Rebecca Ferguson

Rebecca Ferguson
The Open University (UK) · Institute of Educational Technology

BA (hons), MA, MSc (RMET), PhD, SFHEA

About

97
Publications
46,887
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Introduction
Download full texts from http://oro.open.ac.uk/view/person/rf2656.html Rebecca is a senior lecturer in the Institute of Educational Technology (IET) at The Open University in the UK and a senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Her primary research interests are educational futures, and how people learn together online and she supervises doctoral students in both these areas. Find out more about her work at https://r3beccaf.wordpress.com/
Additional affiliations
September 2015 - November 2015
The Open University (UK)
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (97)
Technical Report
Full-text available
This is the tenth report in a series of reports exploring new forms of teaching, learning and assessment. It proposes ten promising innovations for a post-pandemic world of education: hybrid models, dual learning scenarios, pedagogies of microcredentials, pedagogy of autonomy, watch parties, influencer-led education, pedagogies of the home, pedagog...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This series of reports explores new forms of teaching, learning and assessment for an interactive world to guide teachers and policy makers in productive innovation. This ninth report proposes ten innovations that are already in currency but have not yet had a widespread influence on education. To produce the report, a group of academics at the Ins...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Exploring new forms of teaching, learning and assessment, to guide educators and policy makers
Article
Learning analytics involve the measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, in order to understand and optimise learning and the environments in which it occurs. Since emerging as a distinct field in 2011, learning analytics has grown rapidly, and early adopters around the world are already developing...
Chapter
Full-text available
New forms of data, data visualisation and human interaction with data are changing radically and rapidly. As a result, what it means to be data literate is also changing. In the big data era, people should not simply be passive recipients of data-based reports. They need to become active data explorers who can plan for, acquire, manage, analyse, an...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This series of reports explores new forms of teaching, learning, and assessment for an interactive world, to guide teachers and policy makers in productive innovation. This seventh report proposes ten innovations that are already in currency but have not yet had a profound influence on education. To produce the report, a group of academics at the I...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This series of reports explores new forms of teaching, learning and assessment for an interactive world, to guide teachers and policy makers in productive innovation. This sixth report proposes ten innovations that are already in currency but have not yet had a profound influence on education. To produce it, a group of academics at the Institute of...
Conference Paper
This poster will be a chance for a wider LAK audience to engage with the 2nd LAK Failathon workshop. Both of these will build on the successful Failathon event in 2016 and extend beyond discussing individual experiences of failure to exploring how the field can improve, particularly regarding the creation and use of evidence. Failure in research is...
Conference Paper
Where is the evidence for learning analytics? In particular, where is the evidence that it improves learning in practice? Can we rely on it? Currently, there are vigorous debates about the quality of research evidence in medicine and psychology, with particular issues around statistical good practice, the 'file drawer effect', and ways in which inc...
Conference Paper
The 2nd LAK Failathon will build on the successful event in 2016 and extend the workshop beyond discussing individual experiences of failure to exploring how the field can improve, particularly regarding the creation and use of evidence. Failure in research is an increasingly hot topic, with high-profile crises of confidence in the published resear...
Article
Many researchers who study the impact of computer-based assessment (CBA) focus on the affordances or complexities of CBA approaches in comparison to traditional assessment methods. This study examines how CBA approaches were configured within and between modules, and the impact of assessment design on students' engagement, satisfaction, and pass ra...
Article
Full-text available
Personalisation of learning is a recurring trend in our society, referred to in government speeches, popular media, conference and research papers and technological innovations. This latter aspect—of using personalisation in technology-enhanced learning (TEL)—has promised much but has not always lived up to the claims made. Personalisation is often...
Article
Full-text available
During the last eight years, interest in massive open online courses (MOOCs) has grown fast and continuously worldwide. Universities that had never engaged with open or online learning have begun to run courses in these new environments. Millions of learners have joined these courses, many of them new to learning at this level. Amid all this learni...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This series of reports explores new forms of teaching, learning and assessment for an interactive world, to guide teachers and policy makers in productive innovation. This fifth report proposes ten innovations that are already in currency but have not yet had a profound influence on education. To produce it, a group of academics at the Institute of...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Learning analytics is an emergent field of research that is growing fast. It takes advantage of the last decade of e-learning implementations n education and training as well as of research and development work in areas such as educational data mining, web analytics and statistics. In recent years, increasing numbers of digital tools for the educat...
Conference Paper
Professional learning is a critical component of the ongoing improvement, innovation and adoption of new practices that support learning at scale. In this context, educators must learn how to apply digital technologies and work effectively in digital networks. This study examines how higher education professionals adapted their practice to enable m...
Conference Paper
The large datasets produced by learning at scale, and the need for ways of dealing with high learner/educator ratios, mean that MOOCs and related environments are frequently used for the deployment and development of learning analytics. Despite the current proliferation of analytics, there is as yet relatively little hard evidence of their effectiv...
Conference Paper
As in many fields, most papers in the learning analytics literature report success or, at least, read as if they are reporting success. This is almost certainly not because learning analytics research and activity are always successful. Generally, we report our successes widely, but keep our failures to ourselves. As Bismarck is alleged to have sai...
Conference Paper
This poster sets out the background and development of the LACE Evidence Hub, a site that gathers evidence about learning analytics in an accessible form. The poster also describes the functionality of the site, summarises its quantitative and thematic content to date, and assesses the state of evidence. In addition, it encourages people to add to...
Book
Full-text available
Practitioners spearhead a significant portion of learning analytics, relying on implementation and experimentation rather than on traditional academic research. The primary goal of the LAK practitioner track is to share thoughts and findings that stem from learning analytics project implementations. The proceedings of the practitioner track from LA...
Article
The European Learning Analytics Community Exchange (LACE) project is responsible for an ongoing series of workshops on ethics and privacy in learning analytics (EP4LA), which have been responsible for driving and transforming activity in these areas. Some of this activity has been brought together with other work in the papers that make up this spe...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The fourth in a series of reports explores new forms of teaching, learning and assessment for an interactive world, to guide teachers and policy makers in productive innovation.
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, the authors examine the state of the art in augmented reality (AR) for mobile learning. Previous work in the feld of mobile learning has included AR as a component of a wider toolkit but little has been done to discuss the phenomenon in detail or to examine in a balanced fashion its potential for learning, identifying both positive a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are part of the lifelong learning experience of people worldwide. Many of these learners participate fully. However, the high levels of dropout on most of these courses are a cause for concern. Previous studies have suggested that there are patterns of engagement within MOOCs that vary according to the pedagogy e...
Conference Paper
Issues related to Ethics and Privacy have become a major stumbling block in application of Learning Analytics technologies on a large scale. Recently, the learning analytics community at large has more actively addressed the EP4LA issues, and we are now starting to see learning analytics solutions that are designed not only as an afterthought, but...
Conference Paper
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are now being used across the world to provide millions of learners with access to education. Many learners complete these courses successfully, or to their own satisfaction, but the high numbers who do not finish remain a subject of concern for platform providers and educators. In 2013, a team from Stanford Univ...
Conference Paper
Since the emergence of learning analytics in North America, researchers and practitioners have worked to develop an international community. The organization of events such as SoLAR Flares and LASI Locals, as well as the move of LAK in 2013 from North America to Europe, has supported this aim. There are now thriving learning analytics groups in Nor...
Conference Paper
When assessing student essays, educators look for the students’ ability to present and pursue well-reasoned and strong arguments. Such scholarly argumentation is often articulated by rhetorical metadiscourse. Educators will be necessarily examining metadiscourse in students’ writing as signals of the intellectual moves that make their reasoning vis...
Article
Full-text available
This special issue deals with three areas. Learning design is the practice of devising effective learning experiences aimed at achieving defined educational objectives in a given context. Teacher inquiry is an approach to professional development and capacity building in education in which teachers study their own and their peers' practice. Learnin...
Article
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are being used across the world to provide millions of learners with access to education. Many who begin these courses complete them successfully, or to their own satisfaction, but the high numbers who do not finish remain a subject of concern. In 2013, a team from Stanford University analysed engagement patterns...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Education can be dramatically enhanced by social networks, a report from The Open University claims. The so-called ‘network effect’ comes from many thousands of people learning from each other, but it needs careful management to reach its full potential. The movement of education from the classroom and onto social networks is one of the key trends...
Conference Paper
Educators in massive open online courses (MOOCs) face the challenge of interacting with tens of thousands of students, many of whom are new to online learning. This study investigates the different ways in which lead educators position themselves within MOOCs, and the various roles that they adopt in their messages to learners. Email messages from...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper looks at the implications for pedagogy of education at a massive scale. It begins by looking at educational approaches designed or adapted to be effective for large numbers of learners: direct instruction, networked learning, connectivism, supported open learning, and conversational learning at scale. It goes on to identify benefits and...
Article
A core goal for most learning analytic projects is to move from small scale research towards broader institutional implementation, but this introduces a new set of challenges because institutions are stable systems, resistant to change. To avoid failure and maximize success, implementation of learning analytics at scale requires explicit and carefu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The first international workshop on discourse-centric learning analytics (DCLA) took place at LAK13 in Leuven, Belgium. That workshop succeeded in its aim of catalysing ideas and building community connections between those working in this field of social learning analytics. It also proposed a mission statement for DCLA: to devise and validate anal...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes a novel analytics dashboard which visualises the key features of scholarly documents. The Dashboard aggregates the salient sentences of scholarly papers, their rhetorical types and the key concepts mentioned within these sentences. These features are extracted from papers through a Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology,...
Conference Paper
Once learning analytics have been successfully developed and tested, the next step is to implement them at a larger scale -- across a faculty, an institution or an educational system. This introduces a new set of challenges, because education is a stable system, resistant to change. Implementing learning analytics at scale involves working with the...
Article
Full-text available
http://openeducationeuropa.eu/en/article/Towards-Teacher-led-Design-Inquiry-of-Learning?paper=134810 This paper proposes "teacher-led design inquiry of learning" as a new model of educational practice and professional development. This model combines four existing models. It integrates teacher inquiry into student learning, learning design, and Le...
Chapter
This chapter deals with the development of informal learning communities in real and virtual settings and explores the impact of location-aware mobile technologies, augmented by Web 2.0 social spaces, on informal learning through community membership, using the Geocaching community as an example.
Chapter
In chapter 1, we considered why it is important to examine augmented learning and the use of augmented reality in education at this point in our technological and cultural history. This is partly because our view of “augmented reality” and its effects changes over time, as illustrated in our previous examples of written orthographies, road signs, a...
Chapter
The focus in this chapter is on the virtual; on experiences mediated by a computer screen or similar interface. Although these virtual interactions can take place on laptops and tablets or via phones and gaming devices, this chapter is not focused on mobile learning. Augmentation with the virtual can take place in a classroom or at a study desk—it...
Chapter
As augmenting technologies develop, they can become an increasingly integral part of our embodied, distributed, and disembodied identities. This has a potentially profound impact on the social posi-tioning and agency of currently disabled learners and those with learning difficulties. This chapter presents a critical analysis of augmented environme...
Chapter
This book began with the premise that our experiences of the world are augmented in many ways that help create our reality, yet they become invisible over time. Currently, technology is creating a con-vergence between the virtual and the physical world. Development of the former is shaped by realities of the physical world, and the latter is becomi...
Chapter
The last two chapters have explored ways in which learning can be augmented through the use of virtual worlds. Although such environments are widely used, particularly for gaming, their use is dwarfed by social media, which are now almost ubiquitous in many countries. Accessible through phones, tablets, games consoles, and computers, the 1.3 billio...
Chapter
Is there water on Mars? Today’s learners do not need to check a book— they can receive the latest updates on their computer or a handheld device. “My lidar laser has spotted snow falling from above,” tweets the Mars Phoenix lander. This is not static information, but part of an open conversation. “Do they have foggy mornings on Mars?” is one follow...
Chapter
Previous chapters have focused on augmenting the formal education associated with schools, colleges, and universities. In these settings, an external authority such as an organization, institution, or teacher defines not only learners’ goals but also the ways in which they work to achieve those goals. However, much of our learning takes place infor...
Chapter
As we have seen, many of the positive features of augmented reality are not unique to technologically mediated learning. Nevertheless, augmented reality may offer several advantages to learners when used as part of an appropriate pedagogy and within particular topic areas. A systematic review of augmented reality noted the use of the terms “game-ba...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we examine the state of the art in augmented reality (AR) for mobile learning. Previous work in the field of mobile learning has included AR as a component of a wider toolkit but little has been done to discuss the phenomenon in detail or to examine in a balanced fashion its potential for learning, identifying both positive and negat...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This poster introduces the first version of an integrated model of three traditions of re- search in TEL: Teacher Inquiry into Student Learning (TISL) [1], Learning Design (LD) [2] and Learning Analytics (LA) [3]. The integrated model, is based on four existing models: TISL Heart Model [4], Design Inquiry Model [2], Scenario Design Process Model [5...
Book
Full-text available
The Open University has published the second in its influential series of Innovating Pedagogy reports that explore new forms of teaching, learning and assessment, to guide educators and policy makers. The 2013 report updates four previous areas of innovation and introduces six new ones: Crowd Learning, Learning from Gaming, Maker Culture, Geo-Learn...
Chapter
Learning takes place in a social context, shaping and shaped by discourses. In online projects such as the Schome Park Programme, these discourses are material-semiotic practices that make use of writing and other manifestations of digital literacies. Discourses include traceable patterns with linguistic features of distinctive forms and functions....
Conference Paper
This workshop anticipates that an important class of learning analytic will emerge at the intersection of research into learning dynamics, online discussion platforms, and computational linguistics. Written discourse is arguably the primary class of data that can give us insights into deeper learning and higher order qualities such as critical thin...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Social learning analytics are concerned with the process of knowledge construction as learners build knowledge together in their social and cultural environments. One of the most important tools employed during this process is language. In this paper we take exploratory dialogue, a joint form of co-reasoning, to be an external indicator that learni...
Conference Paper
Social Learning Analytics (SLA) are designed to support students learning through social networks, and reflective practitioners engage in informal learning through a community of practice. This short paper reports work in progress to develop SLA motivated specifically by Networked Learning Theory, drawing on the related concepts and tools of Social...
Article
Introduction The research method Case study 1: structured, task-specific conferencing, assignment marks allocated Case Study 2: online tutorials for all students, timed for the start of topic study Case Study 3: tutor group discussion, marks allocated in two assignments Discussion Acknowledgement References
Book
Full-text available
The TEL research programme, which ran from 2007 to 2013, has generated some substantial gains in our understanding of how to design and deploy technologies for learning. These findings, together with the growing field of technology-enhanced learning internationally, are witnessing the growth of TEL research into a vibrant academic field, extending...
Article
Full-text available
The dramatic increase in online learning materials over the last decade has made it difficult for individuals to locate information they need. Until now, researchers in the field of Learning Analytics have had to rely on the use of manual approaches to identify exploratory dialogue. This type of dialogue is desirable in online learning environments...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we examine the state of the art in augmented reality (AR) for mobile learning. Previous work in the field of mobile learning has included AR as a component of a wider toolkit for mobile learning but, to date, little has been done that discusses the phenomenon in detail or that examines its potential for learning, in a balanced fashio...
Article
Virtual worlds such as Second Life® offer learners and educators environments in which they can engage in activities that would be too difficult, dangerous or impossible in the physical world. Increasingly, these settings provide learners with a sense of presence – an impression that their mediated presence is not mediated. Presence includes realis...
Book
Full-text available
This new series of reports explores new forms of teaching, learning and assessment for an interactive world, to guide teachers and policy makers in productive innovation. The first report proposes ten innovations that are already in currency but have not yet had a profound influence on education. You can see a summary of each innovation at http://...
Article
The authors describe how content-based multimedia search technologies can be used to help learners find new materials and learning pathways by identifying semantic relationships between educational resources in a social learning network. This helps users – both learners and educators – to explore and find material to support their learning aims. Ex...
Article
We propose that the design and implementation of effective Social Learning Analytics (SLA) present significant challenges and opportunities for both research and enterprise, in three important respects. The first is that the learning landscape is extraordinarily turbulent at present, in no small part due to technological drivers. Online social lear...
Article
Full-text available
This paper proposes that Social Learning Analytics (SLA) can be usefully thought of as a subset of learning analytics approaches. SLA focuses on how learners build knowledge together in their cultural and social settings. In the context of online social learning, it takes into account both formal and informal educational environments, including net...
Article
Full-text available
The language of mentoring has become established within the workplace and has gained ground within education. As work based education moves online so we see an increased use of what is termed e-mentoring. In this paper we explore some of the challenges of forming and supporting mentoring relationships virtually, and we explore the solutions afforde...
Article
Over a 13-month period, the Schome Park Programme operated the first ‘closed’ (i.e. protected) Teen Second Life 1 1. Teen Second Life and Second Life are trademarks of Linden Research, Inc. Teen Second Life has ceased to operate since the time of the project reported on here. View all notes project in Europe. The project organised diverse education...
Article
Full-text available
We identify a number of meanings of "Open", as part of the motivating rationale for a social media space tuned for learning, called SocialLearn. We discuss why online social learning seems to be emerging so strongly at this point, explore features of social learning, and identify some of the dimensions that we believe characterize the social learni...
Article
Learning analytics is a significant area of technology-enhanced learning that has emerged during the last decade. This review of the field begins with an examination of the technological, educational and political factors that have driven the development of analytics in educational settings. It goes on to chart the emergence of learning analytics,...
Article
Virtual worlds open new possibilities for learners, prompting a reconsideration of how learning takes place, and setting education in a context of playfulness, delight and creativity. They provide environments in which it is not only possible but also necessary to generate and try out ideas. They therefore offer opportunities to explore new possibi...
Article
Full-text available
This two-day workshop (28-29 March 2011) brought together invited participants and those responding to a call for papers. Each of the four sessions addressed one of the workshop's methodological themes and began with a plenary presentation by an invited speaker. Speakers presented a method they had used to investigate a TEL activity, and used a cas...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
While generic web analytics tend to focus on easily harvested quantitative data, Learning Analytics will often seek qualitative understanding of the context and meaning of this information. This is critical in the case of dialogue, which may be employed to share knowledge and jointly construct understandings, but which also involves many superficia...
Article
Full-text available
Online social learning involves distributed learners interacting through the use of Web 2.0. In many cases, Web 2.0 interactions are limited to information exchange and do not provoke knowledge construction. Studies of concept mapping suggest that engaging with social learning via a question could encourage meaningful interaction, although this wou...
Article
Full-text available
We propose that the design and implementation of effective Social Learning Analytics presents significant challenges and opportunities for both research and enterprise, in three important respects. The first is the challenge of implementing analytics that have pedagogical and ethical integrity, in a context where power and control over data is now...