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Past event

Critical and Theoretical Approaches to EdTech Research

shutterstock_384531637-2This event is now fully booked. Please email to be placed on the waiting list.

This planned mid-year Joint BERA Educational Technology SIG/BJET Wiley networking event aims to provide a reflective space to continue and deepen critical and theoretical discussions on the field of educational technology research.

Initial debates on this have previously been organised at BERA SIG meetings and seminars held during BERA 2012-16 conferences as well as in Wiley BJET-BERA SIG joint events (see, e.g., BERA 2012: Redefining the Field of Educational Technology; BERA 2016: ‘Critically Rethinking the Field of EdTech’ SIG Innovation Session).

Critical literature relating to the evolution of the field previously published by research experts will be considered (see, e.g., selected examples: Bulfin, Friesen, 2008, 2009; Haßler, Major & Hennessy, 2016; Hlynka & Belland, 1991; Jameson, 2013; Johnson & Bigum, 2015; Latchem, 2014; Nichols, 2003; OECD, 2015: Oliver, 2011; Scanlon, 2014; Scanlon & Issroff, 2005; Selwyn, 2010, 2011, 2015, & numerous others).

 Invited keynote speakers will provide informed perspectives on the field, considering, e.g. the extent to which theoretical perspectives have or have not influenced research outputs. Hosted by the Open University and convened in a collaborative way by the OU, BJET and SIG teams, the seminar will provide an informed, open and spontaneous opportunity for debate, enabling extensive participation from the audience, and allowing newer researchers to join in. Publications following the event will be encouraged by the BJET Editorial Team and BERA EdTech SIG Convenors. The seminar will therefore extend the discussions held in prior events which have debated various challenges, influencing the field of educational technology research.


09.30 Registration, tea and coffee
10.00 Introduction: Exploring Critical and Theoretical Approaches to Ed Tech Research
Dr Christothea Herodotou: Welcome to The Open University
Professor Jill Jameson, BERA Ed Tech SIG Convenor, University of Greenwich
10.15 Educational technology: why should we care?
Professor Martin Oliver, UCL Institute of Education, Keynote Speaker
10.40 Discussion in pairs: 2-3
Questions from Martin to discuss; brief feedback
10.50 Tea/coffee break
11.10 Criticality in reporting Ed Tech research: The BJET Editorial perspective
Dr Sara Hennessy, BJET Editorial team, University of Cambridge
(on behalf of the BJET Editors: Carina Girvan, Sara Hennessy, Manolis Mavrikis, Sara Price, Niall Winters, and collaborators Bjoern Hassler and Louis Major)
11.25 Discussion in small groups: 2-3
Questions from Sara and the BJET team to discuss
11.50 Groups feedback into Plenary Discussion
12.15 Lunch break
13.00 TEL: Interdisciplinarity and Inquiry
Professor Eileen Scanlon, Regius Professor of Open Education, The Open University
13.25 Discussion in small groups: 2-3
Questions from Eileen to discuss
14.00 Plenary feedback from groups
14.15 Tea/coffee break
14.45 Workshop choices:

  1. Prof Martin Oliver: Educational technology: Why should we care?
  2. BJET Editors: Exploring best practices for critical write up in EdTech research publications
  3. Prof Eileen Scanlon and Dr Christothea Herodotou: Critical aspects of technology-enhanced learning (TEL) interdisciplinary research: How to overcome challenges
15.45 Next steps
16.00 Close of meeting


BERA offer a limited amount of bursaries for BERA Student Members only.

  • Bursaries are available for BERA Student Members to the value of £50 towards travel, and complimentary registration for the event.

To apply for one of these bursaries, please email with a 200 word statement on why you want to attend this event. Bursaries are offered on a first come, first served basis. Once approved you will be sent details of how to register online. Travel expenses will be reimbursed after the event in accordance with our travel policies. You must not have previously received bursary funding from BERA.