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Award for Outstanding Impact on Teaching, Curriculum and Students

The Outstanding Impact on Teaching, Curriculum and Students award in the OU’s Research Excellence Awards 2019, was presented to Dr Christothea Herodotou, a Lecturer at the Institute of Educational Technology, for her research into early alert indicators that provide predictions about students’ performance.

The award recognises outstanding impact of OU research on our learning and teaching, curriculum and students.

The runner up is The OpenScience Observatories Team, Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, for their facilities which enable OU students at all levels to explore astrophysics.

The awards were presented at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the MK Dons Stadium on Wednesday 23 October.

Predicting student performance

The Early Alert Indicators (EAI) project, led by Dr Christothea Herodotou, has effectively developed and systematically evaluated an innovative approach to pedagogy, namely a set of predictive analytics tools (OU Analyse (OUA) and Student Probabilities) that provide predictions about students' performance, which has been found to improve student retention and performance and the teaching practice needed.

OU Analyse produces predictions as to whether students are at risk of failing their studies and predicts on a weekly basis whether a given student will submit their Tutor-Marked Assignment (TMA).

Watch the video to hear more about Dr Herodotou's research:

Teaching astrophysical exploration to distance learners

The OpenScience Observatories (OSO) represent the pinnacle of a decade of research-led development, translating expertise gained through professional astrophysical research, technology exploitation and educational research into an astronomy curriculum that enables OU students at all levels to study astrophysical exploration.

The two OSO robotic telescopes in Tenerife facilitate monitoring of the variable Universe, contributing to compact binary star research, exoplanet research and research on optical counterparts of gravitational waves. Together with a robotic radio telescope at Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, these facilities are also instrumental in teaching practical science – observational astronomy – to OU distance learners at all levels.

Read more about the OU Research Excellence Awards

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