November 21, 2013, by Helen Whitehead

Meet the MOOC Team

Sarah SpeightNottingham’s first MOOC, ‘Sustainability Society and You’ is truly a collaborative and interdisciplinary affair. Led by Sarah Speight (left), an archaeologist and education specialist, the team includes academics and postgraduate researchers from Engineering, Chemistry, Philosophy, Sociology, Nursing, Mental Health, Business, Geography, Built Environment and Economics, supported by expert Learning Technologists.

Every member of the team shares a passion for Sustainability and a desire to share their knowledge and experience. This is reflected in the way the team has developed organically over the last couple of years – this isn’t a team put together especially for this course. For example, back in 2011 Sarah began working with academic colleagues Mike Clifford (Engineering Weeks 1, 3 and 8), Simon Gosling (Geography weeks 1 and 7), Sally Hibbert (BusinLinda East & Neil Chadborness, week 8) and Wyn Morgan (Economics, week 6) on a ‘Grand Challenge’ to bring sustainability into the heart of the University’s teaching and learning. Linda East from Nursing (week 4: left in photo) and Neil Chadborn from the Institute of Mental Health (week 4: right in photo) were both involved in a conference we ran at Nottingham in May 2012 about sustainability’s relationship to all academic disciplines.

Our Chemistry colleagues are at the forefront of  Nottingham’s sustainability research agenda, hence we see inputs from not one, not two, but three professors of Chemistry: Jonathan Hirst (week 1 and 7), Chris Moody (week 7) and Pete Licence (week 8), supported by fellow Chemists Rossana Wright (weeks 1 and 7) and David Asman-Chambers (weeks 1 and 7).

For all of us, Sustainability is integral to our lives both at home and at work. Our philosopher Neil Sinclair (weeks 1 and 2) teaches an undergraduate module on Environmental Ethics while Helen Rutherford (week 3) is the University’s Environment Officer, tasked with not only building the sustainability of our campuses, but also with promoting opportunities for student engagement. Our Sociologists, John Holmwood (weeks 1 and 5) and Tony Fitzpatrick (week 5) write about the unequal impact of climate change upon the most vulnerable in our societies with rising energy and food costs.

Working alongside our academic contributors is our team of Postgraduate Research student facilitators. Several of them are founding members of the Sustainability Research Network  which was established to foster interdisciplinary collaboration within the University and well beyond. So we have Sarah Glozer (Business Thom Whiffen– International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility) and Eleanor Hadley Kershaw (Sociology – Institute for Science and Society). With them are Geographers Heather Moorhouse and Laura Graham, Built Environment’s Thom Whiffen (left: Thom can be seen in the videos for week 1, 3, 6 and 7), and Engineering/Education’s Subarna Sivapalan.

These are the names (and in many cases faces) that you will meet most regularly in the course as they share their knowledge and help you to make the most of the resources and activities we have for you. Not so obvious, but equally crucial, are the ‘backstage’ team who have supported the design and production of the course. We have talked about Alec and Simon in an earlier blog post (see ‘The award for ‘one-take wonder’ goes to….’) but this introduction to the team is not complete without mentioning learning technologists Steve Stapleton, Andy Beggan, and Helen Whitehead, who will be working with Sarah to ensure we all have a worthwhile and enjoyable learning journey. Roll on January…

Posted in FuturelearnMOOCMOOC TeamSustainability