5×5 R’s of Ours (An OER17 Flashback)


Michelle laughed when she walked into The Advocate pub, seeing Irwin and me at a table with sheets of paper covered in “R” words amidst the empty pint glasses. Shaking her head, “you guys really have a strange way of spending a sunny day in Edinburgh.”

There was no reasonable way to disagree. What had begun as a bit of speculative wordplay brought on by a blog post from David Wiley had turned into… something else. We knew that the 5 Rs were a useful and powerful shorthand to capture the permissions inherent with open educational resources… But were there other Rs that captured the messy, energizing, frustrating and life-affirming elements of being a live human being that is learning? That might be a stupid question to ask, but it was enough to get Michelle to sit down to join us.

What followed was what might be described as a drinking game, if it was designed by instructional design nerds. We engaged a long brainstorming process, realizing that a whole lot of words can be applied to learning in one respect or another — we were grateful for the constraint imposed by the letter R. We applied a few processes for clustering, reducing and ordering sets of 5 Rs (we quickly realized we’d never get it down to just one set), and I have to say I was really digging the approach and attitude that Michelle and Irwin brought to the table. We created rules and heuristics, but never hesitated to adapt or refine them if a change might guide us to a better result that all three of us could live with…

The 5 sets of 5 Rs for learning that we came up with are below. I’m sure you and yours would come up with other ones. If you decide to try, I wish you as much provocative and reflective fun as we had.

Resist
Ruffle
Reflect
Reframe
Reclaim

Ramble
Read
Ruminate
Reject
Repeat

Reconnoiter
Ransack
Revive
Riff
Reverb

Risk
Respond
Reciprocate
Reinforce
Resonate

Respect
Recognise
Relearn
Retell
Reconcile

Licensed with Copylove.

Irwin wrote a post reflecting on OER17 and the 5×5 Rs of Ours shortly after…

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Part of what motivated this demented educational word game was what had been a remarkable experience at OER17. From this point on, the draft that has been sitting unpublished in my posts folder attempted a wrap-up of that wonderful conference, but as I do so often when trying to capture a meaningful experience, I got tangled up in knots. So I am going to bail on that objective, and just publish this here as is… There are so many other great recaps, I don’t feel too guilty…

But I am glad to get this much up at least. In less than two weeks, I will be heading back to the UK for OER18, as well as my third year running visiting with the fantastic Digital Media Learning Lab at Coventry. Here’s hoping I blog the experience a little more promptly this year.

2 thoughts on “5×5 R’s of Ours (An OER17 Flashback)

  1. D’arcy, this was already supposed to be a new song back in summer of ’17. I do believe lyrics have been scrawled on a napkin and chord progressions lost to memory… like tears in the rain.

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