I was invited to run a session for the SEDA Summer School last week on Open Practice, the aim of which was to get participants thinking about the benefits and challenges of open practice, to develop the knowledge and attitudes needed in order to be more open, and to spread the word about open practice in their own institutions.
There were 24 participants and I took them through three activities where they thought about what constituted ‘open’ and ‘closed’ practice, why they share things and why they don’t, and then a worked example where they picked something they don’t currently share and found strategies to address the challenges to sharing. All three tasks (and all the resources, worksheets etc.) are available here: goo.gl/YZ1a3. The most powerful thing was, as the end of the workshop, I told them that I thought they might like to run something similar for staff in their own institutions so I’d shared all the resources under a public domain (Creative Commons Zero) license and they wouldn’t even have to attribute the stuff to me. Despite this being an example of everything we’d discussed over the past hour, most participants looked a little surprised at this. One said:
“I know this is what we’ve all just been learning about but… why would you do that?”
I replied: “because you all now think I’m wonderful”.
He said “but – honestly – is that enough?”
I asked him if he’d ever stood in front of 24 people who thought he was wonderful, and told him it felt amazing.
From chatting to the participants afterwards I got the sense that it was this moment that ‘flicked the switch’ for them.
The image shows participants’ ‘next steps’ from the workshop. Look past the couple of people who have resolved to start using Prezi and you’ll see the high proportion who have resolved to run similar workshops in their own institution and to practice in a more open way themselves… very heartwarming after only one hour!