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OU wins teaching excellence award for new student assessment system

(l-r): Dr Tim Lowe and Dr Tim Hunt receive the Collaborative Teaching Excellence Award from Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Chair of HEA Board and Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University

The OU has won its second award for teaching excellence award this year.

Dr Tim Lowe, Senior Lecturer in the School of Mathematics and Statistics and Dr Tim Hunt, Senior Developer in the OU IT department, were awarded a Higher Education Academy (HEA) Collaborative Teaching Excellence Award at a ceremony in London last night (1 November).

The award was for STACK, a collaboration between the OU, the University of Edinburgh and Loughborough University, which moved maths and science assessments beyond multiple choice.

The system transformed an innovative research project into a robust, professionally engineered, open-source mathematics assessment system embedded within an open-source Virtual Learning Environment. The result was an enhanced learning experience for thousands of students learning mathematically-rich subjects at the OU, Edinburgh, and Loughborough and beyond.

The way to create great educational technology is to bring together teachers such as Chris Sangwin, Professor of Educational Technology, University of Edinburgh and Tim Lowe, who have ideas for how to improve their students learning, with educational technologists such as myself, who can help realise their vision. I am lucky to work for an organisation like The Open University which recognises the value of such collaborations and puts the resources in place to make them happen. Since we deployed STACK here, it has helped tens of thousands of students to learn mathematics. I feel privileged to have been able to contribute to that.

Dr Tim Hunt

The Higher Education Academy Collaborative Teaching Excellence Awards celebrates and rewards teams for their collaborative work and excellent practice in teaching and learning, capturing creative and innovative practice which impacts on student experience

Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Chair of HEA Board and Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University added his congratulations, and said: “These awards highlight outstanding work and commitment to teaching and learning from all the individuals and teams involved. The learning from these examples of great teaching practice gives us the opportunity to enrich the student academic experience even more.”

Read more about STACK.

Read more about Higher Education Academy Collaborative Teaching Excellence Awards.

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