Photo of Gill Clough

Dr Gill Clough

Honorary Associate

My main research interests include knowledge exchange, knowledge transfer, informal learning and learning through mobile technology, with a focus on the use of GPS supported location awareness . I've worked on a range of fascinating research projects at the OU, including two 3-year EU funded projects; xDelia (a games-based approach to enhancing emotion-regulation during financial decision-making) and JuxtaLearn (using video-creation activities to help school-children overcome the barriers to understanding Tricky Topics).

My current research focuses on knowledge exchange through Evidence Cafes. Evidence cafes bridge the gap between research and practice, enabling practitioners to explore how research might inform their practice, and giving academics access to practice-based insights on the research from frontline practitioners. Initially developed in collaboration with Police Forces across the UK and Nations, connecting up police evidence-based practice with academic research in relevant topics, Evidence Cafes have developed as a form of knowledge exchange that has application beyond public services. We have run Evidence Cafes within the OU to explore issues around Digital Scholarship, and we have also run Evidence Cafes in Africa on the subject of migration to connect up knowledge around investment, skills, entrepreneurship, returnees and integration.

Alongside this work, I am involved in further refining the Tricky Topic process developed out of the JuxtaLearn project for use in helping teachers identify and unpick Tricky Topics faced by their students, extending this beyond schools feeding into OU courses.

I am particularly interested in engaged research and in ensuring that our research and research findings are connected with and relevant to practice, producing measurable impact.

Dr Gill Clough is a Research Fellow with the Open University’s Institute of Educational Technology. She has worked for the Open University since 2008 on a range on mobile and educational technology projects. Most recently, these have included two large three-year EU funded projects. The first, xDelia, used heart-rate variablility to measure the impact of poor emotional regulation on financial decision making in traders and investors, developing effective game-based strategies to train people to better manage their emotional reactions. The second, JuxtaLearn, looked at using video-creation to help students overcome the barriers presented by critically difficult-to learn subjects. This project has led to follow-on projects that focus in on the Tricky Topic process whereby teachers and trainers can identify and address student barriers to learning.

Gill's current research focuses on knowledge exchange, developing methods of equitable knowledge exchange through Evidence Cafés. Evidence Cafés connect academic research with practice by bringing academics and practitioners together to take part in two-way knowledge exchange. These were developed in the first instance with police forces across the UK, through the Centre for Policing Research and Learning and have lead to follow-on activities such as practitioner cafes, think tanks, culture cafes, organised by practitioners.These follow-on events integrate and adapt Evidence Café methods to suit, promoting organisational learning, evidence-based practice and acting as drivers for organisational change. 

More recently, Evidence Cafes have been extended beyond the UK public sector, identifying and exploring understanding of Digital Scholarship within the Open University, looking into issues surrounding the preservation of flood plain meadows in wildlife trusts. We have also run Evidence Cafes in Nairobi to unravel the complex issues around migration within Africa, connecting up experts with knowledge in investment, skills, entrepreneurship, returnees and integration.






  • Fenton-O'Creevy, Mark; Adam, Marc; Clough, Gill; Conole, Grainne; Gaved, Mark; Lins, Jeffrey Todd; Lindley, Craig; Peffer, Gilbert; Scanlon, Eileen and Smidts, Ale. (). A game based approach to improve traders' decision-making. In: The International Gamification for Business Conference 2015: Strategic Industrial Applications of Games and Gamification, 21-22 Sep 2015, Innovation Birmingham, Faraday Wharf, Innovation Birmingham Campus, Holt Street, Birmingham Science Park Aston, Birmingham, B7 4BB.











MIAG (Migration for Inclusive African Growth) 2017 - 2018
PKF (Police Knowledge Fund) 2015 - 2017