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e-learning and well-being

Cloud created by:

Vicky Cole
22 November 2018

Date: Tuesday 4 December 2018

Time: 10:00 – 12:15

Place: Library Seminar Rooms 1 and 2 / Stadium live streaming


You are warmly invited to the next eLearning Community event: e-learning and well-being


  • 10.00-10.30  Supporting students to represent their student journeys: Possibilities for narrative capture, reflective learning, dialogue and feedback - Kate Lister (Learning & Teaching Development Manager (Accessibility), LTI)

Abstract - Our Journey is an innovative and engaging tool that has the potential to support student wellbeing in a variety of ways. Used autonomously, it can provide a vehicle for student reflection, while if facilitated it can be used in a support context to enable dialogue, or in research capacity to structure narrative. Used at scale, it can enable student-led feedback on student experiences, providing institutions with the data needed to enable systematic change. In addition to introducing and demonstrating Our Journey, this presentation will explore the student-led rationale behind the tool, the participatory design process through which it was created and examples of the ways it is being used to support and enhance student wellbeing.

  •  10.30-11.00  The world at their fingertips? The mental wellbeing of online distance learning law students - Dr Rajvinder Samra (Lecturer in Health, WELS,) (presenter); Dr Emma Jones (Teaching Director, Law); Dr Mathijs Lucassen (Senior Lecturer Mental Health, WELS)

Abstract - In recent years, there has been an increased interest in student mental wellbeing within higher education. In terms of legal education, much of this has been focused on the USA and Australia, with a limited consideration of legal education in the UK. There has also been a lack of exploration into the factors linked to the mental wellbeing of online distance learning law students in general. This has resulted in notable gaps in our knowledge of the challenges these students may experience, as well as understanding the type of support that meets their needs. This presentation presents data gathered from an empirical study of the mental wellbeing of OU law students. Quantitative results about mental wellbeing from validated questionnaires will be presented, as well as qualitative data from open-ended items about the challenges to students’ mental wellbeing, current sources of support, and students’ recommendations for improving their mental wellbeing.

  • 11.00-11.15 Coffee / Tea Break
  • 11.15-11.45  Conversation and community: what the Big White Wall can offer Open University students - Dr Troy Cooper (Head of School, FASS, School of Psychology)

Abstract - The Open University’s relationship to its students is changing with the changes in external political and HE context.  In the last three years academic research, NUS reports and policy institute scholarship have documented an apparent increase in presentation of mental health issues by students at UK HEIs, and this had been noted by government HE departments in their policy and regulatory activity. The high tuition fees paid by students directly through their loans, now carry a growing expectation of high levels of student welfare services and wellbeing support to enable them to complete their studies.

In this context earlier this year VCE initiated formation of the Academic Services Mental Health Working Group to consider the level of provision of student mental health and wellbeing support at the OU, and any actions we should take to improve it.   After an audit of existing provision the Group set up a project to procure access to an online wellbeing community and set of resources called Big White Wall (BWW) for all OU students.   This was launched in October, formally on World Mental Health Day October 10th.  I will discuss what BWW offers, how it works, why it was chosen, and how it has launched and landed.  I will conclude by raising some larger questions about the level, kind and extent of wellbeing and mental health support the University could consider developing in future, and the much broader benefits to student success.


  • 11.45-12.15   Discussion & Questions

You are welcome to attend for all or part of the event, and we will aim to stick to timings to enable you to do that. Please note that this event will be recorded and live-streamed. You can now access the recording on Stadium. Please cut and paste the link into your browser:

OU staff can view the slides at: Scholarship Exchange

If you are planning to attend in person, please email so we can make sure we order enough refreshments. Please also forward these details to any colleagues who might be interested.


Details of previous events, slides, etc., can be found on our Cloudworks page, and recordings of many recent events are also available via Stadium.

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