Meet the Educators

Hosted through FutureLearn, the University's open online courses have been developed in a close partnership between staff and students. Exploring three important themes which represent the key global opportunities and challenges facing our generation, each course has been created with the expertise of many of the academic leaders we are proud to have at the University of Bristol.

The University, the city of Bristol, and beyond

The Bristol Futures open online courses have been developed by teams of academic and professional services staff and students from right across the University of Bristol. We have also involved many external experts and stakeholders, from the city of Bristol and wider, who have contributed not only their expert knowledge, but also guided us to ensure that the courses truly help in the development of essential skills and attributes. We wanted to ensure the courses were inclusive, relevant and engaging to all students, irrespective of their background or discipline.

Innovation and Enterprise

The Innovation and Enterprise course was produced by Dr Neil Carhart, working in both the Department of Civil Engineering and the School of Physics, Hélène Duranton from the School of Modern Languages, Dave Jarman, a Teaching Fellow in Entrepreneurship from the Centre for Innovation, Dr Sean Shiels, Systems Centre Manager, in the Faculty of Engineering and Ian Thomas, a Teaching Fellow from the Department of Accounting and Finance. The Innovation and Enterprise team was supported by Dr Ki Cater, Academic Director of the Centre for Innovation and Dr Vanda Zajko from the Department of Classics & Ancient History.

Global Citizenship

The team responsible for the Global Citizenship was just as diverse. The lead educators are Dr Sally-Ann Kitts, Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies, Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies and Gloria Visintini, Language Director in the School of Modern Languages. They have involved sixteen other academics from just about every part of the University to produce the expert mini video documentaries. The team were supported by Dr Kelly Moule, from the School of Biochemistry.

Sustainable Futures

The development of the Sustainable Futures courses was led by Professor Chris Preist, who is Professor of Sustainability & Computer Systems in the Department of Computer Science. The course was supported by Eleni Michalopoulou, a postgraduate research student working with the Atmospheric Chemistry Research Group and sponsored by Edwards, a leading developer and manufacturer of vacuum equipment within the School of Chemistry. The team were also supported by Dr Ash Tierney from the Academic Quality and Partnerships Office and Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, and Dr Kate Whittington, Senior Teaching Fellow within the Bristol Medical School.

View across Bristol harbourside, showing air balloons.

A collaborative approach

We are very proud of the inclusive way in which the Bristol Futures open online courses have been developed. This has been a truly collaborative project, with students being involved at every stage. We are especially proud of the leading role that one of our students, Eleni Michalopoulou, has played in the development of the Sustainable Futures course. As one of the lead educators, Eleni, has brought a unique perspective to the development of the course. She is not only a leader in the topic of microplastics, but also brings a student’s insight into the challenges of developing personal sustainability.

The concept for the courses was devised in conjunction with Bristol SU and our student advisory group has proved invaluable in designing and producing the content. You will also see that many of the real stars of the academic and promotional videos are our students. We have employed student interns to help in some of the online learning design work. The courses have also been extensively tested by teams of students whilst student advisors have played an essential role in the quality assurance process.

We are grateful to everyone who has been involved for their dedication and commitment to developing such creative and inspiring courses. The curriculum development teams have been supported by Suzanne Collins and Hannah O’Brien, who are Online and Blended Learning Designers in the University’s Digital Education Office. Tim Riley, from Library Services has also advised on copyright clearance for some of the materials used in the courses. The digital assets have been produced for us by video production experts Jones Millbank in Bristol. This has been an ambitious and challenging project, that could not have been delivered without the management skills of Elena Christie and Charlotte Trusler and the leadership skills of Hilary Griffiths, Head of Digital Education.

The team at Jones Millbank, Bristol-based videographers.

The Jones Millbank video production team. 

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