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16/03/2010

Comments

Jen

I think this is one of the reasons OEE (OE Experiences) will make OER (OE Resources) obsolete. We don't need more resources that serve masses. We do need openness and transparent adaptation and attribution. I just wonder about too much consideration of implied audience.

Martin

Jen - what is OE experiences? Open education experiences (or overseas experience?) Have you just made this up? Let me know if it's a term I've missed and have embarrassed myself by not knowing! I agree though - I don't think we need consideration of implied audience with little OER, you can afford to 'just produce' and let the audiences themselves find it.

Jonathan Sanderson

I've no idea what 'OE Experiences' are either, I'm afraid.

I think you're right, Martin, in that much of today was framed under the question 'How can the media engage people with research?' Things get more interesting when one starts asking 'What media approaches are useful for connecting publics to research?'

We began as being rather deferential to 'The Media' (meaning 'broadcast,' of course), and I think things got much more useful and dynamic when we forgot about broadcast and started talking about us.

In that context, I think lots of public engagement can be collateral damage from other things. But I also think that particularly schools engagement benefits from a careful and considered approach, even if it's via 'new media.'

Martin

Thanks for stopping by Jonathan. I agree with pretty much all of your comments and I am going to borrow 'public engagement as collateral damage' as a phrase!
You're right that specific audiences may need a specific focus and intention, but even then the starting point is significant. If we start with the assumption of broadcasters then the obvious solution is to make schools-focused content. If we start with an assumption of existing web content out there then maybe our solution is to give them fun tools to piece this stuff together (in pathways maybe, or using something like glogster), or to filter and find a collection of resources for them and show what they can do with them.
An obvious point, but the starting assumption determines the solution and I felt too much of today had 'create broadcast content' as its starting premise.

Richard Holliman

For me, the answer to this question depends on how we define public engagement and old/new media.

In essence I don't think that public engagement is an 'old' or 'new' media concept. I argue that public engagement requires media forms (and/or actvities) that facilitate knowledge exchange, active participation, etc.

Most current definitions of public engagement call for some level of dialogue between as evidence by interaction, participation, and so on.

'Old' media (and some 'new' media, such as podcasts and web video) tend to be linear - to afford narratives to apply Laurillard's (2004) conceptualisations of educational media to the context of public engagement.

Narrative media have their place, of course, and they can be very 'engaging'. But does this equate to current ideas about public engagement? Do narrative media afford opportunities for interaction, participation and dialogue? I'm not convinced that they do, at least not in the ways that have been envisaged by public engagement researchers.

Having said this, a colleague in Geography (Joe Smith) recently introduced me to an OU research group led by Chris High working with 'participatory video'. Their approach is really interesting in this context given the ways that they approach the production of linear media, involving a range of stakeholders.

Hence, the process of making linear media may provide useful opportunities to engage. So the process may involve public engagement in the sense that it's currently being discussed, but does the final product do the same when it's viewed?

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