Community Town Hall: What Are Our Action Items?

Hi all,

At the 2023 Open edX conference, we tried a new event, called the Community Town Hall. This Friday morning, 90 minute event brought all of us together to discuss important, relevant topics to the Open edX community. We ran it in a lean coffee format, discussing topics we all voted on for 10 minutes before moving on to new topics. I’d like to share our notes from the session here.

More importantly, I challenge the community to continue the threads we discussed - that may be taking action on a topic or simply creating space for continued conversation in this forum.

What will you and your team do as a result of these conversations? How will you further the idea of an Inclusive Do-ocracy? How can we best support you? Comment in this thread!

A shout out to @john_curricume for running with the first action item from the Town Hall: the creation of an Educator’s working group. Great job, John!


Thanks @sarina for creating this space! And +1 for listing our action items.

Some of mine are:

  • Get the election process change drafted & reviewed, including changes to open the TOC board voting to more people;
  • Help with writing & publishing of TOC meetings summaries, to improve the transparency of TOC discussions
  • Help with drafting a process to facilitate bringing up topics to the TOC

Though I’m sure I’m forgetting some important topics that were discussed - is there a recording or transcript of the town hall discussions?

As mentioned in the post, here were the collaboratively taken notes: 2023 Community Town Hall @ Open edX Conference - Google Docs

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Thanks @sarina. I’ve gone through the notes, to list some potential action items based on the discussions, in addition to the ones mentioned above. Anyone interested in participating to any of these initiatives – don’t hesitate to ask or reply here!

  • Increase involvement from students in the community and the code base, by using our platform to teach learners how to contribute to the code (ongoing work on this lead by @sarina on the onboarding courses, and from me on an upstreaming course
  • Get involved with educator-facing documentation?, creating more instructional design-focused documentation and support to supplement tech-focused docs (talk to @feanil if you’re interested)
  • Have the organizations gather feedback from users and pass them upstream, to @jmakowski and the product working group, helping to develop personas and define user needs
  • Integrate the Open edX better together - for example, develop ways for Open edX instances to relay news from the project automatically, or to relay feedback and statitics upstream (there are some early discussions of this in the product working group - talk to @jmakowski or me if you’re interested)
  • Participate in other major edtech conferences and educators symposiums, togive visibility for Open edX as a platform (@abstract-technology is leading the charge on this)
  • Improve accessibility, diversity and outreach of the platform - suggestions/ideas mentioned:
    • Universities who turn students away from their on-campus courses could direct them to online courses instead of just saying “no” (@Alrike_Claassen)
    • Improve localized course content and translations. Language of instruction matters. (@regisb)
    • Use engagement data to detect whether our content is effective for learners who “don’t like learning”, and work to improve these metrics. (@kalebdavenport)
    • Find ways for the platform to help learners learn how to learn, as most MOOC learners already learned how to learn earlier in life (@e0d)
    • Find out/advocate for where some of the $2.75B in funding in the U.S. in 2024 for digital inclusion and digital equity projects will go in your state/community (@Xandi_Wright)
  • Provide ideas for future conference planning: talk to @sarina, @e0d, @nedbat, or @feanil, and/or share them in the post-conference survey.