Dr Tim Coughlan
I am a Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University. My research crosses the areas of Education and Human-Computer Interaction. I’m particularly focused on the design and evaluation of systems that support inclusion, creativity, and openness in learning.
Recently I've been the principal investigator for the ADMINS project, which is developing a virtual assistant for people to declare disabilities and access relevant support, and the British Council funded Digital Decisions project, which is exploring key decisions made as higher education in Sub-Saharan Africa moves to make greater use of online and blended modes of study.
I also lead the development of Our Journey - a platform to represent the challenges and achievements in study journeys.
Further projects I have been involved in recently include improving support in online and open education for disabled students, and developing community-led design practices.
I led the development of the microcredential Accessibility and Inclusive Learning and continue to chair the course. I'm also a tutor on TM470: The Computing Project. I am an area lead for the EdD programme, supporting doctoral students in Technology Enhanced Learning. Previously I've chaired the postgraduate modules H818: The Networked Practitioner and H810: Accessible Online Learning. I was also part of the team that produced H880: Technology-enhanced learning,
I am the Accessibility Lead for the Quality Enhancement and Innovation (QEI) strand of IET. I chair the Securing Greater Accessibility (SeGA) Coordination Group and play a role in steering some of the pan-university activities to make OU study accessible to all.
My passion is for user-centred and participatory research. However I also work on approaches to analyse the large quantitative data sets generated by learners at scale, and am interested in how we interpret and use these analytics through the participation of learners and staff in educational institutions.
I was previously a Horizon Digital Economy Research Fellow and Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Nottingham. As part of Horizon I worked on a variety of projects funded by RCUK and AHRC. These included the design and evaluation of new technologies to support participation and informal learning in museum spaces, and studies to understand data sharing and assistive technologies in the home.
Dr Tim Coughlan is a Senior Lecturer in Educational Technology at the Open University. His research crosses the areas of Education and Human-Computer Interaction. He is particularly focused on the design and evaluation of systems that support inclusion, creativity, and openness in learning.
Tim chairs the Securing Greater Accessibility (SeGA) Coordination Group, which provides a pan-university forum for enhancing accessibility. He chairs the postgraduate module: H818: The Networked Practitioner, and is part of the module team for H880: Technology-Enhanced Learning. He is also a tutor on TM470: The Computing and IT Project.
He is also a Data Wrangler, working as part of a team to enhance the use of learning analytics at the OU. This involves working with WELS faculty and contributing to projects conducted and reported in the Scholarly Insight series.
Tim leads on the development of Our Journey. This is a set of openly licenced tools to support students to represent their experiences of study over time. Work to develop these tools further is currently funded by Jisc and LATIS.
He is a Co-Investigator on the AHRC-funded Empowering Design Practices project and a core member of the Leverhulme-funded international network:Disabled students, ICT, post compulsory education and employment: in search of new solutions.
He currently co-supervises two PhD students: Jo Buxton and Mychelle Pride and two EdD students: Wendy Fowle and Karen Foley.
Other recent research projects explore the experiences of online and open learning for disabled students, the uses of open data as a material for learning, and collaborative authoring of open online courses to widen participation in higher education.
Tim was previously a Horizon Research Fellow and Lecturer in the School of Computer Science at the University of Nottingham, where he was involved in a range of research projects including ArtMaps, Creativity Greenhouse, and Stories of User Appropriation.
Before that, he completed PhD research in Computer Science at the University of Bath. This studied how computers can be designed to support creative interaction.
Go the Distance
Go The Distance gives you a 10-week taste of what distance learning is really like – with real students, real tutors, key study and digital literacy skills and lots of help with your English.
BBC | 1st November 2017
Overcoming barriers to accessible and inclusive digital learning
A practical article describing strategies that educators can use to make online learning more accessible and inclusive.
Times Higher Education | 23rd June 2021
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy