Photo of Dr Nashwa Ismail


Dr Nashwa Ismail

Research Associate


Dr. Ismail has MSc and PhD in Education from Southampton Education School- UK and she is Fellow of The Higher Education Academy (FHEA). She has 2-year teaching experience in Higher Education and 10 years in Further Education. In teaching, she teaches qualitative research methods and its application on Qualitative Data Analysis Software (QDAS) using NVivo and ATLAS.ti. In research, she has 4-year postdoc experience as a qualitative researcher in different research projects in the UK and overseas. In these projects, she took the lead in writing bids, project management, data collection and analysis, research dissemination and reporting research results. Her current role is a Research Associate in LEARN Cit Sci project - Institute of Educational Technology in the Open University. Dr. Ismail's role is to effectively engage with youth online and evaluate online citizen science learning activities using mainly qualitative approaches (e.g., interviews). Countries that Dr. Ismail took part in research objects are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Middle East (Egypt, Saudi Arabia), Myanmar and Thailand. Her research interest is in Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL), with a special focus on Academic Professional Development (APD) and Games-Based Learning (GBL).

Her recent projects are;

(1) LEARN Cit Sci project

(2) Pathways for Learning: New Approaches in Higher Education in Africa

(3) Child Witness Interview Simulation (CWIS) for Police Forces Training in the UK

(4) Games-Based Sex Education in Secondary Schools in Thailand

Besides, she has a parallel technical career since 2005 as Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE) and qualified Training assessor Assessment and Quality Assurance (TAQA). She has delivered a wide range of programs to technical audiences. This technical background encourages Dr. Ismail to research in-depth about TEL in sense of how tutors can help their students' motivation, engagement and satisfaction; and to produce enterprising graduates with the skills required to compete in the job market.


In the OU, Dr. Ismail was a Lecturer in Research Career Development where her role was to contribute to support the academic development and to develop a profile of research commensurate with early-career researchers. Before this role, she was Research and Enterprise Fellow in the Institute for Educational Technology within the Open University’s Centre for Policing Research and Learning. her role implies generating and developing research ideas that reflect the aims of the Centre. She worked collaboratively with academics and practitioners associated with the Centre and other IET initiatives.

Before joining the OU, Ismail was a Research Fellow in the University of Bath, Department of Education. She worked in a qualitative comparative research project in Malaysia and Indonesia funded by the Head Foundation. The project title is “Leading School Turnaround and Improvement in Malaysia and Indonesia”. To pursue her work, she used extensively NVivo and Atlas.ti, as Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis packages.

Before joining the University of Bath, Ismail had long teaching experience in delivering IT in Further Education (FE) and business-to-business IT sector. As Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) and Training, Assessment and Quality Assurance (TAQA) qualified assessor. Her main duties were to: (1) plan and deliver full ICT vocational training programmes and workshops (NVQ2 and NVQ3 for City&Guilds qualifications) (2)Carry out enrollment, induction and initial assessment processes with each learner. (3) Prepare, agree and review assessment plans with each learner. (4) Visit learners in their workplace at contractually agreed intervals to provide support, review action plans, undertake assessments and provide feedback on performance. (5) Operate the assessment process in accordance with TAQA standards. (6) Managing VLE modules for learners.



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.


Ismail, Nashwa; Harris, Alma; Jones, Michelle; Evans, Ceryn and Knight, Cathryn. (). An International Review of Incentives into Teacher Education: Implications for Policy and Practice. In: 33rd International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement, 6-10 Jan 2020, Marrakesh, Morocco.


FitzGerald, Elizabeth; Adams, Anne; Bektik, Duygu; Bossu, Carina; Clough, Gill; Ismail, Nashwa and Sargent, Julia. (). Tools and Technologies for Advancing Professional Development. In: CALRG Annual Conference 2019, 17-18 Jun 2019, The Open University, Milton Keynes.
Ismail, Nashwa; Thammajinda, On-Anong and Thongpanya, Ubon. (). Identifying Game Variables from Students' Surveys for Prototyping Game for Learning. In: ICGGBL 2019 : International Conference on Gamification and Game-Based Learning, 23-24 May 2019, London.
Harris, Alma; Jones, Michelle; Ismail, Nashwa and Nguyen, Dong. (). Middle leaders and middle leadership in schools: exploring the knowledge base (2003–2017). School Leadership & Management, 39 (3-4) pp. 255-277.
Ismail, Nashwa and Kinchin, Gary. (). Can Online Collaborative Works Offer a Solution to the Over Crowded Classes in Egyptian Universities?. International Journal of Management and Applied Research, 6 (2) pp. 48-67.


Harris, Alma; Jones, Michelle; Ismail, Nashwa; Adams, Donnie and Sumintono, Bambang (). Leading Turnaround and Improvement in Low-Performing Schools in Malaysia and Indonesia. In: Coby, Meyers and Marlene, Darwin eds. International Perspectives on Leading Low-Performing Schools Information Age Publishing, pp. 267 -287.
Ismail, Nashwa and Mathew, Tyler-Jones. (). Games-Based Online Course Design: Prototype of Gamification for Online Tutors. In: 12th European Conference on Games Based Learning (ECGBL18), 4-5 Oct 2018, Sophia Antipolis, France.
Ismail, Nashwa and Chansawang, Rochaporn. (). Promoting agritourism through connecting young farmers using mobile technology in Thailand. In: 2018 Newton Inclusive Innovation for Enhanced Local Experience in Tourism, 28-31 Aug 2018, Phukt, Thailand.
Ismail, Nashwa; Kinchin, Gary and Edwards, Julie-Ann. (). Pilot Study, Does It Really Matter? Learning Lessons from Conducting a Pilot Study for a Qualitative PhD Thesis. International Journal of Social Science Research, 6 (1) pp. 1-17.


Harris, Alma; Jones, Michelle; Adams, Donnie; Sumintono, Bambang and Ismail, Nashwa (). Leading Turnaround and Improvement in Low Performing Schools in Malaysia and Indonesia. THF Working paper, Working Papers Series No.2/2017, The Head Foundation.
Ismail, Nashwa. (). Analysing Qualitative Data Using Facial Expressions in an Educational Scenario. International Journal of Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods, 5 (3) pp. 37-50.


Ismail, Nashwa; Kinchin, Gary and Edwards, Julie-Ann. (). Investigating Continuing Professional Development Provided for Egyptian Higher Education Online Tutors. International Journal of Enhanced Research in Educational Development (IJERED), 4 (2) pp. 7-14.


Professional memberships

  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy