The 5Rights (formerly iRights) Youth Juries were developed by University of Leeds and University of Nottingham in the project “the Internet on Our Own Terms.” This project’s aim was to put young people at the heart of the debate around their online rights. The juries were designed around deliberation, giving young people the space to think about their own personal connections to the Internet and their rights.
The project was admired by other practitioners who work within education or young people’s charities and they wanted to be able to facilitate their own juries. I guess that this is where I come in, with my background in Open Education. I thought that it would be appropriate to develop such a toolkit as an Open Educational Resource, that is free to access, free to use, download, reuse and remix.
However, without a cohort of young people of my own, the idea of developing an OER when I am not in a position to think about what I would want from a Youth Jury OER, seemed futile. I wanted to get people who actually wanted to facilitate a jury to be part of the design process. I wanted to know what their expectations were; I wanted to know what their immediate responses to a drafted OER were; and I wanted to know how they implemented and used the OER. So I decided to employ iterative interviews throughout the process, collating feedback throughout to use to develop the resource, making it more appropriate and educator-ready.
I would argue that this approach takes elements of participatory design, an approach that includes non-designers in the process. My participants never met one another because they were distributed over 4 countries, so I used video conferencing technology to support this work. This has its benefits and its limitations. I chose to employ interviews over group conferencing because in my experience there is an awkwardness with meeting new people over something like Skype and opening up. When time is short, developing comfortable relationships and coordinating suitable times for such conversations would be a huge challenge. I’d argue that it would be a barrier to the development of this resource.
I haven’t yet conducted the final stage (where reflections on the facilitation experience is shared) but the first two phases had common themes around: purpose, inclusivity, diversity and story-telling. While the draft resource I made was well received, there were certainly spaces for improvement. Certainly around clarity and preparing the facilitator with the knowledge required. The format of the jury, which can be altered as a result of the open licensing I employed, needed to be clear. One product of the project that is used in the resource is this visualisation of the format:
Coming next, I would like to complete the third stage of data collection; make available transcriptions of the video scenarios; and, disseminate the OER.
Here is a 2 minute overview of the project:
You can find the resource here: oer.horizon.ac.uk