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Dr Beck Pitt

Profile summary

  • Research Staff
  • Research Associate
  • Institute of Educational Technology
  • IET Academic Team
  • beck.pitt

Professional biography

Beck currently works as a researcher on the award winning Hewlett funded OER Research Hub project, which investigates the impact of open educational resources (OER) on learning and teaching, and the Opening Educational Practices in Scotland (OEPS) project. Beck focuses particularly on informal learning and open textbooks and is responsible for collaboration work with BCcampus, Siyavula, OpenStax College, Bridge to Success, Co-PILOT and P2PU/School of Open. She was also responsible for the delivery of the OER Research Hub's School of Open "Open Research" course (Autumn 2014 and Autumn 2015). 

She previously worked on the NGLC funded Open Learning: Bridge to Success project, providing research and project support. She also supported the JISC funded Track OER and OLDS-MOOC projects and the EC FP7 JuxtaLearn project.

Prior to joining the OU, Beck worked at the University of Essex supporting the EC FP7 Council of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA) Preparatory Phase Project (PPP) for its duration. 

Research interests

Beck is a trained philosopher and successfully defended her PhD entitled Jean-Paul Sartre and the Question of Emancipation in April 2012. She studied at the University of Essex and completed an MA in Continental Philosophy (Essex) in 2002, and a BA (Hons) in Philosophy (Reading) in 1999. Her dissertation topics were the Marquis de Sade and Simone de Beauvoir, respectively.

For more on Beck's academic work and publications, please visit:

Teaching interests

Beck co-authored and was responsible for the delivery of both iterations of the OER Research Hub's School of Open badged open course Open Research on P2PU (Autumn 2014 and Autumn 2015). She is currently leading the development of a Pressbooks version of the course which incorporates participant contributions and group activities. This open textbook is due for release in autumn 2016. 

Beck was the lead author, and responsible for the development, of the OEPS project course on open educational practice (OEP) and open educational resources (OER) Becoming an Open Educator, which was released on OpenLearn Works in summer 2016. 

Beck taught The Enlightement course at the University of Essex from 2005-6. She is the lead author for the new version of H819 week 13 on Open Research, due for release in 2017. 

Impact and engagement


The OER Research Hub project was awarded an Open Education Award for Excellence (Projects Category) for Open Research in April 2014 and an Open University Engaging Research award for our P2PU/School of Open Open Research course in February 2015.

The Bridge to Success project was awarded Distance Learning Program of the Year by Maryland Distance Learning Association (MDLA) in May 2012 and a Digital Educational Achievement Award in the Community College Digital Application Category: US Centre for Digital Education in August 2012. 


Beck has participated and contributed to a wide range of international conferences. She has also been an invited speaker at events in London, UK; Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada and St Louis, Missouri, USA. 

Beck was a successful applicant and participant in OpenCon student and early career researcher professional conference on Open Access, Open Education and Open Data, Washington DC, USA during November 2014. She has also been selected to participate in OpenCon 2016. 

External collaborations


Beck has been an elected committee member of the UK Sartre Society since September 2010. From September 2014 she has a special responsibilty for the Society's social media and website. Beck developed the Society's new website which launched in January 2015, creates openly licensed videos of conference sessions and also runs the Society's Facebook page. 

Beck is an academic committee member for the 4th Philosophy at Play conference (2017) and also served on the committee for the 3rd Philosophy at Play conference (June 2015). 

Supervision and External Examination

Beck has successfully co-supervised to completion an Open University (UK) EdD on Discourses influencing students' participation in, and engagement with, online collaborative learning (Janet Dyke).

In May 2014 Beck was appointed as External Reader for an MA Thesis in Arts in Learning and Technology (Royal Roads University, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada) Title: An Examination of the Lived Experience of Eleven Educators Who Have Implemented Open Textbooks in Their Teaching (Danielle Paradis) 

Journal and Conference Reviewing 

Beck's journal and conference reviewing includes: 

JIME Special Issue of OER15, 3rd Philosophy at Play conference (Glos. UK), OER15 (Cardiff, UK), Designing Interactive Systems 2012, British Journal of Undergraduate Philosophy, ESTRO, UK Sartre Society conferences (2011-2016), International Graduate Conferences in Philosophy (Essex, 2006, 2007 & 2008), Journal of Interactive Media in Education (JIME), Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning, British Journal of Educational Technology (ongoing). 


Personalising learning through adaptation: Evidence from a global survey of K-12 teachers’ perceptions of their use of open educational resources (2016-04)
de los Arcos, Beatriz; Farrow, Robert; Pitt, Rebecca; Weller, Martin and McAndrew, Patrick
Journal of Online Learning Research, 2(1) (pp. 23-40)
Who are the Open Learners? A Comparative Study Profiling non-Formal Users of Open Educational Resources (2015-12-08)
Farrow, Robert; de los Arcos, Beatriz; Pitt, Rebecca and Weller, Martin
EURODL (European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning), 18(2) (pp. 50-74)
The Impact of OER on Teaching and Learning Practice (2015-11-26)
Weller, Martin; de los Arcos, Bea; Farrow, Rob; Pitt, Beck and McAndrew, Patrick
Open Praxis, 7(4) (pp. 351-361)
Mainstreaming Open Textbooks: Educator Perspectives on the Impact of OpenStax College open textbooks (2015-11-03)
Pitt, Rebecca
International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 16(4) (pp. 133-155)
Impact of OER use on teaching and learning: data from OER Research Hub (2013–2014) (2015-09)
Farrow, Robert; Pitt, Rebecca; de los Arcos, Beatriz; Perryman, Leigh-Anne; Weller, Martin and McAndrew, Patrick
British Journal of Educational Technology, 46(5) (pp. 972-976)
What does it mean to transform the world: Ron Aronson, Hope and Revolution (2015)
Pitt, Rebecca
Sartre Studies International , 21(2) (pp. 33-58)
Assessing OER impact across organisations and learners: experiences from the Bridge to Success project (2013-12)
Pitt, Rebecca; Ebrahimi, Nassim; McAndrew, Patrick and Coughlan, Tim
Journal of Interactive Media in Education, Article 17
Who is the revolutionary in Being and Nothingness? (2013-11)
Pitt, Rebecca
In: O'Donohoe, Benedict ed. Severally Seeking Sartre (pp. 154-170)
ISBN : 978-1-4438-5233-3 | Publisher : Cambridge Scholars Publishing | Published : Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Play and being in Jean-Paul Sartre's Being and Nothingness (2013-03)
Pitt, Rebecca
In: Ryall , Emily; Russell, Wendy and MacLean, Malcolm eds. The Philosophy of Play (pp. 109-119)
ISBN : 978-0-415-53835-0. | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon
Building open bridges: collaborative remixing and reuse of open educational resources across organisations (2013-04)
Coughlan, Tim; Pitt, Rebecca and McAndrew, Patrick
In : 2013 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems ‘changing perspectives’ (CHI 2013) (29 April - 02 May 2013, Paris, France) (pp. 991-1000)
Assessing OER impact across varied organisations and learners: experiences from the "Bridge to Success" initiative (2013-03-27)
Coughlan, Tim; Ebrahimi, Nassim; McAndrew, Patrick and Pitt, Rebecca
In : OER13: Creating a Virtuous Circle (26-27 March 2013, Nottingham, UK)
Exploring Faculty Use of Open Educational Resources at British Columbia Post-Secondary Institutions (2016-01-18)
Jhangiani, Rajiv; Pitt, Rebecca; Hendricks, Christina; Key, Jessie and Lalonde, Clint
BCcampus, Victoria, British Columbia.
OER Evidence Report 2013-2014 (2014-11-20)
de los Arcos, B.; Farrow, R.; Perryman, L.-A.; Pitt, R. and Weller, M.
OER Research Hub