Monday 11:30-13:00 (1), Darwin Suite
Type: Short paper
Theme: Building and linking communities of open practice
Ms Marieke Guy, Project Community Coordinator, LinkedUp Project, Open Knowledge Foundation,
As part of sustainability work for the EU funded LinkedUp Project the Open Knowledge Foundation have launched the Open Education Working Group. This case-study will look at the development of the group through transparent working practices, and explore preliminary activities including the collaborative writing of the Open Education Handbook.
The LinkedUp Project focuses on the exploitation and adoption of public, open data available on the Web by educational organisations. However in an effort to see ‘open data in education’ pulled into the wider debate around open education the Open Knowledge Foundation, responsible for dissemination activity on the project, have founded the Open Education Working Group. The group joins a number of other pre-existing Open Knowledge Foundation working groups covering areas such as open government, open science and open GLAM.
The Open Education Working Group brings together people and groups interested in the various facets of open education, from Open Educational Resources (OER) and changing teaching practices, to licensing and emerging open policy. However it differs from other online discussion groups that deliberate open education topics. This is because its goal is to seed and support trans-global, cross-sector and cross-domain activities and projects. The group will also provide the opportunity for cross-organisation collaboration through engagement with pre-existing groups.
The group officially launched in September 2013 and has taken the approach of building its governance and defining its member structure via consultation with the wider community. This is happening through working group calls which are open to all and agreement on a charter which sets out the member structure.
One of the first activities of the working group has been the writing of the Open Education Handbook, a living web document targeting educational practitioners and the education community at large. The handbook is being written collaboratively through a series of booksprints, attended by education experts from different sectors (commercial, academic, government, not-for profit), and online using the open source book writing software Booktype. A timeline event has also taken place at which a group physically mapped important open education events, which were then added to an online timemap. The handbook is already reaching a wide audience, for example in January 2014 Brazilian open education advocates translated a snap-shop of the handbook in to Portuguese at a one-day translation event marking Education Freedom Day.
Supporting a large and disparate community to collaboratively produce an open resource has already posed many interesting challenges: for example how do you resolve differences of opinion? Is targeting for audiences possible? What processes need to be in place to verify content? The handbook continues to be developed and appropriate delivery mechanisms are being explored.
So to conclude, although the Open Education Working Group is still in its infancy it already has many lessons to share. The working group team have found that the key to building a global network is spending time forging relationships and uniting people through activities. There are also many benefits in involving community members at all stages from inception.
LinkedUp Project, http://linkedup-project.eu
Open Knowledge Foundation, http://okfn.org
Open Education Working Group, http://education.okfn.org
Open Education Handbook, http://education.okfn.org/handbook/
European Union FP7
Recording of the presentation: https://campus.recap.ncl.ac.uk/Panopto/Pages/Viewer/Default.aspx?id=95d6aa89-c3b1-4442-bd7b-b5633ecf55c7 cc-by 4.0
Keywords: openeducation, okfn, opendata, oer, openpolicy, openbadges, openlicences, linkedupproject