Run a Working Group

11 Key Considerations

Regardless of where your open working group may fall on the spectrum of formal to informal, there are certain things to consider doing and places you can look for support.

Keep a record

Kick off your committee by establishing a shared digital place where agendas, minutes, best practices, and other documents can reside. Avoid documents becoming orphaned in individual emails.

Inventory the different ways to communicate with your community at your institution and establish when, how, and what you will communicate out from your group. One approach that has been taken by a number of open working groups is to consider an open way to document and keep a record. At the University of British Columbia, the UBC Wiki (MediaWiki) is used for sharing all agendas, activities, and members in the open. You may want to look at the Open Ed Tech Collaborative apps available via Sandstorm for collaborative editing tools that will allow you to share and edit documents.

Find administrative support

Booking meetings, finding rooms, sending out agendas, and other administrative tasks can make or break a group’s functionality if not done. Is there a dean or administrator on your committee that is able to offer administrative support? Who is writing announcements? Where are you sending them? Who has booked the room, ordered the coffee?

Set up communication and marketing

It never hurts to look good! Are there channels at your institution that will offer you marketing and promotional advice? Are there logos and creative designs already available in the open marketplace that can help you with banners and graphics? Are there institutions that can share open marketing ideas? Think about a digital or web presence as early as you can.

Check the Open Education Week website or the Open Access Week Graphics for promotional materials.

Provide professional development for members

Depending on the composition and background of your open working group members, different professional development opportunities will be useful for sustaining the group. Think about training on the different technologies offered to sustain open at your institution. Look at conferences related to open subjects, such as the Open Textbook Summit. Other professional development opportunities may include inter-institutional events, development sprints, and workshops (such as on copyright, Creative Commons licences, and open pedagogy).


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Working Group Guide Copyright © 2019 by BCcampus is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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