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 main focuses of my research are the design and evaluation of engaging learning technologies and the higher education student experience.
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)
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)
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.
- 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.
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.
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
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.
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy