Hello @june21-cohort, thank you very much for such a lively discussion during yesterday’s session! I’m very pleased to see that you’re asking lots of questions and being intentional about your work. Please keep the questions coming! We may not always have time for them all during our synchronous sessions because we have a lot of content to cover, but I strongly encourage you to ask those questions here in our discussion space or to message me directly. Even if your questions are specific to your project, there’s a lot of value in asking them here in our shared cohort space because chances are that if you have a question, others in the cohort either have similar questions or have insights to add to the discussion. None of us (myself included) is the ultimate authority on any of this, so there’s much that we can all learn from each other.
Session 2 Recap
This week’s session (chat transcript here) started off with a brief overview of the different stages of the open publishing process. Knowing what goes into publishing can help you as a creator plan for the work involved. The model depicted in the slides is linear, but it doesn’t always progress this way in reality (you could be working in many different stages at once and will likely revisit some stages). The Rebus publishing model in particular focuses on ways to bring collaboration, accessibility, and marketing into each of the different stages — to both improve the quality of the final resource and to grow the active community invested in it.
The project definition is foundational for the team to agree on the framing, goals, and work plan. We suggest filling out a project summary template with your team so far to get clarity on content to cover and larger project aspirations. The fields in the template correspond to the blocks on your Rebus project homepage, so make sure to update it once you have agreed on what to include! In the template, you’ll consider:
- Title: informative for reader and adopter, but also marketing. Keep it simple and look to existing texts and community for inspiration. Avoid using OER or open textbook in the title.
- About the project: brief, highlight any unique elements or aspects about the resource
- Audience: think beyond course/classroom about student accessibility needs, reading levels, backgrounds, contexts, etc.
- About the content: list of topics or concepts covered, plus a brief structural breakdown of the book or course materials
- License: Creative Commons licenses will give upfront permissions to readers while you still hold copyright of the text
- Team: list the full group of people involved in the project
- Support or funding: mention institutional support and/or funding if applicable
- Participation options: pathways to contact the team to get involved
- Measures of Success: short and long-term goals that don’t solely need to be quantitative
During this phase, it’s also useful to think about tools and software that you will use. First, decide what you need for organization, communication, and public updates. Then, consider tools necessary for authoring, editing, & reviewing; formatting & publishing; and ancillary or interactive learning materials.
Discussing the different fields in the template may naturally lead to the creation of an outline, table of contents, learning outcomes, concept maps, or chapter/unit descriptions. These elements can be very useful shorthands to refer to pieces of the resource, and will also serve as guides for authors. Once you’ve come to a good place with the team on all these different elements, you’re ready to think about next steps: announcing the project’s existence, sharing your outline for feedback, recruiting contributors for key roles, etc.
You all had lots of important questions about open licenses. As we discussed, there aren’t always easy answers to these questions, but please keep asking them. These are important conversations to have, and they highlight the values that you bring to this work. While we tend to encourage less restrictive licensing, we also recognize that this may not work for all content, contexts, or creators. As @apurva mentioned, you can start with a somewhat more restrictive license if you’re uncertain and then perhaps switch to a less restrictive one later on. I would encourage you to revisit the Creative Commons “Choose a License” tool with your teams and have a conversation about the type of license that you feel is most appropriate. Again, please continue asking questions.
To-Dos for Next Week
As we head into next week’s session please do the following:
- Continue setting up your project homepage. Not every project is the same, so please use the homepage in a way that best suits your needs, keeping in mind that this is an important platform for sharing the story of your work with the wider community. If you haven’t already, we’d love for you to share the link to your homepage in our cohort space. You could post a new thread or reply to this thread.
- Fill out the project summary template with your team. If you need some inspiration, take a look back at the examples we explored this week.
- Post the completed project summary template to your project discussion space .
- If you haven’t already, please introduce yourself to the group, in our cohort’s Week 1 introductions thread and sign the memorandum of understanding
Again, I encourage you to ask questions here in our shared space, or if you feel more comfortable asking me directly, you can message me at @bjm6168. Thanks again for a great session!