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  2. Dr Katy Smith

Dr Katy Smith

Profile summary

Professional biography

BSc Psychology (Royal Holloway, University of London)

MSc Applied Psychology (College of Aeronautics, Cranfield University)

PhD Cultural Issues in Integrated Product Teams in the Aerospace Industry. (School of Industrial & Manufacturing Science, Cranfield University)

Before joining the OU, I worked in a number of industries including aerospace, utilities and construction, looking at matters of performance and continuous improvement, including inter and intra-organisational relations, team working, culture and supply chain relations. 

I started working for the OU in 2003. I joined the Faculty of Social Sciences in 2011, and became a Staff Tutor in 2016. I am Scholarship Lead (School of Psychology & Counselling), within the FASSTEST Scholarship Centre. In 2019 I become the Associate Director, Student Support (Psychology & Counselling). 

Research interests


My current reseach interests are student engagement in teaching and learning and barriers to engagement, across transactional distances.


Smith, D., and Smith, K. (2020) Understanding student engagement with synchronous and asynchronous online tuition and recordings. Presentation at 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI2020), 9-10 November 2020.

Smith, D., and Smith, K., (2019). Understanding barriers to participation in online tuition. Advance HE Teaching and Learning Conference: ‘Teaching in the spotlight: Innovation for Teaching Excellence’.

Kelly, C., Smith, K, Cuffe, P, Knightley, M, Latif, M and Penny R. (2019). Using the student voice to explore reasons for face-to-face attendance in a distance learning context. Oral presentation at BPS Division of Academics, Reseacrher and Teachers in Psychology Annual Conference, June 3-4, Cardiff, UK.

Smith, D., and Smith, K., (2015). Understanding Passive Learning in Online Distance Education. International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (Seville).

Smith, D., and Smith, K., (2014). The Case for 'Passive' Learning – The 'Silent' Community of Online Learners. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp.85-98.

Smith, D and Smith, K, (2013). Fifty shades of forums: the trouble with fantasy and dominance in asynchronous teaching and learning. UNISA Cambridge International Conference on Open, Distance and eLearning (University of South Africa), 2013.

Holti, RW, Smalley, M, Smith, K (2007) 'Advancing the integration of the supply chain in construction: The challenges for commercial practice', Final evaluation report: findings from action research, London, UK, Constructing Intelligence.

Smith, KH & Holti, R (2004). The Need For Context-Specific, Client Relevant Performance Measures in the Construction Industry. Presented at the 20th European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) Colloquium July 1-3, Ljubljana University, Slovenia.


(nee Payne)

Payne, KH; Deasley, PJ; Morris, AJ; Evans, S; Fielding, JP; Guenov, M & Syamsudin, H (2002). A Distributed Process for the Aerospace Industry. Journal of Engineering Design, Vol 13 (3), 253-260.

Payne, KH & Deasley, PJ (2001). Cultural Issues in Aerospace Engineering Design Teams. International Conference on Engineering Design, August 21-23, Glasgow, UK.

Payne, KH; Deasley, PJ; & Syamsudin, H (2000). A Distributed Design Scenario for Aerospace. Presented at the 22nd ICAS Congress, August 27-31, Harrogate, UK.

Payne, KH; Deasley, PJ; Evans, S; Morris, AJ; Fielding, JP; Guenov, M; & Syamsudin, H (2000). A Distributed Design Model for the Aerospace Industry. Presented at the Engineering Design Conference. June 27-29, Brunel, UK.

Morris, AJ; Payne, KH; Deasley, PJ; Evans, S; Fielding, JP; Guenov, M; Syamsudin, H & Thorne, J (2000). MACRO - A Tool to Support Distributed MDO. Presented at the AIAA Symposium on Multi-Disciplinary Analysis and Optimization. September 6-8, Long Beach, CA.

Payne, KH & Harris, D (2000). A Psychometric Approach to the Development of a Multidimensional Scale to Assess Aircraft Handling Qualities. The Journal of Aviation Psychology. Vol 10 (4), 343–362.

Busby, JS; Payne, KH; Scamans, J & Hibbered, RE (2000). An Evaluation of an Instructional System for Engineering Task Estimation. IEEE Transactions on Education, Vol 43 (1), 30–35.

Harris, D; Gautrey, J; Payne KH & Bailey, R. (2000). The Cranfield Aircraft Handling Qualities Rating Scale: A Multidimensional Approach to the Assessment of Aircraft Handling Qualities. The Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society, April 191–198.

Payne, KH; Syamsudin, H; Guenov, M; Morris, AJ; Deasley, PJ; Evans, S; Fielding, JP (1999). MACRO and the Future of Integrated Product Development. Presented at the 6th International Conference on Concurrent Engineering, September 1-3, Bath, UK.

Harris, D; Payne, KH & Gautrey, J. (1999). A Multi-Dimensional Scale to Assess Aircraft Handling Qualities. In D.Harris (Ed) Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics (Vol 3 - Transportation, Medical Ergonomics and Training Systems). Ashgate, Aldershot, pp.277–285 (ISBN: 1 840145463).

Busby, JS & Payne, KH (1999). A Behavioural Training System for Planning Judgement. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. Vol 15, 61–72.

Payne KH & Busby, JS (1998). Planning Complex Projects in Organisations Involves Situated Cognition. Presented at the 2nd International Conference on Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics, October 28-30, Oxford, UK.

Payne, KH; Hibberd, RE & Busby, JS (1998). Computer Based Training in Qualitative Research Methods. Presented at the Computers in Psychology Conference, April 15-17, York, UK.

Busby, JS & Payne, KH (1998).The Situated Nature of Judgement in Engineering Design Planning. Journal of Engineering Design. Vol. 9 (3), 273–293.

Busby, JS & Payne, KH (1998). Why Engineers Don't Always Learn Good Planning Practices. Engineering Management Journal. Vol.8 (4), 211–215.

Busby, JS & Payne, KH (1998). Computer Based Instruction in Qualitative Research Practice. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. Vol. 14, 59–70.

A repository of research publications and other research outputs can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.

Teaching interests

I have been a member of the DE300 Investigating Psychology module team member since 2017.

From 2016-17 I was on both DE100 Investigating Psychology 1 and DE200 Investigating Psychology 2 module teams.

Previously an AL for Living Psychology: from the everyday to the extraordinary (DD210) , Exploring psychology (DSE212), Applying Psychology (DSE232) and Introduction to social sciences (DD101).

External collaborations

  • Chartered Psychologist, British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • Associate Fellow, British Psychological Society
  • Member of the Division of Academics, Researchers and Teachers (BPS)
  • Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy