1.1 What does openness mean to you?

Activity 1: What does openness mean to you?

This is the place to share your ideas about what openness means to you.

Once you’ve finished sharing your ideas and checking out others’ contributions, head on back to section 1.1.

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Conventionally openness is defined in terms of free access, free re-use, open software etc. However, I think openness is cultural - believing that knowledge is public, not private, and seeing development of knowledge as accelerated and improved by free interchange of experience and ideas.

I see openness as a philosophy of which open textbooks, open pedagogy, and open research are just some facets. Working in the open brings tremendous benefits to the individual and the discipline. I see many colleagues who practice openness in one form but view openness in another as entirely alien. I am cognizant that it is often fear that hold people back from harnessing the most of openness.

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In my view, openness is the willingness to share one’s knowledge, findings, views and interpretations for reuse, repurpose, remix and redistribution. Openness is to unlearn and relearn. Openness provides a wider platform for collaborative knowledge development. Openness makes the unknown known.

Openness…what was once a simple word now carries a huge weight in the future of education. Openness, in my opinion, is sharing of knowledge and resources. Openness means access to education for those who didn’t have the means before.

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Openness, to me, is the sharing of knowledge and ideas

For me openness is also about transparency, in a way it empowers people (not just other researchers) to have their own opinion about the quality and/or relevance of the research. It also invites critique from a broader population of thoughts, which is vital for innovation as I see it. Also transparency is vital for democracy.

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For me openness is a way of thinking and a way of being in one’s
professional capacity. It has both ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ aspects -
‘negative’ in that it is about removing barriers to knowledge or
resources e.g. removing paywalls thus giving access to research,
knowledge, data, or ideas, while the ‘positive’ is that openness is an
enabler and actively giving permission to be able to use, revise and
repurpose through say CC licences - which is then remixed and reshared
thus perpetuating a constant state of openness.

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Hi Folks
For me openness is ‘a way of being’. A way of being that has sprung from my near total immersion recently in open online learning environments. It’s a way to engage in learning, not just learning that’s visible on the open web, but a way to engage in learning that acknowledges the vulnerability and risk that’s inherent and asks the learner to recognize and embrace this. It’s also about sharing; it’s about putting something out there for mutual benefit, for learning together.

Yes, I think openness is about acknowledging vulnerability and risk and embracing it

As many people have already mentioned, openness involves the sharing of knowledge, resources and materials. It seems that it’s something that has boomed in recent years with increased online communication and collaboration between teachers, students and researchers.

However, I also find that openness is as much about the barriers that prevent it. As much as people want access to good quality, free materials, courses and research, it often comes back to money. There are probably as many, if not more, pay-to-use resources than there are free ones. I think it’s quite telling that I usually search for “free” resources rather than “open” ones!

For me it’s about finding what I need to find, in the open through a Google search, or sharing what I’d like to share in ways that others can easily find.

I’m looking for simplicity and no barriers to reuse. I’m happy to attribute in the same way I’d like others to attribute me. It’s about collegiality and professionalism, combined with a pre-disposition to share and share alike.

In a general sense, for me it means the possibility of having many actors engage in a process, or use a material in a variety of ways.

It also has an important “contrasting” meaning for me, in the context of the free software / open source debate. In that context, “freedom” seems to emphasize aspects related to individual autonomy and social justice; while “openness” seems to stress the collaborative, networked and incremental aspects. I don’t think, however, that this nuanced meaning is always present (or even intended) when the word “open” is used outside the realm of the FLOSS debate.

The negative / positive aspects that you explained seem helpful to think about this concept – nice!

Great thoughtful comments which all ring true on the mutifacted basic ideas of openness.
To me openness is about access. Sometimes it is difficult to find information because you don’t know what you are looking for.
It’s the difference between browsing library shelves or being in a system where you have to know and order the books you want.
Openness is leaving a trail or a multiplicity of trails so that people can find information from all the different ways, reasons and methodologies of approach.
So it’s understanding that the titling, the labelling, the categorising of knowledge may not be equally understood or read by those seeking it.
Research may have certain conventions, but open research allows for entry from different disciplines.

Openness for me is about a change in practice (a change in my inputs, a change in my outputs) and a change in my thinking. Being open is about sharing and collaborating, but also about being critical and supportive. When you embrace open it means that you have to be open to criticism, but also in the same way that means you have to be open to support and ultimately new ideas which may challenge and even change you own thinking. Openness is about removing any barriers, be they physical, technical or physiological.

I think Openness is about sharing Ideas and knowledge and let other build freely on your work so the other person doesn’t have to invent the wheel. Sharing knowledge is and let other tinker on your work is really important.