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Past event

Methodological and Theoretical approaches to Ed Tech Research and Usage

Online registration has now closed. If you want to attend this event, please email for details of how to register onsite.


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

Initial debates on the consideration of differing methods, critical and alternative theoretical approaches have previously been organised at BERA SIG meetings and seminars held during BERA 2012-17 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 and the 2016 BERA-BJET-OU Seminar on Critical and Theoretical Approaches to Ed Tech Research).

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.

Amongst the considerations discussed will be developing methods for analysing Ed Tech-mediated dialogue from the Cambridge Educational Dialogue Research Group (CEDiR). These include coding using categories adapted for Ed Tech use, corpus linguistics, and qualitative analyses, underpinned by theory, including those concerning mediating artefacts. Representatives from the BJET Editorial team will consider interpretation and accountability from data/ analysis/ automation, etc. points of view applied in education. Representatives from the Open University will contribute insights about learning analytics as a methodology for understanding Educational Technology.

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.

video recording of the event*

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* We are sorry that due to technical issues the first few minutes of this video are mute.


09.30 Registration and refreshments
10.00 Welcome and introductions
Christothea Herodotou, Open University
and Jill Jameson, University of Greenwich
10.15 The role of technology in education understood as a journey into time 
Rupert Wegerif, University of Cambridge
10.45 The power of learning analytics to impact learning and teaching: a critical perspective
Bart Rienties, Open University
11.15 Discussion
12.00 Lunch
12.45 The impact of methodological choice
Carina Girvan, Cardiff University
13.00 Methodological and Theoretical Approaches to Educational Technology Research: What about the marginalised poor?
Niall Winters, University of Oxford
13.30 Discussion
14.15 Refreshments break
14.45 Parallel workshops
  How do we analyse learners’ multimodal interactions around and with digital technology?
Group leaders:
Sara Hennessy and Louis Major
Methodology: general discussion on methodological issues arising during the seminar and recommendations for Ed Tech research and practice
Group leaders:
Niall Winters and Christothea Herodotou
Theoretical issues: general discussion on theoretical issues arising during the seminar and recommendations for Ed Tech research and practice
Group leaders:
Jill Jameson and Patricia Davies
15.45 Next steps
Jill Jameson, University of Greenwich and
Patricia Davies, University of Wolverhampton
15.55 Completion of evaluation forms
16.00 Close of event

This event is sponsored by:


The BERA Early Career Researcher Network offers a limited amount of bursaries to the value of £75 towards travel for BERA Student Members only.

To apply for one of these bursaries, please email with a 250 word statement on why you want to attend this event and why you need the financial assistance. Bursaries are offered on a first come, first served basis. Travel expenses will be reimbursed after the event in accordance with our travel policies. You must not have previously received bursary funding from BERA.

*Please note that your registration details might be shared with the BJET Editorial team.