In January 2016The Bring your Own Device for Learning (BYOD4L) had its fourth iteration. Once again the event attracted wide, open, international participation. Whilst the underlying framework (Nerantzi, Beckingham, 2014) remained unchanged, there was an open call (via twitter) for a new group of organisers/facilitators to manage the event. This potentially risky strategy of changing a team with proven success in fact was a natural progression. This presentation will share the experiences of the three new organisers of the event as an exemplar of how open, collaborative practice can evolve. We will share how the potential risks of handing over a course to a new delivery team was mitigated through the sustainability of shared open educational practice.
The new team all had previous experience of BYOD4L as participants, facilitators, institutional members so were well acquainted with the the underlying 5 C framework (Nerantzi, Beckingham, 2014), and the overall structure, participatory social medial channels and platforms utilised by the event. Mentoring of the team was provided by Chrissi Nerantzi, one of the original/founders of the event. During a number of pre event sessions (using google hangouts) the new team had the opportunity to discuss any potential changes to the event with their mentor. The decision was made to stick to the “tried and tested” formula, of daily updates to the BYOD4L blog supplemented by regularly tweets, nightly tweet-chats, and use of the established Google+ community.
The 5C design model underpinning BYOD4L is based on an open, constructivist, learner centred approach. The majority of content is learner generated. This reduces some of the potential sustainability issues around producing and maintaining core content. However there was always a risk that any new facilitation team would not have the same level of digital capability and commitment to open practice as the original team.
The new organisers worked together throughout the week to facilitate engagement across the range of openly available sites the event had a presence in. All of the new team are keen advocates of open educational practices.
Effective collaboration, communication and sharing were essential throughout the week as there were times when members of the team were otherwise engaged. The use of direct group Twitter messages between the organisers were both supportive and fun, allowing risks to take place. The nightly Twitter chats were frenzied affairs, and the level of engagement and open participation never ceased to amaze the team. The daily changes to the blog site were discussed and mutually agreed and updated. Peer support was a major component of the week, allowing the organisers to have an enriched collaborative experience which they are keen to share. In addition, at each of the host institutions, face-to-face sessions were organised to complement, publicise and reflect the content of the open online course.
The new team were keen to build on the “tried and tested” formula, reinforcing that open educational practice is beneficial to teaching and learning. The many learning environments created offer support and the collaborative spaces needed to share, reflect and discuss. The sustained level of engagement (c.3,500 tweets) bore out this decision.
Nerantzi, C. & Beckingham, S. (2014) BYOD4L – Our Magical Open Box to Enhance Individuals’ Learning Ecologies, in: Jackson, N. & Willis, J. (eds.) Lifewide Learning and Education in Universities and Colleges E-Book, available at http://www.learninglives.co.uk/e-book.html
Nerantzi, C, Beckingham, S., Casanova, D., Hack, K., author 2 – The power of open cross-institutional collaboration for connected professional development in higher education, ALT-C 2015, available at: https://altc.alt.ac.uk/2015/sessions/the-power-of-open-cross-institutional-collaboration-for-connected-professional-development-in-higher-education-801/. (Accessed: 30 March 2016)
Author 1. (2016) Exploring #BYOD4L and #BYOD4Lchat. Available at: https://howsheilaseesit.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/exploring-byod4l-and-byod4lchat/ (Accessed: 30 March 2016).