I’m a Research Fellow in the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University (OU).
I joined the OU in 2009 in the final stages of my Ph.D. By training I am a philosopher (analytic & continental) and educational technologist. My main research focus is open education. I lead several research strands with the Open Education Research Hub where since 2012 we have focused on providing an evidence base for the impact of OER and building research capacity globally.
I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy who is working towards Senior Fellowship. I act as reviewer for dozens of academic journals (not Reviewer 2) and international conferences. I also act as an expert consultant for many high-profile organisations.
My current research interests are in the use and evaluation of technology systems for learning and behavioural change; theoretical frameworks for learning and innovation; ethics; technology as a route to social justice; and generally in empowering people and what that means.
I have previously published work in the fields of: accessibility; action research; artificial intelligence; automation; collaborative research; critical pedagogy; critical theory; data visualisation; ethics; evidence hubs; impact; innovation; lifelong learning; methodology; mobile learning; MOOC; OER impact; open education; open textbooks; pedagogy; phenomenology; policy; theory.
I believe it is important to be a good generalist and retain a critical perspective.
I currently co-supervise three PhD students:
I support doctoral students worldwide who are working in the field of open education through the Global OER Graduate Network. I also mentor for the Open Education Leadership Program (SPARC) and Open Education for a Better World (UNESCO).
I hold degrees from the University of Kent at Canterbury, The University of Essex, and The Open University (UK) and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Rob holds several degrees in Philosophy, including a PhD. Rob completed his graduate study at the University of Essex, focusing on modern European philosophy in the critical tradition, and writing his PhD thesis on the normative foundations of the critical social theories of Jurgen Habermas and Axel Honneth.
Since 2009 Rob has worked on many high profile research projects in education and educational technology. These have EU funded projects like Mobile Technologies in Lifelong Learning (MOTILL); European Unified Framework for Accessible Lifelong Learning (EU4ALL) and BizMOOC which involved working with a range of European partners. He has also worked on many projects funded by philanthropy with a focus on open education, such as the Hewlett funded Open Learning Network (OLnet); OER Research Hub; OER World Map; Global OER Graduate Network (GO-GN) and UK Open Textbooks projects.
Rob is a keynote speaker who has presented his work in many countries.
Rob has acted as a referee for a number of academic journals, including International Education Studies, British Journal of Educational Technology, Journal of Online Teaching and Learning, Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice and Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Interactive Media in Education.
Open Courseware Consortium ACE Award for Research Excellence
Annually awarded for outstanding research in open education
The Open University Engaging Research Award
A competitive internal award which recognises excellence in outreach and impact
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy