Rebecca Ferguson

Biography

Rebecca Ferguson 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. She supervises doctoral students in both these areas.

Rebecca is an executive member of the Society for Learning Analytics Research and a leading member of the international learning analytics community. Her work has been influential in shaping the field, supporting implementation across Europe, and promoting a focus on social learning analytics. She has been invited to lead events in this area on five continents, including several associated with her work as principal investigator on the European Learning Analytics Community Exchange (LACE) and on LAEP, a project that helped European policymakers to set out an agenda for high-quality and stimulating ways of learning and teaching through the use of learning analytics.

Rebecca has been a pedagogic adviser to the FutureLearn MOOC platform since its foundation, supporting its development of conversational learning.  Her extensive experience of MOOC development and evaluation provides a firm basis for her research on learning at scale. She is one of the coordinators of the FutureLearn Academic Network, linking academics from over 110 partner institutions around the world and helping to develop a focused research agenda. In particular, she focuses on developing the next generation of researchers in this field, and organises an annual conference event that brings together postgraduate students from universities around the world.

Rebecca is lead author on Innovating Pedagogy 2017. This highly cited series of high-profile annual reports explores new forms of teaching, learning and assessment in order to guide educators and policy makers around the world.

Rebecca worked for several years as a researcher and educator on the Schome project, focused on educational futures. She was the research lead on the SocialLearn online learning platform, and learning analytics lead on the Open Science Lab (Outstanding ICT Initiative of the Year: THE Awards 2014).

Rebecca’s most recent book, Augmented Education, was published by Palgrave in spring 2014. For more details, see her blog at https://r3beccaf.wordpress.com/

EDUCAUSE Publications

  • Learning Analytics: Avoiding Failure
    • Article

    In order not to fail, it is necessary to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve with learning analytics, a vision that closely aligns with institutional priorities.