Open Research Online

    Learning to share and sharing to learn – professionaldevelopment of language teachers in HE to foster open educational practices

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    This case study presents the staff-development perspective of the ‘Collaborative Writing and Peer Review Project’ developed at the Department of Languages, at the Open University, UK, between November 2011 and March 2012. The project was set up to promote the professional development of teachers through collaborative writing and peer review, encouraging open educational practices (OEP) and by extension the production and publication of teaching resources in an open repository. As teacher developers working in a blended environment, the authors facilitate opportunities for sharing and developing good practice as part of a broad staff development programme to help teachers understand and integrate innovative approaches into their practice. Participants in this project brought with them a range of experiences as practitioners from their work with language students both at and outside the University. This case study focuses on the professional development aspect of this initiative. It presents the different aspects of the process and analyses teachers’ involvement with social online tools and the impact on teaching practice of engaging with the process of collaboration

    Revisiting Linking Early Geospatial Documents with Recogito

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    Recogito is a web-based environment for collaborative semantic annotation. It is open source software, and provides support for working with either text or image documents, including those served via the IIIF protocol. Originally, the tool has been designed for geographic annotation, i.e. the transcription, marking up and geo-resolving of maps and geographical texts (such as itineraries and travel reports) in the context of historical scholarship, e.g. to map or extract data from a source, or to prepare a digital edition. Over time, however, Recogito’s feature set has grown to provide more general annotation functionality, broadening the scope for further potential application areas. Following up from an earlier article we published in e-Perimetron in 2015, in which we first introduced Recogito, this article looks back on the past four years of use and development. We present how Recogito has technologically evolved; how it has been applied in practice in different projects and for different purposes; and how a vibrant user community has sprung up around it that is shaping its further development. The paper also looks forward to some planned next steps, and sets out our future vision for Recogito’s long-term development and sustainability

    Exploring Deep-Sea Brines as Potential Terrestrial Analogues of Oceans in the Icy Moons of the Outer Solar System.

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    Several icy moons of the outer solar system have been receiving considerable attention and are currently seen as major targets for astrobiological research and the search for life beyond our planet. Despite the limited amount of data on the oceans of these moon, we expect them to be composed of brines with variable chemistry, some degree of hydrothermal input, and be under high pressure conditions. The combination of these different conditions significantly limits the number of extreme locations, which can be used as terrestrial analogues. Here we propose the use of deep-sea brines as potential terrestrial analogues to the oceans in the outer solar system. We provide an overview of what is currently known about the conditions on the icy moons of the outer solar system and their oceans as well as on deep-sea brines of the Red Sea and the Mediterranean and their microbiology. We also identify several threads of future research, which would be particularly useful in the context of future exploration of these extra-terrestrial oceans

    Cryogenic silicification of microorganisms in hydrothermal fluids

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    Silica-rich hydrothermal fluids that experience freezing temperatures precipitate cryogenic opal-A (COA) within ice-bound brine channels. We investigated cryogenic silicification as a novel preservation pathway for chemo- and photo-lithotrophic Bacteria and Archaea. We find that the co-partitioning of microbial cells and silica into brine channels causes microorganisms to become fossilised in COA. Rod- and coccoidal-form Bacteria and Archaea produce numerous cell casts on COA particle surfaces, while Chloroflexus filaments are preserved inside particle interiors. COA particles precipitated from natural Icelandic hot spring fluids possess similar biomorphic casts, including those containing intact microbial cells. Biomolecules and inorganic metabolic products are also captured by COA precipitation, and are detectable with a combination of visible - shortwave infrared reflectance, FTIR, and Raman spectroscopy. We identify cryogenic silicification as a newly described mechanism by which microbial biosignatures can be preserved within silica-rich hydrothermal environments. This work has implications for the interpretation of biosignatures in relic hydrothermal settings, and for life-detection on Mars and Enceladus, where opaline silica indicative of hydrothermal activity has been detected, and freezing surface conditions predominate

    People Like Me Evaluation Report

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    People Like Me is an intervention to support the increase of women and girls into STEM education and careers. As such it sits in a long tradition of efforts - in the UK and globally - to tackle gender inequality in the study of STEM subjects, and leading to employment/careers in the scientific, engineering and technology sectors. People Like Me is both a resource and a strategy with a number of potential points of impact. At the core is the concept that raising awareness of the range of possible careers and jobs in STEM will encourage girls to continue with studying science subjects in school, and also aspire to careers in these sectors. This report is the outcome of an independent evaluation carried out by the Open University into the impact and effectiveness of the intervention

    Orbital period changes and the higher-order multiplicity fraction amongst SuperWASP eclipsing binaries

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    Orbital period changes of binary stars may be caused by the presence of a third massive body in the system. Here we have searched the archive of the Wide Angle Search for Planets (SuperWASP) project for evidence of period variations in 13 927 eclipsing binary candidates. Sinusoidal period changes, strongly suggestive of third bodies, were detected in 2% of cases; however, linear period changes were observed in a further 22% of systems. We argue on distributional grounds that the majority of these apparently linear changes are likely to reflect longer-term sinusoidal period variations caused by third bodies, and thus estimate a higher-order multiplicity fraction of 24% for SuperWASP binaries, in good agreement with other recent figures for the fraction of triple systems amongst binary stars in general

    Proton irradiation of a swept charge device at cryogenic temperature and the subsequent annealing

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    A number of studies have demonstrated that a room temperature proton irradiation may not be sufficient to provide an accurate estimation of the impact of the space radiation environment on detector performance. This is a result of the relationship between defect mobility and temperature, causing the performance to vary subject to the temperature history of the device from the point at which it was irradiated. Results measured using Charge Coupled Devices (CCD) irradiated at room temperature therefore tend to differ from those taken when the device was irradiated at a cryogenic temperature, more appropriate considering the operating conditions in space, impacting the prediction of in-flight performance. This paper describes the cryogenic irradiation, and subsequent annealing of an e2v technologies Swept Charge Device (SCD) CCD236 irradiated at −35.4°C with a 10 MeV equivalent proton fluence of 5.0 × 108 protons centerdot cm−2. The CCD236 is a large area (4.4 cm2) X-ray detector that will be flown on-board the Chandrayaan-2 and Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope spacecraft, in the Chandrayaan-2 Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer and the Soft X-ray Detector respectively. The SCD is readout continually in order to benefit from intrinsic dither mode clocking, leading to suppression of the surface component of the dark current and allowing the detector to be operated at warmer temperatures than a conventional CCD. The SCD is therefore an excellent choice to test and demonstrate the variation in the impact of irradiation at cryogenic temperatures in comparison to a more typical room temperature irradiation

    Multiple scattering approach to elastic electron collisions with molecular clusters

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    We revisit our multiple-scattering method to treat low energy elastic electron collisions with (H2O)2. Calculations are performed for different geometries of the water dimer with different dipole moments. The effect of the dipole moment of the cluster is analysed. The elastic cross sections are compared to R-matrix results. Good agreement is found above 1 eV for all geometries. Results conrm the validity of the technique

    Sister Catherine Black: ‘King’s nurse, Beggar’s nurse.’

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    Sister Catherine Black had a long and interesting nursing career. She worked as a nurse throughout the First World War, both on the home front (where she worked with the pioneering plastic surgeon, Harold Gillies)and in base hospitals and casualty clearing stations on the Western Front. Towards the end of her career, she became the private nurse of King George V, nursing him until his death in 1935. This article gives an overview of her life and nursing career

    Mental imagery and software visualization in high-performance software development teams

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    This paper considers the relationship between mental imagery and software visualization in professional, high-performance software development. It presents overviews of four empirical studies of professional software developers in high-performing teams: (1) expert programmers' mental imagery, (2) how experts externalize their mental imagery as part of teamwork, (3) experts' use of commercially available visualization software, and (4) what tools experts build themselves, how they use the tools they build for themselves, and why they build tools for themselves. Through this series of studies, the paper provides insight into a relationship between how experts reason about and imagine solutions, and their use of and requirements for external representations and software visualization. In particular, it provides insight into how experts use visualization in reasoning about software design, and how their requirements for the support of design tasks differ from those for the support of other software development tasks. The paper draws on theory from other disciplines to explicate issues in this area, and it discusses implications for future work in this field
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