I have recently joined the University of West London as an Academic Developer in the ExPERT Academy (Expertise for Professionalism in Education, Research and Teaching).
From 2000-2017 I was Lecturer in Learning and Teaching Technologies in the School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care within the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies. I was based within the Social Work department where I was Joint-Social Work Qualification Lead (Assessment). I was an author and learning designer, working with module teams and associated colleagues to develop and enhance learning, teaching and assessment using appropriate technology. I facilitated change in L& T design and production practices. My expertise covered:
I engaged in ongoing scholarship related to students' perceptions of their digital literacies development, especially work-based social work students. More recently I worked with colleagues from the OU Library (OU Library Data Project) exploring links between students engagement in digital literacy activities and attainment in module results. From June 2011 to 2014 I was co-lead of the EADDLS project, evaluating HSC students perceptions of skills development on a number of modules (see Research for further details). In 2008 I initiated a PBPL CETL research project Prepared for Practice? to explore newly qualified OU BA Social work graduates' perceptions of technology-enhanced learning and its role in preparing them for technology-enhanced social work practice.
Following my appointment as Teaching Fellow with the COLMSCT CETL in eAssessment (2006), my research activity also included exploring enhancements in designs to improve learner engagement in eAssessment, and learner perceptions of computer-based feedback.
I helped influence enhancements to OU policy and practice through membership of various OU working groups (e.g. Learning Innovations Office Consultation Group, VLE eAssessment Faculty Liaison Group). I was an FHSC Accessibility lead in Securing Greater Accessibility (SeGA) and member of the Cross-Faculty Accessibility Working group (CFAWG) and the new Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies EDWAS Steering group.
I played a key role in staff development for tutors, academic and academic-related staff. For 7 years I was a joint-organiser of eLC (eLearning Community) events, at which visiting guests and OU colleagues with an interest in pedagogy and technologies for learning regularly meet to debate and share knowledge and practice (see Other Interests for details). I was one of three OU central academic representatives on the AL eLearning Development Group (ALEDG) chaired by Student Services.
In 2009 I was a founder member and from 2013-15 chaired the HSC Teaching Online Panel (TOP) steering group which supported ALs in undertaking scholarship in key areas of L&T to inform good practices within the faculty. Our recent publication (Barnes, Cole and Nix, 2018) evaluates our experiences of supporting scholarship through a mostly online community of practice.
WELS Teaching Excellence Award (K315 Production Team award) (2017)
PBPL CETL Teaching and Learner Support Award (2007)
OU Teaching Award (2006)
Skills development: Digital literacy skills, ICT skills, Technology-enhanced learning, Technology-enhanced work practices
e-Assessment: developing designs to motivate and engage learners in online computer-marked assessment, e.g.
See video of Feedback - Do I really need it? 4th Open CETL conference presentation (Dec. 2009)
I was affiliated to:
Feb - April 2008 Studied part of H809 Practice-based research in educational technology.
March - June 2008 HEA funding bid to trial Moodle Gradebook on selected HSC courses (reached final shortlist from 134 nationally submitted bids)
Dec 2008 PBPL CETL awarded funding for project: Prepared for practice?
Dec 2006 COLMSCT CETL awarded funding for project: Learning through Interactive Assessment (LINA)
2007-09 Member of advisory group for the PB-LXP elearning project, exploring e-learning in practice settings (led by Prof. Mary Thorpe, IET).
2010-12 Member of advisory group for the PePLE project, developing CPD e-learning resources for practice-based learning (led by Prof. Mary Thorpe, IET).
Current scholarship project
2010 Funded by the OU Fund for Scholarship of and for Learning and Teaching, co-investigator with Marion Hall (HSC), and working with Kirsty Baker (OU Library) to explore student perceptions of their experiences of various learning designs for digital and information literacy skills development used in K113, K216 and K217. This project aimed to identify student attitudes to digital literacy for home/study/work, what motivates students to engage in skills development, and what features and learning designs are most effective. (Also funded by the HSC Faculty; and the OU Library.)
Prepared for practice? Exploring and evaluating the first six months of post-qualified practice in social work - PBPL CETL funded project with social work colleagues, exploring recent graduates' views on how effectively the social work degree has prepared them for their role as practitioners. My own interest was around use and perceptions of ICT - how it may 'enhance' social work practice i.e. improve existing processes and outcomes. Final report submitted November 2009.
Undertaking research analysing ICT Support queries from HSC students from 2002 to 2008. Aim to identify changing student needs and highlight issues relating to implementation of elearning tools and updates.
Learning through Interactive Assessment (LINA) project - motivating factors in e-Assessment; - COLMSCT CETL funded project with Ali Wyllie (HSC Lecturer Learning and Teaching Technologies), exploring tools for reflection - use of Confidence Indicator tool, Learning Logs. 2007 and 2008 tested with selected K216 students. Undertook observational research using audio and video. Project completed June 2009.
Moodle Gradebook - students and tutor experiences of this VLE tool and implications for practice (hoping to inform course team application of this tool within their courses). Undertook surveys of tutor use on K216 and K101.
Member of the Peer Review Panel for:
I undertake reviews of book proposals and drafts in my specialist areas eg. for SAGE Publishers was critical reader from initial proposal to publication, and am quoted on book cover of: Hill, A., Shaw, I. (2011) Social Work & ICT, Sage publications, ISBN 978-1-84920-055-4.
Conference programme committee member:
WORKSHOPS & SEMINARS
17 March 2010 HEA-funded research seminar on Employer engagement and employability skills. Hosted with Jan Brunwin and Sue Parr (CPLD), presented with Prof. Mary Thorpe (IET) on Preparing for technology-enhanced practice (see PBPL website for details.) The final report we produced is:
Brunwin, J., Nix, I., Parr, Sue and Thorpe, M. (2010), ‘Employer engagement and development of skills for employability’, briefing report for HEA Academy Seminar on ‘Employer Engagement and Development of Skills for Employability’, The Open University Practice Based Professional Learning CETL, May 2010,
http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/York/documents/ourwork/learningandtech/Open_University_Briefing_Report_17_March_2010.pdf (accessed 22 October 2010)
15 June 2010 PBPL CETL dissemination event 'Developing professional identities through practice based learning', presented Disruptive or facilitative? Social work student transitions towards technology-enhanced practice (PBPL website details).
30 June-2 July 2010 JSWEC Conference workshop with Jackie Rafferty (SWAP) and Ian Davies (IRISS) on Developing technology-enhanced social work practice – how are we doing?
2005 to 2011 Member of a national advisory group: Social Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE) eLearning Materials Advisory Group (ELMAG) responsible for quality assurance of a national repository of elearning resources being produced.
From 2009-2016 I was an organising team member of the the eLearning Community led by Chris Pegler, IET (2006-2012) and now Ann Jones, IET (2012 to 2017), with Sarah Davies and Graham Healing, and since 2012 also Karen Kear and Anna Comas-Quinn. We organised a programme of events for colleagues to share knowledge and practices in the application of technology to distance learning. Events cover a range of topics of interest including work-in-progress reports from colleagues relating to research or practice. The eLC offers a mailing list (as of 2015 we had approx. 330 subscribers) and we contribute to the monthly eLC Digest (newsletter) which is circulated to subscribers.
I was a lead academic in the faculty responsible for developing and enhancing learning and teaching using educational technologies. I advised and facilitated module teams and authors developing module material, including through staff development activities. I also wrote and designed learning activities for modules and programmes. I was engaged in Faculty groups to develop teaching approaches, production processes, and tutor and learner support (I was a longtime member of and briefly chaired HSC's Learning Technologies Working Group, and a member of past groups such as Learning and Teaching Quality Sub-Committee, Skills Working Group, and OU-wide groups such as OU Computing Guide User Group). From 2009-2017 I was an academic member of AL Elearning Development Group. I was a SeGA coordinator, facilitating how to design L&T to ensure greater accessibility.
Digital literacy skills
Integrated ICT skills
Online interactive Computer Marked Assessments (iCMAs)
CD-ROM/DVD-ROM experiential learning
Online Collaborative project framework
|FHSC Teaching and Learning Research Group||Research Group||Faculty of Health and Social Care|
|Social Work Research Group||Research Group||Faculty of Health and Social Care|