National Teaching Fellow 2012
University at the time of award: De Montfort University
Dr Vivien Rolfe's background is in gastrointestinal physiology and she joined De Montfort in 2003 having worked previously at Nottingham University and before that at Pedigree Petfoods, part of Mars Incorporated, as an animal nutritionist. Her current role is Associate Head of Department of Biological, Biomedical and Analytical Science at the University of the West of England (2013).
Viv's NTF award centered on using animation in medical science teaching. As one student claimed "I love animation, it helps stick things in my brain", and certainly the combination of visual materials and narration make for very popular and effective learning resources. Viv won the Learning Technologist of the Year award in 2009 from the UK Association of Learning Technology in recognition of her use of animation.
Her main passion today is open education, and she secured three rounds of funding from the HEFCE Open Educational Resource (OER) Programme (2009-2012), in which she worked with De Montfort colleagues, students and external partners to produce a wealth of science OER. Projects included basic laboratory skills (Virtual Analytical Laboratory - VAL); blood sciences (Sickle Cell Open (Online Topics and Educational Resources - SCOOTER) and a broader range of medical and life science subjects (Biology Courses). Projects have reached global audiences and have had a wide ranging impact. Links to all projects can be found on Vivs blog (http://vivrolfe.com/open-education/).
Her research extends across the field of open education, and she leads the global community to question the ethical boundaries in which they operate openly online, and she explores the sustainability and vulnerability of open approaches. She is an established peer reviewer for a number of journals and readily collaborates with national and international partners on research projects, including the recent invitation to be involved in the Global Hands Youth Project.
As a regular presenter at the Open Education Conference in the US and Canada (OpenEd), Viv is often invited to participate in activities following the conference, including a digital hack weekend at the University of Mary Washington, and workshops at Thomson Rivers University. She is an avid participant of the DS106 digital storytelling community in which she is able to bring her experience as a musician into the world of online education, and she explores the importance of music and audio recording in the creation of digital stories.