The Team

Picture of all 10 members of OER Research Hub take on away day in January 2013

The OER Research Hub Team

The OER Research Hub project team has been carefully selected to ensure the successful delivery of the projects aims.  It blends the academic and research expertise needed to undertake and deliver  the research findings,  with that of robust and professional project delivery.  The team consists of nine individuals:

PatrickPatrick McAndrew is Professor of Open Education in the Institute of Educational Technology, co-Director of OLnet ( and leading the Bridge to Success project ( to use OER to help students cope with starting in the US Community College system. Patrick has a first degree in Mathematics from University of Oxford and a PhD in Computer Science from Heriot-Watt University. His research interests are the design of learning experiences with a focus on the impact of openness. He has been researching OER projects since the launch of OpenLearn in 2006. He has contributed to commissioned reports for UNESCO, OECD and JISC as part of more than 100 book chapters, journal and conference papers, and published reports. He will be the Principal Investigator and Director for the project.

MartinMartin Weller is Professor of Educational Technology in IET with extensive experience in innovation in teaching as the chair of the OU’s first massively online course (attracting 12,000 registered students in 2000). His research area is digital scholarship and his recent book, The Digital Scholar was published in open access and in print/eBook form by Bloomsbury Academic under a Creative Commons license. This book includes chapters exploring the meaning of openness and also looks at open access publishing. Martin is editor of the open access Journal of Interactive Multimedia in Education (JIME) and blogs at He was part of the team that secured funding for the OpenLearn project, and has written extensively on open education and open access. He was Principal Investigator on the EU-funded Sidecap project, which addressed uptake of OER in Pacific-Asian countries and FLOSScom, an EU-funded project looking at open source models of education and on the UK JISC-funded SLeD project to developing an open source learning design player. As co-Investigator he will have particular responsibility for setting the research methodology and lead the research team within the project.

RobRobert Farrow BA (Hons), MA, PhD, Pg.CHEP, is a philosopher, interdisciplinay researcher and educational technologist who has compiled, analysed and disseminated a wide range of research into open educational resources and open learning.  In addition to carrying out internal research for The Open University, he has contributed to a number of externally funded educational technology projects including Mobile Technologies in Lifelong Learning (MOTILL), European Union Framework for Accessible Lifelong Learning (EU4ALL) and Open Learning Network (OLnet).  Robert is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Interactive Multimedia in Education (JiME).  In addition to his own research and editorial work, he acts as a referee for a number of academic journals, including International Education Studies, British Journal of Educational Technology, Journal of Online Teaching and Learning, Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice and Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy .  He blogs at openmind.ed and can be found on Twitter as philosopher1978.



Beck Pitt BA (Hons), MA, PhD, is a Research Assistant on the OER Research Hub project. Beck joined the OU in June 2011 and supported the NGLC funded Bridge to Success project for its duration. Previously, she worked on the 2.5 year, EC funded FP7 project CESSDA PPP at the University of Essex. Beck is a trained philosopher and a committee member of the UK Sartre Society.





Bea2012 Beatriz de los Arcos BA, MSc, PhD is a Research Associate on the OER Research Hub project. She joined the Open University in 2000 as an Associate Lecturer at the Department of Languages. With a research profile in the area of computer-assisted language learning, she has contributed to the LORO project, an online repository of language teaching materials available to download and reuse.  She has also worked on the SCORE Microsites project, responsible for gathering content to create two collections of open educational resources for research students and digital scholars.  More recently she has been involved in running and evaluating OT12, a MOOC in Open Translation Tools and Practices.


P1000109Simone Arthur  BA (Hons), MA, MBA is the  Fellowships and Collaborations Manager on the OER Research Hub project. Simone has a background in International Development and has worked on various OU projects such as the joint OU-UNITAR project on Civilian Protection for UN peace-keeping troops. While at The OU’s International Development Centre, Simone managed a vibrant fellowships programme which has resulted in various long-term partnerships between The OU and academic institutions across Africa.

GaryGary Elliott-Cirigottis BA (Hons), MA (RCA), Cert, Dip, MSP Practitioner is the Business Improvement and Programme Manager for the Institute of Educational Technology at the OU with a specific remit for overseeing the delivery of strategic objectives through its Portfolio and Programme Structure.  Gary has 17 years experience in Higher Education project management and international partnership management.  He has been a PRINCE2 Practitioner for 8 years and MSP (Managing Success Programmes) Practitioner for 4 years.




Previous team members: 

patrina-law2Patrina Law Patrina Law BSc (Hons), MSc (Dist) is Head of Third Party Online Commissioning in the Open Media Unit at the OU. Her responsibilities include commissioning of free and open courses for FutureLearn and the OU’s OpenLearn platform; syndication and adaptation of free content to third party platforms such as iTunes U, Google, Amazon (Kindle) and YouTube; development of strategies that link data analysis around informal learners to our commissioning process;  with the Centre for Inclusion and Collaborative Partnerships, taking our open courses and entry-level content to external partners to improve outreach; development and promotion of OpenLearn Works, the Open Media Unit’s platform for hosting international Open Educational Resources projects; and incorporating the processes of informal social learning and assessment into the Unit’s portfolio of free and open content with a specific remit for overseeing the University’s OER projects and activities. Patrina has 13 years’ experience in Higher Education research and management and five years management experience in the charity sector in the UK. Patrina was formerly the Programme Manager for the OERRH project and is now one of the project’s Fellows.

Leigh-Anne PerrymanLeigh-Anne Perryman BA (Hons), MEd, PhD, PGCTLHE, FHEA, FIfL is an experienced educator and mixed-methods researcher. Originally an art historian, specialising in contemporary visual art, Leigh-Anne is a Fellow of the UK’s Higher Education Academy and is particularly interested in educational inclusion and widening participation. Leigh-Anne has spent the past two years researching the potential uses of OER within the UK voluntary sector and has several publications on this topic.  In 2012 she was commissioned by the UK Government’s Big Lottery Fund to evaluate online peer support communities in the voluntary sector and to identify good practice to inform future funding initiatives. She has recently been involved with the NGLC-funded Bridge to Success project where she was responsible for reworking existing Open University course units as interactive OER. Leigh-Anne brings her broad-ranging mixed-methods research skills and experience as an educator to the role of Research Associate with overall responsibility for project evaluation.

Claire Walker

Claire Walker BA (Hons), PG Cert Bus Admin (Open), PRINCE2 Practitioner is the Project Co-ordinator for the OER Research Hub project. Claire joined the OU in September 2008 working in Estates where she has supported various internal projects. She has eight years management experience in the leisure industry previously. Claire is also currently working towards an MBA.




4 thoughts on “The Team

  1. Pingback: School of Open begins investigating its impact with the OER Research Hub - Creative Commons

  2. Pingback: School of Open begins investigating its impact with the OER Research Hub | Peer to Peer University

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  4. Pingback: Starting the OU Speed Fellowship - CogDogBlog

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