About the LiLab Collective

The Learning Innovations Lab (LILab) Collective is a group of edcuational scientists, psychologists, computer scientists who do active research and implementation in the area of Technology Enhanced Learning.

We think that there is a general potential for technology to enhance learning and educational processes and we are all active in international, European and National research projects mostly at the Welten Institute of the Open University of the Netherlands.

We blog in English and Dutch depending on topic and preference of collective member and hope you enjoy reading our contributions. We are actively looking our for contributions and comments to our blog posts.


Angel Suarez

Angel Suarez is a PhD student on Technology Enhanced Learning at Welten Institute (Research Center for Learning, Teaching and Technology) of the Open University of the Netherlands. Since he finished his Master project in 2013, he has been working on the design, development, implementation and testing of innovative tools and strategies to improve the support of Mobile Inquiry-based Learning in secondary education. His research has evolved into the use of Role Theory embedded with technology as a mean to structure and enhance IBL processes. Angel is a fellow of the Dutch research school information and knowledge systems (SIKS). Next to the OUNL research, he is the CTO in Smart Data Protection which deals with online data security.


Christian M. Stracke

Dr. Christian M. Stracke is Associate Professor for Open Education and Innovation at the Open University of the Netherlands. In addition he is Advisory Professor at the East China Normal University (ECNU) in Shanghai, and Adjunct Professor at the Korea National Open University (KNOU) in Seoul. His main working fields are Open Education, technology-enhanced learning, educational policies and philosophy, learning innovations and quality, impact assessment and competence modelling.
He has founded and established ICORE, the International Community for Open Education and Research and LINQ, the annual international conference on Learning Innovations and Quality.
He has got 20+ years of business and research experience in HR and E-Learning in leading research teams and large scale projects (> 100 projects, > 50 Mio. EUR) and in consulting institutions and public authorities to develop long-term policies. His latest news online at: www.opening-up.education.


Fleur Prinsen

Researches Socially Networked Spaces as Learning Environments


Hendrik Drachsler

Dr. Hendrik Drachsler is Associate Professor for Personalised Learning Technologies at the Welten Institute of the Open University of the Netherlands.
His research interests include Learning Analytics, Personalisation technologies, Recommender Systems, Educational data, mobile devices, and their applications in the fields of Technology-Enhanced Learning and Health 2.0.
He is chairing the EATEL SIG dataTEL and the national SIG Learning Analytics of the Dutch umbrella organisation SURF. He is elected member of the Society of Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR).
In the past he has been principal investigator and scientific coordinator of various national and EU projects (e.g., FP7 laceproject.eu, patient-project.eu, WP2 lead LinkedUp-project.eu). He has regularly chairing international scientific events and is Associate Editor of IEEE's Transactions on Learning Technologies, and the Journal of Learning Analytics.


Jan Schneider

Jan Schneider is a PhD student on Technology Enhanced Learning at Welten Institute (Research Center for Learning, Teaching and Technology) of the Open University of the Netherlands. He is doing his PhD on the topic of Sensor-based learning support, where he investigates how computers with the help of sensors can be used as multimodal personal instructors.


Julia Kasch

PhD student at the Welten Institute (Research Center for Learning, Teaching and Technology) of the Dutch Open University.
Her PhD project is part of the SOONER project which is about the structuration of open online education in the Netherlands. Within her research she focuses on scalability solutions within Open Online Education regarding several aspects such as support, assessment and feedback methods.
She is a member of the ICO research school (Interuniversity Center for Educational Sciences) and her background lies in Psychology and Learning Sciences. After completing her Bachelor (2013) and Master (2014) studies at Twente University, she worked at Bartiméus Foundation, as a researcher on a short term project (8 months). The Bartiméus Foundation provides education for blind and visually impaired children and young people. During her work at Bartiméus Foundation, Julia focused on supporting text comprehension, recall and information search in blind and visually students by adapting text designs.


Kevin Ackermans

I am a PhD candidate at the Open University of the Netherlands, researching Video Enhanced Rubrics.

I received my Honors in Philosophy in 2009 from Fontys.
Bachelor in Educational Theory, Philosophy of Child Rearing in 2011 from Fontys.
Master in Special Educational Needs in 2015 from Fontys.
I am a certified vice-principal from...drumroll.. wait for it..Fontys.

I also like cookies.
And sun-burn way to quickly.


Maartje Henderikx

I am a PhD candidate at the WELTEN institute (Research Center for Learning, Teaching and Technology) of the Open University of the Netherlands. I obtained my master’s degree in Management of Learning at Maastricht University in 2015, while also working there as a lecturer. During this study I developed a fascination for Online Learning environments. I explored the use of virtual worlds for various educational purposes and also researched the impact of using video lectures on academic emotions and achievement in a first year bachelor finance course. My PhD research focusses on motivation and intention as key to dropout in MOOCs.


Marcus Specht

I am Professor for Advanced Learning Technologies at the Open University of the Netherlands and I am currently heading the Welten Learning Technology Labs. My research is around personalisation, adaptive educational systems, context-aware and ubiquitous learning, sensor-based learning support and other.

I am member of ACM, IEEE the SIKS and ICO research schools in the Netherlands. I am Apple Distinguished Educator and the Past President of the International Association for Mobile Learning.


Maren Scheffel

I am a PhD candidate at the Welten Institute (Research Center for Learning, Teaching and Technology) of the Open University of the Netherlands. I studied computational linguistics at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Bonn and received my M.A. in 2008. From 2009 until 2014 I worked as a researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology (FIT) in the area of technology-enhanced learning. Since March 2014 I have been working at the Welten Institute where I am involved in the management as well as the research for the LACE project. My PhD work focuses on the creation of an evaluation framework of learning analytics (EFLA). I am a member of the SURF SIG Learning Analytics.


Marco Kalz

Professor for Open Education at the Faculty Management, Science and Technology and the Welten Institute of the Open University of the Netherlands. Currently involved in several national and international research projects on open education.


Olga Firssova

Dr. Olga Firssova is Assistant professor at WELTEN Institute, Centre for Learning, Teaching and Technology, Open University Netherlands. Firssova has been involved in course and curriculum design, quality assurance and evaluation projects at the OU for 10 years and has been teaching various courses at the Master of Educational Science program. Research interests and areas of expertise include course and curriculum design, academic writing and design for inquiry-based learning with technologies. Knowledge construction in Massive Online courses is her new research interest. Currently Olga is involved a European project EMMA (European Multiple MOOC Aggregator).


Ellen Rusman

I am an assistant professor and researcher at the Welten Institute of the Open University (OU) of the Netherlands. As an educational designer I have participated in (inter)national (European) projects since 1998 (e.g. Cooper, E-Len, CEFcult, LTfLL, Elena), but was also involved in many OU-internal innovation projects (e.g. LMS-ID specification, virtual classroom project). I am a fellow of the ICO and SIKS research schools and an expert in the EMPOWER network.

Research-wise I am interested in supporting collaborative learn and work experiences and in facilitating the acquisition and (formative) assessment of complex skills.


Roland Klemke

Prof. Dr. Roland Klemke is researcher at the Welten Institute of the Open University of the Netherlands. His research topics include serious gaming, game-based learning, mobile learning, augmented reality, open architectures, web-based collaboration, and collaborative content production. He is experienced in the fields of software development, e-learning, knowledge management, mobile solutions and web-based systems. Prof. Klemke holds a professorship for game design at Mediadesign Hochschule (Mediadesign university of applied science) in Düsseldorf, Germany, where he teaches subjects like game engine architectures, game development methodologies, game physics, and artificial intelligence for games. Additionally, he is CEO of Humance AG, a Cologne based software development company specialized in mobile and web-based solutions, coordinating research and development activities.


Alessandra Antonaci

PhD Candidate at the Welten Institute (Research Center for Learning, Teaching and Technology) at the Open University of the Netherlands. She studied Adult Education and Orientation and she received her MSc in Education, with full marks in 2007. Immediately after she started working in the HR Department, initially as a trainer, and subsequently also as recruiter in two of the most renowned shipping companies in Italy. During this period she gained experience in delivering and designing both e-learning and traditional courses. These experiences sparked her interest for the academic world and, since 2012, she has been employed as research fellow for the Institute for Educational Technologies (ITD) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR) in Genoa, Italy. Here Alessandra has worked in the areas of Cultural Heritage (tangible and intangible) and Serious Games. In all these fields her main interest was the design of technology-enhanced learning actions. Since October 2015 she started working at Welten Institute and she is directly involved in the following activities and roles:
- PhD project aiming to research alternative and effective approaches to design high quality MOOCs;
- MOOQ (Massive Online Open Εducation Quality- Erasmus+, Strategic Partnerships- KA: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices); PBL 3.0 (Integrating Learning Analytics and Semantics in Problem Based Learning- Erasmus+, KA: Support for policy reform) and EBE (Evidence Based Education European Strategic Model for School Inclusion- Erasmus+, Strategic Partnership, KA: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices) three European projects, where she is involved as researcher.


Daniele Di Mitri

I am 26-years-old Learning Technologist. Born in Bari (Italy), now living in the Netherlands where I moved to study a master Artificial Intelligence and Learning Analytics.
I am currently second year PhD candidate at TELI research centre of the Open Universiteit. My expertise is in Machine Learning techniques on learning (big) data. My extended bio at http://www.dimstudio.org/about/


Dirk Börner

Assistant professor at the Welten Institute at the Open University of the Netherlands. With a background in computer science he is conducting research on ubiquitous learning support. In particular he focuses on the utilisation of interaction technologies such as sensors, wearables, tangibles, and ambient displays to support learners in authentic situations.


Esther Tan

Assistant professor at the Welten Institute, Research Center for Learning, Teaching and Technology. She was an education officer with the Educational Technology Division, Ministry of Education, Singapore and was also part of the research team at the Learning Sciences Lab (LSL), National Institute of Education (NIE) for the Singapore Future School project on mobile learning activities to foster critical thinking and collaborative knowledge building. Her current research projects are MOOQ (Quality of MOOCs), Let’s Learn to Learn (LELLE) and Inspiring Science Education (ISE).


Francis Brouns