Thank you everyone for keeping project updates concise today so we could finish up our sessions on Accessibility and Inclusive Design, and Content Creation and Working with Authors. A recap of the accessibility session is posted in this thread: Session 6 — Accessibility and Inclusive Design. And a recap for the content creation section is below.
Content creation is one of the most important stages in the process, as this is where subject-matter experts put together the bulk of the resource. Regardless of whether you are a solo author or working in a team, the work you do in this phase can make the next phases of editing, review, and formatting much easier. Organization will be easier if you’re a solo author, but you will want to explicitly solicit feedback or review comments to bring other perspectives to the mix. Conversely, small and large teams will have a varied mix but may require more management to keep everyone on schedule. Documentation, templates, agreements and clear workflows will help keep things consistent across different sections of the book (look at what we suggest you prepare in the slides). It’s worth noting that with a large team of authors, you may not need the voice to be identical throughout. Ultimately, what you have is a collaboratively authored resource, full of interesting, original, diverse perspectives, and that can be very important to highlight!
Providing your authors with a clear structure or pattern for their sections can help ensure some uniformity throughout the book. Keep in mind that the body of the book is where the bulk of the content will be added; frontmatter and backmatter sections can be added in later phases to round out the resource. Get started by running through your Table of Contents with the authoring team and identify areas of overlap. This process can determine when concepts will be introduced, making it easier to construct each section. Before writing, decide exactly how elements will be laid out in the section, using the pattern of openers, body of the section (with multiple integrated pedagogical devices), and closers (take a look at the Open Textbook Network’s list of each). Compare this layout with traditional textbooks, work with instructional designers, and test it out visually in a model chapter on your publishing platform. With all this set, you are ready to begin writing! Keep in mind some considerations as you go, and remember that you will continue to refine drafts during editing and review. Writing can take place over a long period, so do what you can to continuously engage and motivate all the authors on your team.
Chat Transcript & Resources
I had to take a closer look at the chat transcript after our session because there was a lot of good conversation taking place! Take a look at the resources that were shared in the chat:
I’ll also share a few resources related to Pressbooks, for those of you who might find it helpful:
Hope this helps!