Building a Participatory Learning Blog

Pushing out new services to a distributed audience of State-level education professionals requires considerable coordination and strong bi-directional communication. The non-profit I work for is deploying a far-reaching new service model to the States that will work at the intersection of standards-based and open education. State partners who participate will need to have knowledge of OER Commons content and tools, metadata frameworks, file conformance requirements, licensing on OER, as well as knowledge of how to use the system for pushing and pulling records. It is incumbent upon my organization to provide the necessary documentation and feedback mechanisms that will ensure user success in the new service model.

To support knowledge-building in both users and staff, and in order to help the States and professional agencies be successful in the use of our resources, tools, and platform for sharing resources, I suggest integrating a user feedback and inquiry blog into the user administrative dashboard. This feature would also help build a culture of participatory professional development, as ‘guests become hosts’ (Stephens, 2012) within the blog, sharing best practice and what they are learning about open education and open education resource sharing. I envision the blog would be used to communicate timely information to our users about new services, forthcoming trainings, and system updates. Users could post questions about how to use the system or about open education best practice for our staff to answer, to the benefit of all users. Additionally, users would share expertise they are gaining as they build open education practice in their respective States, agencies, districts and schools.

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