What this course is all about

This is the Why Open course for 2014; there is also a record of the one we did in 2013., but be sure you're working with this one for 2014!

Why Open? What does open mean? Does it mean free? Does it mean without restriction? What is the role of the producer? What is the role of the consumer? Why is open important? How does open relate to you and your area of expertise?

In this course, we will discuss and answer these questions. With your help, we will explore the different meanings of open in various contexts as well as its benefits and issues. Participants will use open practices to complete a series of open activities that builds into a final project.

How it works

Course registration

Please click "start course" below the menu at the left. That will get you on the official registration list and you will receive emails from us about the course.

In order to participate in the discussions during the course, you'll also need to create an account on this Discourse page: http://discourse.p2pu.org/category/why-open

Course duration

The course will be four weeks long starting Sunday, 10 August 2014 to Friday, 5 September 2014.

Course materials

This site will be the main place to go for information about the course, reading materials and the activities we'll do each week.

Course participation

  1. Participation is required for everyone taking the course. Participation in the course will be through discussions on the P2PU Discourse page: http://discourse.p2pu.org/category/why-open. You will need an existing Google account or to create a new Discourse account in order to participate. Remember to choose the Category 'Why Open?' for every post you create. Be sure to check the general Why Open Discourse page for all the threads in the course: http://discourse.p2pu.org/category/why-open
  2. In addition to this, we will have at least two synchronous presentations and at least one Twitter chat. The first Google Hangout is scheduled for first week of the course and the second Hangout is scheduled for the fourth week of the course. Each Google Hangout will be hosted by a course facilitator with an invited guest. The Twitter Chat is scheduled for the third week of the course, though there might be another if there is interest.
  3. We have created a Hackpad for the course which we will use to schedule Google Hangouts and Twitter chats, as well as create some collaborative documents.
  4. The course involves a final project which is a portfolio of all activities you have undertaken in the course. More information on this can be found under number five on the left menu.
  5. We have two badges for this course, one for engaging in one or more open activities (section 3 of the course--see menu at left), and one for doing the final course project (see section 5 at left)
  6. We will be sending out emails to all the registered course participants at the beginning of each week, and will also post any updates to the course discussion page, here.
  7. If you are on Twitter, be sure to follow the course hashtag! #whyopen If you're not on Twitter, don't worry; we will post any important course announcements to the course discussion page linked in number 6, above!

Timeline for the course

All of the dates for this course are for time zones in the Americas, so the course starts Aug. 10, for example, which is Aug. 11 in places like Japan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand.

You are welcome to start doing the activities in the first section, "What does open mean?" beginning August 10.

The specific timeline for the course:

  • Week 1 (Aug. 10-16): Section 1, "What does open mean?"
  • Week 2 (Aug. 17-23): Section 2, "Open vs. free, and open practices part 1"
  • Week 3 (Aug. 24-30): Section 3 , "Open practices part 2" (badge available!)
  • Week 4 (Aug. 31- Sept. 5): Section 4, "Openness: benefits and issues"; we'll also be asking you to post a portfolio of your work in the course and an end-of-course reflection by Sept. 8

Synchronous sessions

  • David Wiley on openness generally, Aug. 13, noon Pacific/3pm Eastern (N. America) (see here for day and time in your area); we'll post details on how to connect when we have those details, here
  • Bekka Kahn, week of Aug. 31-Sept. 5 (day/time TBA)
  • possibly one other one during week 3

There will be synchronous sessions on Google Hangouts (or possibly another platform instead) during two weeks of the course (possibly more, if there is interest), and we will have guest speakers there to give us presentations on various aspects of openness.

These will be recorded for those who can't make the sessions, or who just want to watch but not join in. Please note that they will be recorded and posted publicly on YouTube, so if you do not want to be recorded and posted publicly in this way, you can either simply not choose to share video during the hangout, and only participate with audio, or choose not to join the hangouts at all and simply watch the recordings later.

Synchronous sessions for the course will be scheduled after participants have signed up, so we can schedule them for a time that most people who want to join in can do so. We will let you know when they are scheduled for as soon as we can!

If you want to join one or more of these sessions live, you'll need to get a Google+ account, if you don't have one already, see instructions linked below for how to join the hangouts once you have a Google+ account. You don't need an account to watch the recordings, as these will be posted on YouTube.

The problem with Google Hangouts is that only up to 10 people can join in at any given time, so it may be that some will have to watch a recording instead. We'll try to make sure that everyone who wants to can join into at least one of these Hangouts live!

Help with Google+: If you're new to Google+ and/or Google Hangouts, see this document for some help with getting started: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bjo28BnP_uUediEtFuKvUtzKKsQvD1llFEtZIDgwhDg/edit?usp=sharing

Twitter chats

We will hold one or two Twitter chats during the course for anyone who is interested in joining (optional, but a good way to get to know people, and unlike Google Hangouts, there is no limit on the number of people who can join in!). Everyone is welcome to Tweet things relevant to the course throughout the course itself as well, not just during the Twitter chats, with the hashtag #whyopen.

If you're new to Twitter, you may think that you can't do very much deep conversing in 140 characters, but in our experience, it can work quite well! The chats are scheduled for one hour, and during that time a moderator will start us off by asking some questions. People start commenting on each others' tweets, and sometimes break off into other topics if they choose (still related, usually!), or follow the moderator's questions.

We will also schedule the Twitter chat after people have signed up for the course, so we have a better sense of time zones of participants. Again, the Twitter hashtag for the course will be #whyopen, and the handle for the course is @WhyOpenCourse.

Help with Twitter: If you're new to Twitter, see this document for help and advice: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bjo28BnP_uUediEtFuKvUtzKKsQvD1llFEtZIDgwhDg/edit?usp=sharing

Photo credit: "Project 365 #303: 301009 Blink And You'll Miss It!" by Pete. Used under CC BY.