The PILS Centre had the following staff:
Director, Pat Atkins
Pat joined the PILS Centre in February 2006. She had a wide experience of Learning Support, gathered from a broad range of roles working with both students and associate lecturers. These included working as an associate lecturer and student counsellor for many years, working in advice and guidance in a regional centre, delivering a programme of student induction and learning skills workshops and researching into student retention. Pat has worked with academic colleagues to appoint, induct, support, manage and develop associate lecturers in all faculties of the University. Pat started working for the OU when she was living in Brussels.
Assistant Director, Patrick Kelly
Patrick had been involved with many aspects of learner support and development at the Open University including study skills, student retention and personal development planning. He has had many roles: as an educational researcher with a particular interest in older learners, a student counsellor, line manager for associate lecturers and quality assurance. In addition to the PILS CETL he was involved in the development of a Learner Support Framework designed to provide a coherent and holistic support service to OU students. Patrick said that he gets all his best ideas on long walks with his boisterous but adorable Springer spaniel.
Assistant Director (Development), Jo Beard
Jo's role as Assistant Director Development focussed on the PILS dissemination and evaluation strategy. In her previous role, she coordinated the submission of the University's bids for CETLs, working closely with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Learning and Teaching. Jo had previously undertaken a broad range of roles, from systems development work and project management, through to staff management and committee work. Jo had previously worked in a number of Open University areas, including the Policy Development Group, Examinations and Assessment, the International Centre for Distance Learning, and the Library. As well as enjoying painting in her spare time, Jo is particularly interested in the visual presentation of concepts and ideas.
Centre Manager, Natasha Clements
Natasha worked as the PILS CETL Centre Manager 2009-2010. Previous to this role Natasha had worked within the University's Business Planning team in Learning and Teaching Solutions where she gained experience of the operational and financial aspects surrounding the production of course materials. In her spare time Natasha enjoys studying, travelling and teaches swimming.
Publicity and Evaluation Manager, Dr Charlotte Stevens
Previous to joining the Open University, Charlotte taught in the fields of English and American Studies at HE level. In 2005 she started work at the Open University in the South as an Educational Adviser, and was seconded to the PILS CETL in June 2008 as an adviser. Charlotte took up the post of Publicity and Evaluation Manager in 2009. She has worked on a number of OU projects and initiatives associated with the learner support framework, most notably e-communications to students. Charlotte had also undertaken research into the delivery of e-guidance, and had been engaged in staff development. Outside the OU, Charlotte is really into live music and the festival scene. She co-presents music radio-shows.
Centre Assistant, Matthew Pemberton
Matthew joined the PILS CETL team in August 2007. He worked as the main contact for the various members of staff who worked with PILS and organised many of the Centre's events. Matthew is a concert violinist and has performed solo at the Royal Albert Hall. He is a keen cyclist and spent summer 2009 cycling up Mont Ventoux.
Founding Director, Dr Christina Lloyd
Dr Lloyd had eight years of experience teaching Biology and Applied Science in FE, including four years of staff training and development. She was a Senior Counsellor for the Open University in the South 1989-1993, directly managing Open University Associate Lecturers, before becoming Deputy Regional Director 1994-2001, and then Regional Director of the Open University in the West Midlands 2001-2003. Since 2003 she has been the Open University's Head of Teaching and Learner Support in Student Services.
PILS wider team
Ellen had been a Student Services Manager and Deputy Head of the Careers Advisory Service. She had worked for the OU for seven years based at the Open University in the East Midlands. She has been responsible for coordinating the Careers Advisers based in each region, staff development, liaising with faculties and other relevant OU departments.
Ellen was interested in the use of online forums and other online technologies to support students in their career planning. As part of the employability strand of the PILS CETL, Ellen was responsible for the delivery of a range of online forums and for the careers content on subject websites. She also worked alongside faculty colleagues advising on Associate Lecturer projects and collaborated with other universities on the development of a tool to help students articulate skills developed from their experiences.
Ellen's allotment provides her with many happy hours digging, planting and enjoying the fruits of her labours.
Jeanna was an Educational Adviser and had worked for five years at the Open University in London. She began her secondment to the PILS CETL in June 2008. She had been an Associate Lecturer in Social Sciences for nine years. Jeanna was interested in exploring how important both a student's sense of belonging to a learning community and their individual mindset/emotional intelligence are as factors in their ability to presevere and thrive in part time, distance higher education and so be retained.
Some years ago Jeanna studied Hindi as a language and occasionally watches Bollywood films.
Dr Jennie Osborn
Jennie was an Educational Adviser at the Open University in the South East, and began her secondment to the PILS CETL in July 2008. Jennie had organised Regional Day Schools and study skills workshops, and had also been involved in the planning of staff development conferences for Associate Lecturers. Jennie was particularly interested in how the mechanisms of e-learning can be used in student support, and part of her PILS work was to arrange online course choice forums.
Ieman was a Social Sciences Faculty Coordinator at the Open University in the West Midlands, and started working with the PILS CETL in 2007. Ieman felt her role as Social Science PILS team member was very rewarding both in the surprises that PILS Consultants have discovered through the extra space they've had to work with their students, but also in seeing the impact their work has had on their own development and deepening understanding of their role as educators. Ieman's own learning has been equally rewarding. Being part of an interdisciplinary team has given her greater insight into the multiple ways in which the university works to support and develop teaching and learning practices. She also really enjoys playing the piano.
Dr Lynda Prescott
Lynda is a Staff Tutor in Arts, started work with the PILS CETL in September 2007. She enrolled with the OU thirty years ago to take a 'one-off' education course, and has had some kind of connection with the University ever since. She has taught Literature in other universities, and has occupied a variety of OU roles at the Open University in the West Midlands, the English Department, and the PILS CETL. In parallel with her working life as a teacher of Literature, Lynda had also developed some skills as an assembler of flat-pack furniture (her speciality is the three-shelf bookcase).
John was an OUBS Regional Manager on the MBA programme, responsible for recruiting and managing tutors in the south and dealing with 'non-routine' student issues. He was based at the Open University in the East of England. He had completed a term of office as Group Regional Manager: line-manager for fellow OUBS regional staff, working closely with the Masters Programme Office in Milton Keynes. At the beginning of 2009, he took on the role of Assistant Director (Staff), in The Open University in the East of England, working closely with staff tutors and Associate Lecturer Services in the region. John represented the Open University Business School for PILS, and oversaw the work of the OUBS PILS consultants, who were all practising MBA tutors. The consultants were looking at the common theme of how well the realities of studying the 'Open MBA' met the students' expectations, with an emphasis on Practice Based Learning. Between them, they tracked students' progress through the MBA programme and beyond and looked at the extent to which their studies benefitted both the individual and their working practice.
John owns a bike and rides it to work most days through Cambridge, even in the snow!
Dr Pat Murphy
Whilst a member of the PILS Team, Pat's time was divided between being Science Programme Director/Associate Dean (Curriculum and Awards) in the Science Deanery at Walton Hall, a Staff Tutor in Science based at the Open University in the South, and an Associate Lecturer tutoring Evolution. Although primarily a biologist, Pat has a particular interest in science in its broader societal context, hence his involvement with courses such as Science in Society. Gardening takes up a fair amount of Pat's spare time and he would like to be able to spend more time hill-walking.
Dr Katherine Leys
Katherine joined PILS in July 2007 and worked closely with science Associate Lecturer consultants during the completion of their projects. Katherine is a science staff tutor at the Open University in the South and a member of the Life Sciences department in the science faculty. She is also an Associate Lecturer on the course 'Biological Psychology'. Katherine left PILS to work on the production of a new course in mental health. When not working she enjoys harvesting caterpillars and slugs from her allotment and having healthy debates with her daughters about homework.
Professor Murray Saunders
Murray was Head of the Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University from 1997-2000 and directed the Centre for the Study of Education and Training (CSET) from its formation in 1992. Murray has a chair in Evaluation at Lancaster University and a visiting professorship in Evaluation at Fribourg University, Switzerland. He has also served as the President of the European Evaluation Society.
Murray has directed or co-directed some 40 separate evaluation and research projects over the last 20 years in areas of change, policy and strategic development and vocational education. In the HE environment he has worked (as both evaluator and developer) on 7 R and D projects which have tested various types of learning support in international consortia of HEIs [Higher Education Institutions]. Murray has directed evaluation of key policy interventions in the area of teaching and learning in Higher Education. These include evaluations of the LTSN [Learning and Teaching Support Network, including Subject Centres], the first and second phase evaluation of the SFC [Scottish Funding Council] funded evaluation of the new Scottish HE Quality Enhancement Framework and the CETL programme. CSET has provided evaluation consultancy for HEFCE's Widening Participation evaluation. As part of his work in building capacity and supporting the development of an evaluative culture, he has worked with the PILS CETL team to develop strategies and instruments to evaluate its work in seeking to personalize and integrate student support within the context of subject pathways and programmes of study. Of particular interest in this respect has been the use of an inclusive approach to evaluation and the use of 'narrative accounts' to depict student experience.
Management and reporting
The Centre had its own Advisory Group and an Open University CETL Board who advised on plans.