Arthur Gill Green, UBC



  • Hello friends!

    I teach geography, geographic information science, and environmental studies in British Columbia. I work on open education projects and I am particularly interested in open pedagogy. More about me is here: http://greengeographer.com/

    I have two projects that I am currently working on during my sabbatical, please let me know if you are interested in collaborating.

    (1) An open textbook on geographic information science that integrates labs using open source GIS software (QGIS, GeoDa, etc.).

    (2) An open textbook for teaching introductory human geography. I am not comfortable with most intro human geography textbooks (both the price and the way that they are structured). As far as I can tell, there is no organized open textbook that fills this gap (though I have found regional and world geography open textbooks and some other open resources).

    Looking forward to collaborations!


  • administrators

    Hi @arthurgreen4 both sound great.

    Regarding #1 … would the book itself have code snippets etc? Or only refer to code/software elsewhere?

    Regarding #2 … we have a cultural geography book in the works, which might have some overlap with what you had in mind? We should have more info about that soon – can I get in touch with you once that is up and running?



  • @hugh

    Yes, the first book would have some code snippets and refer to code/software elsewhere (e.g. GitHub). Though, it would be more than a software/coding guide as GIScience covers a broad spectrum of theoretical issues. It would impact several thousand students that currently pay $100+ per textbook as (despite the availability of OER for learning Open Source GISoftware) existing GIScience OER is often outdated and lacks open ancillary materials/labs.

    Please do let me know as the Cultural Geography project moves forward. An Intro Human Geography textbook would be able to adapt OER that addresses sub-disciplinary areas like Cultural, Urban, Regional, or Political Geography. For example, in BC, students often take two semesters of Intro HG (it is offered in most of our institutions in large enrollment courses) before taking sub-disciplinary topics in more advanced, smaller enrollment, article-driven courses. Any of the more advanced OER materials from a Cultural Geography open textbook could be easily adapted for our Intro HG courses - especially materials that define concepts and use case studies.


  • administrators

    Hi @arthurgreen4, sorry for the late response! See comments below:

    Yes, the first book would have some code snippets and refer to code/software elsewhere (e.g. GitHub). Though, it would be more than a software/coding guide as GIScience covers a broad spectrum of theoretical issues. It would impact several thousand students that currently pay $100+ per textbook as (despite the availability of OER for learning Open Source GISoftware) existing GIScience OER is often outdated and lacks open ancillary materials/labs.

    Would love to discuss with you in the next couple of weeks. One “issue” is figuring out the best place to author this. Pressbooks (which we’re using for most projects) is not an ideal editor for editing & displaying code, though I guess that there will be some plugins to make this easier.

    Please do let me know as the Cultural Geography project moves forward.

    yes! Hope to have some news soon.


  • administrators

    re: code in Pressbooks, this might help:
    https://wordpress.org/plugins/syntaxhighlighter/



  • @hugh Thanks, I had not seen that, that will be useful! I also was thinking of maintaining code through GitHub and using something like “gists” to paste in code snippets as embeds. https://gist.github.com/ & https://help.github.com/articles/about-gists/ Would that work too?


  • administrators

    @arthurgreen4 the problem then becomes long-term sustainability/availability of the resources in the text. in a sense the book becomes just a housing for external resources living on github. github might disappear, for instance, which leaves the book with a bunch of broken embeds.

    though, perhaps a book on code doesn’t have the same kind of “archiving” importance as, say, a book on Thermodynamics.

    anyway, this is the kind of question that we hope Rebus can help answer, eg, “what is best practice for OER with code? where should it live…?” etc.

    I don’t have any strong opinions, but it would be good to gather more input to make a good decision about that question, for this, and any other open textbook that wants to display code.


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