Two OU academics were awarded for the impact of their research on teaching and learning this month in the OU Research Excellence Awards 2018.
Dr Ilona Roth, OU Senior Lecturer in Psychology, was awarded the Outstanding Impact of Research on OU Learning & Teaching, Curriculum and Students Award for her long record of research in the autism field, which she has applied to innovative curriculum and learning materials.
The OU Learning Analytics and Learning Design Research Programme was awarded runner-up in this category for its contribution to enhanced learning design at the OU.
Dr Ilona Roth’s research in the autism field has equipped her with a breadth of expertise that she has implemented, since the early 2000s, in projects ranging from documenting atypical cognitive traits in autism to addressing autism awareness and stigma in Ethiopia.
This research experience has inspired her to create a range of innovative curriculum, training and informal learning materials particularly relevant for those with professional, academic and/or personal interests in autism. Drawing on her dementia research she has added broader scope mental health learning resources. Aspects of the OU mental health curriculum could not have been developed to their current level without translation from Ilona’s primary research. Her ongoing commitment to innovation is evident in new and forthcoming materials.
Dr Roth’s work has also contributed to staff development within her Faculty to enhance the teaching and support of students with autism.
The judging panel members described her work as “an exemplary demonstration of research-informed curriculum”.
OU Learning Analytics and Learning Design Research Programme was awarded runner-up in this category due to an increased recognition that learning design drives both student learning experience and quality enhancements of teaching and learning at The Open University.
Since 2014 tremendous progress and practical impact has been made in linking the Open University Learning Design Initiative (OULDI) insights with learning analytics research from OU Learning and Technology Innovation (LTI). This has transformed the way 100+ modules are designed, implemented, and evaluated.
The award was collected by Professor Bart Rienties, Professor in Learning Analytics in LTI on behalf of the LTI/Institute of Education Technology/STEM team. Members are: Dr Rebecca Galley (LTI/TEL), Dr Tom Olney. (STEM), Dr Ruth McFarlane (Academic Services), Dr Jenna Mittlemeier (LTI/IET), Dr Quan Nguyen, (LTI/IET), Dr Katharine Reedy, (LTI/IET), Dr Lisette Toetenel (former OU), Jitse Van Ameijde (LTI/TEL), Professor Martin Weller, (LTI/IET).
Watch the video below to hear what Professor Bart Rienties has to say about the team’s work: