[@OKau] Contrast between two courses

Rosie Williams BudgetAus at hotmail.com
Wed Mar 16 03:58:45 UTC 2016

After posting about the open data MOOC to the Open Government Facebook group<https://www.facebook.com/groups/opengovgroup/> I was asked how my course differed from School of Data. I thought it might be useful to post my reply here FYI.

I don't know anything about school of data other than what is listed at the page http://schoolofdata.org/courses/<http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fschoolofdata.org%2Fcourses%2F&h=rAQFZPG_g> however I can tell you the aims and content of my own curriculum. From the looks of it the focus of School of Data is more technical.

My course is about getting people to imagine the kinds of problems open data might be able to solve whether on a personal level such as the kinds of info from their local council might collect or professionally such as scientific research topics using crowd sourced open data. My course asks participants to use existing open data repositories - both to learn how to do it (and also to request data) but also to form their own opinion of how well these services meet their own needs.

My course introduces the political actors and context that has built the open data eco-system in Australia and gives participants an opportunity to make connections with one of these actors to get more specific knowledge of a topic of interest to them. In my experience the open data community tends to consist of programmers with no input from the social services sector or any female dominated industry. I think this is a huge weakness in the whole open data agenda as the social services sector is both very large and also crucially bound up with many of the social problems open data is expected to help address.

My course offers participants the opportunity to contribute to a crowd sourced list of open data sets which will form part of a submission to the Open Government Partnership National Action Plan. This is a concrete measurable goal for the National Action Plan that will, if adopted, form a basis for ensuring both a wider engagement with open data from communities currently unaware of its value and make sure the open data published by agencies actually meets the needs and contributes to solutions of the problems experienced by various communities.


Rosie Williams BA (Sociology)
 NoFibs.com.au<http://nofibs.com.au> - Open Data Reporter | OpenAus<https://openaus.net.au> - Founder and Developer

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