If ORO was a drink.. what would it be?

I recently attended the Playful Learning conference at Manchester.  The conference introduced me to a variety of playful strategies to use in both teaching situations and in  everyday work scenarios.

One of the very first things we were asked to do by Katie Piatt in her keynote was to think about a game as a drink and then design a drinks mat for it. Why might you do this?  Well, firstly it brings a bit of fun to the workplace, and secondly, it may elicit responses that you might not get if you asked a straight question.

One of my favourites from the conference was Simon Says = Cocktail = Drink / Repeat.

So, I thought I’d bring the idea into our ORO team meeting and get the guys who work on ORO to think about ORO as a drink and then design their own drinks mat for it.

What did I get, what drink do we imagine ORO to be?  What insights on working with ORO did I get?

Beer

Not a great surprise, but they were by turns fruity, strong and, err, chewy!

a Sundae

Something light, to suit all tastes.

Water

Definitely winning the prize for artistic merit: free water, although terms and conditions apply…

Marmite

Yes, you love it or hate it… but is it a drink? [team meeting descends into bickering]

…and Gravy

Is that really a drink!  [team meeting descends into polite librarian brawl regarding viscosity and Newtonian fluid]

But Brown Open Access, available in cubes – that might catch on!

Or something else…

Bingo!  This was what I was after… I was being told that using ORO is too hard.  People don’t have the time figure it out – they want help to make it easier.

So maybe by introducing this technique, allowing the space for people to think differently, or at least licence to express this thinking, did provide me with some useful insight.

And it was a team meeting that was fun!  If you want some blank mats for you to try it yourself, I have some spare – let me know.

About Chris

Chris looks after Open Research Online (ORO) on a day to day basis. He has worked in this role since 2011 and can advise on using ORO to maximise dissemination of research outputs and Open Access publishing generally.
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