Cluster Group Guidance and Instructions

From Hewlett Grantees Meeting 2012
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Overview of Cluster Meetings

Among the various sessions and formats for this year’s conference, we have set aside time for small cluster meetings of participants at specific breakpoints in the agenda. These pre-assigned clusters of about eight attendees will have three scheduled meetings during the conference, which will offer opportunities to come together and discuss key themes, share ideas and information, and channel inputs back into the larger group. Clusters have been constructed to maximize diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints.

Central Objectives

Informed by the conference and based on participants’ own experience, each cluster group will focus on generating a small number of actionable ideas for interventions in any of the various areas discussed at the conference, such as quality supply, standards, or policies that will increase the impact of open resources on education across various learning contexts (e.g. formal, informal), either domestically or internationally.

At the close of the third cluster meeting, cluster participants will submit their selected interventions to the Berkman team; the compilation of these ideas will be an input into our Final Synthesizing sessions. We recommend that each cluster choose a small number (~2-4) of interventions, although including more is fine if time and mind space permit. For each intervention, clusters will be asked to consider key variables and attributes, outlined in more detail in the reporting template below.

We anticipate that significant time within the cluster meetings will be spent both on the process of discussing and defining the recommended interventions, including their definition, scope, and mechanisms. In addition to generating actionable ideas, the exercise is intended as a means for sharing perspectives, knowledge, and experiences, and networking across different fields of practice.

Mode & Process

Over the course of the three days, participants will be encouraged to brainstorm, develop, and finalize their intervention ideas via the following process and inspired by the collected set of ideas and issues submitted by participants prior to the conference via our Ideas Heat Map and/or the Evidence Hub.

The first cluster meeting will be focused on initial connections, introductions, and discussion regarding the cluster objectives and process overall.

Participants should come to the second cluster meeting prepared to suggest one or more actionable interventions for consideration. These may include an intervention that you are working on and know a lot about, or a nascent idea that you’re interested in exploring with your cluster. In determining recommended interventions, please consider interventions that draw upon the various skills, experience, and knowledge of your fellow cluster participants, and ideally include a range of interventions from those that can be implemented in the near future with few resources (or initial, exploratory steps in a larger initiative) to more ambitious or longer-term activities. You should select your proposed interventions in the second cluster meeting.

During the second and third cluster meetings, you should develop the interventions, including discussing different mechanisms and modes for implementation. As you refine your ideas for submission and prepare for the final discussion, please:

  • Identify obstacles, requirements, and key parties for implementation.
  • Identify areas where innovation is required, whether in tools, organizations and institutions, outreach strategies, policies, etc.
  • Define specific targets for research to better inform the development and implementation of policies and interventions.

Meeting Details


5:45 PM: Cluster Meeting #1

Location: Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East

Meet other cluster participants; discuss and process the assignments for your cluster; clarify any open questions regarding mode and outputs with the Berkman team; begin thinking about the interventions to identify, propose, and potentially develop with your cluster group.


12:15 PM: Cluster Meeting #2

Location: Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East

Discuss possible interventions for focus in your cluster; use the reporting template to inform your conversation; select your cluster’s proposed interventions; begin preparing responses to be input into the reporting template.


11:45 AM: Cluster Meeting #3

Location: Austin Hall

Collectively refine and finalize your chosen interventions; complete the intervention data form and submit to the heat mapping team.

Submission of Interventions

The template below is designed to facilitate reporting on your interventions and the characteristics and attributes of each intervention.. This will allow us to aggregate, characterize, and visualize the collective work of all the clusters in the form of an Interventions Heat Map, both for the final synthesizing sessions and as a roadmap for action. This is experimental, and between the volume, diversity and overlap of the information we are requesting, it is imperfect! Please simply do your best to convey the contours of your thinking within this format. We also invite you to offer general feedback on the process, so that we may improve any future iterations.

Use this online form to submit your suggested intervention by 12:45PM on Thursday, April 12th.

Please send questions and feedback to: