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

Assessment and feedback in online learning environments

This research line focuses on:

  • Characteristics and nature of feedback and its impact on students’ learning.
  • Peer feedback and students learning.
  • Feedback and collaborative learning.
  • Feedback and learner engagement in online environments.
  • Design of formative assessment and the role of feedback.
  • Feedback and feedforward and its implementation.
  • Academic writing as a learning tool in online learning
  • environments and scaffolding supports such as feedback.
  • Feedback and self-regulation of learning; feedback and socially shared regulation.
  • Feedback and assessment in MOOCs (massive open online courses).
  • Assessment and feedback on quality processes at institutional level.

Dra. Rosa Mayordomo

Dra. Teresa Guasch                

Dra. Anna Espasa    

Ed –Online Research Group

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

Dra. Laia Canals

Dra. Gisela Grañena

Dra. Aleksandra Malicka

Dra. 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.

Dra. Gisela Grañena

TechSLA Lab Group

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. 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

Dra. Marta Arguedas



Online Procrastination

Procrastination as a hazardous delay of fulfillment of tasks can cause severe consequences for lifelong learning. The study of the patterns and causes of virtual procrastination when learning online could shed light on how to keep studying along life span. Procrastination habit is not a simple question of laziness or poor management skills but involve more complex educational and psychological aspects. Common learning behaviors like work better under pressure or avoid deadlines hide large differences among people around self-regulatory mechanisms. Retrospective methodology and Experience Sample Methodology (SEM) can provide with rich data about online learners routines and patronise specific solutions to overcome postponement.

Dra. Elena Barberà