Recapping 2017 and looking ahead with OpenTEL

As 2018 gets into full swing, we’d like to take the opportunity to reflect on OpenTEL’s contributions during 2017 and our plans for moving forward into the new year. 2017 was a busy year for the OpenTEL group and its members, with many successes worth celebrating:

  • Bidding and grants: Over the course of the 2016-2017 academic year, we submitted over 35 OpenTEL-tagged bids with principal investigators and co-investigators working collaboratively from across the Open University. Eleven of these bids were successful, were we are very pleased to recognise. Throughout the year we also hosted a number of bid development workshops across the university with the aim of supporting collaborations between researchers across the university.
  • Show & TEL events: We contributed two successful Show & TEL events in 2017 that showcased TEL-related research and activities occurring across the university with researchers from various faculties. In February 2017, our Show & TEL event resulted in a collaborative EU proposal between the STEM faculty and IET. Our November event hosted an external keynote from Sean Morris from the Digital Pedagogy Lab.
  • Workshops: In February 2017, OpenTEL hosted Sean McCarthy from Hyperion, who ran a two-day workshop on ‘How to Write a Competitive Proposal for Horizon 2020’ and ‘How to write Impact for a Horizon 2020 Proposal’. We also hosted a writing retreat in March 2017 for OpenTEL members.
  • Award: Eileen Scanlon, Regius Professor of Open Education and Associate Director of IET, accepted the 2017 Award for Open Education Excellence in recognition of OpenTEL.
  • New postdoctoral researchers: In September 2017, Jenna Mittelmeier and Duygu Bektik joined the OpenTEL team as postdoctoral researchers.

Altogether, over 240 people attended at least one OpenTEL event last year, which demonstrates our increased awareness and outreach. We are aiming to expand this in 2018 through the development of the following activities:

  • Show & TEL events: Our first Show & TEL event of the year will take place on February 5 from 2:00 to 4:30 in Meeting Room 1, Jennie Lee Building. More information and a schedule of the event can be found on our blog. We also have a half-day Show & TEL event planned for June and a two-day event in November.
  • Bidding Workshop: We will continue to support OpenTEL members in developing bids throughout 2018. Our first bidding workshop will be held on March 13 with more details announced soon. A full-day bidding workshop is also planned for November.
  • End-of-project seminars: As some of our existing OpenTEL projects come to an end, we look forward to working with the project PIs to develop end-of-project seminars to share findings and impact.

Thank you for your support and participation in 2017! We look forward to another year of OpenTEL.