I’m looking forward to attending this year’s OER19 conference, hosting a workshop with long-time colleague David White, Head of Digital Education at UAL.
In a previous life David was a senior manager and researcher in Technology Assisted Lifelong Learning (TALL) at Oxford University, a unit that creates fully-online continuing education courses. On the other side of town I was a senior manager in the University’s Academic IT unit – responsible for enabling all forms of blended learning for our matriculated students and supporting staff to design digital learning experiences. The tables have turned now that I’m in fully-online education and David works in a more blended environment, but something we have had in common throughout our time in Higher Education is our advocacy for open practices in teaching, learning and research. We have often found ourselves working on similar projects and initiatives to further our institutions’ strategic vision, and exploring how open ways of working and being can enhance the student and staff experience, and our engagement with wider society.
Our workshop, entitled ‘What does it take to establish Openness as an institutional value?’ falls under the conference’s ‘geopolitics of open education’ theme and bringing open in from the periphery. The workshop design blends a set of open values that Dave has created with some workshop activities I developed to progress institutional change. This will frame an activity for participants to explore how the values can be presented to senior stakeholders in a way that will secure their adoption at a high level within the institution.
The values themselves are generic in that they could be applied at any institution, although they may be enacted in different ways in different contexts. For instance for fully online education, or a more hybrid model. At UCEM our students are already part of, or will be part of a professional community that spans the globe. Engaging in open conversations, learning from, contributing to, and collaborating with that professional community will offer a more relevant and meaningful learning experience. It will also raise our profile as a developing centre for excellence for the built environment through being more visible and engaged, and supporting our students to develop the digital skills and identities to be a part of that.
We’re looking forward to seeing how the open values are presented in different institutional terms and learning from those who come along to the session.
OER19 – Recentering Open: Critical and global perspectives is being held on 10-11 April 2019 at the National University of Ireland, Galway.