Responsive Teaching and Learning Processes and Outcomes in Online Education

This research area investigates the development of strategies and organizational infrastructures as a means to improve on-line education programs. Research issues such as successful leadership, the impact of online learning on institutional policies, cost-benefits analysis, the ROI of distance education programs and educational innovation will be the focus of analysis.

The primary research goal is to analyze the main challenges that leadership, planning and administration factors pose on distance education when trying to improve the management of online organizations, as well as to explore methods and obtain data to measure the economic efficiency of online education.

The main areas of research include (but are not limited to: 1) The role of leadership of distance learning administrators; 2) Critical design and administrative issues for online program success; 3) The adoption of innovation in online organizations; 4) Strategic planning to improve learner performance and to reduce cost; 5) The role of learning communities and informal networks in online educational administration.

Thesis Proposals


Research group

Characteristics and nature of feedback and its impact on students’ learning.
  • Peer feedback and students learning.
  • Feedback and collaborative learning. Feedback and socially shared regulation.
  • Feedback and learner engagement in online
  • Feedback and self-regulation of learning

Dr Rosa Mayordomo

Dr Teresa Guasch                

Dr Anna Espasa    


Research in techonology-enhanced second language teaching and learning

This research line focuses on second language teaching and learning in blended and virtual  environments. Technologies that support language learning are necessary, but they should go hand-in-hand with pedagogical and psycholinguistic considerations. This line of research investigates the effectiveness of different pedagogical interventions on second language learning. Research topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Corrective feedback
  • Technology-based Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT)
  • Telecollaboration and interaction
  • Learning design, including OER and MOOCs
  • Individual differences in second language learning
  • Teacher training focused on online and blended environaments

Dr Laia Canals

Dr Gisela Grañena

Dr Aleksandra Malicka

Dr Christine Appel

TechSLA Lab Group

Second language acquisition outcomes in computer-assisted language learning environaments

There are increasingly more technologies that support computer-assisted language learning. While these are necessary developments, there is a need for technological options that go hand-in-hand with pedagogical and psycholinguistic considerations. This line of research investigates the effectiveness of different pedagogical interventions on L2 learning in computer-assisted language environments. For example, task design, types of corrective feedback, and instructional methods. The ultimate goal is to identify those variables that have the greatest impacts on L2 learning in computer-assisted language learning environments.

Dr Gisela Grañena

TechSLA Lab Group

Second language learning and online communication
PhD Research proposals are welcome in any of the following topics:
  • Alignment phenomena in L2 dialogue has been posited to facilitate L2 acquisition, and be mediated by task or L1/L2.
  • eTandem language learning takes place when two learners who are L1 speakers of each other’s TL help each collaborate. Dyads, peer-feedback and new technologies/contexts are venues of exploration for this type of learning
  • Teaching speaking interaction online: teacher and peer-feedback, task design.
  • Emotions such as anxiety or enjoyment are strongly present in online communication and can enhance or hinder L2 learning.
  • Gamification
Dr Christine Appel  
Using learning analytics to redefine the role of tutors and learners for effective feedback and assessment
This research line uses data analysis to find and analyse indicators in order to measure the relation between the student's academic achievement and, for instance, the tutor's use of educational interactive (online) tools in programming courses. We also analyse the influence of the educational personal feedback in the learning process and the relevance, for instance, of the emotional factors in this process. This analysis also includes the study of appropiate personalised feedback tools to formative assessment, specifically in the context of learning by competence like rúbrics and portfolios, among others.  

Dra. Teresa Sancho

Dra. Ma.Jesús Marco

LAIKA Research Group

Integrating insights from educational neuroscience, socio-emotional learning and imaginative/Waldorf pedagogies into a novel transformative educational paradigm in a digitized society

This research will involve an experimental study with the aim of achieving students’ holistic development involving the balanced development of each dimension of human being, namely cognitive, social, emotional, spiritual, and physical. In this framework, the project will investigate the following large-scale research topics (which can be independent PhD topics):

  1. The relationship of educational neuroscience with socio-emotional learning, especially emotional intelligence.
  2. The relationship of neuroscience and imaginative pedagogies.
  3. The relationship of imaginative pedagogies with socio-emotional learning, especially emotional intelligence.
  4. The relationship of virtual or human teacher cognitive and affective feedback with neurotransmitters and students’ motivation and attention.
  5. The development of an intelligent and affective-aware CSCL environment that orchestrates students' interactions and engagement in an effective manner, taking into consideration different affective states.

Dr Atanasi Daradoumis

Dr Marta Arguedas


LAIKA Research Group

Knowledge Transfer Assessment and Visualization in Online Education

The formalization of Knowledge Transfer (KT) in Online Education allows a systematic approach in its analysis. The analytical functions of data visualization applied to teaching and learning processes demand a review of the techniques of data visualization, where a convergence between quantitative and symbolic ways of representation must achieve a conceptual approach.

Dr Victor Cavaller