Jay Rixon is a Senior Manager in Access, Open and Cross-curricular Innovation and responsible for the MA or MSc Open qualification. In this post, Jay reflects on a student/staff online drop-in session titled ‘Top Telly Talk’ held on Tuesday 5th May 2020.
During this season of lockdown activities that support our well-being have spiked, with people seeking out opportunities to work-out, to escape into a world of books and read, or to find solace in the kitchen while baking and cooking. One pastime that has seen massive uptake is the world of TV and by TV, I mean, ‘telly’, watching live, catch-up, on-demand or streaming.
Since the lockdown began watching live broadcasts has increased by 17% and since March of this year there have been an estimated 4.6m new signups to subscription platforms such as Netflix, Amazon and the new kid on the block Disney+. Apparently In the UK, Netflix is the market leader with 12.4m subscribers and Amazon’s Prime Video ranks second with just over 7 million subscribers.
In this student and staff drop-in session we discussed the question ‘Is TV still a thing?’
Jay Rixon is a Senior Manager in Access, Open and Cross-curricular Innovation and responsible for the MA or MSc Open qualification. She is a self-confessed food lover, who rather enjoys spending time in the kitchen cooking and baking. In this post, Jay reflects on a student/staff online drop-in session held on Tuesday 28th April 2020.
In this season of lockdown many people have turned to areas of comfort: music, books, movies/TV have all been much shared and discussed, but the flour, sugar and egg shortages demonstrate that the nation has been cooking and baking again!
In this session we discussed comfort food, what people have been cooking, food no-go’s and how our relationship with food may have changed through this season of lockdown. As a result of this session a collaborative cookbook has been produced, imaginatively titled ‘The Open Programme Cookbook’. (To view or download the cookbook, right click on the link and open in a new tab)
Gina Sharp is the Open Programme Co-ordinator in Access, Open and Cross-curricular Innovation team. In this post, Gina reflects on a staff-student online drop-in session held on Tuesday 21st April 2020.
Whilst we are currently confined to our homes during the Coronavirus epidemic, the thoughts of places that we have travelled to in the past, or hope to travel to in the future, can be a cheerful thing to meditate on!
This was the latest topic on the table at our Open Programme student/staff drop-in. We began by thinking about the inspiration for travel – why do we go to the places we go to? What is our hope in travelling further afield than our normal sphere? The discovery of new sights, sounds, smells and experiences seemed to be high on our list. Finding out about the world we live in; the cultures, dress, food and atmosphere of new places. The idea of being immersed into new cultures is appealing and helps to broaden our life experiences.
Jay Rixon is a Senior Manager in Access, Open and Cross-curricular Innovation and responsible for the MA or MSc Open qualification. In this post, Jay reflects on a staff-student online drop-in session held on Tuesday 14th March 2020.
In this rather strange and surreal season there is a clear need to be looking after our mental health as much as looking after our physical health. Words like wellbeing and mindfulness spring to mind – those terms seemed to have been coined in the last few years whereas the habit of sewing, knitting, embroidering, painting, baking and just plain old tinkering have been around for centuries, although for some of those years they might have been considered more of an everyday need rather than a pastime.
Dr John Butcher is the Deputy Chair of the Open Board of Studies and Jay Rixon is a Senior Manager responsible for the MA or MSc Open qualification. Both John and Jay are part of the Access, Open and Cross-curricular Innovation team.
To support our students and our Open Programme staff at this time, ad-hoc drop-in sessions were created to be a weekly refuge for an hour where positive conversations could take place about things that inspire us and to explore things that felt familiar, comfortable and safe. So far, these weekly sessions have been a real collaboration between staff and students: music playlists have been created and a reading list has been drafted, so the next topic to be discussed after music and books was film.
Films are a topic often discussed in the Open team, sharing recent highlights or old classic movies newly discovered. The exchange of information and recommendations is often a much looked-forward-to break in a busy day and a chance to share experiences and random film trivia. The chance to discuss them with a wider group of students and staff could not be passed up.
Ute Manecke is a Learning and Teaching Librarian at the Open University. She’s supporting modules in production and presentation including those that are part of the Open Programme through digital information literacy integration. She also runs online training sessions for students and answers enquiries at the library’s virtual helpdesk. Ute also currently studies one of the OU’s postgraduate creative writing modules and has her own blog. Other things she enjoys are walks and runs, writing and reading, tea and coffee and the company of cats.
On Tuesday 31st March 2020, I joined Jay Rixon, Qualification Manager for the MA/MSc Open, to run the second session in the newly introduced series of themed sessions that invites Open Programme students to join in for a chat about a topic they are interested in. This session was entitled ‘Open the Book’ and was all about books and reading. Students and several members of the Open Programme team joined the session and soon a lively discussion was in full swing.