OU ‘First in Family’ seminar

Neil Currant writes:

I am a real fan of one day or half day seminars on interesting topics, especially ones that are free! Add in the additional draw of an academic who I have widely referenced as one of the speakers and I’m in! So it was that I arrived in Milton Keynes for the OU’s First in Family seminar.

It was worth the visit before we even started when I got the chance to speak to said academic, Jacqueline Stevenson. I talked about my EdD research and she suggested she would be a good person to be external examiner, result! It was also great to see a big contingent from the University of Bedfordshire and I now have another avenue for recruiting students for my research.

He identifies three themes that are important

  1. Whatever way you look at the issue; defining and supporting FiF students is complex and we should not see FiF students as a single group.
  2. To what extent does the social capital (or lack thereof) in the family support or hinder FiF students?
  3. Having heard evidence of the importance of family support, the question was raised about HEIs inconsistent approach to our students’ families and how we work with them. “Family have been left at the gate, both literally and metaphorically” was one quote from the seminar.

Read Neil’s full account of the seminar here.

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About the author

George Roberts

George has been at Oxford Brookes since 2000 and joined OCSLD in June 2006 as an Educational Developer (e-Learning). In his previous role he advised the Head of e-Learning and the Senior Management Team of the University on policy for off-campus e-learning and e-learning partnerships.

He leads the MA Education (Higher Education) and teaches on the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (PCTHE) as well as conducting Course Design Intensives (CDIs) and other educational development activities: workshops and consultancies.

He leads the organisation of the annual Brookes Learning and Teaching Conference (BLTC) and is Managing Editor of the Higher Education Journal of Learning and Teaching.

George is a visiting Lecturer at Cranfield University and a Visiting Fellow of Edge Hill University.

He wrote his doctorate (July 2011) at the University of Southampton on biographical narratives of adult users of a community IT centre on a large social housing estate.

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