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Ben Oakley's OpenLearn Profile

This page contains all the information that this user has chosen to make public on their OpenLearn profile.

Profile: Ben Oakley

Ben Oakley

About me

Ben is Professor in Sports Performance Education. He originally established Sport and Fitness qualifications at the Open University in 2007 having previously lectured at Portsmouth and Southampton Solent Universities. 

He originally worked in sport for a national governing body, the RYA, for 8 years as National Coach in windsurfing including attending the Seoul and Barcelona Olympic Games. His coaching background and detailed knowledge of online learning has helped guide the development of the subject area at the OU including the approach to work-related learning.

His academic research originally focused on sport policy and in particular the development of elite sport systems in different countries. More recently he has supported coach CPD workshops and free online learning resources Exploring sport coaching and psychology and Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness. He is currently working on two further online learning projects focusing on i) coach developers and ii) learning from athlete and coach burnout. He sits on the Advisory board for the Applied Coaching Research Journal.

A further aspect of his roles has been acting as a media fellow for the University in developing links between academics and media output. He has been an academic consultant with the BBC Olympic Dreams programmes and Channel 4's Chasing Perfection. He has also been interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Today programme, numerous regional programmes and contributed to the BBC Sport website. 

In 2014 he pulled together existing research and the patterns of 25 sporting autobiographies into a book, Podium: What shapes a sporting champion? published by Bloomsbury - see here.


Ben Oakley's research

Ben Oakley and Alex Twitchen (2018-10) How might online distance learning contribute to coach development, In Applied Coaching Research Journal(2)

Ben Oakley and Simon Shibli (2016-07-27) What do the Olympic medal tables say about your nation’s sporting priorities?, The Conversation

Ben Oakley (2015-08-05) The other giant leap for mankind: how this athlete set a world record that’s still standing 20 years later, The Conversation

Ben Oakley (2015-07-01) What do Champions’ Autobiographical Accounts tell us About Athletes’ Learning?, In Olympic Coach 2(26), USOC

Ben Oakley (2009-07-17) What makes successful sessions?, Routledge

Trevor Wright et al. (2009-07-17) Learning how to coach: the different learning situations reported by coaches, Routledge

Caroline Ann Heaney, Ben Oakley and Simon James Raphael Rea (editors) (2009-07-17) Exploring Sport and Fitness: Work-based Practice, Routledge/The Open University

Ben Oakley and Martin Rhys (editors) (2008-04-02) The Sport and Fitness Sector: an Introduction, Open University/Routledge.

Ben Oakley and Clare Hencken (2005-04) Oral examination assessment practices: effectiveness and change within a first year undergraduate cohort, In Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education 1(4)

Ben Oakley and Michael Green (2001) Still playing the game at arms length? The selective re-investment in British sport 1994-1999, In Managing Leisure 2(6)

Browse Ben Oakley's latest research on Open Research Online