Photo of Mark Childs

Dr Mark Childs BSc (Hons) PGCE MScEcon MA PhD SFHEA

Lecturer Microcredentials &Technology Enhanced Learning

I am a lecturer at The Open University, focusing on educational futures, innovating pedagogy and online social learning.

I am a contributor to the OU's microcredentials. These are short, affordable and globally recognised courses, aimed at students who are already in work. microcredentials provide an opportunity for individuals who want to progress within their existing career field,. They also provide an opportunity to respond to the rapidly changing need for new skills and qualifications.

Before joining IET, I was a mentor on the Open Education MOOC and the lead for the final block of the 60-credit postgraduate module H880: technology-enhanced learning – foundations and futures. H880 was the first OU module to be presented on the FutureLearn platform and students who complete it successfully can claim a postgraduate certificate in open and distance education (PGCert ODE) or put the 60 credits towards an Open Masters qualification. You can keep up with the H880 community via our blog or our Twitter account @OUH880, and you can register for the module here

Mark is a lecturer in the Institute of Educational Technology (IET) and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. His primary research interest is how people learn together online and how this learning is informed by embodiment, identity and spaces.

Mark started in IET in March 2020. Before that he worked as a researcher in educational technology for twenty years at the following universities: Wolverhampton, Warwick, Coventry, Loughborough, Oxford Brookes, Worcester, Leicester, Newman and Kings College London. Alongside this role he has also worked as an academic adviser and learning designer, most recently for the Learning Design team at the Open University. Mark also worked as an educational consultant during much of this period, with clients that included Jisc, Hewlett Packard, Ravensbourne College, Microsoft, The Tablet Academy, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the OU’s International Development Office, the Humanitarian Leadership Academy and the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago.

Since 1997, Mark has worked on forty educational technology projects. While many of these have focused on his research specialism, other subjects covered through these projects include: accreditation of non-formal learning in OER and MOOCs, games-based learning, pattern language analysis, podcasting for student feedback, videoconferencing to support academic writing, students' engagement with virtual and remote laboratories, lecturers’ use of digital repositories, students’ use of personal technologies in informal learning, enabling remote access to expertise from the classroom, lecturers’ use of online learning design platforms, developing metadata schema for repositories, lecture-room-based lecture capture, students' emotional affinity to autonomous embodied agents (bots).

Mark has co-edited four books and co-authored one book on online learning. These explore the role of embodiment, identity and space within virtual worlds and videoconferencing platforms. He was the pedagogic adviser to Wolverhampton’s Broadnet VLE during its development and was the project manager of the Theatron3 project, which created ancient theatres within Second Life, the senior researcher on the BIM-Hub project, which developed collaborative learning within remote teams of students across universities in Canada and the UK, and a co-PI on the AMORES project, which encouraged school learners to develop an interest in their national literature through the creation of digital artefacts. He is currently one of the researchers on the Rumpus project, which investigates the links between fun and learning.

Mark is currently supervising one doctoral student as a second supervisor.







  • Peachey, Anna and Childs, Mark (). Virtual worlds and identity. In: Peachey, Anna and Childs, Mark eds. Reinventing Ourselves: Contemporary Concepts of Identity in Virtual Worlds London: Springer, pp. 1-12.


AMORES - Da Mladi Čitaju

Hrvatska uživo | 12th October 2015

AMORES segment in news broadcast

Västmanlands Television | 10th January 2015

Gettin' Air with @Pedagodzilla

voicED radio | 14th February 2020


All podcasting platforms | 20th March 2019


Invited Talk

5th June 2019

We are all together: Collaborative learning in online environments

14th SOLSTICE Conference Edge Hill University

Invited Talk

7th June 2018


15th March 2018

Identity, literacy, immersion and presence; joining together the building blocks

11th Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education conference VWBPE Island, Second Life

Invited Talk

5th June 2017

Invited Talk

10th November 2016

Educational Social Networking

Telford Education Schools Showcase Coalbrookdale, Telford

Invited Talk

9th June 2016

Through Despair and Hope: The Cycle of Second Life

11th SOLSTICE Conference Edge Hill University

Invited Talk

19th November 2015

Projekt AMORES radionica: Primjena ICT-a u učenju književnosti

17th CARNet Users Conference 2015 Dubrovnik, Croatia

Invited Talk

3rd September 2015


Performance & Politics & Protest University College Cork


29th July 2015

Learning which requires us to 'be' differently

7th eLearning 2.0 Conference Brunel Business School

Conference Presentation

10th June 2014

Virtual Collaboration in the Built Environment

EDEN Annual Conference Zagreb, Croatia

Invited Talk

24th April 2014

Role of social media in supporting online collaboration

Changing the Learning Landscape University of Warwick


ALT Team Award Special Commendation 2019

OU Learning Design team – Curriculum Design Student Panel managers

External Appointments