Once again in the “spent too much time creating a clever title” department, I am here not to delve into Foucault analysis (and I had to look that one up).

I can take the opening Wikipedia line on the article as “Discourse is a generalization of the notion of a conversation to any form of communication.” Nope, I am to resume the genre of blogging about blogging, and in this case, the D word is the name of an open source software platform (clever name there, yup).

This blog is hopefully sputtering back to life, with ideally a dialback of time reclaimed from the birdspace (as they say over in the tootspace). It’s not like I am not putting in the time, every episode of the OEG Voices Podcast is a post, but more, I am doing a lot of what feels a bit like the same stuff in what is not a blog, but the OEGlobal community space, OEG Connect, powered by that discourse thing (ahem the software, not the dead philosopher) (but that would be a neat trick).

I’m about two years into trying build momentum here, and for those who work with and live with me, I grumble about the dearth of good activity. We get spurts for time we use it for our conference activities, and some during Open Education Week, plus we have a lot of really good discussions privately for the RLOE project. I have tried all the polite ways and a few lesser so ones to convince my colleagues to be a regular presence, but it seems like the contention is that it’s an “Alan thing”.

To look at the partly full glass, there are some good spurts of discussion every now and then, I’d like to tip that to more now.

A factor is the ad-hoc way I built and bolted-on categories and sub-categories, there are a few too much, and from some feedback I did some streamlining and dialing back of front page features.

I am not sure many understand the more fluid nature of a discourse space, it’s not neatly ordered and put into cubby holes like web pages, posts move up and down the indices with activity or lack thereof. And understanding how to take advantage of notification settings have taken some time.

Anyhow, I am still at it.

The lots point of this post was a new activity I concocted which to be is a throwback to the classic idea of blogging as thinking out loud, but here with others. Welcome to the Open Pedagogy Adventure (which to be honest has little to do with pedagogy).

“‘Splain This Please”

Here I got blathering words here and taking forever to get to the main point.

Last summer I worked with my CCCOER colleagues on the 2021 Summer Open Pedagogy Adventure. Given the widespread pandemic zoom fatigue, I suggested making a few asynchronous offerings for anyone interested to choose whe/how they participated. I dream of successful asynchronousity, that I keep grabbing at but maybe not quite reaching.

Last year was a mix of familiar webinars and “alan’s pile on Connect,” including (by request) a series of self-paced participants could do to practice making H5P content. (based on previous workshops done for the H5P Kitchen project). Plus I tried to launch some things on web annotation. The hope was people might try these out, share their results or ask questions. You know, a conversation style discourse.

But the real hope I had was that in the beginning of the North American summer, interested participants would post what their projects, interests in open pedagogy (or anything) they would pursue, and over time, share updates, ask questions, give peer support. And we had a good bit of this in the intro topic, even wandering into sourdough making.

For this year, my colleagues already had planned a few activities, and making me happy, were using OEG Connect for discussions, including an EDI Book Discussion and a series of structured “Summer Conversations” focused on social justice and open education. The discourse discourse is just starting.

I decided on my own to pitch a simpler version of the Open Pedagogy Adventure, more for the announce your interest as its own topic. That’s it- create a new topic, state your interests you would pursue, and the update as you feel like with replies. It struck me this is a bit like smaller scale blogging, but doing it in a shared space, where anyone can chime in.

The “open pedagogy” part is not about itself as an academic subject, but merely as a practice of narrating your work/ideas in the open, alongside others. You know, how blogging used to work in the olde days.

Things have started, though these are my own entries. First, because it’s maybe the most relevant example (to me) of what OER should be, is… yes, again H5P. I am riffing from the H5P Kitchen calling it a “self serve food truck”. My goals are simply to explore some of the newer content types, surface more useful examples, and… well not much more specific. One of my early calls for response was asking for 3 favorite H5P dishes, stand out examples of something done in H5P that was memorable — and it’s gotten off to a great start.

My second adventure topic is my attempt to get past the hype and blather of artificial intelligence, and try to find hands on examples of using it, just so i can have a more concrete understanding. This one is called Understanding / Doing Some AI.

I pretty much just “post” a reply when I read something relevant or report something I attempted. It sure feels like small scale blogging, but lesser so to “publish” something and wait for someone to find it interesting, it’s more of just an ongoing, out loud train of thoughts/ideas.

Adventure With Us (me)?

I’m pleased to be picking up some replies in the mix. But I’d really like it if some others joined and posted their own adventure. It’s easier than pie.

:one: Explore. Everything starts in the main Open Pedagogy Summer Adventure area. Look around.

:two: Share*. From the entry area, start a New Topic and announce what you hope to explore. Return to reply with updates, questions, examples.

:three: Reply. Visit other topics to ask questions, offer suggestions to fellow adventurers. Who knows, maybe you will change your path.

* If you do not have an OEG account you can create one right away.

I don’t know if this appeals to anyone, and even if you do not want to launch your own adventure topic, there’s opportunity to respond to any others (hopefully there will be more than just mine).

Discourse with us (in discourse).


Oh look Twitter has plans to save the day (not). Now the rumor is Canada is an early testing ground. No sign of it yet.

And for one among many small useful things discourse does that you do not see elsewhere- it shows me (is it because I am super admin? Nope, just checked from a browser where I am not even logged in, yay!) the number of times a hypertext link has been clicked:

Featured Image: This is my own remix, using a screenshot of the Open Pedagogy Summer Adventure space in OEG Connect, with overlays of Blogger Champ Badge flickr photo by cogdogblog shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license and the discourse software logo from Wikimedia Commons shared under CC BY-SA.

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as @cogdog@cosocial.ca


  1. One thing I learned is that once you have a partner or two these asynch adventures are much more fun and find legs!

    1. Hence my blog post and my internal messages to my colleagues, I remain partner-less. It seems simple to me, you create your own topic, and periodically add to it.

      1. Thinking out loud alone is good for one. Thinking out loud together serves many. Are there any existing collegial relationships beyond staff to activate? I’d participate but I don’t understand the domain at all!!!

        1. Maybe I need to make it more clear, there is no defined subject manner, the open pedagogy part is this process.

          But thanks for the suggestion, I keep forgetting that what is more effective method than a broad invite is a one to one.

          1. To get me to post in something like this I need a specific invite (“Hey Nancy, I know you love chocolate, could you pop in by ____ Date and tell us where to get the best dark chocolate in Seattle? Could you share #2 and #3 and why you feel that way? We have some folks heading to Seattle so we want them to be in the know.”

            This kind of invite is a) specific, b) time-boxed (I’m a procrastinator these days) and c) notes the value creation proposition. You are not asking me to figure out what to talk about, you are making me feel valued/valuable and you are creating useful constraints so I will do it.

            I don’t think I’m unusual in enjoying this kind of invitation.

            That said, you can’t be the one doing that all the time. That comes to the second part of the strategy – having a small but mighty hosting team that will tap their networks and engage people to get things started.

            Finally, people want to know where the action is. Old threads, one post threads — don’t make them TOO visible. Findable, yes. But focus on the action.

            Maybe this would be useful? (And see how the invitation in your blog post sucked ME in!)

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