Academic and research departmentsSurrey Institute of Education.
Irina is a senior digital learning designer with 7+ years’ experience of advancing the practices and conversations in the field of education. She joined the team in 2016. Irina works with faculties, departments and students to help them achieve their goals related to digital education. This involves designing and managing staff development programmes and digital learning projects across the University. Also, co-creating and disseminating innovative blended and online teaching practices with staff and students.
Irina's research interests include design for learning and participatory approaches to partnership working between University of Surrey staff and students (student-staff partnerships).
Affiliations and memberships
In the media
DESIGNING TECHNOLOGY ENHANCED LEARNING (GCAM005)
There is growing recognition that socio-constructivist representations of feedback processes, where students build their own understanding through engaging with and discussing feedback information, are more appropriate than cognitivist transmission-oriented models. In parallel, practice has developed away from hard-copy handwritten or typed feedback comments, towards the provision of e-feedback in Learning Management Systems (LMS). Through thematic analysis of activity-oriented focus groups with 33 Undergraduate students, the present study aimed to explore 1) students’ experience of engaging with feedback in the LMS; 2) barriers to students’ engagement; and 3) students’ perceptions of the potential for technology to ameliorate these barriers. The data reveal particular barriers to engagement created by the LMS environment; grades and feedback are commonly separated spatially, limiting attention to the latter. Additionally, the distributed location of feedback from different tasks limits synthesis of feedback. Nevertheless, students perceived that the LMS environment affords opportunities for addressing such challenges, particularly in relation to the potential for a LMS tool to synthesise feedback information across modules, and to direct students to resources to develop their skills. The findings are discussed in the context of cycles of engagement with feedback, and implications for the principled use of technology in feedback processes are discussed.
Niculescu I. (in publication) 'Digital education and learning design during the Covid-19 pandemic – what factors can influence the development of early career academics’ design and teaching practices?'
Winstone N., Bourne J., Medland E., Niculescu N. & Rees R. (2021) “Check the grade, log out”: students’ engagement with feedback in learning management systems, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 46:4, 631-643, DOI: 10.1080/02602938.2020.1787331
Niculescu I.O., Nagpal S. &Rees R. (2020) 'Creating Space for New Expertise: Considerations for Setting-Up Student–Staff Partnerships'. In: Gravett K., Yakovchuk N., Kinchin I. (eds) Enhancing Student-Centred Teaching in Higher Education. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-030-35396-4_20
Niculescu, I., Rees, R., & Gash, D. (2017) An exploration into pedagogic frailty: Transitioning from face-to-face to online. Knowledge Management & E-Learning, 9(3), 392–403.
Loughlin, C., Hitchins, C., Barton, C., Anthony, J., Barker, H., Warburton, S. & Niculescu, I. (2016). 15th European Conference on e-Learning In Proceedings of the European conference on e-learning p.433-441