Conference, 25-26 Apr 2018, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.

2017

Aristeidou, Maria; Scanlon, Eileen and Sharples, Mike. (). Design Guidelines for Sensor-based Mobile Learning Applications. In: mLearn 2017 Proceedings of the 16th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning, ACM, New York, NY, USA.
Aristeidou, Maria; Scanlon, Eileen and Sharples, Mike (). Design processes of a citizen inquiry community. In: Herodotou, Christothea; Sharples, Mike and Scanlon, Eileen eds. Citizen Inquiry: Synthesising Science and Inquiry Learning Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 210-229.
Sharples, Mike; Aristeidou, Maria; Villasclaras-Fernández, Eloy; Herodotou, Christothea and Scanlon, Eileen. (). The Sense-it App: A Smartphone Toolkit for Citizen Inquiry Learning. International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, 9 (2) pp. 16-38.
Muirhead, David K.; Herodotou, Christothea; Aristeidou, Maria; Hole, M. J.; Kelley, Simon; Scanlon, Eileen and Duffy, M.. (). A Comparative Study of Blended and Online Learning using the Virtual Microscope for Earth Sciences. In: Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference: Making Connections and Sharing Pedagogy, 39 Jun - 30 June 2017, Heriot-Watt University, UK.
Aristeidou, Maria; Scanlon, Eileen and Sharples, Mike. (). Science learning in online communities of scientific investigations: evidence and suggestions. In: American Educational Research Association Annual Conference 2017, 27 Apr - 01 May 2017, San Antonio, Texas, USA.
Aristeidou, Maria. (). Science Learning Experiences in Citizen Inquiry Communities. In: CALRG Annual Conference 2017, 14-16 Jun 2017, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.

2016

Aristeidou, Maria; Scanlon, Eileen and Sharples, Mike. (). Engaging citizens in online communities of scientific investigations. In: Citizen Science Innovation in Open Science, Society and Policy, First ECSA Conference 2016, 19-21 May 2016, Berlin, Germany.

2015

Aristeidou, Maria; Scanlon, Eileen and Sharples, Mike. (). Weather-it: evolution of an online community for citizen inquiry. In: Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Knowledge Technologies and Data-driven Business, i-Know 2015, ACM.
Sharples, Mike; Aristeidou, Maria; Villasclaras-Fernández, Eloy; Herodotou, Christothea and Scanlon, Eileen. (). Sense-it: A Smartphone Toolkit for Citizen Inquiry Learning. In: The Mobile Learning Voyage – From Small Ripples to Massive Open Waters, 366-377.
Aristeidou, Maria; Scanlon, Eileen and Sharples, Mike (). Weather-it missions: a social network analysis perspective of an online citizen inquiry community. In: Conole, G.; Klobučar, T.; Rensing, C.; Konert, J. and Lavoué, E. eds. Design for Teaching and Learning in a Networked World, Proceedings of 10th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2015, Toledo, Spain, September 15-18 Springer, pp. 3-16.

2014

Aristeidou, Maria; Scanlon, Eileen and Sharples, Mike. (). Inquiring Rock Hunters. In: Open Learning and Teaching in Educational Communities, Springer International Publishing, 546-547.

2013

Aristeidou, Maria; Scanlon, Eileen and Sharples, Mike. (). A design-based study of Citizen Inquiry for geology. In: EC-TEL 2013 Eighth European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, 17-21 Sep 2013, Paphos (Cyprus).

Media appearances

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

Awards

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

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.