Rapporteur Report: Collaborations, Combating the "Rich-Club Effect," and "Mapping" Open Education Policy (Webinar 16)

Webinar Presentations: Thursday, Sept. 30

European Academic Libraries at work: let’s build capacity. Together.
Paola Corti
Norwegian Digital Learning Arena as a sustainable organization model
Margreta Tveisme
Is the ‘Rich-Club’ Effect Impoverishing Our Open Communities?
Max Mahmoud Wardeh and Sarah Hutton
Landscapes, maps and territories of open education policy - where do we go from here?
Leo Havemann and Javiera Atenas

Number of participants: 35

Countries of the participants: Sweden, Australia, US, Netherlands, France, Ireland, England, Norway, South Africa, Italy, and others.

Corti: Overview of European Network of Open Education Librarians – Importance of a wide range of activities to engage the network (e.g. OE Drops). Developing resources to advocate for Open and promote the UNESCO OER Recommendation. Developing an OE Learning Path for Librarians. Creating Wakelet page with resources. Sharing, collaborating, pooling efforts.
Tveisme: Overview of the National Digital Learning Arena. Their model: a “sustainable flow of competency.” Teachers come from the classroom, work with them, and then return to their schools with new competencies. Governance from across the country and use of public funds spent on public service, all resources developed are openly licensed. Challenges include ensuring quality, perceptions of OER as a threat to traditional publishers, changing politics.
Wardeh and Hutton: Described the impact of the “rich-club phenomenon,” based on research that looked at resources on Github. Pointed out direct correlation between institutional status and amount of funding.
Havemann and Atenas: Overview of the landscape of Open policy. Outlined a pyramidal OE policy infrastructure, types of OE policies and distribution of them around the world. Considered ethical/technical elements. Provided a visual analysis of complex policies.

Key Findings:

  • Challenges of collaborations: various languages, working in different timelines
  • Importance of Librarians as OE allies.
  • Those building knowledge commons need to mitigate the effects of the rich-club phenomenon.
  • The need to invite community members to lead, not just participate, to ensure equity of resource production and dissemination.
  • With Open, we need to be willing to let go of our creations.
  • You need vision, values, and passion to do this work.

Good ideas and strategies in to help support the implementation of the Recommendation in general and through the activities of the UNESCO Dynamic OER Coalition in particular:

  • Collaboration, networking, and sharing are crucial for sustainability (e.g. participants asked how they can get involved in the work of the UNOEL).
  • Involve “decision makers” in OER work.
  • Calls for “wildly collaborative” and “radical openness”

Complex issue related to the area: Language barriers working across cultures – how can we alleviate this?

Technology issue: Need to make sure that code used to develop open platforms is itself open and accessible. “Then we are really talking about sustainability” (Tveisme).

Overall, an insightful, multi-perspective and -cultural session providing strategies to collaborate across networks and institutions, develop effective and impactful policies, and avoid potential challenges and pitfalls to working in Open Education, including equitable resource allocation and others.