Engaging EdD/PhD induction for women in WELS-ECYS

‘My PhD journey’: Exploring the doctoral process with Body Mapping  and  fun

Alexandra Okada
& Mimi Tatlow-Golden

Body mapping can be a way of telling stories, much like totems that are constructed with symbols that have different meanings, but whose significance can only be understood in relation to the creator’s overall story and experience  

Gastaldo et. al.,( 2012) p.5



At RUMPUS, we research fun, in childhood and in learning.
But academic meetings? Even when interesting, meetings are rarely fun.

So when RUMPUS group members come together for research and planning, we try and honour the spirit of our interest in fun, using various means to lighten the atmosphere. Sometimes it’s as simple as ‘wear a hat’. It is surprising how easily the formal atmosphere of work can be punctured by looking at a work colleague in an incongruous piece of headwear.  (It has to be said that this approach requires trust in a group. We can imagine colleagues with whom this wouldn’t feel comfortable or particularly fun at all, but it does work for us).

In 2019 we welcomed our first two Ph.D. students to RUMPUS. Both came with expertise in previous careers and after an extended application process including collaborative proposal development and competitive interviews for Faculty research funding. We had therefore already had multiple meetings, ideas development and exchanges and knew one another reasonably well. Still, we wanted to introduce them to the inevitable peaks and troughs of the Ph.D. journey ahead, and although we can’t dispense with dynamics of power in a supervisor-PhD student relationship, we wanted to set a more egalitarian tone, and to set the tone for an exploratory, playful feel to the path we were about to step into together.

So this session, a work/funshop for eight researchers, aimed for lecturers, professors and researchers to share their own Ph.D. experiences, the joys and challenges, together with our new group members.

Rather than working our way through yet another set of slides, Mimi chose body mapping for this. Ale supported the session by taking photos, notes, generating data and integrating previous studies about body mapping from the literature to initiate this article.

Body mapping - what is it?

Body mapping is a simple visual drawing approach that requires no skill or previous experience. First, a rough, life-size outline of each group participant’s body is drawn on paper. This can be done in pairs, as each person lies on the ground on large sheets of paper and the other draws around it – but equally a free-hand life-size body outline can simply be drawn (see below for variations on this approach).

Next, each participant writes, draws or colours, in their body outline and around it – filling areas in or leaving them blank, responding to the theme of the session. The idea is to express experiences, thoughts and emotions that relate to the experience under discussion. Participants can use keywords, sentences or symbols; graphs, maps, icons, texture or collage.

Body mapping can represent a specific context or personal moment, or a longer journey, and It is limited only by time, imagination, materials and engagement. It reiterates that as humans, all our experiences are embodied. As with hat-wearing, it does also require an atmosphere of trust, and it is important that a genuine opt-in approach is taken so that participants feel free to choose another route or to sit this out altogether.

Body mapping can be used in reflective workshops. It can also be used to collect qualitative research data about subjective experiences associated with one’s embodied self (Coetzee et. al, 2019) through a life-size human body figure (McCorquodale and DeLuca (2020) or a smaller one drawn on a standard sheet of paper.

Location and materials

A special location suggested by Prof. Fergurson was selected for this workshop/funshop, the Creative Room in the Jennie Lee Building of the Open University. At RUMPUS, we often try and meet off campus, again to step away from the formal constraints of much of our academic lives. This location was a next-best to capture that atmosphere of stepping away: unlike a standard meeting room, the Creative Room is a large and cosy space with brightly coloured walls and a carpeted floor. that lends itself to drawing, interaction and dialogue.

The materials we used were basic: flipchart paper sheets, handfuls of colourful marker pens, sticky tapes and staplers.


Our induction meeting started with an open conversation with the whole group so those who had not yet met could start to get to know each other. We chatted about each others’ current research ideas and the key ideas and concepts the students had drawn on in their proposals and interviews. As is so often the case, discussion about fun – what it is, how it’s experienced and how to research it – quickly became quite animated.

This was followed by a brief presentation of images associated with current research underway at the RUMPUS research group.

Mimi then explained the body mapping activity.

The objective was to learn from each other about doctoral journeys. The four supervisors and another research group member illustrated their experiences of completing their Ph.D. research studies. The two Ph.D.  students – women – described their journey of preparing their successful doctoral proposal.

Mimi highlighted the ethical protocol of keeping the conversation private to the group, and that no one was obligated to share if they preferred not to. Individual approval to report on this event has been obtained by email from each participant.

For this blog article, the participants provided their consent for photos and comments about the body mapping session that occurred before the pandemic – a year ago.  Since the induction, our meetings have been implemented only online.

The body mapping portion of the workshop took about an hour in total: 10 minutes to prepare the real-size body outline in pairs, 15-20 minutes to illustrate the research journey in the body outline. Finally, each of the seven participants took the rest of the group on a tour of their body maps, for a few minutes each, sharing and explaining as much as they preferred.

Working in pairs and threes, seven of the eight participants supported each other to attach paper sheets and outline their bodies.

Findings and Discussion

According to Gastaldo et. al.  (2012, p.5). “Body mapping can be a way of telling stories, much like totems that are constructed with symbols that have different meanings, but whose significance can only be understood in relation to the creator’s overall story and experience”.

Therefore, dialogue about the body mapping contributes to capturing the full nature of the experience.

It’s important to recognise that – like many aspects of the doctoral relationship – and indeed like fun itself, body mapping can be experienced in various ways. As McCorquodale and DeLuca (2020, p.1) highlight,

“Body mapping can be a fun and expressive experience for participants of social research [but] It can also be a confusing and overwhelming experience for researchers and participants new to the method.

Building relationships before body mapping is important so participants know each other. This also creates the flexibility to make choices about how to participate, and conversation – and allowing silence – is important so that everyone feels as comfortable as possible.

For reflective educational researchers and practitioners, the following extracts selected from participants’ comments about their experience were very meaningful to explore the nuances of fun that emerged, for example,   get to know each other; incorporate and keep fun up during supervision meetings; face uncertainty or silliness as well as activate imagination and anticipation. Last but not least, being aware of any awkwardness related to the activities and environment and finding ways to sort out any discomfort with the facilitators as well as being open to exciting emerging pathways … led participants to find precious joy in the process of learning.

‘Non-work focus elements’  became pearls for meaning-making, bonding and identity with body mapping.

Data: participants'views

Final Remarks

Body maps can be completed by individual research participants or collectively in groups (CORNWALL, 1992). The body maps become springboards for discussion to fully understand the lived experiences depicted. These discussions can take place while the maps are being drawn. They can also take place afterwards either as one-to-one interviews or in larger groups.

The body mapping enabled participants to identify thoughts, relationships, feelings and emotions associated with their research journey . Drawing events using our real size body activated memories, feelings, emotions and senses that triggered a rush of past events or even seemingly forgotten em”body”ied experiences.

Listening to each other’s body mapping was very meaningful as well as brought the participants close together strengthening group identity.


Gastaldo, D., Rivas-Quarneti, N., & Magalhães, L. (2018, March). Body-map storytelling as a health research methodology: Blurred lines creating clear pictures. In Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research (Vol. 19, No. 2).

Coetzee, B., Roomaney, R., Willis, N., & Kagee, A. (2019). Body mapping in research. In Pranee Liamputtong (ed.), Handbook of Research Methods in Health Social Sciences. Springer Singapore. pp. 1237-1254 (2019)

McCorquodale, L., & DeLuca, S. (2020). You Want Me to Draw What? Body Mapping in Qualitative Research as Canadian Socio-Political Commentary. In Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research (Vol. 21, No. 2).

Cornwall, A. (1992). Body mapping in health RRA/PRA. RRA Notes16(July), 69-76.











Chop-chop, Cut-cut: Moments of Re(connection) with/in digital presentation.

by Emily Dowdeswell and Sarah Huxley

When we were asked to write something about our presentations, we thought about conventions of academic representation, and of ways to elicit fun in our own process of reflecting upon the experience of presenting with/in a digital conference. Focusing on the conference title “Research Re(imagined)”, how could our writing be a provocative contribution for change and growth (Koro-Ljungberg & Maclure, 2013)? A part of wider conversations in progress around the need to reimagine academic conference in a time of intersecting pandemic and climate crises.

Being with/in digital presentation

How might we convey the lived experience of doing digital presentations. This is different from the fixed content of the presentation itself. Whilst completing her doctoral research, India Amos of the School of Health and Society at the University of Salford, explored ways to ‘carry forward’ human experience if human experience is conceptualised as ‘more than words can say’ (Amos, 2019). She adopted found poetry to bring the meaning of her research experience alive. Poetry can capture complexity, heighten creativity and invite reflexivity (Pithouse-Morgan et al., 2014). Monica Prendergast, professor of drama and theatre education at the University of Victoria, advocates for poetic inquiry, and particularly found poetry (e.g. Prendergast, 2006), as a way of doing qualitative research differently. So, could found poetry be created from presentation texts as an arts-based approach to describing the complexity of doing digital presentations? In order to discover and communicate that experience in a multidimensional, evocative and more accessible way (Cahnmann, 2003).

Chop-chop, Cut-cut

Found poetry is created by taking words and phrases from other sources and reframing them to convey a different meaning to the reader. Sometimes described as literary or poetic collage, it also references the dadaism of Marcel Duchamp, and reimagines the communication of meaning in ways that are unexpected. Natalie Franks has a very useful account here if you are interested in having a go. Creating poetry to represent research experience is a non-linear process that involves physically or electronically cutting and pasting selected words and phrases together (Pithouse-Morgan et al., 2014). The process itself reframes research presentation away from a description of fixed findings, towards the unfolding of ambiguity, tension and precarity. The process highlights that our understanding is always partial, contingent and subject to change (Pithouse-Morgan et al., 2014).

Photo 1: In blue, words/phrases from Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem, and in orange, text from Sarah’s PowerPoint.

So, having discussed our approach, Sarah went off and scribbled, chopped, and collaged. We had agreed our theme: the lived experience of digital presentations, and her focus was to find a poem that represented her experience of ‘disassociation and reconnection’. A quick search surfaced several articles about dissociating as an embodied response to significant trauma. It’s a serious condition, and some common signs of being in a dissociate state can be: mind wandering; a sense of the world not being real; and watching yourself from seemingly outside of your body.

Whilst we most certainly did not experience a trauma induced experience of disassociation during our digital presentations, we did jostle alongside some of these sensations. We share a vignette of Sarah’s memories as an example of what we mean:

“I recall saying ‘Um’ – a sound I too frequently use to hold the space, as I search for the verbalisation of my thoughts. Immediately I became aware of my self-critic: the sound reverberated, and I was suddenly watching myself give the presentation. As someone behind – looking at the body present, and then, the digital screen. This sensory moment was transitory, and I was soon drawn back into re-connecting with the movement to the next slide, drawn into the digital visualisation of text and colour. Slides – a packaged extension of thoughts being shared with others, all neatly placed on a digital screen. It felt good. I was re-plugged back into the virtual experience”.

In reworking our presentations, through remembered sensations, and poetry that resonates with our experience, we rethink digital presentation as “something more complex and creative, even agentic” (Banerjee & Blaise, 2018). “A digital hokey cokey”, created by Sarah from her slide presentations, sensations and the poem ‘The Whole Self – by Naomi Shihab Nye’, seeks to carry forward our experience of doing presentations. In drawing on poetic inquiry, we intentionally adopt a method that is partial, serious, playful and imperfect (Banerjee & Blaise, 2018).

Photo 2: Bringing different possible versions of the found poem together.

Figure 1: A digital hokey cokey by Sarah Huxley

[Audio] recording of the poem, read aloud by Sarah Huxley

Moments of Re(connection)

We were curious to understand more about the potential for collective poetic inquiry to engage with the polyvocality (Pithouse-Morgan et al., 2014) within our educational conference space. We have (re)presented our digital presentations using found poetry, in order to share our experience as a poetic performance, evoking the diverse voices of body, wire, screen, key, soundboard, pixel, text and image. Did we succeed in carrying forward the collective, multifaceted aspects of digital conferencing? Did our approach capture the risk we feel as we move away from familiar forms of conference presentation?  As argued forcefully before, poetic inquiry can push us “to the precarious point of confronting and publicly revealing ambiguities in what and how we come to know” (Pithouse-Morgan et al., 2014, 167). Our approach to representing our research is a risk, a provocation to reimagine how research experience can be shared, which we hope aligns with the goals of the conference itself. It is an approach that also seeks to disrupt conceptualisations of digital presentation as known, familiar and inert (Koro-Ljundberg & Maclure, 2013). We have paused to wonder what is possible if we reconfigure and reimagine our digital presentation experiences differently. We now are left to wonder what might be possible if we make room for fun to entangle readers in different and unknowable ways (Banerjee & Blaise, 2018)?


Amos, I. (2019). “That’s what they talk about when they talk about epiphanies”: An invitation to engage with the process of developing found poetry to illuminate exceptional human experience. Counselling & Psychotherapy Research 19(1), pp.16-24.

Banerjee, B. & Blaise, M. (2018). An unapologetic feminist response. Research in Education 101(1), pp.17-24.

Cahnmann, M. (2003). The craft, practice, and possibility of poetry in educational research. Educational Researcher, 32(3), pp. 29-36.

Dowdeswell, E. (2021). (Re)imagining learning and research: invitations to create and reflect. WELS Postgraduate Researchers Conference. Research re(imagined): (post)pandemic perspectives. 20th March 2021.

Huxley, S. (2021). Changing method: how I shifted from a ‘blended’ to fully online ethnography. WELS Postgraduate Researchers Conference. Research re(imagined): (post)pandemic perspectives. 20th March 2021.

Huxley, S. (2021). A digital hokey cokey.

Shihab Nye, N. (1995). The Whole Self. From Words Under Words – Selected Poems. 4th Edition.

Koro-Ljungberg, M. & Maclure, M. (eds) (2013). Special issue: Data. Cultural Studies <-> Critical Methodologies 13(4), pp. 219–372.

Pithouse-Morgan, K., Naicker, I., Chikoko, V., Pillay, D., Morojele, P., & Hlao, T. (2014). Entering an ambiguous space: Evoking polyvocality in educational research through collective poetic inquiry. Perspectives in Education 32(4), pp. 149-170.

“I like to climb and pick coconuts”

Moving Towards A Child-Guided Agentic Participatory Research Methodology: 7 To 11 Years Children’s Experiences Of Physical Activity.

Plowright-Pepper, Linda Caroline (2020). “I like to climb and pick coconuts”. Moving Towards A Child-Guided Agentic Participatory Research Methodology: 7 To 11 Years Children’s Experiences Of Physical Activity. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.000121bd


In 2018 only 18% of children met the UK Chief Medical Officers’ recommended physical activity levels in England (Public Health England, 2018). Despite emerging evidence suggesting that declines in physical activity may originate from 7 years old, little research has been undertaken with middle childhood children. This study addresses gaps in research which gives children an opportunity to express their lived experiences of physical activity.

The aim of this thesis was to evaluate the extent to which a new child-guided approach to researching lived experiences of middle childhood physical activity provided insights into children’s activity choices and familial influences. Informed by social constructivism this study assumed that children were agentic social actors capable not only of contributing to research but capable of guiding research into matters which affected them. Participatory and existential phenomenological methodologies were brought together in a new model of agentic child-guided (AChiG) participatory research. Physical activity was conceptualised as an embodied experience and framed as an individually socioecologically contextualised phenomenon (e.g. Merleau-Ponty 1962).

I enabled coresearchers to identify fresh conceptualisations of physical activity through the use of the AChiG model. Coresearchers conceptualised physical activity for instance as ‘conquering creative challenges’ and ‘playing at’ structured activities.

High levels of imagination and creativity together with a strong motivation to connect with close family members underpinned fun and enjoyment which drove physical activity. Coresearchers also contextualised physical activity within a broad range of physically active and inactive free-choice pursuits. These competed for coresearchers time in fluid, layered and spontaneous ways. These insights and lessons learnt from the new child-guided approach provide potentially fruitful strands to inform further research.

“Sources of fun and enjoyment were multi-stranded and interconnecting. For instance, perceived competence and a sense of mastery(Mccarthy and Jones, 2007b)could be underpinned by a sense of autonomy and agency in the decision to participate,(Mackintosh et al., 2011). Fun was found both in the activity itself but also in having a friend with whom to share the activity (Agbuga, Xiang and McBride, 2012)”

In celebration of sensory methods and movement

By Sarah Huxley

Can you understand what an ice cream is without eating it, but by only looking at it and describing it? Without experiencing its texture, taste, coldness, flavour, smell, and examining the multi-faceted and layered sensory experience that is all part of the process of eating an ice cream. This process is in its own way a celebration of sensory experience, movement and being. The process of eating an ice cream is a blog post in itself, but I won’t digress.

Source: Unsplash @Foodism360

For my research on exploring fun and learning, I understand ‘fun’ to be an ice cream of sorts. This may also be partly because I am writing this blog in 32-degree heat, but the metaphor stands.

Fun is an ambiguous concept, which has different connotations in different cultures and deserves to be better understood alongside learning processes.  This is the premise upon which my thesis is based. I am looking at what fun is, does and why it may be important with a sport for social change organisation called Coaches Across Continents (CAC) https://coachesacrosscontinents.org/.

Source: Coaches Across Continents (CAC)

For the purposes of this post, I want to acknowledge and focus on the work of the anthropologist Tim Ingold, in particular, his joyful book “Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description” (2011). Here he sets the case for his beliefs that “it is by moving that we know… a being that moves, knows and describes must be observant…[and] is being alive to the world” (Ingold, 2011: xii). Ingold does not like binaries: the mind is not a separate entity to the body (drawing from Merleu Ponty), nor is the world we inhabit a separate entity to humanity. For him ‘wayfaring’ is the rhythmic patterning of how people contribute alongside “through their movements to its [the worlds] ongoing formation” (p.44).

Ingold (2011) reminds sensory researchers of the bias of “head over heels”, and that the sense of touch, especially via feet and its wayfaring with the ground, especially in Western research practices is often ignored. Actually, there is much to be learnt as a researcher from his call to focus on the movement of intransitive and haptic experiences: not from the “accumulation of knowledge through successive points of rest”, but rather to consider that “for the most part we do not perceive things from a single vantage point, but rather by walking around them” (p.45).

As I am starting to build and prepare my methods using sensory ethnography, and this will mean participating and observing the ‘on-pitch’ games that CAC develop and use with their partners and children across the globe. Ingold’s work, therefore, reminds me to not lose grounding with my feet and embodied experiences, and to not simply focus on what I see at certain points. Rather examine if and how my sense of touch and movement throughout can communicate a reality about how fun and learning are understood through the play-based games of CAC.

Source: Ramesh Iyer

By the way, my favourite ice cream is pistachio: it’s not just about the vivid colour, or the visual audacity of it – I love the crunchiness of the nuts alongside the creamy texture, and it’s almost almond taste. It reminds me to be grateful for being alive.

To learn more about my PhD research or discuss your ice cream preferences you can follow me here: @AidHoover or write to me at: sarah.huxley@open.ac.uk



Communicating the value of fun through visual media: “I like school, I think it is a fun and happy environment”:

By Emily Dowdeswell

I am a research student in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies of the Open University. I am also a member of the Rumpus research group. My expertise focuses on art, creativity and learning.

My doctoral research project explores children’s narratives about their everyday classroom. I will be examining what 9 to 10-year old students think about ‘fun’ and ‘learning’ in the school. I am interested in the meaning and relationships between fun and learning expressed by preteens.

My master’s study was a pilot for my project. It revealed the frequent use by children of the word ‘fun’ to describe positive learning experiences. These findings encouraged me to seek better understanding about the value of fun for children’s learning.

The Open University Poster Competition was a great opportunity to communicate my study to others.  Having attended the poster workshop delivered by the Graduate School, my design centred on the idea that with graphic representation, less is more.

Unfortunately, fun in learning is currently a complex and slippery concept that resists easy definitions and models. My supervisors advised focusing on one aspect of the study.  Therefore, my poster presents some key findings of my literature review in order to show where the gap lays.

My work sets out the importance of education in the UK, the ubiquity of fun in accounts of learning and the contrasting lack of established framework for fun in learning.

It  describes how the existing literature is dominated by adult perspectives in order to show the need for a focus on children’s perspectives.  My poster was awarded on the  5 top list. 

The poster’s most appealing feature, however, was the cute photo of a dog wearing glasses. My approach will interrogate how fun and learning emerges from human, non-human and material encounters. This gave me the perfect excuse to to look for a fun photo on Unsplash.

A dog wearing glasses may not be a sufficient condition for fun in learning, but it certainly helps make a fun poster!

WELS research students snag top places in Poster Competition
Several postgraduate students from WELS participated in the 15th OU Research Students’ Poster Competition. An online awarding ceremony on 10th June announced the following winners:

Judges’ Choice – Winner: Claire Saunders (ECYS) – Building a community of writers in a university (click image to view)
People’s Choice Multimedia – 3rd Place: Emily Dowdeswell (ECYS) – Fun in learning (click image below to view animation)
Community Choice – Equal 4th Place: Shi-Min Chua (IET) – Starting a conversation in online discussion and Emily Dowdeswell, PhD student (ECYS) – Fun in learning

Many congratulations to everyone who took part!

I like to climb and pick coconuts! A child-guided agentic participatory research methodology

By Alexandra Okada

Linda Plowright-Pepper is a research student in the Open University’s Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies. Her PhD investigated children’s lived experiences of physical activity’.

Her pilot study “Boing, Boing like a kangaroo” revealed high levels of imagination motivating children’s physical activity in their holiday play scheme.

In her main study she engaged with nine 7- to 11-year-old coresearchers who guided research into their own free-choice physical activity.

Coresearchers revealed new ways of conceptualising physical activity as ‘setting and conquering creative challenges’ and ‘playing at’ sport and structured physical activity each underpinned by fun and enjoyment.

“What is infolding is the amount of imagination that is driving Children’s physical activity and driving their fun and enjoyment. And that fun and enjoyment is going to be key to laying down positive memories that will take them through adolescence and long into their adulthood”

This is one of a series of films in which OU research students discuss their research and degree journey; other videos can be viewed on the ‘Research students at the Open University’ playlist https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list…. For further information about doing a research degree at the Open University, UK, go to http://www.open.ac.uk/research/degrees.

Complexities of responding to children and their rights

The interactive workshop “complexities of responding to children and their rights” was organised by PhD and EdD students  in WELS- ECYS on the 19th of November 2019

The event was held at the Children’s Research Centre of Open University UK.

Linda Plowright presented her work about “Moving towards an agent child-guided research methodology”; and introduced core research-choice methods

Lucy Rodriguez Leon introduced her work about “Exploring children’s understanding of text through mediated dialogue”; and described ethnographic methods.

Petra Vackova  discussed  her research study about  “Felt, lively, embodied explorations of social inclusion around early-years art making in the Czech Republic”; and  explained response-able methods

The event was very engaging, fun and interactive with discussion, brainstorming, post-its mind-maps including activities in groups and also with the plenary.

The event received participants from WELS and other faculties including supervisors, early carrier researchers, lecturers, senior fellows, professors and new PhD students.

An important report was also launched,  celebrating the OU’s 50 anniversary.

Chamberlain, L., Afroze, J., Cooper, V. & Collins, T. (2019) Representing children’s rights from discussion through to illustration and interpretation, Milton Keynes, The Open University Children’s Research Centre and Amnesty UK International

download: https://wels.open.ac.uk/sites/wels.open.ac.uk/files/files/Rep_childrens_rights_Res_Report_Nov_2019.pdf

RUMPUS wins the Open Education Consortium 2019 – Open App Award for excellence!

by Alexandra Okada

The Board of Directors and Awards Committee of the Open Education Consortium has just announced that the OU Rumpus Centre received the Open App Award for VR classroom

Milano, November 26th, 2019, Politecnico Bovisar Open Education Global Conference 2019 #OEGlobal19 www.oeconsortium.orgr  photo by Matteo Bergamini, CC

The Open App Award for Excellence is presented to an exceptional instrument proven to be an essential tool for professionals, trainers and teachers for building, and delivering open education.

This award is selected by the OE Awards Committee to recognize truly exceptional work in Open Education.

UK 2019, Open University female PhD students cocreating the Open APP photo by Dr Alexandra Okada , CC BY SA

The OU’s new interdisciplinary RUMPUS research group is based in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education, and Language Studies but has members from across the university and outside it. We examine the role of fun in learning and life, for both children and adults, and from both children’s and adults’ perspectives. 

BR Feb  22th, 2019, UNISUL photo by Sangar Zucchi , CC

The Open App project is an initiative of Rumpus Centre led by Dr. Alexandra Okada with a group of partners in the UK (David Wortley) and Brazil (Sangar Zucchi, Simone Fuchtler and  Ana Karine Rocha – PhD at the OU supervised by Dr Okada). It focuses on Open Educational Resources (OER) to be designed by youth based on ‘open schooling’ approach to foster skills for Responsible Research and Innovation. It is funded by Brazil government and supported by 360 in 360 Immersive Experiences (2018-2019). These OER for mobile devices about topical socio-scientific issues can be used, openly and freely, in formal and non-formal settings to enhance students and citizens’ immersive learning with fun and engagement. Our studies suggest that Virtual Reality (VR) can transform the way educational content is delivered making it easy to immerse learners in time and space with real-life settings relevant for society.

BR Mar  05th, 2019, UNISUL photo by Sangar Zucchi , CC

The Open App project team will be applauded for their dedication to openness, access, high quality and innovation at the Open Education Global Conference in Milan, Italy on November 26th.  In this event, Dr. Okada was invited to present the Open App project and talk about her work focused on exploring “fun” with immersive learning.


OEC Global Photos

Okada, Alexandra., Rocha, A. K. L. T., Fuchter, S. K., Zucchi, S., & Wortley, D. (2018, December) Formative assessment of inquiry skills for responsible research and innovation using 3D virtual reality glasses and face recognition. Technology Enhanced Assessment (pp. 91-101). Springer, Cham

Sheehy, Kieron; Garcia Carrizosa, Helena; Rix, Jonathan; Seale, Jane and Hayhoe, Simon (2019). Inclusive museums and augmented reality. Affordances, participation, ethics and fun.The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum (In Press).  http://oro.open.ac.uk/view/person/ks47.html