The Award Ceremony was last night

Last night I attended the OxTALENT award ceremony where I won one of the runner up awards for the Open Practices category.


This is what they have said about me:

Thaddeus Aid: Use of OER Courseware in an ITLP Online Course

Thaddeus is studying for his doctorate in the Life Sciences Interface Doctoral Training Centre (LSI DTC) in the Department of Statistics, and also teaches for IT Services’ IT Learning Programme (ITLP).

aidBecoming proficient in a computing language takes time and practice. Standard ITLP courses give a brief introduction to programming, but don’t have sufficient time or resources for extended teaching support to the participants. It was felt that an on-line course over a period offour or five weeks might give participants more exposure to the topic, and provide some support from a tutor during the extended self-study that the course would entail.

Thaddeus’ idea was to use an existing course that might be available as OER, so he researched the available courses and found How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Learning with Python, produced by staff at Luther College in Iowa, USA. Although the course provides a great deal of interactivity, Thaddeus also set up a discussion forum in WebLearn so that he could interact with the students, and they could engage with each other.

The course has proved to very popular, and Thaddeus has used the feedback from students to make improvements: for example, he now holds an introductory one-hour face-to-face session so that the students can get to know each other.

I am very pleased about this. It was a much bigger deal that I was expecting with senior staff from my college in attendance, heads of departments, one of the vice-chancellors of the university, and they got TV scientist Marcus du Sautoy to give a talk.


Thank you OxTALENT judges, I will continue to push open educational practice into my courses.

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