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Dr Patrina Law

Profile summary

Professional biography

I am Head of OpenLearn at the Open University. My responsibilities include:

  • Commissioning of open content for  the OU’s OpenLearn platform. 
  • Strategy and programme management of digital badging at the OU.
  • Syndication and adaptation of free content to third party platforms such as iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and YouTube.
  • Development of strategies that link data analysis around non-formal learners to our commissioning process.
  • Evaluating and researching non-formal learning for impact.
  • In collaboration with other OU units, taking our open courses and entry-level content to external partners to improve outreach.

I have been employed by The Open University since 2001 and have worked in Learning and Teaching Solutions and the Institute of Educational Technology. These roles have been wide-ranging but have had an emphasis on coordinating projects and research with a particular emphasis on Open Educational Resources (OER) and educational technology. 

My research interests are around understanding informal learners, the use of digital badging OER and in developing a framework for good practice in informal learning and are linked on Open Research Online.


Research interests

My research papers are available on ORO and via the Publications tab on this profile. They are around understanding who our informal learners are, what they do with our open content and why, including more recently, the phenomenon of micro-credentialising and digital badges.

Impact and engagement

I have won two Learning and Teaching Awards at the OU: one for the implementation of the Learn About Fair (an annual event which aims to provide an informal opportunity to find out about the latest developments of using technology in education), and one for leading the eDesktop Programme -- the first project to provide a VLE for the University's student modules.

I have also won the following external awards for research and other projects:

  1. 2015 Open Education Consortium Open Research Award for Open Education Excellence in recognition of outstanding efforts and contributions to advance Open Education through investigation, analysis and research.
  2. International Council for Open and Distance Education Prize for Innovation and Best Practice 2015.
  3. Finalist for the Times Higher Education Award for Widening Participation Initiative for the Year (2015) for Badged Open Courses.
  4. Winner 2016 Open Education Consortium: Creative Innovation Award - Badged Open Courses.
  5. Finalist 2017 Learning Technologies Awards, Excellence in the Design of Learning Content.
  6. Winner 2021 for the OpenLearn Team for Open Education Global's Open Resilience Award 2021 for recognising exemplary open educational practices implemented in the context of Covid-19.