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Dr Donna Smith

Profile summary

  • Academic Related Staff
  • Tuition Delivery Lead
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Polis, Phil, Econ, Dev, Geog
  • donna.smith

Professional biography


BA (Hons) Film and English Studies
MA Politics
PhD Politics and Media
Postgraduate Certificate in Online and Distance Education

Research interests

Politics and media, media regulation, sexuality, teaching and learning.

Smith, D., and Manning, R., 2018.  Creating spaces for learning: online forums. In Baxter, J. et al [eds]. Creativity and critique in online learning: exploring and examining innovations in online pedagogy. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Smith, D., and Robson, J., 2018. Recording online tutorials: a consideration of the issues. Widening Participation Conference 2018.

Smith, D., 2017. Participation in online/distance undergraduate politics module forums at The Open University and implications for teaching and learning strategy 2. Political Studies Association Annual Conference – Teaching and Learning Group Panel, 2017.

Smith, D., 2016. Looking behind the headlines: participation in assessed collaborative forums and implications for assessment. International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (Seville).

Smith, D., 2016. Participation in online/distance undergraduate politics module forums at The Open University and implications for teaching and learning strategy. Political Studies Association Annual Conference – Teaching and Learning Group Panel, 2016.

Smith, D., and Smith, K., 2015. Understanding Passive Learning in Online Distance Education. International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (Seville), 2015.

Smith, D., and Smith, K., 2014. The Case for 'Passive' Learning – The 'Silent' Community of Online Learners. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp.85-98.

Smith, D., 2014. Review of ‘The same-sex unions revolution in Western democracies: International norms and domestic policy change’. Political Quarterly, Issue 85, Volume 2, pp.236-238.

Smith, D., and Middleton, D., 2013. 'It needs to be better than face to face': Introducing Elluminate into a social sciences distance learning programme. Enhancing Learning and Teaching in the Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.3-14.

Smith, D., and Smith, K., 2013. Fifty shades of forums: the trouble with fantasy and dominance in asynchronous teaching and learning. UNISA Cambridge International Conference on Open, Distance and eLearning (University of South Africa), 2013.

Knightly, M., and Smith, D., 2013. Different or Difficult? Collaborative Online Learning in Psychology. BPS Qualitative Methods Conference, 2013.

Smith, D., 2012 (hardback), 2013 (paperback). Sex, Lies and Politics: Gay Politicians in the Press. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press.

A repository of research publications and other research outputs can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.

Teaching interests

Senior Faculty Manager and Tuition Delivery Lead (formerly called Group Tuition Lead) for the Faculty. Previously Scholarship Lead for the Faculty (2014/16) and Deputy Chair of the Social Sciences Programme Team (2015/16).

Currently a member of the module team for DD316 (Modern Political Ideas, in production) and DD313 (International Relations). Previously a member of the Module Team for The uses of social science (DD206) and Living political ideas (DD306).

Associate Lecturer for Living political ideas (DD306), and previously Introducing the social sciences - part one (DD131) and The uses of social science (DD206).

External examiner for the University of Bedfordshire BA (Hons) Sociology.

Member of editorial board for the following journals: Higher Education Studies, and Journal of Education and Training Studies.

Higher Education Academy/APPLAUD (previously OpenPAD) mentor, assessor and panel member.

Impact and engagement

Higher Education Academy (HEA) – Senior Fellow
Chartered Management Institute (CMI) – Affiliate Member
Political Studies Association (PSA):
  • Currently:
    • Trustee, Director and Executive Committee member
    • Lead trustee working on the establishment of the PSA Teaching and Learning Network and creation of a PSA CPD scheme
    • Teaching and Learning Specialist Group - Co-convenor and Vice-Chair
  • Previously:
    • Publications Committee - trustee member and Co-Chair Publications Strategy 
    • Teaching and Learning Committee - trustee member
    • Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Working Group - committee member

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