Revising WHO sanitation inspection forms can improve small water supplies

As previously mentioned, Surrey University supports WHO with collaboration about water sanitation research. It may not provide shiny, social media attention seeking headlines but this research can help to improve lives and the environment in communities where it is desperately needed. Surrey can help WHO provide evidence informed guidance from these projects. And with climate change challenges, evidence showing what can work or not with risk assessment is needed more than ever.

Original article:

Surrey press release:

I have been helping the team create a sanitation inspection eLearning module which will be released soon as an open educational resource.

Mourning Nature: The Mental Health Impacts of Ecological Grief in a Changing Climate: Ashlee Cunsolo

This helps in understanding why we need to keep on trying to improve everything in spite of the seemingly endless tragedies, losses, challenges and impossible actions.

Paper in Nature with Neville Ellis: Cunsolo, A., Ellis, N.R. Ecological grief as a mental health response to climate change-related loss. Nature Clim Change 8, 275–281 (2018).

Open copy requestable via Researchgate:

Publication of the so-called Russia report

I have signed a petition to support publication of it because I can’t scrutinise what I can’t see.

There is ongoing organised and funded hatred towards Russia being propelled across social media where I am active. Some of it from people who have seen this report and making claims without anyone seeing a shred of evidence for or against whatever the contents of the report contain. This is how funded, organised hatred works, wherever it is found.

I am currently reading a series of posts by Yasha Levine who wrote the excellent Surveillance Valley book. It is documenting the post WW2 events and people who led to the birth of the CIA funded Radio Liberty and other initiatives.

Context is crucial, there is no place for racial supremacism and their well funded hatred but there is also no place for well funded hatred towards Russia and Russians. Yasha calls the latter ‘respectable racism’ and I don’t think it’s off the mark unfortunately.

Those who put out either form are not leaders, just incapable of a) accepting diversity and b) more opportunities for others to succeed them with diverse ideas.

Enough of politics for now!

Teaching Philosophy

Have also added to this blog as a sub page. It has evolved over the years and I submitted it as part of the professional narrative for my now successful HEA Fellowship:

My teaching philosophy has been shaped initially teaching young children then older learners and adults within a range of professional contexts then applying within higher education. My most enduring belief is that learning is a process not a product even though outcomes may be achieved, providing learning opportunities to try things out safely. These are affected by unconscious and semi-conscious concept formation, particularly through previous associations (Eysenck, H. J. (1952), (Freud S., 1915) and learner responses with timely positive feedback provided on the attempt even if incorrect. (Pavlov, 1910) , (Skinner, 1953).

I have also used in design with adult learners. In a design workshop, I introduced memory activities to be completed in any order that involved learners listening to a message and try to remember it; read some messages and remember them; or look at pictures and objects and try to remember the message related to them. The most successful blended learning sessions I have run based on my observations and participant / peer feedback, also included a mix of simple scenarios or games, role play and problem solving. Whether offline and online exploration with opportunities to apply it in a safe environment during or immediately afterwards.

I used to believe that I should present my identity as an expert (Özmen, S, 2011)[i], by understanding my own emotional and physical responses then using these within a partly authoritative role. Within higher education intervention is different, so I design and deliver workshops that support both confident learners who want to get started with a technology by pressing a range of buttons to try things out (Vaughan, 2007)[ii]; as well as developing and guiding less confident learners through structured sequences of tasks. It’s useful to enhance this approach by blending with flexible online learning that allows learners to explore concepts, either through structured experiences or constructing their own navigation of concepts (Poon, 2013)[iii] as evidenced by these screenshots of online learning about health topics[iv].

I believe it’s crucial to support learners who are concerned with understanding new concepts or getting stuck with activities. A sense of humour is useful provided it does not exclude or cause offence because it can release any tension and may increase information retention (Berk, 2000)[v].  For example, trying to relax Civil Engineering students who were unfamiliar with creating a podcast by playing a video where someone was trying to explain complex physics to their dog. All the students laughed at the idea of presenting out loud to a pet[vi]. Similarly, older learners can feel particularly intimidated and frustrated by changing technologies which can cloud their overall learning experience, as evidenced by this example teaching a professional community working on the police national computer, to enhance their learning by using an online collaboration and community platform.[vii]

I broadly use the principles of a constructivist including social constructivist approach where learners construct meaning from their engagement with learning activities and socially with peers or colleagues (Wood et al, 1995)[viii]. I led the development of performance support for adult learners at the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).  We collated data from interviews, surveys and existing system data about what it meant to learn and how staff believed they liked learning.

This included the design of appropriate interventions using the analysis for short practical tasks which follow a sequenced step approach using instructional patterns (Gagne, 1985)[ix] with a cognitive approach that reviews whether processes are being stored in longer-term memory for deeper concepts including what an excipient is and where it links with a drug making process. I used the Conversational Framework (Laurillard, 2002)[x] model to help the performance support system become adaptable based on user input so that there is an updated, flexible knowledge bank.

The impact of technologies can create larger attainment gaps or decrease motivation (Linnenbrink, 2002)[xi] if learning is not designed and delivered inclusively (Burgstahler, S. 2013)[xii] allowing multiple intercultural perspectives (Trahar S., 2011) [xiii] and technology adaptions that support students with a learning environment that is useful and relevant to their diverse needs. This has informed and changed my own practices for example with involvement of physiology learners as peers, contributing to the design of flipped labs and collaborative online lab reports. This process provided relevant insights that my colleagues and myself may not have considered.


[i] Özmen KS, (2011) 2:2. BEING (Believe, Experiment, Invent, Navigate, Generate), Acting and Teacher Education: The BEING Model for Identity Development, Turkish Online Journal of Qualitative Inquiry, available at

[ii] Vaughan, N. (2007). 6 (1), 81–94, Perspectives on blended learning in higher education, International Journal on eLearning, available at

[iii]  Poon J (2013) 9:2 Blended Learning: An Institutional Approach for Enhancing Students’ Learning Experiences, Journal of Online Teaching, available at

[iv] ePortfolio eLearning Design screenshots,70171 )

[v] Berk, R.A. (2000), 48, 151-58, Does humor in course tests reduce anxiety and improve performance? College Teaching, available at

[vi] Podcast Workshop (0:48 mins)

[vii] ePortfolio NPIA Online Communities,70171 )

[viii] Wood, T., Cobb, P. & Yackel, E. (1995). Reflections on learning and teaching mathematics in elementary school. In L. P. Steffe & J.Gale (Eds) Constructivism in education (pp 401-422). Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.

[ix] Gagne, R. (1985). The Conditions of Learning (4th Ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

[x] Laurillard, D. (2002). Rethinking University Teaching. A conversational framework for the effective use of learning technologies. London: Routledge

[xi] Linnenbrink, EA, Pintrich, PR, (2002) 31:3  Motivation as an Enabler for Academic Success., School Psychology Review,

[xii] Burgstahler, S. (2013) Universal design in higher education: Promising practices. Seattle: DO-IT, University of Washington. Retrieved from

[xiii] Dr Sheila Trahar, (2011 ), Teaching and learning: the international higher education landscape – Discussions in Education Series, ESCalate, The Higher Education Academy, available at

Salisbury and Skripal

I’ve just finished watching the rerun of Spooks. I haven’t watched the rerun of Skripal but I’m assuming it is similar drama. Those who want to believe it was real will do so, those who want to sell their books (Mark Urban and others) based on ‘a’ narrative of what happened will give believers comfort by telling them what they want to hear. Those who want to believe it happened, those who want to believe that there was Clinton / Obama involvement will believe it because it suits their world view. I don’t believe either of these or anything else put forward so far. Those who are interested in military confrontations with Russia are inevitably going to make a lot of noise.

It’s quite odd to see comments from the same people who believe somehow that the Conservatives are telling them ‘the truth’ yet also don’t believe anything else the Conservatives say. And it was the US and Conservatives who arranged for Skripal to live in the UK, it was the US and Conservatives who have said that the events happened in Salisbury, it was the Conservatives who have provided funding and medals etc afterwards for those who have not been forthcoming in explanations.There have been some financial benefits to Salisbury tourism – it was interesting to see in the Russian newspapers that our Russian teacher brings that Salisbury is now often advertised as a tourism site of interest.

Craig Murray who helps to glue the sane world together across more than one country has done an interesting analysis.

Moving forward the UK could have a great relationship with Russia, not just UK and Russian conservatives but there is room for other political points of view and collaborations. Let’s hope this can blossom in spite of the interests of a wealthy few, too rigid to create a vision of a better international relationship with broader sections of society.


The Return of Race Science | Pint of Science 23rd June 7pm online

In this special event, award-winning journalist Angela Saini and
scientist Dr Esther Odekunle talk about science and race. The event will not be available for viewing afterwards.

In the book ‘Superior’, award-winning author Angela Saini explores the
concept of race, from its origins to the present day. We like to believe
that we have moved beyond scientific racism, that most people accept
race as a social construct, not a biological one. But race science is
experiencing a revival.

Even well-intentioned scientists, through their use of racial categories
in genetics and medicine, betray their suspicion that race has some
basis in biology. In truth, it is no more real than it was hundreds of
years ago, when our racial hierarchies were devised by those in power.

#No2NoDeal virtual rally in 20mins

Organised by European Movement:

Join in – streaming live at 7pm BST

С днем Россий Happy Russia Day

Sounds of the Russian taiga

Ibuprofen and COVID-19 update NICE Rapid Review

The review did not include long-term chronic conditions usage.

The available evidence suggests that, although the anti-inflammatory effects of NSAIDs reduce acute symptoms (such as fever), they may either have no effect on, or worsen, long-term outcomes, possibly by masking symptoms of worsening acute respiratory tract infection.

Further evidence is needed to confirm this, and to determine whether these results also apply to infections such as COVID-19.

Environmental protection is not a political present to be donated

Within a couple of days,

Destroy environmental protection:

Help with environmental protection

If only it was because they actually cared about the planet the way the majority of citizens do.