My name is Ronald Macintyre, presently I am the R&D Manager for a Scottish Government funded programme called Open Educational Practices Scotland, it is sector wide aimed at raising awareness and building capacity in the development and use of free open online material (see here). It is hosted by the Open University in Scotland. I arrived here by accident, my own background is in Widening Participation, and openness emerged as a solution to working with organisations looking to create content to help people distanced from education. I have approached the opportunities and challenges of working in this space as a design problem, looking at what educational practice can learn from participatory design and broader work on action research.
On twitter I am @roughbounds, it is the English translation of the area I live in the West Highlands of Scotland. I will be joining you from my croft where I live with my family, when not sitting in front of a screen I like books made from paper and being outside. A creature of habit I walk my dog at 11am, and play football on a Wednesday at 7.25pm, but not this week.
The Porous University
This phrase leaked out, it came out as an ad lib during a conference presentation where I introduced an idea I have been developing around “the hidden tariff”. I suggested curriculum development was filled with assumptions, routines, tacit ways of knowing, these are often hidden, simply the “way we do things round here”. Unless we are mindful of this, when we take curriculum and, using the affordances of low transaction costs associated with digital media and/or open licences, these hidden assumptions are reproduced in the open, acting as hidden barriers. Barriers typically experienced and accentuated by others things that might distance someone from education.
Seeing the accidental phrase in a tweet about the presentation made me realise what I was talking about were not just concerns about how HE opens up curriculum, for whom and how to ensure content is relevant, useful and used in a just and equitable manner. It was about more than how HE uses open to push out, it concerned how things seep into the academy. About recognising expertise and knowledge is not solely owned and then released by HE. It was about how open HE is to “the world” reaching in, openness as two way, about technology and of courses licences, but importantly the cultural changes and pedagogies.
See you Wednesday 2nd November, same time, same place. 8-9PM (GMT) #LTHEchat