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OU research shortlisted for three THE 2019 awards

THE Awards 2019 logo

Two OU projects which demonstrate the impact of OU research on boosting student retention and on increasing public interest in Art History, have been shortlisted for the Times Higher Awards 2019 and a research project officer has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to geochemical analyses.

New tool to improve student retention

OU Analyse, an innovative tool which produces predictions on a weekly basis as to whether or not students will submit their teacher-marked assignments and presents outcomes to teachers in a colour-coded dashboard, has been shortlisted in the Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year category.

Led by Dr Christothea Herodotou, Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Educational Technology (IET) and implemented at the Knowledge Media Institute (KMi), OU Analyse has been recognised by the Higher Education Commission as one of the few analytics implementations available on improving learning at a large scale. OUA has been extensively piloted at the OU and now used by more than 1,180 teachers. It has also been piloted in other UK universities and the Czech Technical University calculated that the number of students retained by its use brought them an additional income of around £464,000 over the two-year trial.

Other members of the OU Analyse team are: Avinash Boroowa, Dr Martin Hlosta, Prof Zdenek Zdrahal, Prof Bart Rienties.

Creating renewed interest in Art History

The Open Arts Objects (OAO)  project, which has used OU research into Art History to broadcast to 13.7 million viewers, has been shortlisted in the Knowledge Exchange/Transfer Initiative of the Year category.

Led by Dr Leah Clark, Senior Lecturer in Art History, the project led to a change in museums’ educational programmes and professional practice introducing new audiences to Art History.

The project continues on Tuesday 15 October 2019, when the Art History department at The Open University will be hosting an afternoon event in London for teachers and museum educators on the challenges and opportunities of teaching Art History from a global perspective.

Outstanding technician of the year

Dr Barbara Kunz, a research project officer (technician) at The Open University’s Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics has been shortlisted in the Outstanding Technician of the Year category. Working on a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funded project From arc magmas to ore systems (FAMOS), Dr Kunz is fundamental in enabling the world-leading group of scientists driving the FAMOS consortium to undertake cutting-edge geochemical analyses at the OU mass spectrometry laboratory. 

Biggest celebration of higher education

The winners of this year’s Times Higher Awards will be announced on Thursday 28 November.

Commenting on this year’s shortlist, THE Editor, John Gill said:

"The THE Awards hold a place in the hearts of many in UK higher education and have now been a fixture in the its calendar for well over a decade. This year we decided to incorporate the complementary strengths of our THE Leadership and Management Awards, so that the range of categories better reflects the reality of how universities operate today, and the interwoven nature of so much of what they do. This will be the biggest celebration of higher education that we have ever hosted.

I am delighted to say that the ‘Oscars of higher education’ go from strength to strength. With 23 categories this year, we’re also showcasing more exceptional stories than ever before, and it’s a real honour for us to shine a spotlight on all those who have made it as far as these shortlists – their stories deserve much wider circulation."

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