October 2012 SUMMARY Principal interests in distance education
Student support by various media including internet and phone
Student success and retention, especially
- institutional attitudes and structures for retention,
- the financial costs and benefits of retention activities for students institutions and
society as a whole
- the psychological support of student success and enhancing learner motivation
Staff developmentin distance learning, particularly of tutors and advisers
Books - three books on student support and retention (which have sold more than 4000 copies and one of which has been translated into Chinese). A third edition of the second book will be out in January 2013 with Routledge, New York
Book chapters - eleven book chapters, one in press.
Articles - more than 30 articles on the above topics in various refereed journals.
Training materials - a range of training materials for staff development, including texts, video and audio.
Consultancies and workshops
Consultant, given presentations and run workshops on various aspects of distance learning in the West Indies, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Korea, The Gambia, China, Colombia, Ghana, South Africa, Brazil, the US and the UK. Over 30 presentations given in the last five years on distance learning at various institutions in the UK and elsewhere.
Currently working as a consultant in distance learning retention and support
Visiting Fellow, Centre for Distance Education, University of London International Programmes
Previously Visiting Professor, Open Polytechnic of New Zealand
Previously Senior Lecturer in Institutional Research and Assistant Director, Student Support at the UK Open University (UKOU)
informal support (from families, friends, employers and peer and mentoring support)
(iii) Widening Participation
- access and e-learning
- post-access retention of vulnerable students
(iv) Staff Development and training
- helping distance learning staff develop appropriate teaching and support skills
- the production of distance staff development materials
Much of this work is summarised in my three books (see p.7) which have now sold more than 4800 copies in total. The ‘Supporting Students’ book was recently published in China.
1. From 2002 – 08: Senior Lecturer in Institutional Research UK Open University with a similar remit to the above.
2. From 1998 – 2002: Assistant Director (Student Services) - managing 6 Student Service Managers, and 12 Student Service Assistants, covering study support, enrolment and advisory services as well as the management of specialist activities such as complaints, exceptions and appeals, prison students, and advisory services and chairing many working groups.
3. From 1992 – 1998: Director of the Centre for Educational Guidance and Student Support, responsible for the development of materials and activities to support both tutors and students, as well as undertaking research and innovation in student support.
4. From 1977 – 1992: Senior Counsellor with the OU. This involved the management of around 80 part-time OU tutors and the overall supervision of around 4000 OU students.
5. From 1966 – 1977: Lecturer in universities in Africa, America and the UK
2. External academic activities (a) Consultancies, teaching and writing
Beijing Open University
Interview with Chinese Journal of Open Education Research 18, 5
June - Dec 2011
UK Open University
Consultant on the Gates Foundation funded project ‘Bridge to Success’
February 2011 on
University of London International Programme
Consultant on the LLB email-based retention project
‘Supporting students for success in online and distance education’. Commissioned by Routledge, New York
‘Student Retention in Online, Open and Distance Learning’ RoutledgeFalmer, 168pp, ISBN 0 7494 3999 8.
‘Supporting students in Online, Open and Distance Learning’ 2nd edition RoutledgeFalmer, 168pp, ISBN 0 7494 3999 8.
‘Supporting Students in Open and Distance Learning’ Kogan Page, 186pp, ISBN 0 7494 3082 6.
(b) Book chapters
‘Student dropout – the elephant in the room of distance education’ (with Woodley) chapter in “Online Distance Education - Toward a Research Agenda" published by Athabasca University Press
‘Sustainability in distance education’ (with Bourke). For the Journal of the Distance Education Association of New Zealand
‘Technology supported assessment for retention’ chapter in ‘Captivation: Student Engagement and Development through Assessment’ iPED Coventry University, pub. Routledge
‘Issues in E-learning Marketing’ chapter in ‘Marketing online programmes: Frameworks for Promotion and Communication’. Ed. Demiray and Sharma, Anadolu University and Indira Gandhi National Open University, pub. IGI Global ISBN 978-1-60960-074-7
‘E-Learning and the Future of Distance Education’ and ‘Retention and Course Choice in Distance Learning’ chapters in ‘Distance and E-learning in Transition – Learning innovation, technology and social challenges’. Ed, Bernath, Szucs, Tait and Vidal; pub. Wiley and ISTE, ISBN 978-1-84821-132-2
‘Open To People – Open With People: Ethical Issues In Open Learning’ chapter in ‘Ethical Practices and Implications in Distance Learning’ Ed. Demiray and Sharma, Anadolu University and Indira Gandhi National Open University, pub IGI Global ISBN 978-1-59904-867-3 .
‘Cost benefits of Student Retention policies and Practices’, chapter in ‘Economics of Distance and Online learning’ ed. Bramble and Panda. Pub. Routledge
‘Rescuing the Personal Tutor’, chapter in ‘Perspectives on Personal Tutoring in Mass Higher Education’ ed. Thomas and Hixenbaugh. Pub Trentham Books ISBN-10:1-85856-385-2
‘Social exclusion and online learning’ - chapter in ‘Global Perspectives on E-learning – rhetoric and reality’ ed. Carr-Chelman pub. Sage; pp89-100; ISBN 14129 0489 7
‘Doing it Hard’- chapter in ‘Supporting Student Learning: case studies, experience and practice from higher education’ ed. Crosling and Webb, pub. Kogan Page; pp34-40; ISBN 0 7494 3535 6.
'Counselling by Correspondence’ - chapter in 'Key Issues in Open Learning' ed. Tait, pub Longman; pp 133-139; ISBN 0 585 21061 5.
(c) Articles in refereed journals - published
(with Boyle, Kwon and Ross) 'Student-student mentoring for retention and engagement in distance education', Open Learning25 (2)
‘Motivating Learners in Open and Distance Learning: do we need a new Theory of Learner Support?’ Open Learning23 (3)
(with Gibbs and Regan) 'Improving Student Retention through Evidence Based Proactive Systems at the Open University (UK)' Journal of College Student Retention 8 (3) (US)
(with Johnston) 'Retentioneering higher education in the UK: attitudinal barriers to addressing student retention in universities' Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning8 (3)
‘Predicting Student Success’ Open Learning21(2) pp125-138
‘This door is alarmed’ Journal of Access, Policy and Practice3 (2)
‘Web-based learning; are we becoming obsessed?’ Distance Learning26 (1) pp 153-157 ISSN 0158-7919
‘The costs and benefits of student retention for students, institutions and governments’. Studies in Learning Evaluation Innovation and Development (Australia) 2 (3) http://sleid.cqu.edu.au/viewissue.php?id=8 pp34-43
‘The impact on retention of interventions to support distance students’: Open Learning, 19 (1) pp79-95 ISSN 0268-0513
‘Student Retention and the course choice process – the UK Open University experience’ Journal of Access Policy and Practice 2 (1) pp44-58, ISSN 1740-1348
(with Blanchfield, L. and Patrick, I.) ‘Computer conferencing for guidance and support’: British Journal of Educational Technology31 pp295-306, ISSN 0007-1013, (individual contribution 70%)
(with Asbee, S. and Woodall, S.) ‘Student-student mentoring in distance education’: Journal of Access and Credit Studies, 2 (2) pp220-232, ISSN 1462-0367 (individual contribution 50%)
‘Counselling by correspondence in distance education’: Open Learning3 (3) ISSN 0268-0513, pp. 43-45
(with Stevens, V.) 'Promoting Student Progress by monitoring assignment submission': Open Learning3 (8) pp56-58, (individual contribution 40%)
(with Asbee, S.) 'Partners Families and Friends': Open Learning13 (3) pp56-59, ISSN 0268-0513 (individual contribution 60%)
‘Counselling and Customer Care – Distance Education in the year 2000’ Epistolodidaktika2
'Quality in Distance Learning Support' Open Learning8 (2) pp61-63, ISSN 0268-0513
'Specifying support services in the OU – the so-called ‘Student Charter’': Open Learning7 (2), pp57-59, ISSN 0268-0513
'Student needs in Distance Education' Epistolodidaktika1
(with Gaskell, A and Gibbons, S.) 'Taking Off and Bailing Out': Open Learning5 (2) pp49-54, ISSN 0268-0513, (individual contribution 75%)
(with Adams, C. and Rand, V.) 'But what's it really like? - the Taster Pack Idea': Open Learning4 (3) pp42-43, ISSN 0268-0513, (individual contribution 60%)
'Adviceline – to alter your life': pp57-58 Open Learning2 (1) pp57-58 ISSN 0268-0513
(with Brightwell, M.), 'Try it - you'll like it': Teaching At A Distance24 pp-85, (individual contribution 80%)
(with Gibbons, S.) 'Let the computer take the strain': Teaching At A Distance22 pp59-63, (individual contribution 70%)
(with Kelly, P. and Millard, J.) 'Student Progress and Drop Out': Teaching At A Distance: 22 pp69-71 (individual contribution 40%)
(with Gaskell, A.) 'Slow Moving Students': Teaching At A Distance 22 pp64-69, individual contribution 70%)
'Learning to Listen 2': Teaching At A Distance13 pp52-58
‘Post foundation Counselling’: Teaching At A Distance9 pp60-67
'Learning to Listen 1': Teaching At A Distance 10 pp43-46
'A case for Courser Courses': Teaching At A Distance6 pp130-132
(d) Conference contributions
Research in Distance Education Conference
‘You be the judge - Ethical issues in Distance Education’
University of London Centre for Distance Education Conference
‘Student Dropout - the elephant in the room of distance education’
Cambridge International Distance Education Conference
‘A box of coloured chalk’
UNESCO, Korea ‘International Policy dialogue: Challenges in Implementing Lifelong Learning for Adults’
‘Learner Support in the UK Open University’
University Association for Lifelong Learning ‘Alternative Futures: Challenging Lifelong Learning’ Warwick
‘Financial Futures in Higher Education’
University of Stirling ‘The First Year Experience’
‘Using strengths to support first year retention’
Bath Spa University ‘Student Retention, Progression and Social Inclusion’
‘Following the Money in Student Retention’
Changing Landscapes Conference,
University of Swansea
‘This door is alarmed – 35 years of widening participation in the OU’
Personal tutoring in Higher Education
HEA/Univ. of Westminster, London
‘Rescuing the personal tutor in the OU’
Accomplishing Complex Change in Higher Education
HEA/De Montfort Univ. Leicester
‘Retentioneering higher education’
European Distance and E-learning Network (EDEN) Annual Conference ‘Lifelong E-learning’ Helsinki
‘E-learning and the future of Distance Education in the markets of the 21st century’
11th Cambridge International Conference on ODL: ‘Reflective Practice in Open and Distance Learning: how do we improve?’
‘Reflection or Deflection – what’s the evidence that we learn from evidence?’
European Distance Education Network
‘Student Retention and pathway decisions in distance learning’