Session 2. Project Scoping

Good morning @feb21-cohort! We’ll dive into our next session today on project scoping and framing your project. First, I’ll check-in with all of you and see whether everyone has made progress with our 3 to-dos from last week:

We’ll then take a look at the slides and handouts for today’s session:

  1. Handout: Project Scoping
  2. Slides: Project Scoping

We’ll use the final 30 minutes of our session to look at our project scoping template in depth and see what the different needs are for each of your projects.

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Hi @feb21-cohort, thank you for your participation during yesterday’s session! As I noted, please spend the next week:

  • setting up your project homepage
  • filling out the project summary template with your team (post the final version in your project discussion space)

If you haven’t yet, please:

Chat Transcript and Resources

As usual, I’ve saved the chat transcript for us to reference, and collated the list of resources shared:

Session Summary

This session 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 doesn’t always progress this way in reality (you could be working in many different stages at once). 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

The project definition phase is also useful to think about tools and software that you will use: first decide on 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.

@jsheffield — you mentioned that you were having trouble adding an image to your project homepage. Please let me know if you are still facing difficulties and I can help you out.

@apurva - Yes, it asks me to include a link to an image, and whenever I put a link in, the image turns into the icon you see in the attached picture. Image 1

Thanks for reporting the error! Could you possibly share the URL of the image with me (either here or over DM)? I’ll do some troubleshooting and see if I can resolve this issue.

@apurva - I hadn’t selected a picture that I definitely wanted to use because I wanted to see how they appear, first. But I tried a few links - from a pexels image, from Google images, FlickR, and from Canva. None seemed to work. For now, here’s a sample one that I just tried and got an error with: Una Code | Screenshot of Una WordPress theme code on Notepad… | Flickr

Thanks, Jenna. You need to insert a URL that includes the image source (ending in .jpg). I looked at the embed code for the sample image you linked to, and tried to use a snippet of it (the image source: and this worked!