Syllabus July 2023 Cohort

Textbook Success Program Syllabus

July 2023 Cohort
Tuesdays, 4:00-5:30pm ET, Zoom
Facilitator: Amy Minervini

Welcome to the Rebus Textbook Success Program (TSP), a course designed to support your OER publishing journey and help you create equitable learning materials and joyful experiences for your students.

Program Description

The TSP is a professional development program that equips faculty, librarians, administrators, and managers with the tools you need to make great OER. The program is one year long and comprises two phases:

  • Phase 1: Planning
  • Phase 2: Practical Application

Phase 1 (11 July 2023 – 29 August 2023)

WHEN: Tuesdays, 4:00-5:30pm ET on Zoom (see your calendar invitations for link)
WHO: Facilitator: Amy Minervini (@alminervini)
WHAT: 8 weekly themed sessions with your cohort to give you an overview of the open publishing process, and plan out the steps for your independent practical work in Phase 2.

Phase 2 Meetings (26 September 2023 – 25 June 2024)

WHEN: Tuesdays, 4:00-5:30pm ET on Zoom (see your calendar invitations for link)
WHO: Facilitator: Amy Minervini (@alminervini)
WHAT: Hands-on stage where you and your team work on your OER projects, with a mix of group check-ins with your cohort and 1:1 support sessions with your facilitator. We will alternate between a monthly cohort meeting and an individual support check-in with your team and your facilitator. In February 2024, 4 weekly meetings will be held to orient you to the final production stages.

Please note: You are required to attend all sessions, to the best of your ability. In case of absences, please ensure that at least 2 members of your project team participate to ensure progress on your project work.


  • Get to know Rebus’ collaborative open publishing approach with open education peers in a supportive learning environment
  • Connect and contribute to the OER community (eg.: professional development process, equitable and inclusive learning and OER that come out of it, relationships, advocacy, leadership)
  • Reflect on your current pedagogical practices with the goal of creating accessible, equitable, and inclusive OER and learning experiences
  • Create an efficient workflow and apply best practices that help your project progress in due time, with guidance from your Rebus facilitator and other cohort members
  • Gain confidence using equitable open approaches and tools to advance your project and grow its user community
  • Build and strengthen institutional capacity for current and future equity-empowered open publishing and/ teaching projects
  • Recognize and grow your equity-informed open education leadership skills

Approaches and Methods

We have designed the TSP to help examine and unlearn assumptions about education and publishing. Our hope is that you engage in the program and transform both as individuals in your personal contexts and as educators in your institutional settings.

We strive to build a learning community in the program where both participants and facilitators learn actively from each other as they draw on their own knowledge sources. Take the time you need during the program to critically reflect on individual, institutional, and societal practices in higher education. To move forward and have positive change in the world, we need to ask ourselves “How do we practice now? Why do we practice in these ways?”

Some of this will be uncomfortable but this is critical and necessary work to make learning truly inclusive, which is what we believe you are all here to do with your OER projects and in your roles in the higher education system.

Please navigate through the program (materials, structure, conversations), with an openness and willingness for something new! This approach is critical to achieving the learning outcomes described earlier.


TSP Participation Requirements

  1. You will need to be part of a project team with up to 4 members. Make sure you designate someone to organize your project work, keep everybody on track and help schedule your team meetings. In some cases, your initial team may be determined by your institution/grant committee and may see changes over time.
  2. You are required to attend all sessions, to the best of your ability, and in cases of absences, you must ensure that at least 1 member of your project team participates to update you and the cohort on your team’s progress.
  3. You will need to participate in regular team meetings outside of the TSP sessions to move your project forward in due time.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the TSP technology (presented above) by creating your own user accounts when prompted to do so.

How much time should I/my team set aside?

  • Phase 1:
    • 1.5 hours to attend weekly Zoom sessions
    • We recommend 1 hour to do suggested homework activities designed to help you organize and steadily progress your project work
    • Regular meeting times with your team (at least 1.5 hours every other week)
  • Phase 2:
    • Up to 1 hour for monthly Zoom cohort and 1:1 meetings
    • As much time as you can put into your project
    • Regular meeting times with your team (at least 1.5 hours every other week)

Facilitator Information

Your TSP facilitator Amy Minervini is an experienced educational practitioner and alumni of the TSP program, who will bring in their own practical OER creation experience whenever applicable.

Amy is an English instructor at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. She is also a graduate of the February 2020 Textbook Success Program and has facilitated multiple TSP cohorts including ROTEL Round 2 groups.

Previously, Amy was an Openness, Pedagogy, Advocacy, & Leadership (OPAL) Faculty Fellow for the State of Idaho, and as part of the English cohort, she co-edited Write What Matters, a modular open access composition textbook. She is the co-editor of two other open access first-year writing texts. She was awarded the 2021 GEM Innovative Educator Award in Written Communication in Idaho.

She was awarded the 2021 GEM Innovative Educator Award in Written Communication in Idaho. Her research interests include open pedagogy, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and fantasy football.

Tools and Resources

The Textbook Success Program uses the following technology and resources:

  1. Rebus Community Forum: This will be our hub for all asynchronous cohort communication (including Q+A, team discussions, TSP session materials, summaries, surveys, etc.)
    • You can sign up any time, but best do it prior to course start
    • Watch the introductory video and navigation tutorial to get started
    • Bookmark your July 2023 Cohort Discussion in your preferred browser for quick access to the course syllabus and the weekly threads.
    • Your facilitator will practice the use of this tool during the first 2 sessions.
    • Please post all TSP-related comments, ideas, and questions to the forum rather than emailing your facilitator. Tag the people involved for in-time responses.
    • NOTE: Your team will have a designated project forum space, which you can easily access through the “About the Cohort” thread. This tutorial offers further instructions.
  2. TSP Curriculum Hub: This is a Google Drive Folder where all session materials are compiled (i.e slides, handouts, templates).
    • You can access these CC BY licensed materials anytime.
    • Bookmark the hub in your browser for quick access.
    • Links to session materials will be reshared in a timely manner on the Rebus Community forum (above) throughout the program.
  3. Zoom: This is the tool we are using for our live video sessions. You will find the Zoom links in your calendar once you accept the invitations from Rebus.
    • If you have never used Zoom, you will need to download the software to participate.
    • We greatly appreciate it if you turn on your camera whenever possible as this will enhance the session experience for everybody in the room. We also understand that video is not always an option, and hope you can be present during sessions regardless.
    • Engage with your cohort via the chat function whenever you want to share your thoughts and questions. Please respond kindly to others’ contributions.
  4. Assigned OER:
  5. Management Information:

Memorandum of Understanding

This is a cohort based program, where participants and facilitators will interact and engage with one another both on online sessions and in the cohort discussion space. We expect that these communications will be respectful, and that everyone in the cohort feels welcome, safe, and accepted.

To help ensure such a space, we’ve drafted a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU articulates community guidelines, expectations of all attendees, steps for reporting unacceptable behaviour, and consequences.

Suggestions or revisions to the MOU are welcome. If you think there is something missing or needs to be changed, please let us know in the cohort discussion space.

All cohort members must read through this MOU within the first week of the program, and let the cohort know in the discussion space that you agree to its contents.


Phase 1: Planning

Month 1 (July 2023)


July 11 2023
We’ll start off with group introductions and learn about each project, in an effort to build a network of support and an awareness of each others’ work. We’ll also share the Rebus approach to OER: how collaboration makes OER stronger, improves and diversifies content, builds adoption vectors, and increases community buy-in. Finally, we’ll discuss why considerations like accessibility, marketing, formatting should be made early on.

Project Scoping

July 18 2023 → we understand that the Islamic/Hijri New Year may fall on this date. If any participants would like us to skip this date, please let us know!
Defining your project scope and expectations is critical to a successful project. We talk about how to scope a project to get the most buy-in possible from the start, while incorporating accessibility and marketing best practices into the creation process.

Storytelling and Communications

July 25 2023
Marketing and communications strategy must be more than an afterthought. Your method of talking about your project is an integral element of building a successful OER project. Sharing the project’s story helps grow the book’s community to build long-term sustainability and success.

Growing and Managing Teams

August 1 2023
In this session we cover various roles and responsibilities, tasks and workload, types of teams, and how to find people to help your project succeed. We highlight the ways strong leaders plan tasks, motivate the team, and keep the project on track. Finally, we discuss ways to manage a team consisting of volunteers and remote contributors.

Month 2 (August 2023)

Team Check-in with your Facilitator

August 8 2023
This stage of the program will give you an opportunity for you and your team to meet 1:1 with your facilitator, and address any specific questions, challenges, or issues that have come up. It also offers your facilitator the chance to learn more about your work, and use this insight to tailor support in upcoming sessions.

Accessibility and Inclusive Design

August 15 2023
Thinking about accessibility and inclusive design up front yields resources that can be used by all students from the moment of release. By integrating these considerations into your project from the beginning you can reduce remediation work post-release.

Content Creation

August 22 2023
Content is one of the most anticipated parts of OER creation. In this session we discuss how to produce strong content that is optimal for learners and consistent across the OER project, while also keeping in mind considerations such as target audiences, diversity, accessibility, downstream uses like remixing, localizing, etc.

Authoring and Editing Logistics

August 29 2023
Content creation spans a wide range of activities and forms. This session encourages you to think outside of the box - what would be helpful for fellow educators to make full use of the resource you are creating? In this session we also explore editing, which is a critical phase of OER creation as it ensures the usability and readability of the text. We discuss how it plays out throughout the creation process in different ways, and how it helps your project become a cohesive resource.

Phase 2: Practical Application

Creating high-quality, accessible, representative, and valuable open resources takes time. We want to make sure that you have the support you need from this learning community for a full year. During the monthly check-ins, we’ll get a chance to talk about challenges and successes as you apply what you’ve learned in the previous sessions to your project. You can lean on the cohort to get answers, share their experiences, celebrate milestones, and get the inspiration or motivation you need to keep progressing!

In Phase 2 of the program you will meet monthly (alternating between 60 min cohort meetings and 20 min 1:1 meetings with your facilitator) for a total of 9 months. You will move through the publishing cycle at different paces, based on your team resources and goals. Throughout this phase, your facilitator will reference useful materials and templates from Phase 1 to guide and support you. The dates for our check-ins running from 26 September 2023 to 25 June 2024 will look like this:

Month 3 (September 26 2023)

Cohort meeting

Month 4 (October 31 2023)

1:1 meeting

Month 5 (November 28 2023)

Cohort meeting

Month 6 (19 December 2023)

1:1 meeting

Month 7 (30 January 2024)

Cohort meeting

Month 8 (February 2024)

4 weekly planning meetings

Review and Feedback

February 6 2024
A critical piece of successful OER is getting feedback and review early on. In this session we talk about why peer review is important, how to get it done, and other methods to receive comments and critique on your project.

Formatting and Release Preparation

February 13 2024
Once your book’s content has been written, edited, and reviewed, you need to get it into formats to be shared in the world. We’ll talk about different approaches to formatting and layout, (using Pressbooks and other tools) and how to prepare for the book’s big release.

Post-release and Adoptions

February 20 2024
The OER is out there. Now what? We’ll discuss adoptions, improvements, maintenance, and ways to expand your book so that it and the community around it live on.

Curriculum Overview

February 27 2024
In this session, we look back on all the topics covered and reflect on the progress you have made. We discuss your plans for the final 3 months and highlight the ways in which you can continue to support and get support from your fellow cohort members.

Month 9 (26 March 2024)

1:1 meeting

Month 10 (30 April 2024)

Cohort meeting

Month 11 (28 May 2024)

1:1 meeting

Month 12 (25 June 2024)

Cohort meeting (final meeting for program)

We understand that your schedules vary greatly from term to term, and are willing to coordinate with the group to find alternative times for Phase 2 should this be necessary.


We encourage transparency in what we do, so that everyone, including those outside the program, are aware of the work we are doing and can benefit from the knowledge shared. All communications will take place in the cohort discussion space. However, in the event of extraordinary circumstances, participants can contact Amy Minervini (@alminervini) privately via direct message on the Rebus Community forum.