As well as subject based research related to the academic disciplines that we collectively teach many academic staff also undertake research and scholarship into how we teach and how our students learn. Scholarship of teaching and learning is used to evaluate and inform The Open University’s institutional practices around open and distance education while educational research is used to evaluate and inform teaching practices within the higher education sector mostly focusing on what is termed Technology Enhanced Learning. The two processes often overlap and, in some cases, may be focussed on the teaching of a specific subject but they are principally organised through two initiatives.
The first initiative is the STEM Faculty’s scholarship centre, known as eSTEeM, the OU centre for STEM pedagogy. Some exemplar projects are:
The second is through a university wide research area known as OpenTEL. OpenTEL encompasses interdisciplinarity, bringing together researchers across the university, with existing research capab
ilities and established excellence as well as strong networks beyond the OU to work together on TEL projects.