Citizen Science with nQuire Workshop

A hands-on workshop about how to design citizen science investigations using the nQuire platform ( took place on the 6th March 2020 at the Open University UK.

Attendees,  mainly from a range of non-academic organisations such as museums, health care, environmental sciences and journalists, had the opportunity to learn about the nQuire platform and how to author their own personally meaningful investigations including piloting a first version of their investigation.

nQuire is a platform developed by the Open University in partnership with the BBC. It has been designed to support the process of setting up, managing, and implementing citizen science projects from start to the end. It includes a dynamic toolkit that allows for data collection from a range of resources including sounds, images, text, and sensor data while a process of approvals ensures that all live projects are ethically designed, approved and checked. 

The activity has been funded by UKRI as part of the project  “EDUcating Citizens and organisations in Citizen Science methodologies” (EduCS) that aims to develop citizen science capacity in organisations not normally involved in citizen science, such as the BBC and the Met Office.

Amongst other project activities, we are currently working with academics from the University of Liverpool and University of Manchester to design a nQuire mission about climate anxiety which will be promoted by the BBC in the next month. Later in the year we will be working with the BBC to develop a mission about heatwaves and how they may affect people’s everyday lives.

For more details contact:

Ethics in Technology Enhanced Learning

A common theme across many openTEL interests is ethics. In 2020 openTEL has initiated a project to better map out the different ethical concerns that surround many different aspects of TEL: from data security to ensuring inclusion and accessibility concerns have been considered. This project is being led by Professor Shailey Minocha, Dr Victoria Murphy, and Professor Eileen Scanlon. Planned activities include:

  • Creating an online environment for inter-disciplinary discussions on ethics in TEL research at the Open University
  • Attending various TEL ethics related events
  • Organising an Evidence Cafe, bringing together various experts on TEL and ethics to map out areas of focus
  • Publishing guidelines on ethical considerations in TEL

If you would like to get involved in the project please send an email to

Open and Inclusive SIG

The Open and Inclusive SIG was joined this month by Huw Alexander, managing director of textBOX, Jenny Moakes, a production manager in the OU’s FASS department, and Andrew Whitehead from the OU’s design team. Both Huw and Jenny talked about creating more accesible educational materials using textBOX’s focus|LOCUS method for creating accessible descriptions of images and living paintings respectively.
Continue reading