Packing my suitcase for this year’s GOGN seminar in Delft. Penny Bentley who is there already said “pack light gear”. I will follow her advice. We had a long, cold, wet and blustery winter in the UK (it really felt like living in Siberia… or the North Pole… as my dad always says…), so any temperature above 1O degrees is very welcome.
Really looking forward to seeing everybody again from our GOGN family and also meeting new friends, open practitioners and researchers. The past two GOGN seminars in Poland and Cape Town have been invaluable for me and have helped me make more rapid progress than anticipated with my own studies. In the end I completed them in 4.5 years while in full-time work and with family commitments. I felt and feel part of a community of scholars distributed across the world. It is our distributed GO-GN family. It has been fascinating to follow and celebrate everybody’s milestones and achievements. They say internal motivation is a strong driver for learning and development, the most important driver, but perhaps external motivation generated through communities that create a sense of belonging and collectiveness (is there such a word?) are equally powerful and perhaps are key to boost our confidence and help us often to persevere and achieve our goals. In this case to complete a PhD successfully. GOGN is such a community.
This year I will be giving a little bit back to this wonderful community of scholars. Catherine Cronin and I have been invited to co-facilitate a workshop during the GOGN seminar to help colleagues doctoral students get unstuck from potential challenges they experience or may experience on their PhD journey in the future. To boost their confidence and empower them move on, that they will get there when adopting specific strategies that work for them. We plan to do this through a series of activities that will enable colleagues to share personal stories and experiences and learn from them… but more during the workshop. We don’t want to take away the surprise factor.
After completing my doctoral studies, I registered on a research supervision module at Manchester Met. This provided me with a plethora of opportunities to read about the related literature and reflect on my own experience as a PhD student and identify doctoral supervision strategies that could work for when I become a supervisor myself but also for others. Actually at the moment, I am working with Haleh Moravej, founder of our social enterprise MetMunch at Manchester Met, and Dean Brookes to develop an openly licensed flashcard set based on my assignment and research in that module that might be useful in doctoral supervisor training. The plan is to share this with our Graduate School when I see them next month about related LEGO(R) SERIOUS PLAY(R) workshops. Developing a related set for doctoral students with strategies they can consider to feel unstuck, is something I would like to explore with Catherine and the GOGN family. I suspect that our workshop during the GOGN seminar will provide food-for-thought for this. I am looking forward to discussing this idea with them and explore if/how we could take it forward. And I would love to link it to composing a song too. Yesterday, I might have met the colleague and his students who could help us make this happen…
I would like to thank GOGN for this kind and generous invitation to join the activities in Delft this year, including the OE Global conference and also for recognising my contribution to open education research practice. My warmest congratulations to Glenda and Aras and all their collaborators.
See you in Delft in a few days!