More about Sally
I am a Staff Tutor in Science at the Open University’s Regional Centre in Cambridge, with responsibility for the running of various science modules in the East of England and beyond, a Senior Lecturer in the OU Department of Physical Science, and the Science Faculty’s Deputy Associate Dean with responsibility for Assessment. I am working with eSTEeM and the OpenScience Laboratory to evaluate and improve our assessment practice, and am on the organising committee for the 4th Assessment in Higher Education Conference (26th-27th June 2013).
I first got involved in e-assessment when I chaired the production of S151 : Maths for science, which was presented for the first time back in 2002 and which has been studied by more than 12,000 people since. I have chaired S151 off and on since 2002, and a new edition of the book on which it is based, Maths for Science, has just been co-published with Oxford University Press.
The idea for S151 came from Mike Tinker, who worked at the University of Reading and was an OU associate lecturer (tutor). Sadly, Mike died in 2006. I picked up the idea from Mike and wrote the course with Shelagh Ross and Pat Murphy and it reflects my great interest helping students to cope with the maths they need in order to study physics and other science courses. We also wanted to be able to give our students instantaneous feedback – so we decided to use interactive online assessment. This was ground-breaking work at the time, and would not have been possible without the help of many others, especially Phil Butcher.
More recently I was a member of the teams producing S104 : Exploring Science (presented for the first time in Feb 2008) S154 : Science Starts Here (presented for the first time in October 2007) and S141 : Investigative and mathematical skills in science (presented for the first time in October 2012). I had responsibility for the development of maths skills in these modules and for the integration of interactive computer marked assignments (iCMAs) with more conventional tutor-marked assignments (TMAs). I chaired the S104 Module Team for a couple of years and I chaired S154 for a few presentations until, very sadly, it was forced to end in June 2012. S154 won all sorts of prizes and accolades and was loved by its students and tutors – but as a 10-credit module it didn’t fit with the new English funding regime. It’s a crying shame.
I am currently a member of the team producing MST224 Mathematical methods (first presentation October 2013). I am using the computer-algebra based STACK question type in Moodle to write iCMA questions for this module – great fun!
From 2006 to 2010, I was lucky enough to hold teaching fellowships in two of the OU’s Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning: piCETL (the Physics Innovations Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning) and COLMSCT (the Centre for Open Learning in Mathematics, Science, Computing and Technology). My various COLMSCT and piCETL projects reflected my interests in eAssessment and science students’ mathematical misconceptions.
In 2006 I was awarded an Open University Teaching Award for my work in developing S151: Maths for Science and its interactive online assessment system. I was one of the OU’s nominees for a National Teaching Fellowship in 2010 and 2011.
I have tutored various science and maths modules and have taken a few OU courses as a student. I live in West Norfolk with my husband; my children are both post-graduate students at (conventional) universities. My hobbies include walking long-distance footpaths and writing about this (see http://sites.google.com/site/jordanwalks/) and singing in a local choir.