open learning recipe

* all good recipes are adjustable to your taste and context - feel free to personalise

Collaborative "make" during #rhizo15 :)


First of all think about why you joined this learning opportunity and what you would like to achieve.

Think of the technology as a way to connect people.

Think of the technology as a way to connect people.

Also realize that technology can disconnect people.

Remember to set manageable bite-size goals and reflect regularly if you are achieving these. Also stay open to unexpected learning opportunities and be willing to be flexible with your own goals (add new ones when it makes sense, let go of some if your circumstances change and they no longer make sense).

Open learning happens usually in distributed digital spaces. There is no need for you to be everywhere.

Open learning creates a space for your internal desires/questions to become understood through digital connections. You find what you need based upon the your intentions.    

Open learning also happens in physical spaces. Consider finding a local study buddy. Or at least discussing some of what you learn with others in your f2f context.

Start from where you are already are and where (platform or way of participating) you feel most comfortable and keep visiting regularly.

Check your notifications and decide how and when you will receive these.

Start contributing to some of the discussions that interest you most. Express interest in what others say and be genuine. Again, don’t feel under pressure to respond to all discussions.

Say something about yourself you are ok sharing and it is not too personal - remember your formal bio can be easily found. Be humble!

Be honest / authentic.

Use positive language.

It is never done, and can always be redone. And, while there are limits, there is little that cannot be undone.

Remember that it is easy to misunderstand something. Ask for clarification and always assume the best of intentions.

Remember humour is culturally relative. But don’t necessarily let that stop you from trying it :)

Say sorry if needed.

Ruminating  gives rest and time to think your writing over before hitting that Send button.

Nurture the connections you are making and explore ways to learn together, if you want to.

If you are stuck, ask for help.

Remember learning can be messy.

Remember that some people love being messy, some don’t care, and others hate it

Be grateful and show gratitude!

Help others and see this as giving something back to the community.

Have an open mind, embrace other perspectives and be respectful!

Safe spaces are created through language so be mindful of the language you use.

Remember learning is change. Change can be uncomfortable. Notice the change in yourself and reflect on it. Change means leaving something behind.

Be yourself! Enjoy yourself as learning should also be fun. The more you relax into it, establish valuable learning connections, the more fun you will have, the more you will learn.

Celebrate your little learning milestones!

Nurture ideas and connections. Spot opportunities. Use “and” rather than “but.”

Consider "pulling" as well - ways to welcome others in (citing Whitney Kilgore's post)

When blending ideas, mix gently, don’t beat.

Combine disparate or conflicting contributions by folding rather than mashing.

Blend in additional spicy ideas but don’t overdo - watch how these react with other ingredients.

Peel back the layers of understanding to reveal the inner core of an idea. Don’t be offended when some peeling happens to your ideas - this process will reveal rather than remove.

Press gently to spread an enticing aroma - breathe and release before responding to an unfamiliar scent.

Knead as needed to allow ideas to rise up and grow in volume.

Clean up after yourself.

Sometimes a little heat is necessary to release flavor, but too much heat can burn it. Questioning brings heat, but too much questioning brings flames.

Be inclusive! It’s not ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ it’s all ‘us’ and ‘we’ together. Be a part, not apart.

Be patient - different cooking (and learning) techniques take different amounts of time. Some sauté, some sous vide. Some ideas take longer to bake than others.

Don’t pretend that something tastes good when it doesn’t. Remember, taste is personal.

Ask. If you are not aware of something or you want to learn more - we learn more by asking questions and learning from one another’s experience.

Measure your time. Let this class work for you. Find the right time and space to interact with others to learn.

Know when to step back and step away from everything.

Make sure your knives are not too sharp.

Don’t overstate how reasonable you are. Other people CAN be wrong and need to hear about it.

Listen. Sometimes we need to take a step back and listen hard to make sure we’re getting it right. Listen to what is said and what is not being said.

Know when to act and when to step back and wait.

Taste the burnt toast.

Use all five sense. We assume that in cooking, we need to mainly rely on taste. In teaching, we use our tongue to talk and talk and talk. The other senses, especially touch, are sometimes even more important. Multiple senses.

Make something new. Every day.

Remix as much as you mix.

Experiment with different types of making things - roasting, boiling, baking, or frying. Different approaches with the same ingredients offer very different textures and results. (Should I be more literal with this?)

{Experiment with different types of making things - use tweets, blogs, g-docs, other collaborative tools in differing ways to try and engage.}

Give your fellow knowmad some space, but not too much. Keep enough distance that they can move, stay close enough to complement their moving.

You can never have too many vegetables.

Always remember individuals/groups may have special dietary requirements either by choice or necessity. When aiming to feed the masses recipes (for learning) must be robust enough to withstand modification without spoiling the finished dish.

Consider what the individual ingredients contribute to the end result -- this helps to become familiar with what substitutions, changes in technique or method, and shortcuts might be possible or desirable.

Take your time, reflect between mouthfuls think about how individual ingredients work together (or dont) and how the recipe can be tweaked next time it is on the menu.

Stir the pot if  you think it’s needs stirring. Add some water.

‘Like’, Reply, Comment - they’re the sugar, fat and salt of the recipe - but much better for you!

If you make as your Rhizo subtitle “a practical view” then make sure you have a view toward practice as an ongoing subtext.  

Watch this “Success in a MOOC” https://youtu.be/r8avYQ5ZqM0 by Dave Cormier and think about 1) Orient 2) Declare 3) Network 4) Cluster 5) Focus

open licence

details to be added here, sign as #rhizo15 we need to pick a licence, see http://creativecommons.org/choose/ 


Contributors in alphabetical order by surname (please add your name if you contributed to the recipe. thank you)

  1. Maha Bali
  2. Dave Cormier
  3. Helen DeWaard
  4. Barry Dyck
  5. Ann Gagne
  6. Dilrukshi Gamage
  7. Kevin Hodgson
  8. Rebecca J. Hogue
  9. Sarah Honeychurch
  10. Keesa V. Johnson
  11. Scott Johnson
  12. James Kerr
  13. Daniel Lynds
  14. Laura Pasquini
  15. Sandra Sinfield
  16. Lenandlar Singh
  17. Wendy Taleo
  18. Lee Skallerup Bessette
  19. Sandra Rennie
  20. Blair Vessey
  21. Susan Watson
  22. Wafa Nichols