Week 6 Learning activities

This week we are covering a lot of ground in relation to openness, so you have four play and reflect activities to choose from, each relating to one kind of openness! You only have to complete one option.

The activities need to be completed by 11.59pm, Sunday 24 April.

Option 1: Mashups 



There is a huge amount of open data on the web and this is your opportunity to play with it by creating an image mashup.

If you aren’t familiar with image mashups watch this quick video that explains the concept.

Your photo mashup must include:

  •  at least one image from Flickr Commons 
  •  at least one other image – either your own or a Creative Commons licensed image.

Upload your finished product to an image hosting service like Flickr, or reduce it’s size to less than 2MB and upload it to your blog and embed the image in a blog post.

Support resources

  • Creative Commons Search will help you find images and audio to use in your mashup.
  • There are a number of free online image editors – Picnik and Adobe Photoshop Online are two that Kate has used and found quite flexible. Also, in a previous year, a student created a great screencast showing how to use a free, Open Source image editor called Gimp (it seems similar to Photoshop!).
  • Looking for inspiration for your image mashup? Checkout the LibraryHack photo mashups.


reflect-black-on-orangePrepare a reflection of at least 500 words or 2 minutes on one of the two topics listed below. Remember, your reflection can be in any format you like: audio, video, written blog post… Whatever format you choose, post your reflection to your blog. You have two choices for your reflect topic:

  • Respond to this statement: Open data is the future of the web.


  • Choose a data mashup that has come out of LibraryHack or GovHack and prepare a critical commentary on it. Consider questions like: What data inputs were used? What does the end product do? How successful do you think it is?


Option 2: Data visualisation


This activity deals with open data as well but in a different way. This time we want you to get some open data and create an infographic.

The infographic can be about any topic. You can use data that has been made available through open data initiatives or you can use data from a source like the ABS, just make sure you acknowledge where it came from.

Try a quick search for keywords like free infographic tools to help you find and choose a tool to use for this activity.

There isn’t a minimum amount of data you need to use for this task, but try out a few different ways to visualise data – graphs, images, numbers.

Embed your infographic in your blog when you’re done.

**Updated 15/4** If you would like some extra resources for creating an infographic please watch the videos in this playlist created by Kate Davis. The videos were created for another unit, however the tips and tricks are still applicable to this unit.


Write a reflective, critical blog post on one of the topics listed below. As usual, you should write at least 500 words or 2 minutes for multimedia.

  • How do you feel about infographics? Like them, love them, hate them? Are they an effective tool for helping people understand information?


  • How does using data visualisation help to communicate research or other important information to the people? What data visualisation have you found that has helped you understand something?


Option 3: MOOC’s


Time to try out a MOOC! Enrol in a MOOC, take some screenshots of things that interest you, and talk about your experience in the MOOC. If the MOOC you select is yet to commence, just take a look around and think about your first impressions of the environment and how it works. Write this up in a blog post.


Write a reflective, critical blog post on one of the topics listed below. As usual, you should write at least 500 words or reflect in any other medium you like – minimum length of 2 minutes for multimedia.

  • Has open education truly disrupted higher education?


  • How open is ‘open education’? Is it really accessible to everyone?


Option 4: It’s open to you to decide…

This fortnight is all about openness so how could we not leave you an open option! If you want to create your own play activity around openness then email Kathleen to have your activity approved. Remember it has to cover a tool related to the content we have covered this fortnight. Some ideas might be creating a data mash up with open data, or showing us what you can do with an open source code.




Depending on what activity you decide to do, you will need to write a 500 word or 2 minute reflection that ties into the topic. Again you will need to have approval from Kathleen for your Reflect activity and be able to show how it ties into your play component.


  • Kate Reply

    Hi Kathleen, I recently enrolled in an open course from MIT which I will begin in June. Would it be ok if I discussed this instead of a MOOC?

    • kathleen Reply

      Yes Kate that’s fine.

  • Shaine Aruja Reply

    Hi Kathleen,
    I’m opting to go with Option 1 for this weeks play activity and I’ve got 3 questions.
    1. Is using photoshop to insert my face along with famous people considered a [image] mashup? Or are you looking for something more intellectually challenging?
    2. Considering its a play activity, what should be the key learning from my experience? (other than learning how to use a software).
    3. I’m not clear as to how to present the outcome? Should it be just a picture entry to a Week 6 – Play activity blog or accompanied with some literature?

    • kathleen Reply

      Hi Shaine,

      The mashup needs to include at least two images – one from Flickr Commons , and one that is either your own, or another CC licensed image. What you choose to present is up to you. As a hint I suggest you look at Paola’s blog, she has completed this activity and has created a really interesting image.

      The Play outcome should just be a picture in your post. As for learning outcomes, think about the broader topic of this week, openness. What has opening up images with CC done? For artists? For institutions? For people researching family history? For historians? For you? These are some things to consider when you complete this activity.



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