Session 8: Authoring & Editing Logistics (July 2023 Cohort)

Key Links:

Session 8 helped emphasize the importance of authoring and editing logistics because a carefully planned transparent workflow can help your teams move through this stage smoothly.

You can guide your collaborators in their writing and editing efforts by means of adapting the following documents to fit the purpose of your OER project.

  1. First, a clearly defined author guide [linked above] will help your authors create content with accessibility, equity, and open pedagogy in mind.
  2. Second, a content tracking sheet will help gather content items in an organized manner.

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. See your handout [linked above] for more information.

Writing a sample chapter can be especially helpful for projects with more than one contributing author because it does a variety of things for your collaborators:

  1. It conveys 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 determines the desired 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. It demonstrates your standards for accessibility and inclusive, culturally relevant materials.

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. Be sure to foreground exactly what type of feedback you are looking for. It’s okay to be directive here and provide a list and/ or style sheet that lays out what exactly should be checked.
  3. For the project manager- b your team’s decision maker and help everybody stay on track. Model positive interactions.

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.

Please note that we will be moving into the second phase of this program, where we will be meeting monthly until we go back to weekly in February 2024. Your calendar invites should reflect this monthly cadence with each monthly date alternating between either a whole cohort or one-one meeting with your discipline-specific teams.

As for the expectations regarding our monthly meetings in Phase 2, we want to highlight that we will continue to support your teams in whatever capacity we at REBUS and ROTEL can. As your facilitator, I will invite your input prior to sessions, make useful connections regarding your project goals and progress, facilitate your in-forum and in-session sharing, assist you in finding solutions for challenges, and share relevant updates and news from the open education community.

In exchange, I hope that you will also actively engage in our monthly conversations. You can find our responsibilities detailed in both your cohort MOU and syllabus documents.

Look forward to working with you in phase 2 and cannot wait to meet with you or our first monthly session September 26.

Homework :

  • Please note that both the adaptation of your team’s author guide and the writing of a sample chapter are homework activities you can access from the session handout [linked above], 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. This may take you some time to work through, and that’s okay!
  • A more immediate ask is for you to please drop a quick note (reply) with an update on what you all have worked on or talked through since Session 7 Content Creation. I missed asking you all for team rundowns during our session this week and would love to update my notes. As always, if you have any questions, please ask those as well.

Til I see you next, have a wonderful Labor Day weekend and best of luck during the first weeks of class!