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Dr Eileen Kennedy
UCL Knowledge Lab, UCL Institute of Education, University College London
23-29 Emerald Street
Dr Eileen Kennedy profile picture
  • Principal Research Fellow
  • IOE - Culture, Communication & Media
  • UCL Institute of Education

I research the transformative potential of scaling up and opening up online learning with two UCL research centres: the RELIEF Centre and the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE). The RELIEF Centre uses innovative social science approaches to examining how best to improve quality of life for all in context of large scale movement of peoples, focused on the Lebanon. I am involved in the research strand focusing on education and capacity-building of refugees. CGHE is focused on the systematic investigation into higher education and its future. My project is focused on evaluating the potential of MOOCs for the digital transformation of higher education.

I have been a researcher at UCL Knowledge Lab since 2013, and have been involved in various projects involving the scaling up of online learning. I was the project manager for Blended Learning Essentials, a MOOC project which aims to transform the UK Vocational Education and Training Sector by sharing knowledge of blended learning. I have also worked with colleagues in Digital Education and the Arena Centre to develop digital support for the Connected Curriculum initiative, and research the impact of the Connected Curriculum on practice at UCL. 

Before joining UCL-IOE, I was a Senior Lecturer at University of Roehampton, where my research and teaching focused on sociology of media, gender and embodiment, in the context of sport and leisure cultures. My interests in technology enhanced learning, developed as a response to my own teaching in Higher Education, have gradually taken over, but I continue to draw on my sociology background and my interest in media and embodiment, to make sense of the online learning experience.

Research Groups
Research Summary

My research centres on scaling up practice in online and blended learning, which involves designing and evaluating MOOCs, and finding ways of using scaled up online learning to widen access to higher education where it is needed, for example in the context of large scale displacement of people. To facilitate the scaling up of quality online learning, I develop digital solutions to teaching problems such as learning design tools (with Diana Laurillard) through Design Based Research. I research the experience of learning and teaching online, and am currently involved in an investigation into how we learn on a MOOC. 

Teaching Summary

I contribute to the MA in Education and Technology and I also design and teach on MOOCs, short courses and workshops in blended and online learning, including:

Get Interactive: Practical Teaching with Technology (Coursera)

Community Based Research: Getting Started (FutureLearn/Edraak)

Transforming Education in Challenging Environments (FutureLearn)

Educators for Change (Edraak)

Teaching Online: Be Ready Now! (Edraak)

Blended and Online Learning Design (FutureLearn)

Sustainable Energy Access for Communities (FutureLearn/Edraak)

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