The OU centre for STEM pedagogy
13th July 2023
The University of Aberdeen recently hosted the highly anticipated HETL Conference 2023, a gathering that brought together Higher Education professionals and students from around the world. Among the prominent participants were Dhouha Kbaier, a Senior Lecturer in Computing and Communications, and Zoe Tompkins, a Staff Tutor in Computing and Communications, both representing The Open University. Their outstanding contributions and research presented at the conference showcased The Open University's commitment to innovative education and inclusivity.
Dhouha Kbaier's research project (co-authors: Soraya Kouadri from Computing and Communications and Annemarie Kane from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences) focused on understanding the impact of COVID-19 on ethnic minority students' study experiences and performance within Open University Computing Modules. Her insightful presentation shed light on the challenges faced by these students and emphasised the importance of inclusive strategies to support their academic success. Dhouha's research sparked meaningful conversations and highlighted The Open University's dedication to creating equitable learning environments.
Zoe Tompkins delivered a thought-provoking presentation at the conference (co-authors: Mustafa Ali, Ray Corrigan, Clem Herman, Magnus Ramage and Steve Walker). Zoe explored the concept of decolonising computing and information technology education. Her presentation challenged Eurocentric perspectives and advocated for the integration of diverse cultures and knowledge systems. Zoe's contribution exemplified The OU’s commitment to fostering global perspectives and pushing the boundaries of education. Zoe also chaired a themed session on inclusivity which included presentations on reimaging assessment, developing inclusive learning communities and decolonising the anatomy curriculum.
The presence of both Dhouha Kbaier and Zoe Tompkins from The Open University at the HETL Conference 2023 showcased the institution's dedication to inclusivity, innovation, and transformative education. Their research and presentations stood out, sparking valuable discussions and inspiring fellow professionals in the field.
In a delightful twist, Dhouha and Zoe had the opportunity to meet face-to-face for the first time at the conference and enjoyed socialising together. The chance to connect in person added a personal touch to their professional collaboration, further strengthening their bond as colleagues and representatives of The Open University.
Beyond the conference itself, The Open University now has an exciting opportunity to publish full conference papers in a special issue of the Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, published by Emerald Publishing. This initiative provides The Open University with a platform to share its research findings and contribute to the ongoing discourse on transforming teaching, learning, research, and service in higher education.
To learn more about HETL Conference 2023, visit the conference website: HETL Conference 2023.
For access to the abstract booklet, where you can find more details about the presentations and research, refer to HETL Abstract Booklet.
The Open University's strong representation at the HETL Conference 2023, through the exceptional contributions of Dhouha Kbaier and Zoe Tompkins, further solidifies the institution's reputation as a leader in inclusive and transformative education. By engaging in groundbreaking research and fostering collaboration, The Open University continues to shape the future of Higher Education.
We would like to thank eSTEeM for generously funding our research projects.