As Professor of Open Education I take a leading role in the research and development of approaches to open and free learning.The release of open content by The Open University through the launch of OpenLearn underpins the contribution of the Univerity to Open Educational Resources and the practices around them. I directed the research and evaluation within OpenLearn and I am Programme Lead for the Learning in an Open World research area.
PhD Computer Science (“Recognising and locating objects in two-dimensional perspective views”), Heriot-Watt University
MA(Oxon) Mathematics, Brasenose College, University of Oxford.
Shortly after joinig the OU I worked on the MA in Online and Distance Education as part of the team working on the course Applications of Information Technology in Open and Distance Education (H802). This course had an innovative online focus supported by books, video, audio and written resources. In 2001 the course team received an Award for Teaching Excellence for this course from the Open University. Experience from this course fed into Innovations in elearning (H807).
Short courses include Managing On-Line Educational Resources and Media and Supporting Students using Course Websites.
At Heriot-Watt University teaching experience includes:
OER Research Hub http://oerresearchhub.org
Leading the Research and Evaluation strand for this major two year project. See the main OpenLearn site for more details: http://www.open.ac.uk/openlearn
An online evaluation of M301 (a third level computing course) has been carried out as part of PLUM. A general questionnaire was answered by the students and then for each of the 6 blocks in the course a separate online questionnaire is generated and made available at the end of the block. The process is semi-automated with data stored in databases as students complete each questionnaire and then analysis carried out using Excel templates. A quick report is made to the course team as soon as data is available. Despite relatively low percentage responses this approach to evaluation has enabled very rapid reporting and has helped the course team understand the student experience. It is intended to look for how the approach could be streamlined and applied more widely.
Others involved: Josie Taylor, Simon Rae, Linda Carswell
The UNLOCK project has provided £198,000 of infrastructure to support the creation of a Knowledge Network for IET. The intention is to enable the dissemination of information from IET to the OU in the form of documents, guide, discussion and courses. Some of the technology is now on site and once initial platform decisions are finalised work will start to build a pilot system.
Others involved: Josie Taylor, James Aczel, Doug Clow, Mary Thorpe, Gill Kirkup.
A study looked at the process of creating web sites for courses. This has so far concentrated on two examples from within the OU of courses highly dependent on the web (T171 and H802). It is intended to report on those and then extend the study to a wider range of courses and work towards advice and guidance. A one day workshop building from the knowledge gained has already been presented for the School of Education.
Others involved: Agnes Kukulska-Hulme.
I was the IET academic consultant on this project which involves two project officers in IET and others working within Publishing Systems (now part of LTS). The project has some practical aims to develop further systems that help people identify and reuse material archived within the OU. It also has more general aims to identify best practice and characterise how the work of building new courses can draw on existing courses. A part of this work has been to consider the metadata needs for describing OU materials and as part of the Metadata Working Group a list of recommended elements have been produced. Those elements draw on the set used within the standard that is being promoted by IMS (Instructional Management System) project.
Others involved: Mary Thorpe, (Cate Thomas, Garry Hammond), Keir Thorpe, Chris Kubiak.
The SoURCE project is a TLTP project directed from the School of Education. Its overall aims are to promote reuse of educational software. The involvement of IET has so far concentrated on examining the reuse of the Elicitation Engine (initially designed within IET) and overseeing the evaluation. While work on the Elicitation Engine is nearly complete the project also examines ways to store and disseminate information about case studies and software. These approaches have relevance to other areas of IET work.
last updated 28-Mar-2013