Feedback, Suggestions or Errors

If you have suggestions about (or find errors in) the The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks, this is the place to share them! Reply to this topic and let us know.

I finally looked at at Project Scoping. This is very well written! Some things to consider:

  1. Comments are not enabled on the book itself. From experimenting with comments on Programming Fundamentals, this seems to be a no-risk opportunity. Comments must be approved, so you can just take the feedback and delete it if you want. No one will see it otherwise.

  2. The overview assumes that the person reading would be the project manager. I don’t know if that’s true, or the person reading is wanting to be the primary contributor (the one with the vision for the book) who needs to now become a project manager in addition to having all of the ideas for the content. You’ve done more of these, so you have a better idea of whether you’re getting more project managers looking for subject matter experts (SMEs) or more SMEs looking for project managers.

  3. Regarding timeline, I would suggest targeting a particular semester. In my case, I’m either looking for a late July release to pilot for August-December, or I can step back and slow down and target a later release and pilot in January. An external target may help provide realistic timeframes and fallback dates.

  4. On Outline, I would recommend having the first chapter complete or close to complete, as this provides a template and structure that you are looking to follow for the rest of the book. Also, from an instructional design perspective, we’re supposed to start with the outcomes, and then build the chapters.

  5. Regarding software, I would caution against using anything that would limit who can contribute to the project. Very few would have access to InDesign, and even selecting Word could be a limiting factor for some. Pressbooks is a nice alternative because you have it, and it works in (most?) browsers.

  6. The Back Matter / Appendix page should be deleted or hidden if it’s not going to contain any content.

That’s all I see. Feel free to use or ignore as appropriate. :slight_smile:

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@dbraunsc Hi Dave,

Thanks for your detailed feedback!

We’ll certainly be making some edits to the project scoping overview based on your suggestions regarding the intended reader of the piece, targeting a particular semester, beginning with outcomes before building chapters, and being wary of using software that is inaccessible to team members.

I have hidden the Appendix page from the webbook – thanks for catching this!

If any other thoughts come to mind as you’re implementing these pieces, please let us know.

I would suggest adding a section on project documentation that including what is important to document, how to structure folder and files and organize project documents. Are there examples of logic models or theories of change? What is a good folder and file organization for a textbook project? For an entire OER project that include not only textbook ,but lab manuals and homework. I am trying to find some models for this now, so if you have some examples, they would be most welcome. Thanks!

I was viewing the videos, and there seems to be an issue with the quality of the sound–I cannot explain it well, but maybe you can check it out? Van

That’s a really good suggestion. We’ve seen some patterns emerge from projects that we’ve worked with, whether it’s organization based on stage or sections of the project (like a book, ancillaries, manuals, etc.). I am less familiar with research on logic models/theories of change, so perhaps can spend some time looking at this as we add to the guide.

For now, if you could describe the type of project you’re working with, I can think of some related/similar examples and share how they might have gone about documenting and organizing content.

As for the videos - could you possibly elaborate? Was the audio being cut off, or were there fluctuations in the volume? Was it on every video in the series, or just one or two? Any specific details you provide can help us narrow in on the issue to resolve. Thanks!

sorry about the delay, as I had to find where I was.

Please go here https://www.rebus.community/t/video-series-completed/1675

and check out the second video.

Thanks.

Van

We just have a small grant so will want a file structure for grant management, keeping track of the four groups working on different OER products, a textbook, online homework, lab manuals and assessment of impact. We understand that each project is different but it would help to see what some others have done to organize and manage the project via the folder and file structure. We are unlikely to use a project management software or collaboration tool because the group is only comfortable working with emails and exchanging folders and files. Thanks.

Van

Thanks, Van! We’ll take a look and see what edits to make. :slight_smile:

Hi Apurva,

I had read somewhere that we could request an account with Pressbook through Rebus, so I was wondering if this is a possibility. Our college has signed an agreement with Pressbooks but it will not be ready until January. We have to have our textbook done by then or mostly done. Even if there is not, if you can let me know if there is a discount that we can use for signing up for the $99 plan that would be great, since we did not anticipate having this cost. Thanks.

Van

Thanks for sharing a bit more about the project you’re working on. Here are some examples that you might find helpful:

  • The Introduction to Philosophy project has 9 groups working on different books, and to start, what they’ve done is split up their Google Drive into a common set of folders to be accessed by all 9 groups (like Guides, Workflows, Recruitment Calls & Job Descriptions, Tracking Sheets, Mailing Lists) and they have another set of folders which are subdivided by group/book (for example: Chapter Submissions > Ethics, Philosophy of Mind, etc.).
  • The Human Geography project is working on some similar items as you - a textbook, ancillary materials, an image bank, and in future, an instructor manual. What they’ve done to organize is a set of folders for Meeting Notes, and a separate folder for image banks, ancillary materials, chapter drafts, and even an Archived folder where older files are moved. These folders further contain sub-folders of items completed, to be completed, and tracking sheets.

So for your group, I might suggest keeping a common folder shared by all teams with things like basic project information, tracking sheets, MOUs, and then breaking apart into the different pieces. The textbook folder might contain sub-folders for drafts, review copies, publishing copies, cover design, pipeline tracking sheets, while the lab manual folder might be broken down based on experiment or units. Each team works differently, so I hope this gives a good starting point for you and your teams to asses what structure will work best for your tasks. Let me know if this is helpful at all!

Hi Van, I may have mentioned this to you previously, but we have been able to offer free access to Pressbooks (our Rebus Press instance) to date, however, we are reviewing how this will work in future. I can keep you posted on this moving forward. What you might be thinking of here is Pressbooks for faculty authors or self-publishers: https://pressbooks.com/faculty-authors/, where you can sign up to an account on Pressbooks.com and access a number of plans (one of which might be $99). I don’t work for Pressbooks, so I’m going to ask @steelwagstaff or @lizmays, (who do work there), to clarify if what I’ve said is accurate and to see if they can help you figure out something before January.

I’ll note that if you haven’t already, you can create a project homepage here at Rebus to show the community at large what you’re working on! Just head to www.rebus.community and click on ‘Create a Project.’ This can be useful even if your team prefers to work with email, because it demonstrates to others that this project is taking place and avoids duplication of this work elsewhere. We’ve also seen this as a way to bring new contributors on board — something as simple as telling others what you’re working on, even briefly, can have a big impact!

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Thank you. This is a great start.

Best,

Van

You’re welcome! Feel free to drop in more questions, or share how you end up organizing documents here. I always appreciate hearing from someone who’s sharing feedback based on what has or has not worked on their projects.