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head shot of Ruth McFarlane

Profile summary

  • Academic Related Staff
  • Technology Enhanced Learning Designer
  • Learning and Teaching Innovation
  • Technology Enhanced Learning
  • TEL Design
  • ruth.mcfarlane

Professional biography

I work in the Technology Enhanced Learning team at the Open University, where I deliver Learning Design workshops for faculty teams at the start of the module production process and co-ordinate the mapping of student workload. All of my work has a strong student focus and I am particularly interested in how we support students who have not previously engaged well in education. I also support external organisations with their Learning Design processes and am part of a Cross Institutional Network sharing good practice across Higher Education Institutions.

Previously I have worked as a teacher and education manager specialising in inclusion, working in Secure Training Centres, prisons and Childrens Homes to support Looked After Children to succeed in education.

Research interests

Transform Ed - a "Through the Gate" project to support OU students in prison to continue their studies when they leave custody, offering study partners, a learning community, a physical space to study and support to progress into meaningful employment.

Student workload and retention - quantifying student workload; exploring patterns of workload in OU modules and the effect on student retention during the study period.

External collaborations

Presented at EPALE Conference 2016 on Prison, Education and Life After Release.