Last week I was helping out with a media training week, working with MK College students. The students spent the week learning the skills needed to make a short film focusing on a research project being run by the OU. This particular training focused on the nQuire platform. Here’s my run down of the week: ...continue reading
This post is shared from the OU's Education Futures blog.
As an academic in the newly formed International Education and Development research group at the Open University, I’ve been thinking a lot about social justice recently. I’ve been particularly interested in the suggestion in UNESCO’s latest Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report that teachers need to be better trained in order to support the most disadvantaged children.
Blogging is something slightly alien to me, especially in an academic sense. As an Open University intern it is part of my role to blog about what I’m doing and quite simply, it seems that the activities I'm currently a part of are just too interesting to keep from you all! ...continue reading
Higher level distance learning in prison gives prisoners a positive student identity, resilience and high hopes for a better, crime-free future. These qualities help them to tackle the immense challenges facing ex-prisoners. Maintaining their student identity and belonging to a learning community after release, also enables them to integrate into society more easily.
Last week (12th May), Ann Grand and I gave a seminar at the OU on Digital Engagement. I started by giving a brief introduction to public engagement, referring to the NCCPE's EDGE tool for self-assessment, and a description of the purpose of the OU's Public Engagement with Research Catalyst project.
An award-winning, externally-facing partnership with research at the core
I don't think of myself as an academic. Before I took on my current role as an Outreach Coordinator within the award-winning Floodplain Meadows research team at the Open University I'd worked for 12 years for the Environment Agency, delivering policy, legislation and proactive conservation projects ‘on the ground’ in Dorset, Wiltshire and a little bit of Hampshire. I'd worked with a wide range of conservation and community partners, occasionally getting cross with flood defence engineers. In short, I came to this job for a change!
I recently won one the the OU's first ever Engaging Research Awards. When I heard about the engaging research awards, I thought ‘hmn...How can there be an award for something which ought to be integral to any good piece of research? Isn’t engagement with publics the defining characteristic underlying all research endeavours? And how can one judge a piece of research to be more engaged than another?’
The more I thought about it, the more I realised how engagement with publics has been an underlying principle of the Our Story project. The story-making tablet/smartphone app (called “Our Story”) was developed in parallel with my PhD research and has led to a number of projects integral to my doctoral work but also expanding it to other areas, research institutions and publics.
Evidencing Engaged Research: The closing date for applications has passed and we are not accepting further applications.
The Assessment Panel is reviewing the applications and will contact the applicants in due course.
Purpose of this call: To support active researchers in the generation and systematic collection of evidence of the impacts from engaged research, demonstrating effects, changes and/or mutual benefits to those participating.
Leadership; Mission; Communication
Champion’s blog; star date 2014.03.10 (in effect, an update on the first post on this blog, 'An open research university').
Nearly two years of the mission completed; 14 months of funding left. "Where do we boldly go from here?"
I was interviewed late last year by Lucian Hudson, the OU's Director of Communications, to explore this question. We also discussed progress with the core mission of the OU's Public Engagement with Research Catalyst.
You can see the results of our discussion in the video below. If you'd prefer to read the text of the interview, select transcript.
The Open University is over 40 years old. To celebrate this anniversary the university decided to document the rich social history of the OU.
As a social historian I was delighted to be given the opportunity to lead this project. Below I document some of the contributions Open University students have made to an open research agenda.
Constructing distributed publics of learners
Since it was opened to students in 1971 The Open University’s structures and pedagogies have shifted the notion of public research. A ‘public’, Michael Warner argued, is formed when texts (in the broadest sense) circulate among strangers and enable those people, through those texts, to organize together and to have experiences in common. ...continue reading