Keith Brennan (a participant in Why Open?) has been working on a mind map (see his blog post, here: that collects ideas on the meaning of "open" both from the survey we did for the course ( and from participants' blog posts. He has started putting links onto the different parts of the map, and it could be a very useful resource for many people later!

Here's the mind map:

Keith and Christina have started to work on this together, and we'd love your input and ideas! If you want to give us some thoughts on what links might be good for certain parts of the map, that'd be great! If you want to help us collect ideas from blog posts in Why Open? to add to it, that'd be great too! just add your ideas below! The mindmap can embed youtube videoa, links, graphics, and sound files, so please share any resources you feel like, including blogs, and we can include them.

Also, if you don't want your blog post put into this map, please email Christina at, and she'll be sure it doesn't go in.


1. Ideas on links to add to the map--please put them here, and explain where you think they should be added

Here's the mind map:

2. Christina's summary of answers to meaning of open from the survey we did

-- see week 1 of the course for a reference to this survey:
-- answers to the survey are here:

-- we got 30 total responses to the survey

access, w/o hoops or barriers, be they cost or otherwise (15)
1 - visible, and also persistent (can be found over time)

sharing/shared (7)
1- low barriers to sharing
1- slightly codified form of file transfer, different from piratical or legal

no cost (7)

reuse, revising, remixing, adaptability (13)
2 - share alike so things created from it have to be too
1- no limitations on use, be it social, commercial, political
1-can reshare, but not for commercial use

1 explains how things are accessible, shareable, revisable, etc., in easy-to-understand terms

allows for collaboration, collaborative/participatory (4)
2 -e.g., gov't that shares governance with wider community, public decision making
1- this should be the goal of openness--participatoriness
1- students should be part of our open practices as teachers
1- For courses, being open to learners having own paths and goals, own assessments
1- as far as possible, driven by interests of those involved
1 - blurs line between producers and consumers
2 - seeks improvement through feedback; willing to be replaced if better comes along

transparency--e.g., government actions, how data will be used (6)
1- practice open if publicly documented 
1- open communication

open licensed (2)
1- or public domain

1- unregulated--free and open internet

1 finding paths away from corporate entities that seem to be infecting the learning spaces
1- no gathering personal information through use of tools to make money
1- share ideas for benefit of others, not benefit of profit
1- creating things because they may be usable by others
1 privacy altering--info wants to be free

1 hacker ethic

1 w/o barriers to entry
1- open membership, e.g., in co-ops
1- non-exclusivity (?)

1 there are degrees of openness, a continuum (e.g., college accepts everyone who applies, but cost is hurdle; course open but only to those registered)

1 often ppl take it to mean "free," but in ways that don't mirror or reproduce the open ethos in general

1 saying and doing actions with responsibilities to others

1 willingness to take risks

1 how an institution handles finances, gives out jobs or student spots, w/o bias

2- open mind--listen to other views, change mind, respond to criticism, etc.

1 a noun--an open thing; a verb--opening something up;  a potential-- potential to be improved by others

3. Ideas on the meaning of open participants' blogs in Why Open course--what do you think open means, generally or in a specific field/activity?

Not suggesting we put each of these links under each idea; just showing who said what so can choose where to put them if want.

So far Christina has only looked at the blog posts noted below. There are numerous other blog posts that participants have done on this topic in Why Open, we but haven't gotten to them yet. We'll be doing so this week!

This is perfect for me. I can cut and paste, and the editing process for the mindmap is short and sweet. I'd suggest adding in a new set of nodes for each point that can collect the blog posts under one branch.I can add these in as soon as is feasible. I have time every day until....Tuseday. 

Available to access w/o cost
-- Alex Fenlon:
-- Chris Sakkas:
-- David PS:

No walls/barriers
-- Lisa Shaw:

Available to use and reuse and share with others, to adapt and remix,
-- Alex Fenlon:
-- Chris Sakkas:
-- Fred Boss:

Where public has paid for something, public should be able to access it easily (for free?)
-- Alex Fenlon:

Paying attention to accessibilty requirements for people with disabilities is an important aspect
-- Alex Fenlon:

Open to scrutiny/transparent (e.g., open government--people can examine and study); open communication about what is going on/being done
-- Chris Sakkas:
-- David PS:
-- Cliff Ombiru:
-- Lorrie Fehr:

Open processes in the sense of available for collaboration/contribution by anyone; ability to have conversations with many different people about activities
-- Chris Sakkas:
-- Lisa Shaw:
-- Lorrie Fehr:

Being honest about yourself, open to your own flaws; being honest with others
-- Stephen Bell:

With open discussions/processes/activities, people's ideas can be heard irrespective of their role--empowerment
-- Lorrie Fehr: