USQ student to share her research at global conference

USQ PhD candidate Penny Bentley will attend two open education events in the Netherlands
10 Jan 2018

USQ’s work in the open education space will be highlighted on the world stage, with PhD candidate Penny Bentley receiving a bursary to present the preliminary findings of her research at two international events in the Netherlands.

Funded by the Global OER Graduate Network (GO-GN), the former teacher will speak at the GO-GN Seminar and Open Education Global Conference, both held in Delft in April.

Open education combines the traditions of knowledge sharing and creation with 21st century technology to develop a vast collection of shared educational resources, enabling people around the world to access information, connect and collaborate.

Mrs Bentley’s research focuses on Australian teachers’ experiences of open education for professional learning.

“I am very excited to be given the chance to share my preliminary research findings,” she said.

“It will give me the opportunity for a face-to-face presentation of my research, opening it up for critique and validation from the open education research community.”

Mrs Bentley, who lives in Macedon, north-west of Melbourne, was one of only two doctoral students from Australia invited to attend the GO-GN Seminar and OE Global Conference – the other was USQ’s Open Educational Practice Manager Adrian Stagg.

She commenced her PhD at USQ in 2014 and is examining the different ways Australian teachers experience professional learning, in the area of Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering (STEM), through their practices on the open Web.

The study is being supervised by Dr Jenny Donovan from USQ’s School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood and Dr Catherine Arden from the School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education.

“More teachers are using the open Web to learn, because it is accessible and convenient,” Mrs Bentley said.

“They feel it gives them more choice over what, when, where and how they want to learn and who they want to learn with.

“Teachers engage in practices to find interesting, relevant and contemporary information about STEM education and to solve problems that arise in their working environments.”

With 25 years’ experience in the classroom, mostly teaching maths and science to Year 7-10 students, Mrs Bentley knows well the expectations and challenges teachers face.

Learn more about USQ’s commitment to open education by visiting Open Practice.

Woman sitting at computer
Penny Bentley will share her research at the GO-GN Seminar and OE Global Conference.