Session 8: Authoring and Editing Logistics

To prepare for this week’s session here are a few links:

1 Like

@feb22a-cohort Thank you to those who attended our session on Friday. Those who couldn’t attend, please find our recap below:

Session 8 helped emphasize the importance of authoring and editing logistics because we know from experience that if you carefully prepare and document your processes, you can move your teams through this stage more smoothly.

The following key document templates today to show how you can use them to guide your collaborators in their writing and editing efforts.

  1. First, a clearly defined author guide will help your authors create content with accessibility, equity, and open pedagogy in mind. This, in turn, will also streamline the work of your editors as it hopefully reduces the time they need to remediate accessibility or equity issues after the fact.
  2. Second, a content tracking sheet can help your teams track who’s been tasked with the authoring and editing of specific content items including interactive content.

We also briefly mentioned Author Agreements as documents that could help clarify expectations for members in larger teams or instances when smaller teams work with people whom they haven’t collaborated with before.

In addition to the documents above, we recommend that you also develop a sample chapter since can be especially helpful for projects with more than one contributing author, or for you to go back and review. A sample or model chapter does a variety of things for your collaborators:

  1. It can help you convey the desired tone and style(s) of your writing. Seeing an example of a well-executed idea or chapter can help other authors with their drafts!
  2. It helps you determine the sequence of textual and non-textual elements in the chapters. This is a chance for you all to test the chapter structure you worked on last week!
  3. Last but not least, your sample chapter will demonstrate your standards for accessibility and inclusive, culturally relevant materials.

Please note that both the adaptation of your team’s author guide and the writing of a sample chapter are homework activities, laid out in more detail for you in the handout for session 8. We recommend that you adapt and further develop these documents together with your teams and then share them with everybody as they embark to create or adapt content for your OER.

In the second part of our session, we talked about editing, which is important in that it gives your OER structure and appeal and thereby significantly impacts how useful it is for learners. The editing process - be it the more substantial enterprise or more focused on copyediting and proofreading - can benefit from the diverse perspectives in your teams as it puts you in a position to push for the changes that place equity at the core of your work.

Since there is no “one size fits all approach” to editing workflows, you can determine your teams’ approach by considering the following few pieces of advice:

  1. Editing needs time, so plan well for it. Be intentional with your time and energy by avoiding too many phases of passing content back and forth between team members.
  2. For the project manager - we also recommend the timeless strategy of underpromise and overdeliver on deadlines. This builds in some cushion for when deadlines get pushed back.
  3. Be sure to define exactly what type of feedback you are looking for at this stage, as it can be tempting for folks to give a bit too much for the context. It’s okay to be directive here and provide a list and/ or style sheet that lays out what exactly should be checked.

Centrally, we always suggest: don’t let great be the enemy of good. Don’t dwell on making everything perfect on the first go. Remember that OER are living documents with opportunities for improvement in future versions.

The final part in our session was dedicated to an editing practice activity that helped us identify a number of accessibility issues in an example chapter. If you are curious or want to go back to the activity, you can find the instructions and solution key in the editing activity template linked here.

Next week, we will look at more ways to get feedback and input on your projects — through peer and other kinds of review. Getting a seal of approval or recommendation from an external reviewer can help make your OER stronger and more appealing to adopters, so we’ll see how you can work that into your projects.

1 Like