It was great seeing most of you yesterday. We talked about planning for release and also had some work time to plan and work on what you wanted to, as well as discussions of plans for these next few weeks before classes start. Here’s the link to the chat transcript from yesterday.
This session focused on the final tasks and practicalities that you’ll have to plan for before you announce your resource. The process of preparing for release is pivotal: your team is finally getting to see the big picture and it’s rewarding to see the resource come together! As you work to manage these many small details, what’s useful at this phase is to keep a running list of and tick off items as you complete them. The main things to keep in mind is that your book is available in web, editable, and offline formats, and that there’s a short announcement that you can share on release day. It can sometimes be difficult to draw the line with final tweaks and touches on the book, so work with your team to reach a point where you are all happy.
In the first part of the session, we spent time discussing formatting your resource in the space where it will live and conducting any final reviews before you launch. Once you know where your resource will live, you will want to bring your content into a specific format. We provided a proposed formatting workflow to help you through the formatting process. The formatting process is about giving your team an ideal You’ll work in layers — bringing your main content in first, followed by additional pieces, and finally will wrap up the work with a careful review. As with other stages of the OER publishing process, collaboration is key! We encourage you to seek input and advice from resources on your campus and refer back to pieces you’ve created previously to draw on.
Once you’re through formatting the main body content, you’ll want to consider preparing or adding a few additional items, or as we like to call them, final touches to help the book feel like a well-curated and professionally created resource. Adding information like a review statement, accessibility statement, book metadata, and adoption form can provide readers with more information about the quality and efficacy of your resource, and also provide pathways for others to find the book and report their use. Frontmatter and backmatter can help your resource feel more rounded and professionally created, as can a well-designed cover. Don’t forget to conduct a final set of checks prior to release to ensure all formats of your resource are displaying and working as you expect.
In the final part of the session, we chatted about final steps to take to make your OER discoverable and attractive, and how to promote your resource! The goal with your announcements should be to let others know what the resource is, where it can be accessed, what sets it apart, and what others think of it so far. Remember that you have already built the ground for your promotional storywork - in project scoping, storytelling & communications, and review & feedback. At this point in the publishing process, the time has come to pull together what you already have into a release planning central document and fill in any gaps. You can build off of this initial buzz and momentum around the book as you continue to promote it. But, most importantly savour the moment — this is the milestone you’ve been working towards, and it’s finally here! Pause and celebrate with your team.
Next week, we will dive into ways to keep your book up to date following release, as well as how to understand the longer-term impact of your team’s hard work via adoptions and other non-traditional metrics for assessing learning.