Jon Wood

School of Life and Health Sciences,
Aston University,
B4 7ET, UK

Email: J.B.Wood@bham.ac.uk

Technical Team Leader for Psychology & Neuroscience (0.5 FTE)

Jon Wood
Jon Wood, Edinburgh 2012

Career History

2013 - current
University of Birmingham (Byrne Outreach Officer, School of Chemical Engineering 0.5 FTE)
2012 - 2013 Aston University (External Relations and Outreach, School of Life & Health Sciences 0.5 FTE)
2009 - 2011 Aston University (e-learning technican, School of Life & Health Sciences 0.5 FTE)
Received Technican / Demonstrator of the Year Award from Higher Education Academy
2006 - 2014 Aston University (Technical Team Leader, Psychology, Audiology, Neuroscience 0.5 FTE)
Received Teaching Excellence Award from Aston University
2001 - 2006 Aston University (Psychology Technican, School of Life & Health Sciences)
2000 - 2001 South Staffordshire Water (Water Quality, Cryptosporidium team)
1990 - 2000 Walsall Hospitals NHS Trust (Biomedical Science, Microbiology)

Science Communication & Outreach Experience

Jon is a multidiscipinary science communicator, translating research and placing it into context for the purpose of developing meaningful public engagement activities. This built on his experience in designing and delivering innovative public engagement events and outreach sessions. These activities may have taken place on campus coordinated via the Schools and Colleges Liaison team, offsite in association with local partners such as Thinktank Museum in Birmingham, nationally at events or within the classrooms of regional schools. I have been registered with STEMnet since 2009 and my portfolio includes science busking, public lectures, cafe scientifiques, 'Meet the Scientist' sessions, careers interviews, schools interactive workshops and local, national and international festivals.

My areas of engagement may have focussed on biomedical and neuroscience areas, but I bring examples from chemistry, physics, biology, engineering and history for purposes of an interactive demonstration.

At the British Science Association festival in 2010, I co-presented 'The Greatest Smell on Earth' event which was a public psychology experiment focussing on audience compliance and authority. It was broadcast by regional BBC news and you can watch it here, with science correspondent David Gregory's report here.

2012 saw the pharmacy, optometry and psychology teams from Life & Health Sciences present events for the Big Bang Fair at the NEC with other partners. A highlight for that year saw Jon working with the BBC Bang Goes The Theory team and presenters delivering their live stage show and performing in the BBC interactive area as a science busker at events in both Birmingham and at the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Jon has also taught and run practicals on a Microbiology roadshow alongside Aston colleagues within schools throughout the region and has demonstrated medical physics techniques to youngsters.

Teaching and Support Aspects

Jon was actively involved in the teaching and delivery of the undergraduate and postgraduate Psychology programmes and also supported the research of the neuroscience team based in the Aston Brain Centre.

He turned a technical support role at Aston into one of innovation and creativity, openly suggesting that the role of technician is more one of technical teacher. This allowed him to encourage people to interact with technology and become inspired by its possibilities. This approach has resulted in his receiving the Technician/Demonstrator of the Year 2009 Award from the Higher Education Academy Psychology network.

Taking an active role in the delivery of taught material at Aston University, his teaching portfolio, undertaken as part of the Aston Certificate of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, led to Jon receiving a Teaching Excellence Award in 2006. As such, he is associated with the Higher Education Academy and is a member of the Teaching Award Recipients' Network.

Jon was a member of The Association of Technical Staffs in Psychology. ATSiP exists primarily to share knowledge between technicians working in Psychology and Psychology related departments in academic institutions. This network of technicians is an essential resource for useful techniques, new approaches and help on some of those tricky problems. The Association holds an annual conference at different academic institutions throughout the UK and Ireland. Members participate in talks and presentations, see local research and teaching facilities and meet socially to disseminate best practice.

Research Interests

Jon specialised in innovative, sustainable pedagogy by revisiting technology from a novel perspective, in a way that inspired both students and academics. Principal research activities focused on the efficacy of innovative practices in learning and teaching.

The Virtual Pedagogy Initiative

Highlighted research activities have been investigating the potential use of Web 2.0 virtual learning environments and the effects of cyberpersonalisation, virtual pedagogy and the efficacy of podcasting and vodcasting as teaching and learning resources. Jon's most recent research in this area was his involvement in the cross-institutional collaborative PREVIEW-Psych project with University of Derby. Some output features for this project included:

  • Running academic 'upskilling days' for Teaching in Virtual Worlds,
  • Creation of a guide to Best Practices to Virtual Worlds Teaching which focused on problem-based learning (Available here),
  • Provision of an extended case study in the 'Emerging Practice in a Digital Age' guide published by JISC in 2011 (Available here),
  • Jon also featured along with the team in the video case study for the PREVIEW-Psych project (Viewable here),
  • and was interviewed for an article in the 'IT in HE' supplement of the Times Higher Education (Readable here),
  • A paper is currrently in review (May 2012).
The Virtual Pedagogy Initiative also aimed to heighten the student learning experience by bring to them opportunities that were not previously possible. One innovative measure was the delivery of a first year undergraduate lecture on Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) together with a live scan being conducted, which utilised a two-way video communication link and outside broadcast. This was broadcast regionally on BBC Midlands Today (Viewable here). The VPI project was shortlisted for the ‘Outstanding ICT Initiative of the Year’ Award, sponsored by JISC, at the Times Higher Awards 2007.

Academic Publications

Parson V, Reddy PA, Wood JB, Senior C (2009). Educating the IPOD generation: Undergraduate attitudes, experiences and knowledge of vod and podcast use. Learning, Media & Technology, 34, (3): 215-228

Senior C, Butler MJR, Wood J, Reddy PA (2009). The Virtual Pedagogy Initiative? Aston Business School Good Practice Guide in Learning and Teaching. (Green J, & Higson H, eds). Quality Unit, Aston Business School. pp 31-49.

Reddy P, Parson V, Wood J, and Senior C (2007). Podcasting trials in a UK psychology degree. Paper at the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning conference, Sydney, July 2007.

Senior C, Reddy PA, & Wood JB (2007). Virtual Pedagogy? The Psychologist, 20 (70), p439.

Senior C, Reddy PA, & Wood JB (2007). The Virtual Pedagogy Initiative. Psychology Network Newsletter. 40 (1): 6

Conference Presentations/Posters

Wood, JB - "The 1,2,3 of P.E". Workshop for the 60th Mammal Society Conference, Aston University, April 2014.

Hoban, SL & Wood, JB - "Elizabeth Stockdale Wilkinson, 1799-1871 and early photographic  practice in Birmingham". Paper at The Emergence of the West Midlands: Culture, Communities and Change 1779-1918 conference. Centre for West Midlands History, University of Birmingham, April 2012.

Wood JB & Reddy PA – “Learning Analogous to Virtual Adventuring”. Poster at LHS learning and teaching symposium, Aston University, March 2009.

Wood JB & Reddy PA “Virtual Pedagogy at Aston – reflections on three years of tinkering”. Presentation at 7th annual eLearning conference (Supporting the iGeneration) University of Ulster, January 2009.

Silber K, Bignell S, Parson V, Wood J, Reddy P, Senior C – “Second Life: another world in which to teach and learn”. Workshop at Psychology Learning & Teaching (PLAT), University of Bath, July 2008.

Reddy P, Parson V, Wood J, and Senior C (2007). “Podcasting trials in a UK psychology degree.” Paper at the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning conference, Sydney, July 2007.

Wood JB – “MRSA: A New Possibility in Streamlining Block Design fMRI Analysis with AFNI”. Poster at Methods in Mind conference, Aston University, September 2005. (MRSA, a script to semi-automate the pre-processing of Siemens Trio fMRI datasets using a script called MRSA (MRi-SemiAutomatic).  was presented at the “Methods in Mind” conference held at Aston University, 12th -16th September 2005 (poster available here) (pdf format). The script and information pertaining to its use with AFNI and SPM are freely available by contacting the author.)

Grant Awards

An intervention to demonstrate the potential of video recording lectures. Flexible Learning Development Centre, Aston University. [with Dr. C Senior & Mr. PA Reddy]. (2006; £3000).

The Virtual Pedagogy Initiative. Flexible Learning Development Centre, Aston University. [with Dr. C Senior & Mr. PA Reddy]. (2006; £4812).

Using video examples in teaching and assessment of psychological research methods. Flexible Learning Development Centre, Aston University. [with Mr. PA Reddy, Dr. C Senior & Dr. R Cooke] (2006; £4,056).

Evaluation of e-Zine podcasts to promote student engagement and academic community. JISC-Academy Distributed e-Learning Program II. HEA Psychology Centre. [with Dr. C Senior & Mr. PA Reddy]. (2007; £19650).

External Links of Interest

Linked In
thinktank logo
ogden trust logo

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research