When we first started this blog, there was a big question of “what is open source education?” We made a very vague, anything-goes type mission statement. We said, “Anything that we can think of, anything we’ve learned in school, we’ll post up here.”
A semester afterwards, I tried to figure out what we have been doing wrong or right based on numbers and stats. I looked at all the posts, comments and views since the blog started to try to understand where people were coming from and what people are reading. If you google “Roland Barthes Myth Today”, then our post shows up on the top of the second page– so some of our information is really relevant, useful, and findable on the web.
This project started without any teachers urging us on or anyone asking us to do this. But even borne out of our own curiosity, we have a responsibility to understand what we are doing. So here goes: to any reader, I ask you to help with your own part- what do you want? This is as much for you as it is for us.
Open Source: More than anything so far, we have been using college-level materials to create information for other people to digest and respond to. However…what does open-source education mean for you?
- Does it mean to have access to materials or ideas outside of a school setting?
- Does it mean that anyone can contribute, or that the information is collected from everywhere (or just from a school setting)?
- How much do you trust an ‘open-source education’? How valuable is this, and how can we make our site a legitimate point of reference?
Content: We’ve posted a lot of content, on a really broad range of subjects, without any real organising principal. How can we improve?
- What makes you read something here? What makes you respond to something here?
- Do you come looking for a specific idea? Do you come just to read something?
- Are the posts readable? What makes them harder to read/ what makes them more accessible?
- Is there anything you would like to see?
Our posts are generally divided as such:
- Ideas/Reviews — posts that cover/analyse/respond to a topic
- Questions — posts that ask a question about something
- Tools — posts that cover how things are done in the field, how to do something
- Solutions — posts that attempt to create a solution to a previous question or try to solve a problem, or suggest some sort of future project idea
Thus it seems that our project has evolved a ‘methodology’ of education, often invisable because of our a.d.d. in posting and jumping around from idea to idea. The methodology is:
- We introduce an idea (which some interested people read about)
- We introduce a set of questions or concerns or problems related to that idea (which many people read and respond to)
- We introduce tools used in the field, that being methods or actual tools (which the most people read about, but don’t respond)
- We create some sort of solution and talking space for that solution.
Is this a valid methodology for going about with an ‘open-source education’? At which point can we improve? What should be added?
Design: The design of the site is equally important to how people use it. How can we make it better designed for the reader?
- Is the site easily navigable? Are the posts easy to read in the way they are formatted (are the fonts too small or the paragraphs too wide)?
- Does the format of the site bore you or stimulate you? Does the design of the site make you think a certain way about the blog– how so (ex: does it make it seem too academic, too formal)?
- Is there too much information? Should there be more images, as opposed to text? More color, aside from all the black and white?
So here goes… comments, criticisms, suggestions, everything is welcome.
-Roman KudryashovRead More