Supporting the wellbeing of associate lecturers at the Open University through a creative arts intervention


  • Renu Bhandari The Open University



Creative arts, Higher education, wellbeing, online spaces, inclusive, connectedness


This case study discusses an online space created for associate lecturers (ALs) working at the Open University, with the intention of supporting wellbeing through sharing – and responding to – each other’s examples of creative arts activities. This paper reflects on engagement with and outcomes from this intervention. Four key themes emerged in participant responses to the intervention: 1) increased connectedness; 2) a feeling of being away from work; 3) happiness, enjoyment and positive feelings; and 4) openness to new places, ideas and shares. The results were analysed in line with available studies on sense of belonging, connectedness and well-being. This project highlights the potential for shared online creative activities to support connectedness and wellbeing in educators and students who are working in the online environment.  

Author Biography

Renu Bhandari, The Open University

Dr Renu Bhandari (Ph.D., FHEA, CPsychol) is a staff tutor in the Centre for Access, Open and Cross-curricular Innovation (AoCCI), associate lecturer, and consultant with the Open University for the last 18 years. Her primary role sits in the Centre for Access, Open and Cross-curricular Innovation (AoCCI) and faculty of WELS (Wellbeing, Education, and language Studies). She teaches a range of modules from Access to post graduate modules highlighting issues about child development, childhood studies, early years developing practice, play and creativity in children and psychology. In her role Renu has been a consistent user and developer of online teaching techniques and tools. Renu is a monitor and mentor to new staff and has been playing a key role in monitoring and managing staff along with her teaching responsibilities at the Open University.  Besides, the Open University, Renu has experience of working in University of Portsmouth and in University of Reading. Renu has served as a senior lecturer in FE institutions and has successfully managed HE provision.


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