To Astrobiology and beyond: exploring our collection on OpenLearn

Photo of Dr Ann Grand, The Open University

Dr Ann Grand, The Open University

Astrobiology is (to slightly mis-quote Douglas Adams) ‘… big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly, big it is’.

For AstrobiologyOU, the research group that I’m part of, it’s not enough to study life on Earth and in space.

Not enough to look here and on other planets and their moons for evidence that life exists or might have existed.

Nor even enough to explore the environments that support, could support or might once have supported life on Earth or elsewhere in the Universe.

If you would like to know more about the work of AstrobiologyOU and the people who are doing it, please explore the Astrobiology Collection or visit the AstrobiologyOU website.

The AstrobiologyOU Logo

The AstrobiologyOU Logo

Continue reading

Learning from Engaging Opportunities

Engaging Opportunities (Holliman et al, 2018)

Engaging Opportunities (Holliman et al. 2018)

We have recently published the final report for ‘Engaging Opportunities’ (Holliman et al. 2018).

Funded as one of 12 by RCUK, our project involved a School-University Partnership (SUPI) between the Open University and the Denbigh Teaching School Alliance.

Informed by action research, our partnership was designed to create structured, strategic, sustainable and equitable mechanisms for effective school-university engagement with research.

Over four years our project team created engaging opportunities for 11 schools and more than 6,577 people within Milton Keynes. Students and teachers engaged with authentic practices of contemporary and inspiring research in a range of academic disciplines.

Through this work we offering opportunities to participate in mutual learning and develop relevant and useful skills and competencies in how to access, assess, analyse and respond to contemporary research.

Continue reading

Zero to hero – engaging teachers to teach network engineering

Andrew Smith, The Open University.

Andrew Smith, The Open University.

Since early January 2017, the School of Computing and Communications (represented by Senior Lecturer in Networking, Andrew Smith), the Open Media and Informal Learning (OMIL) Unit and the Open University’s Development Office have all been working with Cisco on a sponsored project to create content about computer networking for teachers (and school children). The content covers the national curriculum ‘computing’ domains of computer hardware and network engineering.

The resources are hosted on OpenLearn Create – the creative commons portal of the OpenLearn MOOCs.

Continue reading