Since OpenEd17 in Anaheim, open advocates and practitioners have turned a critical eye on the open education movement prompted by one simple yet daring question: how can we destroy openness? (Bali et al, 2018). On the cusp of the #breakopen conversations, the Global OER Graduate Network (GO-GN ) felt it necessary to hold a mirror up to ourselves and challenge each other to explore who we are, for whom we are open, and who we serve.
We understood our responsibility to create an inclusive community, and to champion, promote and apply equity and diversity principles, while fulfilling the network’s aims of raising the profile of open education research, supporting PhD candidates in the field, and developing openness as a process of research. A 200 strong informal community, at the time of writing GO-GN supported 61 PhD candidates registered at universities in 14 countries, with a further 15 having already graduated; however, only 25% of these conducted their research in the Global South. Our concern was that despite our efforts to be open and our willingness to be diverse, we were not reaching those who could potentially benefit the most from being part of the network. We needed to reflect on how we did things, and together learn what we had to do differently, and how.
In this workshop we propose to guide participants in a process of reflection similar to that GO-GN embarked upon, whereby as individuals we revisited personal biases and as a community examined ways in which we engaged with each other and other groups.
We will invite participants to think about Chow’s (2018) observation that “diversity is a number, equity is an outcome, inclusion is a behaviour”, and how their reflections can bring about change in their communities.
The workshop will be structured as follows:
– Brief introduction to contextualise and anchor the aims of the session (5 minutes).
– Activity 1 Plenary about (safely) exposing unconscious biases (10 minutes).
– Activity 2 Small group work on “diversity”, “equity” and “inclusiveness” (30 minutes).
– Activity 3 Plenary discussion and wrap-up with call to action (15 minutes).
Bali, M., Cronin, C., Friedrich, C., Gill Green, A., Hendricks, C., Jhangiani, R., Miller, J., Robison, S. & Walji, S. (2018). A synthesis of several international workshops around open education ethics. Open Education Conference, Niagara, 2018. Available at: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1OaZ88eBA5UWDbbYx_pPTqWZRX4Ba8LxtYBpd1MPHsgE/edit#slide=id.g35f391192_00 [Accessed 1 December 2018].
Chow, B. (2018). From Words to Action: A Practical Philanthropic Guide to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Available at: http://foundationcenter.issuelab.org/resources/30192/30192.pdf [Accessed 1 December 2018].