The Communication Strategy of the FLOW Syllabus

Last modified by Patrick Masson on 2017.06.09 at 14:09:08 PDT

The FLOW Syllabus is tailored to an intellectually advanced audience of educators, including instructors, advisers and autonomous learners.

In assembling and maintaining this curated collection, we do not shy away from concepts or issues that demand deep thinking. On the contrary, this syllabus moves deliberately in the other direction, helping learners to think much more deeply about many issues that are often taken for granted. 

This orientation shows up in various communications tactics. Sometimes we employ a semantically transparent phrase such as "constraints on the flow of ideas" in place of a familiar but opaque word like "patents". Another example is our heading that refers to "good values" and "good value" when we're addressing "ethics" and "cost-efficiency". 

Our whole effort throughout the syllabus is expressed through the metaphor of moving water, or moving in water. The resulting mental images provide a great deal of room for creativity in developing elegant ways to convey many complex issues. (See the embedded video here for example.)

Managers of free/libre/open projects don't just seek to clearly understand the topics addressed. They also want to be able to communicate the topics effectively with their own team members, executives, business partners and customers or constituents. Given the significance of effective communication to any project manager's performance, it is our working assumption that the training of a manager is really a type of train-the-trainer opportunity. 

Thus our target audience extends beyond the managers who would learn this material directly. We're also thinking about the people they are communicating with, their stakeholders upon whom they depend to accomplish project outcomes. It is when managers who learn from The FLOW Syllabus can effectively internalize, adapt and share these concepts and issues with others, that we will have helped them advance their free/libre/open projects.

Created by Joseph Potvin on 2014.05.14 at 10:14:09 PDT

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