However, the shift from OER to OEP requires a closer look into existing power structures within institutions and how these structures are reflected in the knowledge created and shared. Thus, barriers for moving towards open practices involve much deeper issues than lack of technology, support, time or skills – existing hierarchies within institutions, lack of diversity or limited framing of it, lack of shared vision are all barriers for institutional openness.
First of all, we need to ask how ready are we to be present in the open as an institution? This is not merely a question about technical readiness; as Jenkins (2009) noted, what “social skills and cultural competencies” do we need to be able to successfully participate in the open web?
Second, as a higher education institution in the Global North, we are privileged with access and resources. Who is the audience with whom we wish to be open (our vision) and who is the audience we can reach in reality (our actual potential)?
Finally, if we are going to create a digital meeting space with our open educational resources and practices, how can we make sure that we engage in democratic and inclusive practice? In other words, how can we capture the diversity of opinions, cultures, and ways of doing things in our college as well as in our centre?
In this presentation, in order to address such issues, we will explore how to create a democratic and nurturing online presence through community building. We will particularly focus on the idea of building a conscious community (Shaffer & Anundsen, 1993) in which colleagues can openly share their experiences and thoughts without fear of ridicule or failure and with a sense of equity and dignity.
Beetham, H., Falconer, I., McGill, L. & Littlejohn, A. (2012) Open practices: briefing paper. JISC. Available from https://oersynth.pbworks.com/w/page/51668352/OpenPracticesBriefing [Accessed 14th November 2016].
Jenkins, H. (2009) ‘New Media Literacies – A Syllabus’ Confessions of an Aca-Fan The Official weblog of Henry Jenkins, 17thAugust. Available from: http://henryjenkins.org/2009/08/new_media_literacies_-_a_syll.html [Accessed 14th November 2016].
Shaffer, C.R. & Anundsen, K. (1993) Creating community anywhere: Finding support and connection in a fragmented world. New York, Jeremy Teacher Press.
Sheail, P. (2015) The motif of meeting in digital education. Tech Trends. 59(1), 37-43.