My first open textbook adoption

My first open textbook adoption

April 30, 2019 0 By JR

Well I guess it’s actually the second. As some readers here might know, in 2015 I worked on a project with Olds College funded by the Alberta OER initiative. Myself, along with another curriculum designer, two SMEs, and some folks internal to the college, worked to develop the Professional Communications Open Curriculum. It was an interesting project on a number of fronts. It was the first major OER project I’d ever worked on, and involved a lot of ID work for new items, but also in adopting and adapting existing OERs. It is this project that gives me a strong background and sense of what is to come anytime I talk with instructors about textbook adaptation, so I try to give them the most accurate picture of the work ahead.

At the Alberta OER summit 2017, hosted by ualberta, I learned that the materials were in use by about 700 students each year at Olds College. That felt pretty awesome. Later on, sometime in 2018 in April 2017 I learned that BC Campus had imported the resources into their open textbook repo. This was also a marker of success for the project, I felt. BC Campus has clear guidelines and quality review for materials that get imported. I’ve had other projects require quite a few revisions, and still aren’t in that repo yet, so it was pretty impressive to have the ProCom OER in there already.

Today I learned that an instructor has adopted the textbook and is using the work for classes in Ontario. Our original resources were all made in Google Docs. There are lots of reasons for this which I won’t hash out here and now, but in early 2016 I had my own Pressbooks install for a period. I made a sample of what the ProCom OER would look like in Pressbooks, but I eventually shut down my install (way easier to have others host it it turns out). When we created the ProCom OER we discussed the potential for interactive quizzing. We ended up making all of the quiz banks etc as rich text files so that anyone from any institution could access and convert them to their own LMSs. I’m happy to see all of the hard work the Ontario instructor put in to convert the Check Your Understanding activities into H5P (one of my all time favourite tools).

Congrats to eCampus Ontario for taking this OER on, and I hope it serves as a great starting place for your teaching and learning endeavours in Professional Communications.

Feature image, an updated book cover for the ProCom OER, by Wendy Ward, Bianca Parisi and Kent Reynolds.