My main curent role is Director of the Centre for Open Learning of Maths, Science, Computing and Technology.
My research interests are centred on functional imaging of the human brain with application to the understanding of higher function. I am centrally inolved in the development of a new imaging facility, the Oxford Centre for Neurodevelopmental MEG Imaging. Since the mid 90s, I have collaborated with colleagues at Oxford, manly in studies of autism and consumer decision making. I am now developing a new research interest , the neurophysiological processes associated with education and training.
Alongside my teaching development activities, I carry out pedagogical research in assessment for learning.
|Physics Applied to Medicine Group||Group||Faculty of Science|
|Role||Start date||End date||Funding source|
|Co-investigator||01/Oct/2012||30/Sep/2015||EC (European Commission): FP(inc.Horizon2020, H2020, ERC)|
School and University students studying science and technology often encounter barriers to their understanding of complex concepts. However, unlike in the arts, students are frequently poorly motivated to overcome these barriers. Focusing on ‘performance’ JuxtaLearn will provoke student curiosity in science and technology through creative film making and editing activities. Computational identification of students’ barriers to conceptual understanding will be overcome by scaffolded creative application of concepts in activities juxtaposed to traditional understanding. State of the art technologies will support students transferable reflections focusing on two pedagogical approaches: juxtaposition performance and reflective performance. Juxtaposition performance: JuxtaLearn ICMAs (Interactive Computer Marked Assessments) will support students’ identification of threshold concepts that are their own personal barriers to understanding. Students’ understanding will be enhanced by them creating personal performances through application of a theory in a formal activity and then again in a creative juxtaposed activity (e.g. physics used in music DJ-ing, chemistry occurring in kitchens, possible evolution of an alien race). New media and learning analytics of public video resources will facilitate student creative inspiration and further conceptual insight and understanding. Reflective performance: State of the art systems for automated and personalised film making and editing will support curiosity and creative expression. A deeper understanding will be reinforced through scaffolding reflections on essential elements in applying the theory. Students will, for example, be supported in instigating reflective decisions on what to film, how to film it and what and where to edit. Public displays will enable sharing and commenting of these performances thus encouraging public curiosity and a ‘buzz’ around specific complex concepts.
|Role||Start date||End date||Funding source|
|Co-investigator||01/Mar/2010||31/Dec/2011||EPSRC EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council|
Mobile technologies bring the digital and the physical worlds together by providing just-in-time/contextual information related to what people are observing, visiting or walking past. However, people with mobility disabilities or socio-economic limitations are often prevented from experiencing these new forms of user experience. We are proposing an alternative approach through developing hybrid ‘social inclusion’ solutions that aim to support collaboration between teams moving around ‘in the field’ and those ‘in the home’. This proposal will develop new ways of connecting existing mobile and shared table-top technologies to support synchronous distributed team collaboration that enables innovative forms of vicarious experiences. An educational prototype system for investigating aspects of the environment will be built to demonstrate and evaluate the effectiveness of the approach for supporting distributed team collaboration. With this project we seek to build systems with middlewear that will link information resource systems and co-located table-top collaboration applications at the home-base with and mobile data collection and communication devices. This will require seamless translation of mobile data collection (i.e. audio, video, geological readings) into table-top displays e.g. mash-ups between geological readings in the wild linked to mappings on table-tops. Partner companies will support the development of viable propositions. The software company, specialising in mobile learning applications, OOKL, will support the synchronous collaboration between mobile and home-based applications. SMART, who specialise in tabletop solutions for educational applications, are in the business of developing ‘ecology of technologies’ through the seamless interaction between devices and displays i.e middleware for table-tops.
In addition to teaching on Open University modules our academics are engaged in ground breaking research that benefits individuals and society.
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