Before I joined the OU, my background was in risk-based decision-making. I looked forward to finding innovative ways of gathering evidence of the impact of public engagement with research (PER). However, it seemed like whenever PER was mentioned evaluation would either become the pink elephant in the room or be quickly forgotten, and the conversation would focus on public engagement as opposed to public engagement with research.
In my experience, this doesn’t arise from ill intent but rather from a lack of understanding about the affordances of different PER activities and the methods and techniques used to evaluate the impact of PER.
This seminar was an opportunity to test a theoretical framework that I believe has the capacity to address this issue. ...continue reading →
Another week of media training, this time looking at space science!
I worked today with the new group of media students from Walton High. I got the chance to meet them last week at the briefing but in the space of a week had managed to forget everyone’s names; obviously not my strong point.
Monday is always the day that the students learn how to interview. Luckily I managed to get out of being the guinea pig and instead got to watch Manisha, the teacher, squirm.
Although very shy to start with the students slowly started to come out of their shells a little, especially when put in front of a camera. ...continue reading →
While in Japan to research a travel book, I spent a night in Hiroshima. Talking to the ‘guides’ who met me for dinner, it emerged both were children of survivors of the atomic bomb but their parents had never talked to them about the blast. I went with my guides to a neighbourhood meeting; hearing that I was interested in war survivors, a 94-year-old woman, who had been attending these meetings for years, stood up and said: ‘I too am a hibakusha’. ...continue reading →
The Floodplain Meadows Partnership is a research project based on key academic work carried out at the Open University by Professor David Gowing and others on the response of species-rich floodplain meadows to changes in management, particularly hydrological changes. The partnership recently received an Evidencing Engaged Research seed funding award to look at the impact that advice from the project has had on site managers and sites across the UK. ...continue reading →
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 →
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.