As open education enters its twenties in 2020, we consider how far it has come since the first ‘open courseware’ materials were published by MIT in 2000. The JISC-funded OER projects that shaped the sector in the UK from 2009 to 2012 were characterised by an emphasis on open licences, metadata, and technical standards for content sharing. The discourse has since shifted towards open educational practices, and has taken a ‘critical turn’ (Cronin, 2016). Today, much of the dialogue about open education takes place within a paradoxically closed community, and has not robustly engaged colleagues in mainstream higher education.
This session will create a space for participants to interact and engage with emerging issues that can help transform the culture of higher education, based on principles of openness, transparency, co-creation and care. The metaphor of the ‘Third Space’ (Bhabha, 1990) – particularly the associated concept of ‘good hybridity’ (Bauhn & Fulya-Tepe, 2016) – provides intriguing possibilities for conceptualising such ‘bridging’ work. The facilitators have previously used the Third Space concept to explore aspects of agency amongst refugees and displaced learners in open and mobile learning (Author 1 & Author 2, in press).
The Open Space session will have a pre-conference ‘trailer’ – a short video explaining the concept of the Third Space and inviting people to participate. This will be disseminated online and will also appear at the conference via a poster with a QR code.
The session will be structured as follows:
– Introductory presentation by the facilitators on the concept of the Third Space (10 minutes).
– Participants apply Third Spaces thinking to dualisms (such as formal/informal, classroom/online) in their settings, also considering other themes that have emerged throughout the conference. Together, we will identify and share examples of ‘good hybridity’, using template ‘flipbooks’ (both physical and virtual) as a visual communication tool (20 minutes).
Outputs and reflection
The flipbook format will be similar to those on Visual Thinkery’s Remixer site (https://remixer.visualthinkery.com/a/flipbook/), and the outputs from the Open Space will be added to the Remixer for people to engage with after the session. The physical flipbooks will remain in the venue for conference attendees to add to before and after the session.
The facilitators will invite reflection on Third Space ideas put forward in the open space via a post-session tweetchat.
The space can be within a circulation area, with a table for displaying the hard copy flipbooks produced during the session and as people pass through, during the conference. Ideally, the space should be set up in cabaret style, with five to six tables for the session but no chairs, to enable easy circulation of participants. A computer and projector would be appreciated but are not essential.
Anticipated number of participants
We expect approximately 20 participants for the ‘live’ session, but anticipate that many more conference delegates and remote participants will be engaged in the dialogue as they pass through the circulation area, or will contribute to the flipbooks and tweetchat online.
Author 1 & Author 2. (In press). ‘Supported mobile learning in the “Third Spaces” between formal and non-formal education for displaced people’, in Traxler, J. & Crompton, H. (eds). Critical Mobile Pedagogy: Cases of Inclusion, Development, and Empowerment. New York: Routledge.
Bauhn, P. & Fulya Tepe, F. (2016). Hybridity and agency: Some theoretical and empirical observations. Migration Letters 3 (13), 350-358.
Bhabha, H. (1990). The Third Space. In J. Rutherford (Ed.). Identity: Community, Culture, Difference (pp. 207–221). Dagenham, UK: Lawrence & Wishart Ltd.
Cronin, C. (2016). #OER16: A critical turn. Blog post, CatherineCronin.net.
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