The Global OER Graduate Network (GO-GN) was founded by Professor Fred Mulder (OU, Netherlands) in 2013 to bring together Doctoral researchers around the world researching on OER topics, and promote impactful research into OER. The network is currently managed by the OER Hub team, led by Professor Martin Weller, and based at The Open University (UK). At this point you may well know all about GO-GN, but let’s recap some of the things we do and have been involved in the last year, just in case.
In April 2022 GO-GN co-chaired our first conference! We were thrilled to welcome colleagues online and face-to-face for OER22 in London. We were equally delighted to welcome eight GO-GN members and alumni to London, UK, for our first face-to–face workshop in over two years. It was fantastic to see so many GO-GN’ers participate and 20 members or alumni were listed as (co-)authors on presentations and featured in 25 conference sessions, including the plenary and showcase. Participating in this year’s OE Global in Nantes, France during May was another highlight of 2022. 13 sessions featured GO-GN’ers or the team across the three days. GO-GN were also conference supporters for ALT-C 2022. GO-GN was also represented at i-HE2022 in Athens, Greece with a presentation about research trends within the network.
Central to the GO-GN open education approach are the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). EDI is core to the GO-GN mission and we have been focused on how to better support members in Global South regions and raise awareness of the network. In addition, GO-GN has supported the EDI project recently finished in two phases: In phase 1, GO-GN focused on Africa and provided recommendations to inform about the EDI strategy; in phase 2, GO-GN focused on Latin America to improve understanding of what EDI means within that region, and to identify how GO-GN can better support potential members to develop strategies for increasing engagement. In February 2023 we released our GO-GN EDI guidelines.
As the network has continued to grow, and members complete their doctoral studies, we have an increasing number of alumni members. How to continue to support our alumni beyond their doctoral studies as well as continue to support collaboration in an expanding network has been an important focus. One good recent example is the GO-GN fellowship scheme. The motivation for this fellowship scheme was to provide formal recognition of members after they have finished their doctoral studies to become an alumnus of the Network in the format of a post-doctoral scholarship. The Fellowship scheme provides visibility and recognition in return for specific contributions to the Network. This presents a means by which alumni can stay involved and share their expertise with the members. With the collaboration of our fellows, we have produced the GO-GN Fellowship Reflections Report and a set of interviews on our YouTube channel.
GO-GN provides and supports a range of different activities for and by our members. Building on the success of previous experience, we continued to offer a wide range of activities during 2022, including another of our popular new member research specials and guest speaker webinars. We also held the second of our Wikipedia edit-a-thons which saw members add 1,200 words and 20 references to open education articles. In terms of open research and excellence, 2022 saw the publication of our annual Research Review, our publications and other outputs continue to receive a high level of interest from the open education community and beyond with more than 35,000 annual visitors to the website. We are currently working on a new version that integrates our awarded Research Methods Handbook and Conceptual Frameworks Guide.
This year we will celebrate a decade of the network! Will we see you this year at OER23 in Inverness to start our celebrations?