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Dr Jenna Mittelmeier

Profile summary

  • Research Staff
  • Post Doctoral Research Associate
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • jenna.mittelmeier

Professional biography

I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate in both the Institute of Educational Technology and the Department of Geography. My research in the Insitute of Educational Technology forms part of the OpenTEL research team and focuses on curriculum internationalisation and international student transition experiences. Furthermore, I am the lead researcher for a UKCISA-funded project unpacking international postgraduate social support networks. In the Department of Geography, I contribute to the ESRC-funded International Distance Education and African Students (IDEAS) project. The project considers the role of South African distance education in providing equitable access to higher education for students across Africa. Finally, I am the Book Reviews Editor for Open Learning: the Journal for Online, Distance and e-Learning.

I also recently completed my PhD at the Open University in the Institute of Educational Technology. My research project explored social tensions in intercultural group work and the role of internationalised academic content in driving successful group collaborations in diverse blended classrooms. 


Educational background

PhD, Education and Educational Technology (2017)
Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University
Thesis title: Supporting intercultural collaborations in blended and online settings: A randomised control trial of internationalised academic content
Supervisors: Bart Rienties and Denise Whitelock.
Examiners: Qing Gu (University of Nottingham) and Sarah Crafter (OU)

Master of Arts in Global & International Studies (2014)
Center for Global and International Studies, University of Kansas
Thesis title: Chinese international student campus involvement and friendship network patterns in the United States
Supervisors: John J. Kennedy, Ebenezer Obdare and Charles Bankart

Bachelor of Science in Education (2011)
School of Education, University of Kansas

Appointments and experiences

Postdoctoral Research Associate (February 2017 - present)
International Distance Education and African Student (IDEAS) project
Open University

Orientation Coordinator (2011-2014)
International Student Services
University of Kansas

Conversation Leader (2010-2012)
Applied English Center
University of Kansas

Program Coordinator (2008 - 2011)
America Reads
University of Kansas


Project contributions

Social Transition Research into International Doctoral Experiences (STRIDE) (2017 - present)
Externally funded by UK Council for International Student Affairs

International Distance Education and African Students (IDEAS) (2017 - present)
Externally funded by Economic and Social Research Council 

Student Experiences of Feedback, Assessment and Revision (SEFAR) (2015 - 2016)
Open University project internally funded by PVC

Learning Analytics for European Educational Policy (LAEP) (2015 - 2016)
Externally funded by the European Union



UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) - Social Transition Research into International Doctoral Experiences (STRIDE). Principal Investigator. £5000


Conference presentations

  • EARLI (2017), Tampere, Finland, August 29 - September 2
    ‘Encouraging participation in cross-cultural group work: An RCT of local versus internationalised content’

  • PITL (2017), Dundee, Scotland, June 14 – 16
    ‘Inclusivity, integration and international distance education: Evidence of best practice from a South African context’

  • SRHE (2016), Newport, Wales, December 7 – 9
    ‘Cross-cultural collaborations in higher education: Anticipated versus realised teacher roles in dissolving group work tensions’

  • EARLI Special Interest Group 21 (2016), Tartu, Estonia, August 28-29
    ‘Student reflections on cross-cultural group work: Benefits, challenges and suggested teacher interventions’ 

  • Web Science (2016), Hannover, Germany, May 22 – 25
    ‘The influence of social networks on contributions to cross-cultural online collaboration’

  • LAK doctoral consortium (2016), Edinburgh, Scotland, April 26
    ‘Understanding evidence-based interventions for cross-cultural group work: a learning analytics perspective’

  • ECTEL doctoral consortium (2015), Toledo, Spain, September 14
    ‘Using learning analytics to implement evidence-based interventions to support ethnic minority and international student social integrations’

  • CALRG (2015), Milton Keynes, UK, June 15 – 17
    ‘The role of culture in student contributions to an online group learning activity’

  • HERAG Think Tank (2015), London, UK, June 1
     'The role of culture and personality in student group work contributions’

  • EDINEB (2015), Brighton, UK, June 3 – 5
    ‘The role culture and personality play in an authentic online group learning experience’

Research interests

My research tends to be mixed method and multidisciplinary.

Research interests: internationalisation and globalisation of higher education, international student transitions, intercultural group work, social experiences in higher education, sociocultural influences on learning, curriculum internationalisation, social media and computer-supported collaborative learning

Research methods background: learning analytics, social network analysis, survey instruments, qualitative interviews, randomised control trials

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