GO-GN community in a time of crisis

I thought I’d post an update the work we’ve been doing with the GO-GN network during the pandemic. I know other people run similar types of networks and communities, and so I thought I’d share what we’ve been doing (and also get any other suggestions for what else we could be doing).

GO-GN is a Doctoral network of OER/OEP researchers globally. It combines a lot of online community building and a strong face to face element usually. We bring around 15 researchers together every year for a 2 day seminar, which then goes into a conference (OEGlobal or OER). This is a very intense few days and our members often form life-long bonds as a result. But of course, in pandemic this was not possible and OEGlobal was cancelled. So we’ve been trying to come up with alternatives and also do extra things to help during this time.

So here’s a list of things we’ve done:

  • Organising individual sessions – we offered a range of slots across different time zones where individual researchers could meet with two of the team to discuss progress and any issues.
  • Ran a one day online seminar around OER20, with researcher presentations and feedback
  • Joined ALT as an organisation so all our members have access to ALT mailing lists, webinars, resources etc
  • Organised a Gasta session for the ALT Summer Summit, featuring six of our members
  • Launched a fellowship programme for small funded research projects to help alumni and contribute research to the community
  • Set up and contribute to a network WhatsApp which is aimed at just informal chat
  • Produced an open access OER Research Methods Guide with contributions from the network on all the methods they have used (complete with Bryan Mathers artwork below)
  • Organising three one day online seminars in September, October and November to replace the face to face one at OEGlobal.
  • Sponsored places at the ALT Summer summit and OEGlobal for members to attend.

If you have other good ideas then please let me know. In all this I think just maintaining contact has been important, and demonstrating we are present still. I don’t know if all of the above will be successful, but I think like many people and institutions, it’s the trying that counts. Trying to support people, be flexible and be kind. And remember, if you, or someone you know, is doing a PhD/EdD in the area of OER or OEP, then you can apply to join the GO-GN.


  • Alan Levine

    Hiya Martin,

    These are great plans.

    I’m doing some work now with OE Global; their November conference was not canceled but will be held online https://conference.oeglobal.org/2020/ with programmed sessions on Monday, Wednesday, Friday of the week of Nov 16

    We are trying to design some meetups and asynchronous sessions on the days between. As GO-GN has been active at past conferences I hope we can maybe find some overlap and maybe create a useful kind of activity? Contact me if interested. Thanks

    • mweller

      Hi Alan, thanks for the comment. That sounds very exciting! Let’s chat, we haven’t quite decided the format for that one in particular so we’re up for ideas.

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