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Andy Lane's OpenLearn Profile

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Profile: Andy Lane

Andy Lane


I am an Emeritus Professor of Environmental Systems at The Open University, and was the founding Director of OpenLearn (2006-09). My teaching, research and scholarship covers (i) the management of complex environmental situations and (ii) systems of open education. I use systems thinking approaches to frame the teaching, research and scholarship in both domains and use visual methods (normally diagramming) as a means to engage participants. The work on the management of complex environmental situations looks in particular at attitudes, intentions and behaviours of the main participants in these rural or urban situations ranging from farmers' use of new technologies such as GM crops to organic waste recycling. The work on systems of open education takes the phenomenon of open education resources and extends that to open educational policies and practices and how that influences formal, non-formal and informal education for both classroom-based and distance learning-based HEIs. This includes looking at how diagramming and visual media in all its forms enhances or not the learning experience. The two strands of research and scholarship come together in my work evaluating the environmental impacts of higher education. In 2021 I was awarded the International Council for Open and Distance Education's Prize of Excellence for Lifelong Contribution to Open, Flexible and Distance Learning.