Syllabus June 2023 Cohort


We warmly welcome you to the Rebus Textbook Success Program (TSP) designed to support you in your equity-centered work to create inclusive learning experiences for your students. The TSP is a professional development program that equips faculty, librarians, administrators, and managers with the tools they need to make great OER. The program is one year long and comprises two phases:

Phase 1 Meetings (June 21, 2023 – September 20, 2023)

WHEN: Wednesdays 12pm-1:30pm (ET) on Zoom (see your calendar invitations for link)
WHO: Facilitator: Liza Long (@lizalong)
WHAT: 12 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 (October 2023 - June 2024)

WHEN: Note that the meeting times for the 9 monthly meetings in PHASE 2 will be determined based on your input towards the end of PHASE 1.
WHO: Facilitator: Liza Long (@lizalong)
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.

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 participates to progress with your project planning in due time. Review the program MOU and send a response post to indicate agreement.

Significant Learning Objectives

  1. Get to know Rebus’ collaborative open publishing approach with open education peers in a supportive learning environment
  2. 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)
  3. Reflect on your current pedagogical practices with the goal of creating accessible, equitable, and inclusive OER and learning experiences
  4. 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
  5. Gain confidence using equitable open approaches and tools to advance your project and grow its user community
  6. Build and strengthen institutional capacity for current and future equity-empowered open publishing and/ teaching projects
  7. Recognize and grow your equity-informed open education leadership skills

Approaches and Methods

We designed the TSP to help examine and unlearn individual, institutional, and societal maladaptive assumptions and conventions that block designing learning for human diversity, equity, and global complexity. Our hope is that your engagement in the Textbook Success Program will allow you to transform first as individuals, and secondly as educators in ways unique to your professional contexts.

Rebus strives 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 and critically reflect on individual, institutional, and societal practices in higher education to facilitate positive change. To move forward we will have to ask ourselves how we practice and why. 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.


Your Facilitator will be Liza Long. Liza is the Department Chair for Integrated Studies and assistant professor of English at the College of Western Idaho. She has completed both the Rebus Textbook Success Program and the Creative Commons licensing certificate for educators. With her colleagues Joel Gladd and Amy Minervini, Liza co-edited Write What Matters, an open education resource first-year composition modular textbook designed for Idaho’s state board of education outcomes. Liza earned her Ed.D. in organizational leadership and hold a B.A. and Classics (Latin and Greek). She has taught English, humanities and student success courses at the college level for several years and is passionate about the power of open education to change lives.

Tools and Resources

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) . It 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.

Program Schedule


June 21 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

June 28 2023
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 5 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

July 12 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.

Team Check-in with your Facilitator

August 2 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 9 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 16 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 23 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.

Review and Feedback

August 30 2023
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

September 6 2023
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

September 13 2023
The book 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 Wrap-up

September 20 2023
In the final session for Phase 1, we look back on all the topics covered and reflect on the progress you have made. We discuss your plans for Phase 2 and highlight the ways in which you can continue to support and get support from your fellow cohort members.

Phase 2: Monthly Check-ins

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 cohort facilitator will reference useful materials and templates from Phase 1 to guide and support you in your project work. The dates for our check-ins running from September 2023 to May 2024 are tentatively scheduled as:

  • Group check-in: October 25 2023, 3:00-4:30 pm ET
  • Monthly 1:1 with your facilitator: November 22 2023, 3:00-4:30 pm ET
  • Group check-in: December 13 2023, 3:00-4:30 pm ET
  • Monthly 1:1 with your facilitator: January 24 2024, 3:00-4:30 pm ET
  • Group check-in: February 21 2024, 3:00-4:30 pm ET
  • Monthly 1:1 with your facilitator: March 20 2024, 3:00-4:30 pm ET
  • Group check-in: April 24 2024, 3:00-4:30 pm ET
  • Monthly 1:1 with your facilitator: May 22 2024, 3:00-4:30 pm ET
  • Group check-in: June 19 2024, 3:00-4:30 pm ET (final meeting for the course)

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 Liza Long (@lizalong) privately via direct message on the Rebus Community forum.