Making decisions during a pandemic

Prof. Mark Fenton-O’Creevy has been studying how high impact decisions get made in the face of uncertainty for nearly thirty years.

In this blog, he draws on this research and work with a national research network to consider decision-making during the Covid-19 crisis. He discusses the role of stories and emotions in how we think and what happens “when events no longer seem to fit the frames, categories and tools we have to understand them, as in the current pandemic”.

He argues that uncertainty is an emotional as well as a cognitive challenge and emphasises the importance of staying comfortable with ambivalence, doubt and not knowing to avoid decision traps.

Read more in Mark’s blog

Mark Fenton-O’Creevy is Professor of Organisational Behaviour at The Open University Business School. Mark’s research interests include Decision-Making, Radical Uncertainty, International Management, International HR, Financial Trading, Investment Psychology, Psychology of Financial Behaviour and Practice-Based Learning.

Innovating Pedagogy

Innovating PedagogyInstitute of Educational Technology and Mathematics, Computing and Technology academics have published the first in a new series of OU Innovation Reports which explore new forms of teaching, learning and assessment for an interactive world. This first report, called ‘Innovating Pedagogy 2012’ proposes ten innovations that are already current but haven’t yet had a profound influence on education.

UK universities are missing opportunities to innovate in teaching according to a report published today (23 July 2012) by The Open University. Innovating Pedagogy 2012 highlights ten new methods of teaching, learning and assessment that universities could adopt, including social learning with e-books, seamless learning and personal inquiry learning

Mike Sharples, Professor of Educational Technology and lead author of the report, said: “UK universities are facing competition from companies and overseas colleges that offer short courses using innovative teaching methods like MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). These are courses without boundaries that are attracting hundreds of thousands of students worldwide who watch live teaching from star professors and then share and discuss the ideas online.”

Opportunities that should be exploited more include using online assessment to support learning by giving students automatic feedback on their progress, and for universities to work with companies in developing a new generation of e-books for learning, with facilities for students to watch multimedia presentations and simulations embedded in the text and to work in groups sharing notes between connected online books.

The report also identifies innovations developed in other areas, such as computer games that could be adopted for university teaching. Badges, like computer versions of scout and guide badges, can provide a way to reward students who successfully gained a skill or provide useful help to their colleagues. Smartphones could also be used as scientific tools to carry out large scale science projects, such as measuring noise pollution or recording wildlife.

The report also points to some areas where the UK is leading the way with new developments in teaching and learning. iSpot, developed by The Open University, has engaged many thousands of students and members of the public in forming an online scientific community to share their observations of wildlife, supported by expert mentors. The Open University is also developing multimedia e-books and using new methods of learning analytics to track how its 195,000 students study online, providing them with more immediate and personal advice.

Click here to read the report for FREE online.

Visit the IET website.