Open Event Planning

I’ve noted the Learning Design Summer Camp that is happening on our campus August 12 and 13 a number of times before, but I wanted to share a few additional details that have been making me very proud of the work going on around PSU. You see this event is different than anything else we’ve planned before — different because we really aren’t so much planning it as we are guiding it. I pitched the LDSC idea as a way to replace our more traditional all campus instructional design meeting that has historically happened on an annual basis. My challenges were to expand the reach to a more inclusive community of learning designers, raise the level of the conversations we could have, create a fun and robust program, and let the community shape the event. It was that last challenge that excited and scared the hell out of us.

We’ve watched others do the unconference thing and have loved the results. None of had done it so we were reluctant to try until I got back from the Berkman at 10 event and felt new energy about how communities can rise up and participate. We had been getting good participation in the ETS Wiki and felt like we could count on at least a handful of people to help out. What has happened has surprised us all. My colleague, Allan Gyorke, added a page to the wiki on May 28th with a very light skeleton structure … a few Tweets later and the pages came to life. Within days a volunteer committee had formed and met. Within a few weeks enough ideas for sessions had been proposed and discussed that we didn’t need to be concerned. A couple week later, someone from the University Libraries offered their gorgeous space for us to hold the event. Within two months an amazingly robust event had been planned. All of it without having an assigned committee or agenda. All we had was a vision, an outline, and a wiki.

Learning Design Summer Camp Wiki

Learning Design Summer Camp Wiki

If you have the time, or the interest, jump over to the LDSC wiki page and see for yourself. This event is shaping up to be outstanding. The stories and conversations that can potentially go on are both exciting and encouraging on all sorts of levels. Explore how the community has created a series of stickers that represent areas of interests or icons of themselves, take a look at how the logo for the event evolved, check out the sessions proposed by the community, and look at how many people from all over PSU decided to spend two days with us. So maybe the community can be the committee!

3 thoughts on “Open Event Planning

  1. That is way impressive, and says much about the network of people and reputation you have there.

    And thinking about your statement “All we had was a vision, an outline, and a wiki.” I keep hearing a riff from Beck “Two turntables and a microphone (‘where its at!’)”

  2. Thanks, Alan … I think the community is the reason this is happening at PSU. An amazing group of people doing some amazing things. Beck is right … all you need are the bare essentials to throw a kick ass party — the best conversations happen at parties IMHO. Wish you could join us! As a matter of fact, why don’t you figure out a time when you can visit one of the NMC’s most active campuses? We’d treat you well! Trust me.

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