Tiny flower

OE Global Workshop: Possible Benefits of Small Approaches to Open Education

Hi folks,

I think I should start out be saying that this is an experiment. I love asynchronous collaboration, so when the option was offered at OE Global, I jumped at it. As I now work on setting it up, all sorts of doubts are creeping in.

So if you’ve made it this far, thank you. I appreciate that you have taken the time to stop by.


“A pedagogy of small” is my ongoing attempt to decouple open education from large-scale approaches to education, via a EdD. It is an idea that has slowly taken shape over the past several years as I have begun to rethink issues of scale. My work remains tentative and explorative in its approach.

Edwards (2015) suggested that “the task for educational researchers becomes one of engaging in a struggle over the specific approaches to open-closed-ness rather than pursuing openness per se as a worthwhile educational goal” (p. 255). What I’m proposing is that we also reconsider the implications of small-big-ness rather than pursuing scale per se.

If you’d like to read more about my doctoral research, you can refer my candidacy exam presentation.

Workshop Activity

This is where I’m hoping you might be interested in doing some active collaboration!

The first phase of my research involved an anonymous qualitative survey of open educators with respect to scale. I received 20 responses. From those 20 responses, in alignment with Situational Analysis methodology, I have pulled a series of ideas, actors, items and themes which I’ve put into a “messy map” format – aka: Google Drawing sheet.

Here’s where you come in


  1. Go to the Messy Map_OE Global Edition
  2. Draw lines between elements to reflect relationships between elements and add comments to explain what you see as the relationship
  3. As others add relationships, please also feel free to add additional comments agreeing, disagreeing or seeking clarification.
  4. You can also add additional elements and notes as you feel is appropriate, add links to other places or extend in any other ways you can think of!
  5. Add any other thoughts, reflections, things that didn’t “fit” in the map into the replies here or in the OEGlobal site (or really anywhere else your heart desires).

Important Tips

The purpose of this activity is to generate discussion. There are no wrong answers.

A wise @cogdog said of this conference, “Every presentation is also a discussion.”

Final Thoughts (For this post at least)

While putting this together, I was engaged in a side Twitter conversation in which someone was advocating for the critical importance of synchronicity in terms of relationship building. It was a great asynchronous conversation with a person I’ve never “met.” As a result, I think I might experiment with a fully asynchronous OE Global experience.

So whether it’s in this session or maybe in somewhere in an in-between space, please reach out for more conversation. I look forward to “never meeting you.”


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