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Short bio:

Dr. Yishay Mor is the head of the Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching at the Levinsky College of Education, Tel Aviv. Before this, he was an independent consultant in educational innovation and technology and the educational design scientist at PAU Education, Barcelona. His main areas of expertise are Learning Design, Educational Design Research, and teacher professional development - which are combined in his work on Design Inquiry of Learning and the Learning Design Studio. Dr. Mor has also explored the new possibilities opened up by social and mobile technologies for learning, and specifically the potential these have in developing contexts. In recent years, Dr. Mor has established himself as an expert on Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs). He led the Open Learning Design Studio MOOC, acted as advisor to several other MOOCs, and guest edited a special issue of eLearning papers on "MOOCs and beyond". At PAU Education, he designed and led the incubator programme of the Open Education Challenge, provided strategic consulting for the Open Education Europa portal, and led the MOOCs & Co initiative which provides guidance and support in educational innovation, from defining a strategy, through the design, development and evaluation of educational solutions.
Dr. Mor has published extensively, has participated in multiple EU and UK funded projects, and had founded the STELLAR network of excellence Learning Design Grid theme team. and has conducted scores of learning design workshops for educational practitioners. He is the co-editor of the book "The Art and Science of Learning Design", which brings together key motifs in current thinking on learning design, and the book "Practical Design Patterns for Teaching and Learning with Technology" which offers a ground-breaking approach to bridging the gap between theory and practice in education. He has edited special issues of several journals, including Research in Learning Technology and the British Journal of Educational Technology. He is editor in chief of eLearning Papers.
Dr. Mor's initial training was as a computer scientist. Having completed his MSc in multi-agent systems, he worked for several years as a senior software engineer, before shifting his path to educational research. His PhD thesis "A Design Approach to Research in Technology Enhanced Mathematics Education" won the second TELEARC award for PhD excellence. 

Long version:

My initial research training was in computer science, with a specialisation in multi-agent artificial intelligence. My MSc thesis explored the implications of computational complexity for game theoretical models (Mor & Rosenschein, 1995; Mor, Goldman & Rosenschein, 1996). It demonstrated how seemingly unstable cooperation strategies can be made viable when the effort needed to compute a non-cooperative strategy is taken into account. After completing an MSc (cum laude) in computer science I developed a successful career in the software industry. as an independent consultant and as a senior software engineer with AgentSoft and Cisco Systems.

Throughout my studies I was involved in mathematics and computer science education. This involvement eventually led me to realise that I wish to focus my efforts on the field of technology-enhanced learning (TEL), and make a contribution both to its theoretical foundations and its practical implementation. In 2002 I decided to return to academic research, leveraging my past experience for a transition into the field of education. To this end, I took a senior researcher position in the EU funded project WebLabs, directed by Professors Celia Hoyles and Richard Noss, and there commenced upon a PhD programme under the supervision of Professor Noss.

WebLabs was an EU funded project which explored new ways of constructing and expressing mathematical and scientific knowledge in communities of young learners (age 10-14). The project’s approach brought together two traditions: constructionist learning and collaborative knowledge-building. The project involved seven partners in six European countries, and focused on five knowledge domain in Maths and Science. Learners used programming to explore issues in these domains and formulate concepts which they shared and refined through discussions in class and via a web-based collaboration system. As a senior researcher at the lead partner, I took on coordination and management responsibilities. I also took the lead in two specific aspects of the project: design and development of the collaborative medium (Mor, Tholander & Holmberg, 2006), and the number sequences research domain (Mor & Noss, 2008; Mor et al., 2006). Following the conclusion of the WebLabs project, I initiated and/or participated in several medium and large scale UK and EU research projects and contributed to several smaller scale research initiatives at the London Knowledge Lab. My Phd thesis, which won the TELEARC Award for PhD excellence, explored the prospect of a design science of technology enhanced learning (TEL), on three levels: epistemological, methodological and pedagogical. Its primary concern was the identification of scientific tools for design research in TEL. The outputs of this enquiry are evaluated by a demonstrator study in the domain of learning about number sequence at secondary school level.

Since my transition to the field of TEL, my work has followed two themes: a particular epistemic trajectory (process of knowledge construction), and the notion of education as designed learning. The epistemic trajectory I explored stems from the learners’ personal experience, and proceeds through the organisation of that experience in narratives and the structuring of knowledge from these narratives through participation in a learning community. Design can be viewed as a deliberate effort to shape form in response to function. It is a course of action aimed at changing existing situations into desired ones. From this perspective, educational science can be seen as a study of designed learning: asking how learning is induced and directed to a specific agenda. My work combined these two themes above in several ways:

On one hand, I investigated the design of learning activities and supporting environments to facilitate a structured epistemic trajectory in specific knowledge domains. In the WebLabs project I led the research on activities and tools to support learning about number sequences in mathematics, and for the design and development of WebReports – a web-based collaborative learning platform. In the CoMo project I led the learner-centred design of a system combining mobile camera phones and social software to support tutoring of veterinary students during hospital placements. Recently, I have been exploring the challenges and opportunities for collaborative active learning in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

On the other hand, this epistemic trajectory served as a guiding principle for drafting a methodological framework for design-based research in TEL. My thesis considered the characterisation of a design science of education: exploring its rationale and rules of progression. It identified two common cycles of design-based research in education (DBR), and proposed a methodological framework which integrated forms for representing design knowledge to support these cycles. These forms included design narratives and design patterns. My framework presented procedures for relating, complementing and transitioning between these two forms.

The framework described in my PhD thesis is also reflected in the participatory patterns workshops (PPW) methodology, which I developed in the course of the Learning Patterns and Pattern Language Network projects (Mor & Winters, 2008; Mor, Winters, and Warburton, 2009). This methodology was supported by bespoke web-based collaboration systems which I designed. At the core of this methodology are Collaborative Reflection Workshops which bring together practitioners from a wide range of fields and engage them in intense discussions about issues regarding technology and education. Such conversations are rooted in participants’ personal experiences, driven by the problems they have overcome, and aimed at collaborative articulation of their design knowledge. This line of research also led me to a broader reflection on design approaches to educational research (Mor & Winters, 2007) and participatory design in particular (Winters & Mor, 2008).

In my thesis, the methodological framework was demonstrated by research into the learning of number sequences in mathematics (Mor & Noss, 2008). This work identified the recursive nature of naïve intuitions of number sequences. It then proposed a path from these intuitions to formal mathematical concepts through learning activities which combine construction, collaboration and communication. It highlights the role of narrative both as a form of expression and as an epistemic structure in learning mathematics. Narrative form appears to be at odds with the a-temporal and a-personal nature of mathematical formalism. My work suggests ways of reconciling this tension by careful design of conversational media and through the use of computer programming as a means for learners’ exploration and expression. For example, I designed a game in which students use a web-based collaborative environment to exchange small programs which generate number sequences and then discuss their equivalence. The PPW methodology was applied by the Learning Patterns project in the domain of games for learning mathematics (Mor, 2008; Childs, Mor et al, 2006). The Planet project used it to explore the potential of social technologies (“web 2.0”) in higher education. In the FEASST project I applied this methodology to the domain of formative e-assessment (Mor et al, 2011), and in ml4d to the domain of mobile learning for development. The PPW framework was a factor in the projects’ success at securing funding, and contributed directly to their outcomes. It has been used to facilitate scores of workshops, bringing together researchers, educational practitioners and software developers to explore issues in technology-enhanced education. It has been reported in peer reviewed journals and book chapters, and has been presented at several international conferences. The specific findings that emerged from studies using this methodology have also been reported by others at various conferences and peer reviewed journals (e.g. Pachler et al, 2009; Pratt et al., 2009). They also provide the foundations for a book I co-edited (Mor, Mellar, Warburton & Winters, ed. 2014). As a sign of recognition of its academic value, I was invited to deliver a keynote talk at the e-Learning Patterns Workshop in Tübingen, Germany, 2009.

After completing my PhD, I joined the University of Haifa as a teaching fellow, and later took a position as a senior lecturer (associate professor) at the Open University UK (OU UK). I summarised the core of the methodology I developed in the SNaP! framework for educational design research (Mor, 2013). At the same time, I realised that in order to influence the practice of education, there is a need to acknowledge and develop the role of educational practitioners as designers of learning and establish their capacity as design-researchers in the context of their daily work. I shifted my attention to the training of educators as designers of learning. This led to the development of the Design Inquiry of Learning conceptual framework, and the Learning Design Studio (LDS) pedagogical framework which is derived from it. These have been tested in four graduate courses at three different universities (Warburton & Mor, 2015; Mor & Mogilevsky, 2013a; 2013b) and in three MOOCs (Mor & Warburton, 2015; Garreta-Domingo et al, 2015; Bentley et al, 2014) - of which the OLDS MOOC I led was one of the first MOOCs run by the Open University UK. Inter alia, I developed an interest in MOOCs, and co-led two research projects (MOOCs for Web Skills and the MOOC Design Patterns project), and co-edited two journal special issues.

Shifting my focus from educational design research to educational design practice led me to the field of learning design. I established and led the Learning Design Grid (http://www.ld-grid.org/), a theme team of the Kaleidoscope network of excellence. In this context, I co-organised several workshops and conferences, and eventually co-edited a journal special issue (Mor, Craft & Hernández-Leo, 2013) and a book (Maina, Craft & Mor, 2015). Recently, I have been looking at the synergy between Learning Design, Teacher Inquiry and Learning Analytics, as a path to adding depth to Learning Analytics and rigor to Learning Design. I co-edited a special issue of BJET on this topic (Mor, Ferguson & Wasson, 2015). I also initiated and was co-PI of the Metis project, which developed tools and training resources to support teachers as learning designers.

In Sept. 2013 I left the OU UK, and set up my own consultancy. I have since contributed to several research projects, but most of my work had a more pragmatic focus. I provided strategic direction to the Open Education Europa portal, I advised several academic projects on educational design theory and practice, and specifically on designing and running MOOCs. I advised corporates and NGOs on eLearning innovations and MOOCs. I designed and led the programme of the Open Education Challenge - the European accelerator for edTech startups. Finally, I took on the role of editor in chief for eLearning Papers.


Bentley, P.; Crump, H.; Cuffe, P.; Gniadek, I.; Jamieson, B.; MacNeill, S. & Mor, Y. (2014), Signals of Success and Self-directed Learning, in Ulrike Cress & Carlos Delgado Kloos, ed., 'Proceedings of the European MOOC Stakeholder Summit 2014' , pp. 18-25 .

Garreta-Domingo, M.; Hernández-Leo, D.; Mor, Y. & Sloep, P. (2015), Teachers’ Perceptions About the HANDSON MOOC: A Learning Design Studio Case 'Design for Teaching and Learning in a Networked World' , Springer, , pp. 420-427 .

Maina, M.; Craft, B. & Mor, Y. (2015), The Art & Science of Learning Design , Sense Publishers , Rotterdam/Boston/Taipei .

Matos, J. F.; Mor, Y.; Noss, R. & Santos, M. (2005), Sustaining Interaction in a Mathematical Community of Practice, in 'Fourth Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education (CERME-4)' .

Mor, Y. & Warburton, S. (2015), 'Practical Patterns for Active and Collaborative MOOCs: Checkpoints, FishBowl and See Do Share', eLearning , 48 .

Mor, Y. & Mogilevsky, O. (2013), 'The Learning Design Studio: Collaborative Design Inquiry as Teachers' Professional Development', Research in Learning Technology 21 .

Mor, Y. & Mogilevsky, O. (2013), Learning design studio: educational practice as design inquiry of learning 'Scaling up Learning for Sustained Impact' , Springer, Berlin Heidelberg , pp. 233-245 .

Mor, Y.; Mellar, H.; Warburton, S. & Winters, N., ed. (2014), Practical Design Patterns for Teaching and Learning with Technology , Sense , Rotterdam/Boston/Taipei .

Mor, Y. (2010), Guess my X and other patterns for teaching and learning mathematics, in Till Schümmer & Allan Kelly, ed., 'Proceedings of the 13th European Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (EuroPLoP 2008)' , CEUR-WS, , pp. 348-384 .

Mor, Y.; Winters, N.; Cerulli, M. & Björk, S. (2006), 'Literature review on the use of games in mathematical learning, Part I: Design' , Report of the Learning Patterns for the Design and Deployment of Mathematical Games project .

Mor, Y. & Noss, R. (2008), 'Programming as Mathematical Narrative', International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning (IJCEELL) 18 (2) , 214-233 .

Mor, Y.; Tholander, J. & Holmberg, J. (2006), Designing for cross-cultural web-based knowledge building, in Timothy Koschmann; Daniel D. Suthers & Tak-Wai Chan, ed., 'The 10th Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) conference (2005)' , Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Taipei, Taiwan , pp. 450 - 459 .

Mor, Y.; Noss, R.; Hoyles, C.; Kahn, K. & Simpson, G. (2006), 'Designing to see and share structure in number sequences', the International Journal for Technology in Mathematics Education 13 (2) , 65-78 .

Mor, Y.; Goldman, C. V. & Rosenschein, J. S. (1996), Learn Your Opponent's Strategy (in Polynomial Time)!, in Gerhard Weiss & Sandip Sen, ed., 'Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence' , Springer Verlag, , pp. 164-176 .

Mor, Y. & Rosenschein, J. S. (1995), Time and the Prisoner's Dilemma., in 'Proceedings of the First International Conference on Multiagent Systems (ICMAS95)' , AAAI Press / MIT Press, Menlo park, California , pp. 276-282 .

Mor, Y.; Mellar, H.; Pachler, N. & Daly, C. (2011), Formative e-Assessment: case stories, design patterns and future scenarios, in Christian Kohls & Joachim Wedekind, ed., 'Problems Investigations of E-Learning Patterns: Context Factors Solutions' , Information Science Publishing, Hershey, PA .

Mor, Y. (2011), Embedding Design Patterns in a Methodology for a Design Science of e-Learning, in Christian Kohls & Joachim Wedekind, ed., 'Problems Investigations of E-Learning Patterns: Context Factors Solutions' , Information Science Publishing, Hershey, PA .

Mor, Y.; Ferguson, R. & Wasson, B. (2015), 'Editorial: Learning design, teacher inquiry into student learning and learning analytics: A call for action', British Journal of Educational Technology 46 (2) , 221--229 .

Mor, Y. (2013), SNaP! Re-using, sharing and communicating designs and design knowledge using Scenarios, Narratives and Patterns, in Rosemary Luckin; Peter Goodyear; Barbara Grabowski; Sadhana Puntambekar; Niall Winters & Joshua Underwood, ed., 'Handbook of Design in Educational Technology' , Routledge, , pp. 189-200 .

Mor, Y.; Craft, B. & Hernández-Leo, D. (2013), 'The Art and Science of Learning Design: Editoral', Research in Learning Technology 21 .

Mor, Y. & Winters, N. (2007), 'Design approaches in technology enhanced learning', Interactive Learning Environments 15 (1) , 61-75 .

Mor, Y.; Winters, N. & Warburton, S. (2012), 'Participatory Pattern Workshops: A Methodology for Open Collaborative Construction of Design Knowledge in Education', Research in Learning Technology 20 .

Mor, Y.; Craft, B. & Hernández-Leo, D. (2013), 'Editorial: The art and science of learning design', Research in Learning Technology 21 , 1-8 .

Pratt, D.; Winters, N.; Alexopoulou, E.; Bligh, J.; Björk, S.; Cerulli, M.; Childs, M.; Chioccariello, A.; Jonker, V.; Kynigos, C.; Lindström, B.; Mor, Y.; O'Donnell, F.; Tangney, B. & Wijers, M. (2006), 'Kaleidoscope JEIRP on Learning Patterns for the Design and Deployment of Mathematical Games: Final Report (2007-04-23 13:20:50)' .

Warburton, S. & Mor, Y. (2015), Double Loop Design: Configuring Narratives, Patterns and Scenarios in the Design of Technology Enhanced Learning, in Yishay Mor; Marcelo Maina & Brock Craft, ed., 'The Art and Science of Learning Design' , Sense publishers, Rotterdam/Boston/Taipei .

Winters, N. & Mor, Y. (2008), 'IDR: a participatory methodology for interdisciplinary design in technology enhanced learning', Computers and Education 50 (2) , 579-600.

Yishay Mor,
8 Jan 2016, 02:08