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Objective

The term open has become popularly used to describe a variety of objects (software and technology, educational resources, education, etc.). Ambiguity exists in the meaning of open, for example open education where anyone can enroll with the only requirement a fee, or open education that is available to anyone, and without a cost. In addition to the ambiguity of open (what it enables), there is also ambiguity with how organizations might operate to allow openness.

The Openness Index attempts to define open attributes and a means to assess the type of openness within the community of practice responsible for the design, development, and distribution of the open artifact.

Importantly, the Openness Index is not designed to assess the "openness" of an artifact (object, software, OER, etc.) claimed to be open–there are plenty of licenses which can be used to assess the openness of an object–rather, the model assess the openness of the organization/community that creates and manages artifact.

Meetings

Educause 2012

Implementations (Reference Implementations)

The following have expressed interest in applying the Open Index to their organizations. As a working project, the Openness Index can be informed through actual use, iterating through development as information is learned in its application. These initial tests will provide the Openness Index with reference models for refinement and enhancement. The results of these initial assessments are not intended to provide an actual index of the organizations reviewed, rather provide direction for further development efforts. The 2-3-98 project is extremely grateful for this early participation from interested organizations, without whom the project could not advance.

  • Apereo Foundation (website)
    The Apereo Foundation assists and facilitates educational organizations which collaborate to foster, develop, and sustain open technologies and innovation to support learning, teaching, and research.
  • Open Education Resource Foundation (website)
    The Open Education Resource Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that provides leadership, international networking and support for educators and educational institutions to achieve their objectives through Open Education. 
  • Project Kaleidoscope (website)
    Project Kaleidoscope is implementing a set of fully open general education courses across eight colleges serving predominantly at-risk students. The project will dramatically reduce textbook costs and allow collaborative improvement of course design to improve student success.

Traditional Maturity Model Definition:

There are five levels defined along the continuum of a maturity model

  1. Initial (chaotic, ad hoc, individual heroics) - the starting point for use of a new or undocumented repeat process.
  2. Repeatable - the process is at least documented sufficiently such that repeating the same steps may be attempted.
  3. Defined - the process is defined/confirmed as a standard business process, and decomposed to levels 0, 1 and 2 (the latter being Work Instructions).
  4. Managed - the process is quantitatively managed in accordance with agreed-upon metrics.
  5. Optimizing - process management includes deliberate process optimization/improvement.

"Opening" the Maturity Model Definition:

Using the above as a framework, the following can be applied to access the maturity of an open project:

  1. Initial/Aware: (chaotic, ad hoc, individual heroics) - the starting point for use of a new or undocumented open project.
  2. Repeatable - openness is at least documented sufficiently such that repeating the same steps toward openness may be attempted.
  3. Defined - openness is defined/confirmed as a standard business process, and decomposed to levels 0, 1 and 2 (the latter being Work Instructions).
  4. Managed - openness is quantitatively managed in accordance with agreed-upon metrics (those of the OMM)
  5. Optimizing - openness management includes deliberate principle/process/practice optimization/improvement.

Openness Values

Courage: Courage is sufficient to participate in openness, however participants may be motivated by other causes, such as: a condition of employment; direction from a supervisor; peer pressure; or, a hidden agenda—perhaps to influence (or sabotage) direction.

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titleIndividual Courage: The willingness to proclaim oneself, or a project, open.
  • Initial: An interest/desire has been expressed in being open or joining an open initiative
    • Evidence: Artifacts citing the individual's interest in being open or joining an open initiative.
    • Example: The individual has joined an open community of practice; the individual has written (documented) their interests in openness or an open community of practice.
  • Repeatable: The individual understands and has expressed the values of openness.
    • Evidence: Artifacts documenting the individual's descriptions of principles and practices commonly associated with openness.
    • Examples: Wiki, blog posts or emails describing principles and practices commonly associated with openness.
  • Defined: The benefit(s) of openness for the individual has been articulated.
    • Evidence: Artifacts describing how open principles and practices contribute to an individual's body of work or a community of practice.
    • Example: The individual has submitted for consideration a document describing the "benefits" of open source software in reducing costs or increasing quality.
  • Managed: Expectations of openness for the individual have been established.
    • Evidence: Artifacts describing how open principles and practices contribute to the individual's own body of work or interests.
    • Example: Documentation describing how the individual can apply open principles and practices to their specific work/interests.
  • Optimizing: The individual continually updates the previous.
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titleOrganizational Courage: The willingness to declare an organization or project open.
  • Initial: An initial interest/desire has been expressed in being open or joining an open initiative.
  • Repeatable: The organization understands and has expressed the value of openness.
  • Defined: The benefit(s) of openness for the organization has been articulated.
  • Managed: Expectations of openness for the organization has been established.
  • Optimizing: The organization continually updates the previous.
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The organization regularly articulates the promise of openness, but does not allow those outside of the original founders or invited guests to participate. For example, a personal blog on openness.

Participation: Participation is necessary in order to contribute. While there is no guarantee the contributions will be honest, one must participate in order to offer a honest contribution.

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titleIndividual Participation: Involvement with or within an organization that has identified itself to be open.
  • Initial: The individual has publicly associated themselves with an organization.
    • Evidence: Membership, attendance, presence within an open community of practice.
    • Example: Signed up for SourceForge; attended a Moodle Conference; joined the Educause Openness CG ListServ.
  • Repeatable: The individual engages consistently with the organization and consistently references their involvement.
    • Evidence: Activity and interactivity within an open community of practice.
    • Example: Facilitated a open community's conference session; engaged on the ListServ of an open community.
  • Defined: The individual has established a specific role with or within the organization.
    • Evidence: Participation is defined/confirmed as a standard business process.
    • Example: The individual holds a recognized role within an open community of practice;
  • Managed: The individual has undertaken specific responsibilities with the organization.
    • Evidence: Participation is quantitatively managed in accordance with agreed-upon metrics.
  • Optimizing: The individual assesses and validates/redefines their role and responsibilities in the organization.
    • Evidence: Participation management includes deliberate participation optimization/improvement.
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titleOrganizational Participation: The willingness to invite and admit any individual or other organization to engage with the organization
  • Initial: The organization has publicly declared anyone can engage with it.
  • Repeatable: The organization engages consistently with any interested party, and consistently declares the ability for engagement of interested parties.
  • Defined: the organization recognizes standard roles within the organization
  • Managed: the organization has established responsibilities associated with roles.
  • Optimizing: The individual assesses and validates/redefines their role and responsibilities in the organization.
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The organization has in practice decision making processes that allow anybody to provide input and publicly render an opinion on the topic and the process. For example, decisions for procurement of goods and investments in initiatives.

Honesty: Honesty requires sincerity, directness and specificity, where actions and statements are free from bias or dogma and motivated to achieve the goals and objectives of the initiative. Reflection (assessment) of one's ideas and self can only be genuine if one is honest.

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titleIndividual: Participants engage directly (i.e. straightforwardly), truthfully and authentically with the organization.
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titleOrganizational: The organization engages directly (i.e. straightforwardly), truthfully and authentically with the participants.
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Reflection: Knowing one's limits or failures is fundamental to acknowledging them, however recognizing one's limitations does not mean one would admit to them or correct them. Humility accepts that current ideas, drivers, approaches, expectations, values might change and readily accepts those.

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titleIndividual: Participants reflect on, assess and reconsider, both their own and others, current and previous engagements.
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titleOrganizational: The Organization reflects on, assesses and reconsiders, both their own and others, current and previous engagements.
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Humility:  The scope of competency and capacity.

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titleIndividual: The individual understands how they can--and cannot--contribute to a project and what that contribution provides them.
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titleOrganizational: The organization understands how it can--and cannot--contribute to an objective and what that contribution provides them.
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Principles

Communication: Communication is necessary for transparency in openness. While some individuals/organizations may provide communication, this may be promotional, marketing or spin rather than actual policies, processes and practices. Yet in order for transparency to exist at all in openness, some form of communication must take place that conveys information and exposes organizational artifacts.

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titleIndividual: Participants actively share information with the organization.
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titleOrganizational: The organization actively shares information with the participants.
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Transparency: Transparency, or access to and discover-ability, of information, contributes to the development of affinity groups (self-organizing, self-interested, self-motivated, self-directed). If an organization provides access to information, individuals can find topics of interest and others who share those interests. Groups cannot effectively organize or contribute without knowing organizational details.

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titleIndividual: Information created by or managed by participants is discoverable by the organization.
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titleOrganizational: Information created by or managed by the organization is discoverable by participants.
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Self-organization: A group of at least two people is sufficient for collaboration in openness. However collaboration can occur outside of self-organizing groups, such as committees, departments, etc. who collaborate as part of their jobs or who may have been appointed, rather than based on an affinity for the topic.

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titleParticipation, roles and direction is based on personal or professional affinity
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titleParticipation, roles and direction is based on personal or professional affinity
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Collaboration: Collaboration contributes to evidence-based decision-making but is not necessary. Individuals can use evidence in governance.

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Evidence-based decision-makingEvidence-based decision making provides a rationale for organisational investment in, and the prioritisation of actions and behaviours (initiatives). The effect(iveness) of evidence-based decision making is in part a function of communication and transparency, without which organisational participants may not undertand why or how a variety of decisions are made reducing their ability to effectively participate. The notion of evidence-based decision making is tied closely to outcomes monitoring and analysis, and underpins the organisation's ability to function as a meritocracy.

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MeritocracyMeritocracy allows the separation of title, role and other personal and professional trappings from ideas. The individual, under particular circumstances is measured by the merit of their idea, and the idea is judged by the circumstances under which is is being considered. It is virtually impossible to achieve this form of meritocracy without an organisational culture that values humility.

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Objectives

Simplicity Simplicity refers to the state of an organisation and the practice of selecting processes, language, and outcomes that have the lowest concept, administration, and work burdon that meet requirements. Simplicity reduces barriers to understanding and overhead costs, allowing more resources to be invested in the goals of the community. 

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EmergenceFrom simplicity emerges complexity. Emergence is the creation of outcomes that are irreducible to its constituant parts - that is, it is the creation of something new and more complex that the constituents without a formal externally imposed plan. Through emergence, organisations can expect:

    • radical novelty through the appearance of  characteristics and qualities that were not previously observed in the organisation;
    • coherence or correlation, providing stable and integrated wholes that maintain themselves over some period of time;
    • the benefits of evolutionary dynamic processes and outcomes that by definition are suited to and a reflection of their environment;
    • the benefits of supervenience, is which the nature of emergent outcomes are influenced by the organisational culture, but are not reducible. (reference to Emergence as a Construct: History and Issues, by Jeffrey Goldsteinhttp://www.anecdote.com.au/papers/EmergenceAsAConsutructIssue1_1_3.pdf)

Through emergence, the organisation can enjoy the complexity of sophisticated outcomes, while managing simplicity.

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Incremental DevelopmentEngaging in discovery, design, and creation of any artefact, pattern, or idea in simple discreet iterative cycles, such that mesurable outcomes may be assessed at a reasonably small level of granularity.  As such, incremental development allows for adjustments to desired outcomes, expectations, prioritisation, processes, and workload at a level that promotes organisational effectiveness and efficiency.

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Rapid FeedbackRapid feedback is essential to incremental development and allows for relevant, timely, and working products, which enhances productivity, a sense of clear direction, and improves alignment with changing requirements.

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Continuous FeedbackContinuous feedback supports continuous improvement and enhances the likelihood that requirements are met as they evolve with low relative investments in rework.

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Potential Openness Key:

1:

Panel
bgColorwhite
Optimized
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bgColorlightcyan
Managed
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bgColorcyan
Defined
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bgColordodgerblue
Repeatable
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bgColornavy
Initial
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bgColorlightgray
Not assessed

2:

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bgColorwhite
Fully Open
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bgColorcyan
Largely Open
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bgColordodgerblue
Partially Open
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bgColornavy
Not Open
Panel
bgColorlightgray
Not assessed

 

References:

Laffan, Liz. (2011) A New Way of Measuring Openness, from Android to WebKit: The Open Governance Index [Updated]. VisionMobile, 29 July 2011. Web. 30 July 2012. Available from http://www.visionmobile.com/blog/2011/07/the-open-governance-index-measuring-openness-from-android-to-webkit/

Marshall, S. (2007) eMM Version 2.3 Process Descriptions. Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Available from http://www.utdc.vuw.ac.nz/research/emm/Publications.shtml

Masson, P. (2009) Agile Causality. Available from http://openmasters.wordpress.com/agile-causality/

Masson, P. (2011) Open Governance in Higher Education: Extending the Past to the Future. Educause Review. Available from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ERM1112.pdf

Waugh P. & R. Metcalfe (2007) The Foundations of Openness. What are we doing today, brain? Available from http://pipka.org/blog/2008/07/23/the-foundations-of-openness/

 


Legacy Notes

  • The Artifacts Created During Participation in an Open Course
  • Pedagogical Intent
  • Learning Activities
  • Assessments
  • Assessment
  • Externally Used Resources
  • Credentialing (course and program level)
  • Course Content
    • Access Dimensions: non-discriminatory: open to everyone–non restrictive.
    • Licensing Dimensions:
      • Use
      • Reuse
      • Derivative Works
      • Economic Access (open to everybody irrespective of their financial means)
  • Learning Design
  • Instruction and Support
  • Delivery Technology

  • Open Access - publishing of research data
  • Externally Used Resources
  • Licensing Dimensions:
    • Use
    • Reuse
    • Derivative Works
    • Economic Access (open to everybody irrespective of their financial means)
  • Software used
  • Public Contribution
  • Public comment
  • Interoperability - resources are distributed with cross-platform interoperability in mind (for example RTF vs. PDF)