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Dr Rob Farrow BA (Hons); MA; PhD; Pg.CHEP; FHEA, MAODE

Senior Research Fellow

About

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:

•Janesh Sanzgiri

•Helen Crump

•Renato Cortinovis

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.

Biography

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.

Publications

2021

Farrow, Robert; Ferguson, Rebecca; Weller, Martin; Pitt, Rebecca; Sanzgiri, Janesh and Habib, Mustafa. (). Assessment and Recognition of MOOCs: The State of the Art. Journal of Innovation in Polytechnic Education (In Press).

2020

Weller, Martin; Pitt, Rebecca; Iniesto, Francisco and Farrow, Robert (). GO-GN Annual Review 2020. Global OER Graduate Network (GO-GN).
Farrow, Robert; Iniesto, Francisco; Weller, Martin and Pitt, Rebecca (). GO-GN Research Methods Handbook. Milton Keynes: Global OER Gradate Network.
Pitt, Rebecca; Jordan, Katy; de los Arcos, Beatriz; Farrow, Robert and Weller, Martin. (). Supporting open educational practices through open textbooks. Distance Education (Early access).

2019

Farrow, Robert. (). Bringing Learning to Life: Evaluation of Everyday Skills in maths and English. In: Open Education 2019, 30 Oct 2019-1 Nov 2019, Phoenix, AZ.
Cortinovis, Renato Mario; Mikroyannidis, Alexander; Domingue, John; Mulholland, Paul and Farrow, Robert. (). Supporting the discoverability of open educational resources. Education and Information Technologies, 24 (5) pp. 3129-3161.
Coughlan, Tim; Pitt, Beck and Farrow, Rob. (). Forms of Innovation Inspired by Open Educational Resources: A Post-Project Analysis. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-learning, 34 (2) pp. 156-175.
Farrow, Robert and Moe, Rolin. (). Rethinking the role of the academy: cognitive authority in the age of post-truth. Teaching in Higher Education, 24 (3) pp. 272-287.
Farrow, Robert. (). [Book review] The cynical educator. British Journal of Educational Studies, 67 (1) pp. 134-136.
Pitt, Rebecca; Farrow, Robert; Jordan, Katy; de los Arcos, Beatriz; Weller, Martin; Kernohan, D and Rolfe, V (). The UK Open Textbooks Report. Open Education Research Hub.
Weller, Martin; Farrow, Robert and Pitt, Rebecca. (). GO-GN: Lessons in Building an Open Research Community. In: Pan Commonwealth Forum 9 (PCF9), 9-12 Sep 2019, Edinburgh, Scotland.

2018

Farrow, Robert. (). MOOC and the workplace: key support elements in digital lifelong learning. In: International Entrepreneurship as the Bridge between International Economics and International Business: Conference Proceedings of the 9th ENTRE Conference – 5th AIB-CEE Chapter Annual Conference, Cracow University of Economics, Kraków, 139-150.

2017

Weller, Martin; de los Arcos, Beatriz; Farrow, Robert; Pitt, Rebecca and McAndrew, Patrick (). What Can OER Do for Me? Evaluating the Claims for OER. In: Jhangiani, R. S. and Biswas-Diener, R. eds. Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science London, UK: Ubiquity Press, pp. 67-78.
Farrow, Robert. (). Open education and critical pedagogy. Learning, Media and Technology, 42 pp. 130-146.

2016

Weller, Martin; de los Arcos, Beatriz; Farrow, Rob; Pitt, Rebecca and McAndrew, Patrick (). Identifying Categories of Open Educational Resource Users. In: Blessinger, Patrick and Bliss, TJ eds. Open Education: International Perspectives in Higher Education Open Book Publishers, pp. 73-92.
Farrow, Rob; Perryman, Leigh-Anne; de los Arcos, Beatriz; Weller, Martin and Pitt, Rebecca (). OER Hub Researcher Pack. Milton Keynes, UK: OER Hub.
Pitt, Rebecca; de los Arcos, Beatriz; Farrow, Rob and Weller, Martin (). Open Research. Milton Keynes, UK: OER Hub.
Farrow, Robert (). Constellations of Openness. In: Deimann, Markus and Michael, Peters eds. The Philosophy of Open Learning: Peer Learning and the Intellectual Commons (New ed) New York: Peter Lang.
Farrow, Robert. (). A Framework for the Ethics of Open Education. Open Praxis, 8 (2) pp. 93-109.

2015

Farrow, Robert; de los Arcos, Beatriz; Pitt, Rebecca and Weller, Martin. (). Who are the Open Learners? A Comparative Study Profiling non-Formal Users of Open Educational Resources. EURODL (European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning), 18 (2) pp. 50-74.
Weller, Martin; de los Arcos, Bea; Farrow, Rob; Pitt, Beck and McAndrew, Patrick. (). The Impact of OER on Teaching and Learning Practice. Open Praxis, 7 (4) pp. 351-361.
Farrow, Robert; Pitt, Rebecca; de los Arcos, Beatriz; Perryman, Leigh-Anne; Weller, Martin and McAndrew, Patrick. (). Impact of OER use on teaching and learning: data from OER Research Hub (2013–2014). British Journal of Educational Technology, 46 (5) pp. 972-976.

2014

de los Arcos, B.; Farrow, R.; Perryman, L.-A.; Pitt, R. and Weller, M. (). OER Evidence Report 2013-2014. OER Research Hub.
Farrow, Robert and Iacovides, Ioanna. (). Gaming and the limits of digital embodiment. Philosophy & Technology, 27 (2) pp. 221-233.

2013

Farrow, Robert and Deimann, Markus. (). Rethinking OER and their use: open education as Bildung. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 14 (3) pp. 344-360.
McAndrew, Patrick and Farrow, Robert. (). The ecology of sharing: synthesizing OER research. In: OER 13: Creating a virtuous circle, 26-27 Mar 2013, Nottingham.
McAndrew, Patrick and Farrow, Robert (). Open education research: from the practical to the theoretical. In: McGreal, Rory; Kinuthia, Wanjira and Marshall, Stewart eds. Open Educational Resources: Innovation, Research and Practice Vancouver, Canada: Commonwealth of Learning and Athabasca University, pp. 65-78.

2012

McAndrew, Patrick; Farrow, Robert and Cooper, Martyn. (). Adapting online learning resources for all: planning for professionalism in accessibility. Research in Learning Technology, 20 (4) pp. 345-361.
Farrow, Robert and Deimann, Markus. (). Bildung as a critical foundation for Open Education. In: Open Education 2012: Beyond Content, 16-18 Oct 2012, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
Farrow, Robert and Rodwell, James (). That’s a Problem, Not a Gift. In: Ralkowski, Mark eds. Curb your enthusiasm and philosophy: awaken the social assassin within Open Court, pp. 155-170.
McAndrew, Patrick; Farrow, Robert; Law, Patrina and Elliott-Cirigottis, Gary. (). Learning the Lessons of Openness. In: Cambridge 2012: Innovation and Impact – Openly Collaborating to Enhance Education, a joint meeting of OER12 and OpenCourseWare Consortium Global 2012, 16-18 Apr 2012, Cambridge, UK.
Farrow, Robert and Iacovides, Ioanna. (). ‘In the game’? Embodied subjectivity in gaming environments. In: 6th International Conference on the Philosophy of Computer Games: the Nature of Player Experience, 29-31 Jan 2012, Madrid, Spain.
De Liddo, Anna; Buckingham Shum, Simon; McAndrew, Patrick and Farrow, Robert. (). The open education evidence hub: a collective intelligence tool for evidence based policy. In: Cambridge 2012: Joint OER12 and OpenCourseWare Consortium Global 2012 Conference, 16-18 Apr 2012, Cambridge, UK.
McAndrew, Patrick; Farrow, Robert; Law, Patrina and Elliott-Cirigottis, Gary. (). Learning the lessons of openness. Journal of Interactive Media in Education.

2011

Farrow, Robert. (). Mobile learning: a meta-ethical taxonomy. In: IADIS International Conference, Mobile Learning 2011, 10-12 Mar 2011, Avila, Spain.

2010

Farrow, Robert and Fulantelli, Giovanni. (). Involving Policymakers in Research Partnership: The MOTILL Project Experience. In: International Conference & Workshops on Higher Education, Partnership and Innovation, 6-8 Sep, Budapest.
Conole, Grainne; Scanlon, Eileen; Mundin, Paul and Farrow, Robert (). Technology-enhanced learning as a site for interdisciplinary research. Technology Enhanced Learning Research Programme; Economic and Social Research Council; Institute of Education, London.
Farrow, Robert (). Book review: Heidegger, Work and Being. Marx & Philosophy Review of Books.
Arnedillo-Sánchez, Inmaculada; Arrigo, Marco; Crehan, Freida; Dal Grande, Paola; Di Giuseppe, Onofrio; Farrow, Robert; Fulantelli, Giovanni; Gabor, Andras; Gentile, Manuel; Kismihok, Gabor; Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes; Merlo, Gianluca; Peasgood, Alice; Pettit, John; Seta, Luciano and Taibi, Davide (). Best Practices. In: Arrigo, M.; Di Giuseppe, O.; Fulantelli, G.; Gentile, M.; Merlo, G.; Seta, L. and Taibi, D. eds. MOTILL Mobile Technologies in Lifelong Learning: Best Practices Italian National Research Council - Institute for Educational Technology, pp. 34-37.

2009

Farrow, Robert (). The Frankfurt School / Critical Theory. In: Mullarky, John and Lord, Beth eds. The Continuum Companion to Continental Philosophy London: Continuum.
Farrow, Robert (). 'Habermas'. In: Mullarkey, John and Lord, Beth eds. The Continuum Companion to Continental Philosophy London: Continuum, pp. 299-300.
Farrow, Robert (). 'Adorno'. In: Mullarkey, John and Lord, Beth eds. The Continuum Companion to Continental Philosophy London: Continuum, pp. 279-280.
Farrow, Robert (). 'Frankfurt School'. In: Mullarkey, John and Lord, Beth eds. The Continuum Companion to Continental Philosophy London: Continuum, pp. 294-295.
Farrow, Robert (). Habermas. In: Mullarky, John and Lord, Beth eds. The Continuum Companion to Continental Philosophy Continuum, pp. 299-300.

Awards

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