UNIR iTED Profile


Research Institute for Innovation & Technology in Education


The Universidad Internacional de La Rioja (UNIR) is active in both scientific and humanistic research, with over 400 researchers who address a wide range of topics organized in research groups focused on eLearning, Engineering, Education, Communication, Economics, Business, Health, Humanities, and Social Science. The international research activity carried out in these fields is coordinated by the Vice-rectorate for International Research. It is based on two core beliefs that emerge from our experience as a distance teaching university: i) research is crucial to innovation and quality in teaching and learning in higher education; and ii) technology is a key enabler of educational processes. As a result, a major focus of research in the University is Technology-enhanced Learning, and this work is carried out by the Research Institute for Innovation & Technology in Education (UNIR iTED).

The UNIR iTED team consists of researchers, developers and project managers who have extensive experience and expertise in pedagogic design, social science research, technological development, educational policy and research management. Since 2012, the team has implemented +40 European public projects, as well as +30 international private and public projects abroad. The research institute has published +120 indexed research papers, 20 books and special issues, and it provides PhD supervision to +12 research candidates.

The team is led by Prof. Dr. Daniel Burgos, who holds the UNESCO Chair on eLearning, and is also Vice-rector for International Research at UNIR. Prof. Dai Griffiths joined the team in 2020 as a senior researcher. Please visit the team page for a full list of UNIR iTED members and their backgrounds.

The research projects carried out by UNIR iTED are designed to improve the effectiveness of educational processes, leading to practical implementations that enhance the practice and effectiveness of a range of end-users and systems managers, including learners, teachers, content providers, industry, schools, universities, and public administration. UNIR iTED is embedded in an international online university with +60,000 students, and premises in Spain (Logroño and Madrid), Ecuador (Quito), Colombia (Bogota), Argentina (Buenos Aires), Bolivia (Santa Cruz), Mexico DF (Mexico), Lima (Perú) and Miami (USA), which provides use cases and piloting opportunities. Accordingly, projects are oriented to the development of products and services that can be used both within UNIR, and adopted or marketed more widely, in various countries and languages.

The main fields of work of UNIR-iTED are:

  • Design of elearning systems and courses. UNIR iTED has long experience in educational design in public and private sectors, carrying out diagnosis, analysis, implementation and evaluation. To this work the team brings comprehensive knowledge and practical skills in learner and process modelling, competence frameworks, accreditation (including credit recognition and micro-credits), the interoperability of eLearning systems and standards, digital inclusion and accessibility (projects Edu-Hack, Comanity, Intuitel, Edumotion, EdDiCo)
  • Educational data and learning analytics. The team brings together skills in data collection and management, from three sources: structured learning applications, data generated in the course of educational activities, and biometric tools. The team has expertise in statistical analysis and neural networks, and in the innovative and effective presentation of data (projects Medici, Squad, Stop The Clock, Rattle, Exalt). We also explore ethics and social responsibility aspects (projects EU-USR, ethics and AI)
  • Open education and Open Science. Open Educational Resources, Open Educational Practices and Open Policy are long-standing themes, both in research and in practice of the university. UNIR iTED holds the ICDE Chair in Open Educational Resources (projects Encore+, OpenMed, eMundus, Inspiring Science Education, OpenEdu)
  • Games and Gamification. The team has skills in serious game development, educational games and gamification strategies. The approach is to integrate game play along a training programme supported by a competence framework and delivered through an LMS or as a standalone system. The team also is exploring methodologies for gamification (projects OpenGame, Compete!, KeyStone, Social Seducement, UNE-Norma)
  • Training. UNIR iTED also provides in-company training, academic courses and thematic workshops in all the fields listed above, in fully-online, blended, and face-to-face settings, also through its open-access training hub (OpenEd)


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