Session 1: Introductions

It was wonderful to meet so many of you, and see all/ most teams in our cohort represented at our first session!

The main focus was to get to know one another’s projects, understand how our sessions will be structured, and learn about Rebus’ tools and approaches. As some of you requested more guidance for project accountability in the process, we are designing activities for in-session practice and application afterwards, so that you can successively build out your OER creation plan and implement it smoothly over the coming year. On that note, I kindly ask you to complete this week’s activities as outlined in your session handout:

  • Respond below with your introduction, Agree to the Memorandum of Understanding for our cohort.
  • Write a brief introduction to the forum titled: Who’s in the cohort? including your role on the project and the dream goal you have for it.

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 communications, accessibility, formatting, and more at each stage to really harness the global potential of OER. And these stages can and most likely will be flexible, and thus play out in different ways for each team — that’s what the model is built to do!

We also discussed how being transparent about the process of creation can invite others to contribute and be involved in your projects, whether in big ways or small. Using a public-facing space for your project planning and communication, for example, is a unique way to broadcast your project and invite collaborators to join efforts in its creation.

Talking about the tools we use for the Textbook Success Program like Curriculum Hub in Google, for instance, we also mentioned the Rebus Community Forum, where this recap is posted and where we will conveniently streamline ALL our cohort communication. All materials will be available to you throughout the program. We encourage you to share your questions here! Please note that you can use the tag @jan24-cohort for conversations that include all cohort members. In addition, you can also write direct messages to individuals, not only in your cohort, but the entire forum space. Refer to the video tutorials in your handout for a more in-depth overview of the forum and its features.

Here is a link to the chat transcript for today: Session 1: Introductions (January 2024 Cohort) - Google Docs

I will see you all next Monday for Session 2: Project Scoping!

Until then,

My name is Julie Doner. I am on a one-year contract in the Department of Linguistics at UManitoba. One of my main tasks this year is to develop an OER textbook for LING 2400 Introduction to Morphology and Syntax (morphology = word structure, syntax = sentence structure).

I am also teaching LING2400 right now, so I’m staying barely one week ahead of the students. I may also need to skip writing some weeks and give them alternative readings to stay sane. But the first four chapters are up and available here:

Some of my goals for the textbook are

  • Incorporate explicit writing instruction and “hidden curriculum” instruction
  • Inclusion of marginalized langauges (e.g., signed languages and Indigenous languages) throughout
  • Centering social justice topics, such as decolonizing research methods and language discrimination
  • Including real-life application where appropriate

Hello All,

My name is Ebony Novakowski I am the Copyright Officer at RRC Polytech supporting the creation of the Generative AI Practical Uses in Education OER.

Some of my goals while the textbook is being developed are:

  1. To identify processes for textbook development to support future faculty OER projects.
  2. Identify areas for OER supports roles that can be fulfilled through Library and Academic Services to support faculty,
  3. To build awareness of strategies and best practices around OER development, institutional OER support, and OER promotion.
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So I’m Connor Mark. I’m an M.A. student at UManitoba in Linguistics. I’m working on The Linguistic Analysis of Word and Sentence Structures with Julie Doner. I’ve been a student at the university for a while now, having also done my undergrad in Linguistics here and also doing a grader/marker for some courses, so I’m very familiar with what students are being taught in the department at the lower level.

One of the advantages of an OER linguistics textbook, especially one that is online and updateable, is that linguistic data can more easily remain up to date and complete because readers can contribute in a way that is more accessible than if we were doing a traditional textbook.

One of my tasks for the creation of the OER is to elicit data from speakers of different languages. That is, I systematically ask them how to say various things in their language and we go back and forth. One thing that I have found interesting is that some participants are more likely to lead things in the session (bringing up relevant things that are useful!) while others are more inclined to let me guide things. Overall, the participants (all students thus far) enjoy the idea of contributing to a cost-free textbook for students and they also like sharing their languages with the world.

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Hello everyone,

My name is Shannon MacGregor and I work in the Library at ACC. I am here to support Scout and Trevor in creating the Communications OER.

The concept of OERs have fascinated me for awhile, however, I have only really had the time to scratch the surface.

I am looking forward to learning more about the process of producing OER content and of how I can contribute.


Hello Everyone,

This is Ariful from Manitoba Flexible Learning Hub. I’m gonna work on Open Stax Chemistry 2e with Devin Latimer, Josh Hollett, and Dr. Désirée Vanderwel. My role on this project is to contribute as instructional designer.

I’m pretty new folk for OER world, especially in development a textbook. My goals while the textbook is being developed are:

  • To explore the process of OER textbook development
  • To identify the accessibility review mechanism for OER
  • To identify areas for OER supports roles where instructional designer can contribute and assist others.

I’m looking forward to this learning journey with this cohort!

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Hi, everyone. My name is Kristy Lacroix and I joined Campus Manitoba as their Special Projects Coordinator in August of last year. I have several years experience developing online learning courses and resources, but am new to textbook publishing.
I find that my goals for this program closely align with Ebony’s, particularly identifying development processes and building awareness around strategies and best practices for OER development. I would also like to find out more about DOI registration.


Hi everyone,
I’m Glenn Bergen, and I’m part of Julie’s team working on the Linguistics textbook. This year I’m serving as OER Coordinator at the University of Manitoba Libraries, and I’ve worked in scholarly publishing for a long time as an editor at University of Manitoba Press.

I’m currently supporting eight other OER projects that are currently underway at the UofM. I’m interested to gain insights from the tried and true Rebus approach, and bring that knowledge to these and future open publishing projects.


Hello everyone and apologies for the late introduction. I’m Troy Heaps, a Communication Instructor at RRC Polytech. I have been working on the Generative AI: Practical Uses in Education OER project since August 2023. Since then, I have helped plan the project and complete our research ethics application, and I conducted a series of focus groups with RRC staff who have used AI as part of their teaching. I’m now busy writing the OER with a goal of having a rough draft completed next week!
Ebony, Paula and Rebecca area also in our cohort. My dream goal is that readers of our resource will find their teaching practices enhanced and their workloads lightened.


Hi everyone! I’m getting caught up on our forum now after a brief leave to recover from a surgery. It’s great to read everyone’s introductions and areas of interest.

My name Scout and I’m the instructional designer for Assiniboine Community College. I work with Trevor in the Center for Learning and Innovation under the broader Learning Commons which includes Shannon in the library. Before this role (and briefly going corporate), I taught Communications courses at Humber College in Toronto and at Cegep de la Gaspesie in Montreal. My current role consists of a lot of faculty support, and I’m hoping that creating a Communications OER for all our Comms instructors to use will help them in creating engaging learning environments–especially within the emerging context of generative artificial intelligence.

By training, I’m a writer and editor, so it’s exciting to be back in a space like this.

So looking forward to moving through this process with all of you.

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My name is Trevor Simpson and I am one of the Faculty Development Coaches for Assiniboine Community College. I work with Scout and Shannon.
Before this role, I was a Communications and Technology instructor.
I’m really interested on how artificial intelligence is changing the educational landscape and want to work with emerging tools to help support student growth.

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