Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 39 seconds

Reflecting on #openlearning17 until #openlearning19

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 39 seconds

Another iteration of the Open Learning cMOOC is happening now, a shorter version, run by Sue Erickson #openlearning19 and I wanted to reflect on my experience with this MOOC since #openlearning17.


First off, I think the majority of people working on facilitating it had been from Virginia but for some reason someone (I wanna say Steve Greenlaw?) thought I might be interested, and I was paired up with Sue Erickson, whom I did not know at the time, to work on the week on Open Access. It was a delight getting to know her, and we organized a annotation of Peter Suber’s book on open access.

One of the things we did was organize a hangout around the topic of open access, and I wanted to bring in different perspectives on it, so I had Frances Bell (critical view of open), Chris Friend (open peer review) and Chris Gilliard (also critical perspective on open). But also while tweeting about the session, I think I tagged Peter Suber because I was talking about his book, and he also decided to join us in the session. This somewhat impressed people. Though, honestly for me, because of Virtually Connecting, I am used to inviting high profile people to hangouts, and used to them agreeing, usually 🙂 And I also deeply valued the different perspectives that every one of the guests brought to the session. Here is that recording.

Coincidentally, that same week was OEGlobal conference in South Africa, and we were doing Virtually Connecting from there, so even though our guests didn’t really speak about open access, they spoke about open in general and Sue joined that session (guests I think included Laura Czerniewicz, Rajiv Jhangiani, Catherine Cronin, Sukain Walji and perhaps a few more folks…. I got to meet these wonderful folks at OER17 just a few days later? And Frances Bell from the earlier hangout, but I had already met her, Catherine and Laura before at ALTC 2015). I also got the wonderful opportunity to meet at DigPedLab that summer of 2017 my co-facilitator Sue Erickson (she participated in my track), Chris Gilliard (we co-keynoted) and Chris Friend.


For #openlearning18, Sue and I had another hangout and made a more intentional choic include global South voices. With Peter Suber again, we also invited Thomas Nkoudou Mboa and Ivonne Lujano (watch here) but unfortunately Thomas’s connection wasn’t great. We caught up with him later via vconnecting at a conference in Berlin, I think, OpenCon? One of the funny things I realized about the session at openlearning18 is that it was immediately before or after a session i did with Robin DeRosa for Tannis Morgan and their team at Guadalajara, Mexico and my blogpost is called “open all night”. You’ll see why this is even funnier in a moment.


Which brings us to 2019. Sue contacted Autumm Caines and me to do a pre recording discussing Virtually Connecting as form of open faculty development, and we set up a time and invited other VC co-directors to join in… but unfortunately I was having a stressful day and week and for some reason fell asleep and didn’t wake up for my 11pm alarm. Autumm and Helen had a great convo with Sue, though, which you can watch if you scroll down here. The article Autumm and I wrote A call for promoting ownership, equity, and agency in faculty development via connected learning is being annotated this week if you want to join via on the PDF version. We don’t call it “open faculty development” in the article because our audience is more traditional and we wanted to frame it as transformative, heutagogical, equitable learning based on connected/connectivist principles. But every example in there is totally an example of open faculty development.

This is all slightly funny because apparently Autumm was presenting our paper at the effordability conference and discussed it with Robin … and now Robin has been here in Cairo the past few days for the AMICAL conference, theme of open, and there’s a video of Robin talking about her new position at Plymouth State as part of OpenLearning19, and Robin told us she is totally using what is in our article… that video in OpenLearning19 is right under the video on Virtually Connecting …and in Robin’s blogpost connected to her keynote in Cairo, she had a section on Virtually Connecting and I love this quote from it:

What would happen if we thought about classrooms, or online courses, as liminal or in-between spaces rather than as destinations or locations? I think about the difference between a VConnecting session and a keynote. The keynote is like a traditional classroom: information is broadcast and, even when it’s inspiring and well-crafted, usually happens more in monologue than dialogue. But the VConnecting session is more like an in-between space. There is no linear agenda, just the goal of sharing, questioning, reflecting, and connecting.

So it’s an open ecosystem I guess.

And even though I didn’t facilitate a week on open access, I moderated a panel on OA at AMICAL this year and one on OEP with Robin yesterday doc links to slides) and participated in Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams on OER Also at AMICAL… so yeah. It’s been an open celebration this week!

And I’m so grateful for having had the opportunity to be part of this cMOOC each year. I think it has provided some good resources and opportunities and I am grateful for all the conversations I was able to have each time, and I hope others find them useful as well.

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