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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 in the Institute of Educational Technology, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

I joined The Open University (OU) in 2012 as a PhD student and upon completion of my PhD, I worked as a Research Associate in a number of projects. I am a mixed-methods researcher that combines expertise from the Education, Human-Computer Interaction and Citizen Science fields. The focus of her research is the design and evaluation of engaging learning technologies, and the improvement of the learning experience and outcomes of diverse student bodies in higher education.

OU-related work

I develop projects around the 'changing learner' portfolio as part of the Quality Enhancement and Innovation (QEI) team. Insights from these projects help the OU to take useful actions to better support the learning experience and outcomes of students. My current projects are:

(a) The impact of Covid-19 pandemic on the learning activities of the OU undergraduate students.

(b) Younger students: exploring the motivations and experiences of OU's younger students (18-19-year-olds)

(c) Online exams: exploring OU students’ views around the nuances and variants of online exams (taking exams at home rather than in an exam room)

I am the Academic Conduct Officer for the Open, Access and IET curriculum. I am also a tutor on EK313: Issues in research with children and young people.

I am supervising one PhD student (Sarah Alcock) and one EdD student (Helen Darlaston). I am also delivering seminars for the Professional Doctorate programme (for EdD and DHSC students).

In the past:

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 also contributed to the following MA in Online and Distance Education (MAODE) modules:

  • H880: Technology-enhanced learning: foundations and futures (module creation/authoring team)
  • H800: Technology-enhanced learning: practices and debates (content check, TMA monitoring and plagiarism check)
  • H819: The critical researcher: educational technology in practice (plagiarism check)

Research experience

I'm currently leading the following projects:

  • VISITOR (2021-2023): developing (a) use cases and a virtual museum tour application/game for teachers and their classrooms and (b) a MOOC for teacher's professional development. Funder: Erasmus+; partners: HOU, IDEC, Interactive4D, LogoPsyCom.
  • CitSci Edu (2019-2021): understanding and improving the experience of educators who engage young people in citizen science activities. Funder: Santander; partner: University of Barcelona, Spain.
  • PhD students well-being during Covid-19 (2020-2021): understanding the potential impact of Covid-19 on the research progress and well-being of PhD students, worldwide. Funders: PVC-RES, IET, UCL; partner: University College London (UCL) School of management.

I'm currently contributing to the following project:

  • LEARN CitSci (2017-2021): looking to answer how we can use citizen science programming to better educate, enable and empower youth in science. My role is to understand how young people learn in citizen science online settings, and in particular on Zooniverse and iNaturalist. I am analysing young people's log data, and conducting and analysing surveys and interviews. Funders: NSF, Wellcome trust & ESRC.

Recently, I led/contributed to these projects:

  • CitSci diaries (led): developing a methodology (settings, instructions, modes, time-frame, evaluation) for applying diary studies in citizen science as a way of capturing citizen engagement. Funder: European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST); partner: Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education, Germany.
  • nQuire (contributed): developing an online citizen inquiry platform for large-scale public experiments in psychology and social science, in collaboration with the BBC.

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 (OU) and the evaluation of the OU FutureLearn courses. The focus of her research is 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 is developing OU-based 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.


Publications

2021

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 (Early Access).
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.

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.
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.

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.