Session 1 - Introductions (May '21)

@may21-cohort Our first session will take place tomorrow, June 3rd, at 12pm ET on Zoom. Here’s our standard meeting link: Launch Meeting - Zoom. If you have any problems with that direct link, refer to @apurva’s calendar invite.

We’ll start with what we think is one of the most important pieces of the program: introductions and getting to know more about each other, our projects, the platform, and the Rebus approach to publishing.

Below I’ve included the slides and handouts accompanying this session, which I hope you’ll find as useful reference. The Handout lists the outcomes for our first session.

  1. Handout: Introductions
  2. Slides: Introductions

All slides and handouts created for the program are licensed CC BY, so anyone is free to reuse, adapt, remix, and more, as they see fit.

One more thing: This is the first announcement from your TSP facilitator, Joel Gladd (@gladja0). I’m in Boise, ID right now, but I grew up in Maryland and am genuinely excited to be working with your cohort. I look forward to chatting more tomorrow.

See you all then! :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi! I’m Elizabeth Kelly, the Library Web and Applications Development Administrator for LOUIS. I’m here with the LOUIS OER Commons Faculty Cohort Program and I’m particularly interested in how to make the open textbooks that our cohorts create discoverable.

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Hello! I am Emily, Affordable Learning Administrator with LOUIS. We are an academy library consortium with 47 members in Louisiana. We received a Dept of Ed Open Textbooks Pilot grant and are working on 25 courses and adapting and creating materials for them using Pressbooks. Excited to bring lessons learned from the TSP to our work with the 25 courses.


Hi everyone, I’m Apurva from Rebus. While I’m not working on a project in this cohort, I’m here to support Joel and all of you with your projects. I’ve facilitated 4 TSP cohorts previously and worked on a number of open publishing projects. My background is in Literature and Publishing! Looking forward to seeing our conversations unfold.

Happy Summer! I am Jessica Adams from Harford Community College. I am planning on creating a resource to pair with Statistics for student who need pre-requisite skills. My background is in Mathematics and Statistics.


Hi Jessica. I teach at a two-year institution in Idaho and can appreciate how that additional context creates a unique spin on what OER means for you. I’m looking forward to supporting your project in whatever way I can.

Hi Everyone! I’m Katrina, a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Bowie State University (Go Bulldogs!).

I am going to be working on a cognitive psych textbook and course. I’ve been teaching this course for 15 years, and I’ve changed textbooks about 10 times. I’ve recently abandoned the idea of requiring a textbook because of cost (and students weren’t reading it anyway). So, my goal is to create a textbook (and a course) that is no cost and meets the needs of students.

I think this is a link to my project: Whatcha Thinking About? - Cognitive Psych Project


HI Everyone!

I am going to be working with @kfrank926 to create a pediatric course. We have been frustrated by the lack of resources and the cost to our students for additional resources that will enhance learning. Along with this, we also believe creating an Open Source resource will allow the resource to be more current and address relevant topics in a timely manner.

@gladja0 we are trying to find the location for the project template but are lost. Can you help us with this? Thanks,Tammy


@prof.tbowers certainly. Here are a few links:

Guide: Create a project homepage
Example: “Mathematics for the People
Example: “Media, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

Hi everyone, I’m following up with the chat transcript from our first synchronous session, along with a quick recap and a few goals for the asynchronous portion of the week.

Session 1 Recap

The main focus of Session 1 was to get to know one another, understand how our sessions will be structured, and learn about Rebus’ tools and approaches. We also began hearing about our cohort’s projects and aspirations.

We also spent a bit of time discussing Rebus’ collaborative approach to publishing, and how a larger community around a resource can not only make it stronger, but also help maintain it down the line. Our approach hinges on thinking about marketing, accessibility, formatting, and more at each stage to really harness the global potential of OER and what it can do. These stages can be flexible and non-linear, and play out in different ways on your projects.

The remainder of the session covered the Rebus platform and the different areas that you will likely spend your time, especially the cohort discussion space and your project home.

We also talked about the cohort tag (@may21-cohort) and how this can be used to notify everyone in the cohort. We also looked at the Direct Messaging functionality on the platform. We ended our discussion with questions about project homepages.

Goals for Week 2!

  1. Respond to this Session 1 Intro Topic with your introduction, including your role on the project and the dream goal you have for it.
  2. Agree to the Memorandum of Understanding for our cohort. (many of you already have done this)
  3. Create a project homepage for your project. If this goal feels daunting, keep in mind it can be barebones for now. It’s something we’ll revise throughout the next several weeks.

If you run into any problems getting started with the steps above, review the Rebus User Guide; you can also respond to this message with any questions.

Let me know if there’s anything I missed! I want to thank you all for joining our first session. The work you’re doing is important, and we’re excited to contribute to your project’s success.

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Hi there. Tammy and I are new to all of this and are trying to come up with a name for our project. Should the name be fun and “catchy” or should it be direct for ease of searchability? Our project will be related to teaching Pediatric Nursing Curriculum.

Karen and Tammy

Hello everyone,

My name is Karen Frank and I will be working with Tammy Bowers. Our project will be focused on teaching evidence-based pediatric nursing. This is my first experience with this so I hope to learn a lot. The current textbooks are outdated by the time they are published. This is frustrating for me and confusing for the students when I have to tell them the content in the book is incorrect.

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Good question, @kfrank926. My initial suggestion is to suggest perusing the Rebus Community projects for previous titles: Some project titles are tentative working titles for the open textbook, but not always. For example, my project group adopted a descriptive title for the project then a catchier title for the textbook. It’s really up to you.

From a rhetorical point of view, the project title will be geared towards the purpose and audience. How do you think educators within nursing programs would respond to a more playful vs. descriptive tone?

You could also use a subtitle as a way to be more descriptive, after the catchier main title.

Perhaps @me.monicabrown or @apurva have other thoughts.


I agree! Joel’s suggestions to think about how educators may respond is really useful. What might draw them in to collaborate with you on this project? What will likely resonate with them when they are searching for your book in a database/library catalogue?

You may also want to survey titles of textbooks you have used previously to see if there’s an expected structure that educators will expect. But you can push these bounds since you are doing something new and innovative with your text, and the title can reflect this too (this can also be demonstrated via your cover design).

Hello! I am Brandye and I teach at Salisbury University where I also serve as chair of the public health program. I am excited to have the opportunity through this TSP to create an OER on chronic and infectious disease targeting undergraduate majors and minors in public health. Looking forward to working with you all in the @may21-cohort

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Hello everyone! I am Laurie Blandino and I work for LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network. As @emily.frank explains above, we received a Department of Education grant where we will be working with cohorts of librarians and faculty to develop interactive OER for 25 general education dual enrollment courses. I’m looking forward to learning along with all of you so I can support the grant project. My dream goal is to fulfill the already amazing goals of the grant and end up with 25 courses that we can pilot in Louisiana and promote beyond the state.

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Welcome, @laurie.blandino (and @emily.frank)! Dual enrollment is huge at my institution so I’m very curious to hear more about your use of Pressbooks in gen ed courses.

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Hi all,
I am Tracy Tomlinson from the Psychology department at the University of Maryland, College Park. I am working with Benjamin Jones (@jonesb) to create an introduction to statistics and statistical thinking textbook. We have a draft of the book and are looking to improve, add, edit and disseminate! We are looking to create a very user-friendly statistics book that is easy for us to update and modify as the field evolves and student needs change. We also want this book to be easy to read, inclusive (for example with better examples of dichotomous variables other than male-female that almost all other statistic textbooks seem to use) and discusses both the use and MISuse of statistics to make this a practical book as well. Ideally, after this book is in a more finished form, we would love to further develop accompanying homework and R (statistical programming) assignments and supplements. We are excited to work within a supportive and knowledgeable community to advance these OER goals!


Hi all,

I am Ben Jones and I am from the Psychology department at the University of Maryland, College Park. As Tracy said above, she and I will be working on developing an intro to statistics textbook. She gave a great description of our project, so I will not repeat, but I am really excited to learn and work with everyone!