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Mrs Diane Butler

Profile summary

  • Regional Academic Staff
  • Associate Dean (Academic Excellence)
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Life, Health & Chemical Sciences
  • diane.butler

Professional biography

Mrs Diane Butler is currently

Associate Dean Academic Excellence, STEM Faculty and

Director of eSTEeM: the OU centre for STEM pedagogy

Current roles and appointments

  • Senior Lecturer in Life Sciences
  • Member of Senate (The Open University)
  • Chair of STEM Faculty Academic promotions committee 
  • Member of Student Research Project Panel
  • Member of OU Scholarship Steering group
  • Applaud Assessor and Mentor (OU Route to HEA accreditation)

Previous roles and appointments

  • Science Staff Tutor
  • Scholarship Lead, School of Life, Health and Chemical Sciences
  • Undergraduate (Level 1) Student Support Team Academic Lead
  • Science Staff Tutor Group Chair
  • Deputy Programme Director Natural Sciences
  • Qualification Director Natural Sciences
  • Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning COLMSCT Teaching Fellow


BSc (Hons) Microbiology and Virology, University of Warwick (1985)

PGCE Biology/Science, University of Leeds (1986)

PG Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Open Univeristy (2002)

MA Online and Distance Learning, Open University (2005)

Professional accreditation

Higher Education Academy Senior Fellow

Research interests

My current research interests focus on supporting academics to develop skills relating to the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) and the delivery of synchronous online tuition in ODL contexts.

Authored resources for SoTL include:

Enhancing Scholarship at the OU - an online toolkit for OU Scholarship and Innovations Centres which describes the approach, the methods and resources successfully used by eSTEeM over the last seven years to facilitate practitioner-led scholarship within STEM.

Recent publications include:

[Editorial] Innovations in STEM distance education Herman, Clem and Butler, Diane (2019). [Editorial] Innovations in STEM distance education. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 34(1) pp. 1–5.

Butler, D.L., Cook, L. Haley-Mirnar, V., Halliwell, C., MacBrayne, L. (2018) Achieving student centred facilitation in online synchronous tutorials. In: 10th EDEN Research Workshop, Oct 2018, Barcelona, Spain

Butler, D.L., Cook, L. Haley-Mirnar, V., Halliwell, C., MacBrayne, L. Synchronous Online Tuition: differences between student and teacher expectations and experiences. In HEA STEM Conference 31 Jan -01 Feb 2018, Newcastle, UK

Butler, D.L., Cook, L. (2017) What drives student participation in online tutorials?. In HEA STEM Conference 01-02 Feb 2017, Manchester, UK

Other research interests focused on a variety of issues in open and distance education including

Teaching interests

Current modules:

S290 Level 2 Health Sciences module in production

S201 Science and Society Module Team Member and Author

S294 Cell Biology Module Team Member and Author

SXHL288 Practical Science: Biology and health Module Team Member


Previous modules:

S141 Investigative and mathematical skills in science Module Team Chair and Author

SXR103 Practicing Science Module Team Chair/Examination Board Chair and Author

S288 Practical Science Module Team Member

S104 Exploring Science, Module Team Chair/Examination Board Chair and Author

S103 Discovering Science Module team Member

SEH806 Contemporary issues in science learning Module Team Chair/Examination Board Chair

Impact and engagement

EDEN Research Workshops 2018 (ERW18), Invited expert Round Table "From data use for guidance to guidance for data use - developing data literacy to empower learners" 26.10.2018


[Editorial] Innovations in STEM distance education (2019)
Herman, Clem and Butler, Diane
Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 34(1) (pp. 1-5)
Achieving Student Centred Facilitation in Online Synchronous Tutorials ()
Butler, Diane; Cook, Lynda; Haley-Mirnar, Vikki; Halliwell, Catherine and Macbrayne, Louise
In : EDEN Research 2018 (24-26 Oct 2018, Barcelona) (pp. 76-82)

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