:sync: Communicating “Open”

Author: Nicole Allen
Institution: SPARC
Country: United States

Topic: Global Collaboration, Strategies, & Policies in Open Education
Sector: Higher Education
UNESCO Area of Focus: Building capacity
Session Format: Workshop


Effective communication is an important tool for any advocate’s toolbox — whether that’s knowing how to ask a politician to support OER legislation, convincing an institutional leader to fund an initiative, or effectively rebutting the case of someone who opposes OER. Whether you are a seasoned advocate or a newcomer to the movement, communicating about OER can be challenging. People do not always see the value of OER immediately, and the idea of “open” can be complex and difficult for some people to grasp. “Openwashing” is also becoming an issue, as more special interests have begun to co-opt the term open in ways that twist its meaning.

The action lab will offer a crash course on basic advocacy communications, providing advice and examples to help OER advocates sharpen their communications skills. Topics covered will include:

  • What is advocacy communication?
  • Crafting and delivering a compelling message
  • Getting people to understand what “open” means
  • Defending against “openwashing”
  • Tips and lessons learned
  • Examples from the field

The session will be organized flexibly depending on the contexts and interests of the group involved. The general agenda will be as follows:

  • Overview of general communications principles
  • Short breakout exercise to explore stakeholder perspectives
  • Overview of crafting an effective message
  • Short breakout exercise to develop an “elevator pitch”
  • Wrap up with suggestions for ways to raise awareness


communications, openwashing, elevator pitch, awareness, training

1 Like

Excited to communicate with you all!

We are glad and excited to see you here, Nicole. Please add any materials relevant to your presentation as a reply. If you need assistance, contact me @cogdog or anyone on our @Help team

Excited to be communicated to! :slight_smile:

Thanks all for coming! Sharing the two outputs of the session:

You can find me on twitter at @txtbks.

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Hello everyone and @cogdog, is the video recording of this session coming? I was really hoping to catch up on this after the conference :slight_smile: