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Dr Mark Jones

Profile summary

Professional biography

I am a Senior Lecturer and Staff Tutor and Director of Teaching for the School of Physical Sciences. I am the Director of eSTEeM - the OU centre of STEM pedagogy.

Research interests

I am interested in the structure of the zodiacal cloud (interplanetary dust cloud) and more generally in circumstellar dust. Most of my astronomical research has been based on data obtained from space-based instruments and observatories (EXOSAT, Ginga, ROSAT, IRAS, Spitzer, STEREO and TESS). 

I also have a long-standing interest in the use of new technologies in teaching, which started while I worked as a software designer for the Open University (1993-96) and was in charge of the technical production of the OU's first teaching CD-ROM (for module THD204). At present, I am particularly interested in the ways in which learning can be facilitated by synchronous communication systems. I am (or have been) involved in the following projects:

Developing practice in online synchronous tuition by peer observation, feedback and reflection. (eSTEeM - completed)

Perceptions, Expectations and Experience of Group Tuition: towards a shared understanding amongst stakeholders  (eSTEeM - completed)

Perceptions, Expectations and Experience of Group Tuition: towards a shared understanding amongst stakeholders (part II: the student perspective) (eSTEeM - completed)

Online Team Investigations in Science (OTIS) (eSTEeM)

Evaluation of Assessment and Tuition Changes for S284 Astronomy (eSTEeM) 


Teaching interests

I am involved in teaching of physics, astronomy and space science at all levels. Notable teaching developments are:

Production team chair for S282 Astronomy, and co-edited these books:

An Introduction to the Sun and Stars (eds. Simon F. Green and Mark H. Jones)

An Introduction to Galaxies and Cosmology (eds. Mark H. Jones, Robert J. Lambourne and Stephen Serjeant)

Member of the S382 Astrophysics module team and responsible for developing an online group project for students. 

I was the production team chair of S818 Space science, and was the presentation chair from 2017 to 2021.

I have also contributed to the production of the following OU modules: S103, SXR103, S207 and SXP288. I was the presentation chair of the undergraduate project module SXP390 from 2007-2013, and I have tutored at numerous OU residential schools.  


A possible transit of a disintegrating exoplanet in the nearby multiplanet system DMPP-1 (2020-05)
Jones, Mark; Haswell, Carole; Barnes, John; Staab, Daniel and Heller, René
Astrophysical Journal Letters, 895, Article L17(1)

The perceptions of STEM Tutors on the role of tutorials in distance learning (2019)
Campbell, Anne; Gallen, Anne-Marie; Jones, Mark H. and Walshe, Ann
Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-learning, 34(1) (pp. 89-102)

Mapping the circumsolar dust ring near the orbit of Venus (2017-05-15)
Jones, M.H.; Bewsher, D. and Brown, D. S.
Icarus, 288 (pp. 172-185)

Peer observation, feedback and reflection for development of practice in synchronous online teaching (2016)
Jones, Mark H. and Gallen, Anne-Marie
Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 53(6) (pp. 616-626)

Imaging of a circumsolar dust ring near the orbit of Venus (2013-11-22)
Jones, M. H.; Bewsher, D. and Brown, D. S.
Science, 342(6161) (pp. 960-963)

The incidence of mid-infrared excesses in G and K giants (2008-06)
Jones, Mark H.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 387(2) (pp. 845-855)

An Introduction to Galaxies and Cosmology (2nd ed) (2015-01)
Jones, Mark H.; Lambourne, Robert J. A. and Serjeant, Stephen
ISBN : 9781107492615 | Publisher : Cambridge University Press/Open University | Published : Cambridge

Online team work in space science and astronomy at the Open University (2020-07-08)
Jones, M. H.; Chyriwsky, S. M.; Croston, J.; Kolb, U.; Schwenzer, S. P. and Urquhart, S.
In : 3rd Symposium on Space Educational Activities (16-18 Sep 2019, University of Leicester, UK) (pp. 126-127)