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Dr Sarah Davies

Profile summary

Professional biography

I am a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Sciences, and have been with the Environment, Earth and Ecosystems department at the Open University since 2006. My teaching contributions are in Environmental Science, particularly soils, plants and ecosystems.

My research interests are centred on technology enhanced learning in the earth and environmental sciences, with particular reference to fieldwork learning.

I am involved in developing science education research through eSTEeM. I also have a role in sharing good practice in technology enhanced learning through co-running the OU's eLearning Community and chairing the Science Faculty's eLearning group.

I am involved in promoting Environmental Science in the wider university sector as deputy chair of the Committee of Heads of Environmental Science. 

Research interests

My research interests are in science education. I'm particularly interested in technology enhanced learning in the earth and environmental sciences and in fieldwork learning. I have been involved in the Enabling Remote Activity project (http://projects.kmi.open.ac.uk/era/) which was awarded an OU teaching award and a Handheld Learning Award in 2008. I have also worked on the Out There In Here project (http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/otih/) and currently leading the fieldwork strand of the OU’s Open Science Laboratory project (http://www8.open.ac.uk/choose/ou/openscience). I am also interested in geospatial learning and map-based learning technologies.

A further strand of my research interest focuses on networked resources for STEM learning, particularly on new blends of physical and digital resources in the ‘Infinite Broadband, Zero Latency’ project, the ‘Hybrid/Digital/Material/Networked learning project and the 'Internet of Green Things' project.

Teaching interests

My teaching is in the area of Environmental Science; especially plants, soils and ecosystems. I am currently chairing the rewrite of the level 2 module S206/SXF206 Environmental Science. I have been involved in a number of module teams at the Open University:  Environmental Science (S216), Environmental Science in the Field (SXR216), Ecosystems (S396), Practical Science (S288), Practical Environmental Science (SXE288), Science Project Course: Environmental Science Practical Project (SXE390).  I have also taught Environmental Management and Environmental Law at Masters Level at De Montfort University.  

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)CentreFaculty of Science

 

Externally funded projects

Social inclusion through synchronous distributed team collaboration. (H-09-023-AA)

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Co-investigator01/Mar/201031/Dec/2011EPSRC (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.

Publications

Enabling remote access to fieldwork: gaining insight into the pedagogic effectiveness of ‘direct’ and ‘remote’ field activities (2012)
Stokes, Alison; Collins, Trevor; Maskall, John; Lea, John; Lunt, Paul and Davies, Sarah-Jane
Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 36(2) (pp. 197-222)
Enabling remote activity: widening participation in field study courses (2016-08)
Collins, Trevor; Davies, Sarah and Gaved, Mark
In: Kennepohl, Dietmar ed. Teaching Science Online: Practical Guidance for Effective Instruction and Lab Work (pp. 183-195)
ISBN : 978-1620361887 | Publisher : Stylus Publishing | Published : Sterling, VA, USA
Digital, material and networked: some emerging themes for SET education (2015-05-26)
Davies, Sarah-Jane; Thomas, Elaine and Walker, Steve
In : EDEN 2015 Annual Conference Expanding Learning Scenarios: Opening Out the Educational Landscape (9-12 June 2015, Barcelona, Spain) (pp. 91-99)
3D virtual geology field trips: opportunities and limitations (2014-06-11)
Minocha, Shailey; Davies, Sarah-Jane; Richardson, Brian and Argles, Thomas
In : Computers and Learning Research Group Annual Conference 2014 (10-11 June 2014, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, UK)
Examining hybrid digital/material resources in networked learning: a critical realist approach (2014-04)
Walker, Steve and Davies, Sarah-Jane
In : Ninth International Conference on Networked Learning 2014 (7-9 April, 2014, Edinburgh, UK) (pp. 315-322)
3D virtual geology field trips: opportunities and limitations (2013-04-17)
Argles, Tom; Richardson, Brian; Davies, Sarah; Minocha, Shailey and Braithwaite, Nick
In : HEA STEM: Annual Learning and Teaching Conference 2013: Where practice and pedagogy meet (17-18 April 2013, Birmingham)
Live linking of fieldwork to the laboratory increases students inquiry based reflections (2011-07-04)
Adams, Anne; Coughlan, Tim; Rogers, Yvonne; Collins, Trevor; Davies, Sarah-Jane; Blake, Canan and Lea, John
In : CSCL 2011: International Conference on Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (04-08 July 2011, Hong Kong)
Enabling live dialogic and collaborative learning between field and indoor contexts (2011-07-04)
Coughlan, Tim; Adams, Anne; Rogers, Yvonne and Davies, Sarah-Jane
In : The 25th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction (04-08 July 2011, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK) (pp. 88-98)
Designing interconnected distributed resources for collaborative inquiry based science education (2011-06-13)
Adams, Anne; Coughlan, Tim; Lea, John; Rogers, Yvonne; Davies, Sarah-Jane and Collins, Trevor
In : ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (13-17 June 2011, Ottawa)
Working with ‘mission control’ in scientific fieldwork: supporting interactions between in situ and distanced collaborators (2011-03-19)
Coughlan, Tim; Adams, Anne; Collins, Trevor; Davies, Sarah-Jane; Lea, John and Rogers, Yvonne
In : The 2011 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (19 - 23 Mar 2011, Hangzhou, China)
Enabling remote activity: using mobile technology for remote participation in geoscience fieldwork (2010)
Davies, Sarah-Jane; Collins, Trevor; Gaved, Mark; Bartlett, Jessica; Valentine, Chris and McCann, Lewis
In : Proc. European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2010 (EGU 2010) (02-07 May 2010, Vienna, Austria)
Out there and in here: design for blended scientific inquiry learning (2010)
Adams, Anne; Davies, Sarah; Collins, Trevor and Rogers, Yvonne
In : 17th Association for Learning Technology Conference ALT-C 2010 - (07–09 Sep 2010, Nottingham, UK)
ERA: On-the-fly networking for collaborative geology fieldwork (2008)
Gaved, Mark; Collins, Trevor; Bartlett, Jessica; Davies, Sarah-Jane; Valentine, Chris; McCann, Lewis and Wright, Michelle
In : mLearn 2008 'The bridge from text to context' (8-10 October 2008, Wolverhampton, UK)

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