Photo of Karen Foley

Karen Foley BSc(hons), MSc

Lecturer (Student Hub Live)

As Lecturer (Student Hub Live) in LTI at the Open University I am responsible for developing and delivering online interactive events that facilitate open access to an academic community. Whilst this is an academic role, I oversee many areas including:

• Strategic direction of events

• Development of each programme and working with other academics to plan content

• Producing events

• Marketing and Communication

• Developing the website

• Reuse of assets

• Rights

• Widget/VT generation and logistics

• Evaluation and Impact

• Internal connections with many areas of the University

I am Chairof Y032 People, work and society, the 30 credit  Access module that feeds level 0 students into the social sciences, business, law, health, childhood programmes. I am responsible for producing the mid-life review and all matters on both annual presentations.

I am have been a panel member on institutional reviews including Nottingham Healthcare NHS Trust, and am an academic reviewer for Maryvale Institute.

In my previous role I was an academic consultant for the Faculty of Arts and Social Science, developing the concept of online interactive conferences and various forms of synchronous and asynchronous formats to promote these (including online workshops, podcasts and two series of audio dramas).

I have also worked as an Assistant Staff Tutor in Wales which involved recruiting, training and managing Associate Lecturers, overseeing tutorial delivery, dealing with student issues.

I have been involved with several HEA grants that focused on peer to peer student support and the use of video.

I regularly act as an interviewer and have recently been involved with the “Historians on History” series for A255.

In my previous career I was Creative Solutions Director, and have worked at Emap, BBC Worldwide, and Redwood.

My areas of expertise are:

• Use of livestream to broadcast learning events

• Using online platforms for tutorial delivery (Elluminate, Blackboard Collaborate, Adobe Connect)

• Interviewing academics to produce lively and engaging content

Research Interests:

Currently in my second year of an EdD I am researching on virtual communities in a distance learning context, in particular the extent to which belonging to a community relates to student success. I am using ethnographic methods, including virtual ethnography.

I am interested in student engagement and the differences between distance and face to face learning environments in terms of learning communities and belonging.

I am involved with an EADTU project, looking at issues in retention and progression in Open Distance Education.

Teaching Interests

I am an Associate Lecturer (Tutor) for DD102 (Introducing the Social Sciences) DD210 (Living Psychology) and SDK228 (The Science of the Mind). I am involved with a widening participation initiative in Wales and deliver a week long applied Psychology programme for 16-17-year-old students.

I am interested in online learning pedagogy and in working with academics to deliver interactive and engaging online teaching opportunities.

Karen Foley is a Lecturer in Learning and Teaching Innovation at the Open University and is responsible for developing and delivering the Student Hub Live, a platform of online interactive events that facilitate open access to an academic community. As Chair of Y032, the largest of three Access modules People, work and society, Karen oversees all matters for both annual presentations of the module, and is delivering the mid-life-review of the module. With an academic background in Theatre and Film, English and Psychology, Karen's main area of interest is in academic community in distance environments, using technology and scale to create opportunities for students to connect with each other. Karen is also an Associate Lecturer teachinglevel 1 and 2 in the Social Sciences, Science and Psychology.





Innovation award winner for Student Hub Live



Team award Student Connections

Times Higher Education Awards - shortlisted for Student Hub Live

Best Support for Students category