August Office Hours: Adapting OER for your Unique Context

Office Hours

Watch the video recording of this Office Hours session, or keep reading for a full transcript. The chat transcript is also available, for those interested in reading the conversation that took place amongst participants and seeing resources shared.

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Audio Transcript


  • Carrie Cuttler
  • Linda Frederiksen
  • Werner Westermann
  • Karen Lauritsen
  • Rajiv Jhangiani
  • Zoe Wake Hyde
  • Apurva Ashok
  • Rachel Becker
  • Jonathan Poritz
  • Leigh Kinch-Pedrosa
  • Joe Nowakowski

Zoe: Hi everyone, my name is Zoe from the Rebus Community, and it’s wonderful to see you all here today, and to see our guests who we’re very excited to hear from. We have had a bit of a break from Office Hours, so welcome back to those of you who were with us before the break, and I hope everybody is having a wonderful summer, if it is summer where you are and a wonderful not if it is not. It was nice for us to be able to take that break, too. 

And we’re back with a great lineup of Office Hours for the next couple of months. Excited to share much more with you all and to hear back from all of you, too. So, today we’re going to be talking about adapting OER to your unique context. Now, this was a really tricky one to even find a title for. We had the guests in mind before we came up with the subject exactly. And it’s one of those wonderful things about OER is you can adapt it and then there is also a slice within adaptation that we wanted to capture here and talk about. 

So, we have a really fantastic group of guests here to talk about adapting across disciplines, localizing content and then also talking about translation and localization happening at the same time. So, as always, we are thrilled to partner with the OTN on these sessions. And so, I will hand over to Karen to introduce our guests. 

Karen: Thanks, Zoe. Hi everyone, I’m Karen Lauritsen, with the Open Textbook Network. And I’m delighted to see you all here and potentially learn more about your adaptation projects. So, as Zoe mentioned, our guests are going to share some case studies of their open textbook translation, localization, and cross-discipline projects. And they’re going to talk about practical knowledge, about the process focusing on how they defined their goals and scoped adaptation projects, which I know some of you in this call are also working on at this very minute. 

We are going to start today hearing from Linda Frederiksen, who is recently retired, I just learned. So, it’s appropriate for me to say she is the former head of access services at Washington State University in Vancouver. After Linda, we’ll hear from Carrie Cuttler, she is assistant professor in the department of psychology at Washington State University. And then, after Carrie, we’ll hear from Werner Westermann, head of civic training program at the library of the National Congress in Chile. 

So, our guests will just briefly share a little bit more about their projects for a couple of minutes. And then, after that we will open it up to you for your questions, so that you can drive the conversation. So, without further ado, I will hand things over to Linda.

Linda: Okay, great. Can you hear me?

Karen: Yes. 

Linda: Good. Well, hello everyone. It’s still morning where I am, but good day to all of you wherever you are. I guess I’ll just launch right into my project. I am now retired but was an academic librarian at a state university branch campus in Washington State until very recently. Part of my job was as an education liaison librarian, so I provided library instruction, library orientation to education students both in their bachelor’s program and in their master’s program. 

In that process of doing library orientations, which were often just one hour, one shot, here’s how to do library research, it became obvious to me anyway, that the graduate students especially new graduate students really didn’t know how to do lit reviews. It was almost always one of the first assignments they had in their research methods classes, but they didn’t really know how to do a lit review. 

They’d done research papers as undergraduates, but the lit review is different. And so, in talking with my colleague, Sue Phelps, who was the nursing liaison librarian, she observed the same sort of situation in the nursing graduate programs as well. So, we decided that we would try to create a library guide called Lib Guides or Libe Guides it’s a product that libraries often host on their own servers, it’s a subject guide for library resources. 

So, we worked on that for a while. And it was okay, it helped us get our ideas into a module kind of format. But it was very static, really just a link farm, which we didn’t think was a very appropriate way to instruct. And so, we moved on and tried to turn that content into a blackboard learning management system type product. And so, we worked on that for a while, and that also was helpful getting us to think about things in module form. 

But we ran into a lot of bureaucratic issues, this wasn’t a class, and so we had a hard time, how was it going to be listed in the catalog? Who was the instructor? It really wasn’t any of those things. And so, at about that time I was eligible for a sabbatical and so, decided to try to turn that content into an OER, an open textbook. And so, spent six months turning that library guide, blackboard kind of thing into an open textbook with the help of the Rebus Community. 

Since then, it has been used in some of the education and nursing graduate classes at WSU Vancouver. We have an education faculty person who used it in her class and provided us with a rubric that she uses to evaluate lit reviews. Since we added that to the book, we have also heard back that people have used the book outside of the WSU system. They’ve used the rubric. We’ve received some thanks for providing that. So, I think that’s where I’ll stop and let me know if you have questions. 

Karen: Thank you, Linda. Everyone, please make note of your questions and we will open things up after we hear from Carrie and Werner. So, Carrie over to you. 

Carrie: Hi. I’m Carrie Cuttler, as was indicated, I’m an assistant professor of psychology at Washington State University. I got a small $4,500 affordable learning grant from my university to locate and adopt an OER for my course, which at the time was servicing about 250 students per year. I found a book entitled Research Methods in Psychology that somebody who I actually went to graduate school with, Rajiv, had created and adapted a Canadian edition recently. 

So, I contacted him directly and he shared his adaptation with me, as well as another US adaptation with me. And these were in Pressbooks, which my university also has, so I was really easily able to just import that textbook into my own Pressbooks. It was super easy, and then at that point, I was very easily able to start the editing process. Now, I’m always nervous about new technology and how things are going to work. 

And I thought oh no, how is this Pressbooks thing going to work? And it was extremely easy to edit within Pressbooks. Now, I was previously using a book that I really did quite like a lot, but the book was $100, $150 for students. And I’ve always had issues with published textbooks, I’ve always found typos, I’ve found grammatical errors, I’ve found mathematical errors, and most concerningly in psychology, I found insensitive language. 

And despite my previous attempts to contact publishers and have them make these corrections, the corrections were never made, and three editions later I would still see the exact same errors that I had contacted publishers about. So, I just love that I could edit this book exactly how I see fit and I wasn’t at the mercy of textbook publishers to make these corrections and edits, I could do it. 

I ended up adding about 30% more content to the book, because as good as it was, I did think that it was a bit light on some content. And I thought that it was missing some important content that I taught in my course and thought that students would need a little bit of extra assistance with. I also did a little bit of reorganization but primarily what I did was just add to the textbook. 

I used the textbook with great success, my students were absolutely thrilled with not having to pay for another expensive textbook. And in that year, my teaching evaluations increased, I got an award from a student organization recognizing my use of OER. And I was voted best professor of the year for my university. Not to mention I saved my students about $35,000 that year alone. 

So, my efforts definitely paid off. Now, one of the previous authors who also Rajiv and I went to grad school with, oddly enough, three of us are on here, we all went to grad school together, even though we really did all of this independently. It’s just a weird happy coincidence. Anyway, his name is Dana, and he suggested that we have my new adaptation of the book peer reviewed. 

He saw a call from the Rebus Community, I applied, we were quickly approved, and then we worked with Rebus to identify peer reviewers and coordinate and organized the peer review process. Took roughly a year and then, just this summer Rajiv, Dana and I got together in person, in Vancouver, our old stomping grounds from grad school to go through the peer reviews collectively. 

We made the suggested changes, along with a few other changes, we decided that we would add a glossary, that we would add a proper reference section at the end. And we also added a bunch of instructor supplementary resources, like slides and quiz questions, laboratory activities and so on. And we just released the new fourth peer reviewed edition of Research Methods in Psychology earlier this month. 

We’ve all been promoting the textbook on our own, and also through various outlets. The Rebus Community once again has been very helpful in helping us to blast out about our new edition. We’ve had it added to the Open Textbook Network, and now there are actually dozens of people across the US and in Canada who are using our book and according to our records we are currently saving students an estimated $100,000 per year. 

So, in short, this has been an extremely fun, rewarding and exciting project, well worth the effort. I just wanted to quickly mention that I subsequently got a second affordable learning grant from my university to adopt another OER for another course the following summer. And this time, one of my colleagues at WSU had recently created an OER for an online section of an abnormal psychology course. 

And I simply worked to edit that for my classroom section, once again, putting it into Pressbooks, and simply making edits. This time instead of adding content, I worked to trim content as there was just a lot in there that was a little bit irrelevant to my students. I also worked to remove copyrighted material and insensitive language. This was a much shorter process. 

I currently use this book in my abnormal psychology class that serves about 500 students per year. So, now I’m saving my students approximately $50,000 a year and once again, they voted me best professor. 

Karen: Great, thank you very much Carrie. And now, let’s hear from Werner about his projects. 

Werner: Hello everyone, does everybody hear okay? 

Karen: Yes. 

Werner: Excellent. Well, first of all many thanks to Zoe and her team as well as Karen from the Open Textbook Network. It’s very admirable the work that you guys are getting done. Open education in my region is not yet an issue that has the power that you guys, but usually showing us the way how doing an admirable work I might say. I’ve been following both projects and about Rebus, I really find very brave to embrace this community driven approach, which is an approach that gives you a lot more critical problems and complexity.

But we kind of know that that’s the end where we want to go, so looking back at the next two years, you’ve really made some great progress, especially embracing this approach and looking at how the community platform has evolved as well as the creation demo that you showed in March. I’m really excited, so congratulations to all. Please Karen, give my special regards to David. 

I visited Minnesota a couple of years ago, and we had a great two-day workshop where they really showed us the way to contribute to a project and I’m going to talk in a few minutes. Thank you for all your work and we really need you in the future and beyond. And well, I love this, also embracing the issue about adapting, I think when you look at openness in education, I think adapting is really the core of the real value that’s inside of openness. 

And how that action of openness in adapting is where we really find the benefits for students’ learning and for the teachers’ teaching. And I think it’s very core, because adapting, especially for us in Chile, it gives you the chance to contextualize, it makes the possibility so you can reshape, or you can customize the resource for a specific need that your classroom or your students need. So, that’s I think a very core value inside of adapting. 

As well as localizing, which is contextualizing but in a broader scope. We had to make a lot of adaptions in a project that we made in Rebus, trying to translate a book about citizenship. But of course, a Canadian law framework is very much different from our legislation tradition in context. So, adaption is surely a need trying to tailor your resources. But so, I’m going to give you some two or three projects that I have worked on. 

Trying to give some different types of adapting that we have. Of course, translation is one issue and I think it’s going to be an issue, very important in the future because as artificial intelligence is just pushing especially in the educational sphere, we will have very soon very good tools to translate automatically. And I think that’s going to be a tremendous breakdown especially for countries like ours, because as you may think professional translating is very expensive. 

So, we need other forms or other ways to translate content, and why? Because today we have an incredible critical mass of textbooks that we could just get and translate it very fast. 10 years ago, we did not have nearly 5% of what we have now around textbooks. So, we have almost many areas covered, so I think if we can speed up translation, it would be very [inaudible 0:18:28] soon. 

There’s a project in Europe called Translexy, I’m trying to push them to go to Spanish, because they’ve made artificial translations for many languages, but Spanish not yet. So, I’m trying. But I think there’s going to be a lot more Translexys in the future very soon. So, I think we will make bigger steps. But the same question I asked about 10 years ago, I give you a link, we did a translation with last year’s students. 

And that really worked very well. We took the students in their last year of translating careers or majors, so they made this their professional practice we call it here, which is the last year just before you have to do your final exam before graduating. And that worked really good, we paid a lot lower, but they had to do it anyway. So, that was good, and that worked very well. 

We worked around wikibooks and of course wiki has its issues, you have to get used to that environment, but I think it worked very well. As well as editing, because we made a physiology book had a lot of images, you might recognize as a biology course. And all the images were in the commons, in the wiki commons which is like the repository for media projects in Wikipedia. 

And they had a lot of editable files, so that was very good, because we could translate images very easily as well. So, that was our first experience. We also had an interesting experience with another type of adaption, which I would call remixing open content, we just paid a person. We paid him to create textbooks selecting open content already available. So, this person made six books biology, chemistry, physics. 

And we didn’t pay him much, we paid him I would say $2,000 and the person just listed what content he needed, he just went to wherever he wanted to grab things, and he just made a book. And I thought looking at remixing open content, that’s already available that’s also a way of adapting books. So, that was very new and so, you can find in wiki commons, there were six books that we made with $2,000. 

So, I found that we can really scale with that strategy well. Another project which I am now pasting, it’s a paper we published in IRRODL. This was an impact study we were looking at student performance, trying to measure the impact of OER. And we did it working with a web-based platform. We worked with an academy and we also worked around open textbooks. 

And we obviously compared the performance we saw with students they did not work with OER. They worked with commercial textbooks. Let me say that working with wiki books was… Yes?

Karen: Werner, I’m very sorry to interrupt, but your audio is breaking up a little bit. So, I’m actually going to summarize the three projects that I think you described and then open it up questions. And if you want to add any clarifying information in the chat, if I have it wrong about those three projects, please do. But it’s just a little bit difficult to track your voice in the chat. Is it just me? 

Zoe: On our side, too. 

Karen: Okay. So, Werner, I think you mentioned students were translating. 

Werner: Sorry. 

Karen: That’s okay. I think you mentioned projects where students were translating. Second project where you hired someone and paid them to adapt books, it sounds like in the sciences. And then, third an impact study of OER on student performance in which you worked in a web-based platform. So, those I think are the three adaptation projects you mentioned. 

If you would like to add anything, perhaps the chat is the best place. And again, I’m sorry to interrupt but I think since you’re having some audio difficulty and in the interests of time, I would like to put it to the community for some questions. And thank you, Carrie and Linda for sharing your stories. So, what questions do you have out there, everyone for our three guests about their experience adapting open textbooks or other adaption projects?

Or if you would like to share information about adaptation, adaption, editing, whatever verb you prefer. If you’d like to share information about the projects you’re working on and get some input about those, you’ve got a lot of people here who may be able to chime in with some thoughts. While you’re gathering your thoughts and your questions, which you’re welcome to share in the chat or unmute, I’ll just add something that I think is interesting about Carrie’s case study. 

So, the original Research Methods in Psychology was for lack of a better word an abandoned textbook, it was something in the library that was not being updated. And so, when Carrie came on this team with her collaborators, Rajiv and Dana, and said, “We have a third edition, now we have a fourth edition.” We’ve been updating what was an abandoned textbook record with this living textbook. 

So, it has become the book of record now in the Open Textbook Library, which is true really of any book that’s adapted and cared for, going into the future we are looking for people who want to take care of these resources. So, I wanted to share that about the library. Yes, the original Voldemort books that do not permit the publisher to be named, that is what I speak of. 

Zoe: I may also jump in just as people are thinking through and I wanted to go back to Linda and pick up on something that was a big part of what we worked on together and partly why I really wanted to have her here. So, as she discussed the text was set up to serve both education and nursing students but as we were actually looking at the creation, we talked a lot about how to set it up for adaptation. 

So, one of the things that she’s done which is really excellent is that all of the examples in either of those two disciplines are really clearly labeled and they live slightly separately from the more generic content that applies in lots of different contexts. Do you maybe want to talk about that aspect of it a little, Linda?

Linda: Yeah, thank you for bringing that up. And I do want to say something, too about the value of peer review in the Rebus Community. That’s really what drove us towards these be more specific, be more specific and clearly label it. It was the peer reviewers that really pointed that out. And then, I guess I would say it was for me, anyway, as someone who is trying to adapt PowerPoint slides into a book, takes a lot longer than you think it will. 

And it really was helpful to have both Zoe and Apurva just checking in, really regularly is there anything we can help you with? Are you stuck? What do you need? Those are all really valuable things. And I think the reaction to the book then, once it was made available really speaks to that peer review, to the specificity of the examples and that kind of thing. I think that’s why it has been accepted as it has been. So, thank you, Rebus. 

Zoe: Thank you, and I swear this is not paid (laughs), appreciate the kind words. And we also Linda, I’m not sure if you will have seen just this week we found out that your text has been adapted for social work, as part of a social work research methods text from Matt DeCarlo and we’ll find a link to that to share as well, so people can check it out too and how it does work moving through the different disciplines. [inaudible 0:28:21] 

Okay, so I think we have some questions in the chat coming in, thank you everyone. The first one here from Rachel, saying that she works in a community college. And is wondering how best to support instructors in creating OER who often don’t have the time or funding to do so. Any of our guests or anybody else on the call like to jump in on that question?

Linda: This is Linda. I guess I’ll give a plug for the librarians. Librarians look for content all day every day, they can help, because that is one of the most time-consuming parts of the creation is finding openly licensed images, content, infographics, all that. And your librarian can help with that. 

Carrie: I just wanted to add that I think that any level of financial compensation that can be provided in the form of a grant is extremely motivating and useful to many faculty, especially who might have unpaid summers off. It provides a way for them to earn a little bit of money on the side, while continuing to do good work. 

Karen: And Rachel—

Werner: May I jump in? 

Karen: Sure. 

Werner: Hopefully this can be heard okay. So, I think one very exciting thing to look for support in a creation or an adaptation of a textbook is bringing in support from the students. This is something we saw in the project we did last year, when you get students excited about contributing to your textbook, they get very engaged, they get very compromised with variation. Very much compromised and just— You have test in your courses. 

So, I think that brings a very strong open pedagogy strategy to have an incredible learning experience and also, contributing to enhancing your textbook year after year, I think the people from LibreTexts in California, Davis, you know, Delmar Larsen is a very good example of that. And I think that we should scale that way of adapting and creating textbooks. 

Zoe: I’ll add too, I think Werner’s translation project that he spoke about is a good example too. He actually went outside of traditional institutional funding channels and found funding via I believe it was through the US Embassy, wasn’t it, Werner? And that was because it was a translation project, which was of particular interest. So, I think there are different kinds of projects won’t be true of all of them, but there may be something that clicks with a different kind of funding agency that you wouldn’t necessarily think of to start. 

So, maybe if you don’t have funding through an institution, that they could look for something that’s discipline specific, or is some other unique angle on the project that could resonate with a different kind of funder. 

Werner: Oh yeah, well you guys know that funding it’s like a permanent concern, and you just have to go where the money is and try to get it from wherever, so you sure have the same challenges. And especially for me, nobody [inaudible 0:32:23]. And I can say myself I’ve been a very unsuccessful advocate. But we made some progress, especially adapt your ways to look for the funding. I think there is a lot of adapting in yourself to go and get the money you need. 

Karen: I’ll highlight some of the things that Rajiv has shared in the chat as well. So, some of his tips are to look at reusing, adapting and remixing OER before starting with creation. And then, his second tip is to collaborate across institutions within the same discipline and that the affordances of open of course allow a lot more collaboration than the traditional publishing process. 

I wonder, too if others would like to share some open pedagogy ideas that they’re working on. Werner mentioned working with students on adaptation. I know there are some of you out there who are thinking about these types of projects. So, if you would like to float your ideas and get some feedback, no one will hold you to it a year from now if it doesn’t go exactly as planned. 

Joe: Since you put that in, I’ll share. 

Karen: There you go. 

Joe: I’m at Muskingum University up in Ohio and this Fall, my senior seminar students will be working on an adaptation of a macroeconomics principles book that is written for an American audience. We want to adapt it for a Eurozone audience, which at one level seems pretty straightforward, take out the Fed, put in the European Central Bank, etc, etc. 

We plan to use Pressbooks, no one at Muskingum knows anything about Pressbooks. So, in two weeks, no matter how far up the learning curve I get, I’ll be the campus expert, I suppose, even though I may not know much more than Pressbooks exists. But I did have a question. Is it easy to create an index with Pressbooks? Or the table of contents and the glossary and all that?

Zoe: I can have a go at that, and I will declare myself the former product manager at Pressbooks, and we do still share an office with them here. So, on that list of things, the table of contents is very easy, that’s done automatically from your list of chapters that you create. Index and glossary aren’t quite as straightforward, they aren’t as automated. They’re getting better and they’re looking at some tools. 

And actually, somebody may have more recent experience with creating a glossary in Pressbooks, so it’s not automated, it’s very much possible, but it takes a little more manual work than is ideal. And I can follow up, I’ll do a little digging to see if my info is a little out of date and there might be something better than it was when I was last looking at it. 

Carrie: We added a glossary to the fourth edition. Rajiv took that on, which was very nice. He actually just got a student to go through our text and create that glossary for us in just a few days actually. And so, it was easy in that sense. Rajiv is around here, he says the student was paid, thank you, Rajiv, for financially supporting that student. But he might have a bit more of a sense of what was involved there. 

But yes, that was very effective, and again, it’s always wonderful to involve the students. And on that note of involving students in these projects, the other thing that I have done with both textbooks is each semester I have them create questions for a study guide that I’ve had my teaching assistants then compile into test banks slash study guides for students. And so, that’s a really nice way of involving them in the process of creating supplementary resources as well. 

Karen: All right, Joe, we look forward to checking in on your project. Related to the Pressbooks question, Rajiv posted one in the chat about translation and the availability of fonts in Pressbooks for languages other than English. For example, he was working with an instructor on a workbook for introductory Punjabi. We had to put a request on GitHub for the open source community to add an open font for Punjabi. 

Is there any work happening to make this easier for OER in different languages? Zoe, I don’t know if you have any inside scoop on Pressbooks? 

Zoe: Yeah, again, I haven’t been closely working on this for a little while. How it was, my experience of fonts is that the web support is really extensive and it’s when you get into PDF and ebook that you need to have dedicated fonts for it. And obviously, that’s one of the big powers of Pressbooks is you do have the many formats, so students have options. And more and more there are a lot of Google open source fonts that are supporting different scripts. 

And those are easy to add in to Pressbooks, typically on request. So, that’s where I think there isn’t a set list that they’ve been able to put in, but the requests at least as I understand them can happen very quickly, to make that available. In terms of making that easier, I think there are a lot of moving parts to it of the availability of the fonts as open fonts as well as actually getting them into the product where they’re needed. That’s my experience of it. 

Apurva, do you have anything to add? I know you worked with that a little bit when you were at Pressbooks, too. 

Apurva: No, I think previously when we had run into requests like this, the issue was always that the fonts were paid or licensed in a way that you had to pay a lot of money to make sure they worked in PDF, in EPUB. But we have seen more and more that people are coming up with open fonts, so it’s putting in the request as long as the fonts are available and openly licensed, it’s easy to put them into Pressbooks. So, I wish I could have a better resource to point you all to, but I’m afraid that’s all I’ve got. 

Karen: Okay, Jonathan in the chat, the font discussion is a little weird to me. I work in the Linux world, and there are hundreds more of fonts which I’ve installed on my machine for no cost. And when I look at things in PDF or a browser or wherever, it seems to always work. Maybe it’s just that we’re not working in the same worlds. (Laughs) 

Zoe: It could be, and I do know also there’s a difference between the personal use and Pressbooks being a commercial product does have other kinds of restrictions on what the licenses they can leverage. But I also don’t know Linux at all, so it might just be that we’re missing something massive and if you can find it, we’ll figure it out. 

Rajiv: Karen, this is Rajiv. I have a question, if it’s okay?

Karen: Sure. 

Rajiv: So, I think one thing that we’ve dealt with differently over the years with adaptations, one with the Canadian edition originally of the Research Methods text that preceded Carrie’s work was we localized it for the Canadian context of course with laws for human ethics and the rest. But in another case, social psychology, another one of these Voldemort books, we deliberately went to write an international edition. 

So, we were deliberately looking for examples and statistics from around the world. And we’ve been trying to find different ways to deal with the reusability paradox of the more you localize the less universally it can be applicable and vice versa. I’m just curious about how folks have approached that, or how people have thought about that critically as you’re working on adaptation projects?

Karen: What a great question, Rajiv. So, any thoughts on as we localize and make even more specific, how are we moving away from being more inclusive and potentially reaching a broader audience with the resources? If I encapsulated that question accurately, Rajiv? Anyone want to throw something out there? Maybe we haven’t thought about it before, but we’re thinking about it now. 

Zoe: I’m sure thinking about it now. I think that’s a really excellent thought to consider. How we’ve gone about thinking about this has tended to be like okay, as you’re creating content how can you structure it so that it is easy to move blocks in and out, so that the stuff that’s applicable everywhere is really clearly delineated from the things that are context-specific or jurisdiction specific in the case that you’re talking about laws and things like that. 

But that obviously introduces work to then localize it, to then do that work of moving the pieces in and out, which as you say is actually not the only way to go about this. That there’s a different approach to creation that’s actually making it as universally or as broadly inclusive as possible. Yeah, I’m thinking and thinking. (Laughs) But it’s a different approach to what we have taken so far in these projects that we’ve worked on. 

Linda: Yeah, it’s a tough question for an author, I mean, you want to make it as general as possible so as wide an audience can use it. But you need to be specific because otherwise it’s too broad. So, that is tough. 

Werner: I think that the reasoning of the question it’s like thinking that something very specific is not going to be so inclusive. I would not think it’s a trade-off two opposites just fighting against each other. I think we’re starting, learning how to think globally but to act locally and I think obviously authoring is very different from using the resource. And I very much think that going very specific and expanding and going [inaudible 0:43:37] part of this adaption trend. 

And I think that’s the magic around openness, something can happen, and you don’t really know where it’s going to end and how it’s going to grow in the future or if not, it may just stay there forever. But I think that’s the magic of open, and that’s the real challenge we need to. I would not think it’s a trade-off. I would think it’s something that we need to think globally, and we need to act very specifically in our specific contexts and needs. 

Karen: Yeah, and it’s a reality that we don’t necessarily have to choose, like Rajiv mentioned using a modular approach. As Zoe said, I think too, like visually calling out certain parts that may be more localized, alternating theory and application with the latter being contextualized. It seems like there is potential to try and balance things with, as Werner said, this exciting reality that you can always change it.

I will also highlight Leigh’s question to Joe, which is related. Joe mentioned he was localizing an American made macroeconomic books in Ohio for an EU audience. And whether it’s difficult to localize that when you’re not in the place you’re localizing to. And if so, what are the challenges? And of course, this project hasn’t happened yet, but Joe’s reply: that’s one of the things I want students to experience, finding as well as understanding why the Eurozone approach is different.

As well as familiarizing themselves with the institutions they won’t be completely at ease with the zone, but they should come away with a much better understanding or that’s the hope. So, I think it’ll be fun to follow up, even though I said earlier we wouldn’t necessarily follow up and hold you to it. We at least are going to have to ask how this goes. 

Werner: May I just say one last thing related to the previous issue is that the Libre Text project has shown us that you can have a textbook that’s like the core content of a course. But there’s an incredible amount of possibilities creating ancillary material around that textbook. So, I think you can have a very general approach with the core content. But then, you can just make things just explode in possibilities. 

In the Libre project it’s really amazing, each textbook just has a lot more ancillary material now than the textbook itself so you can get students adapting course year after year. And obviously, the delivery of the content it’s going to stay the same it doesn’t need to change. But you can create a lot of things around and it’s not taking the textbook as like a resource, it’s taking a textbook as a content, like an environment, you can do a lot more things. 

Karen: And I’ll add quickly to Werner’s comment, as you or your students create these ancillary materials that are so in demand, that’s also something that we can add to the book record in the Open Textbook Library. So, we can start bringing these different assets together so that future instructors can find them in one spot. Zoe? 

Zoe: I was going to say I love that Werner’s talking about the possibility and the magic of OER that’s available, because really the story of how this translation project came together is one of my favorite moments working in open education. So, we sent out our newsletter announcing one of our new texts that we were supporting, a digital citizenship toolkit out of Ryerson University in Ontario. 

And I think it was within about half an hour, I had an email back from Werner saying, “I want to translate this. How do we this? What can we do? How can we work together on this?” And that turned into this project that as he’s talked about, has student translators involved and is a really incredible demonstration of what is possible and that came from a project that wasn’t even thinking about okay, how do we set ourselves up for adaptation?

It was very much they were making something that was to serve their content in Ontario, but it’s gone on to have a much broader life. And the other thing I wanted to mention, too is when we setup that project we also talked to Werner a lot about having a translation project going from Spanish into English. So, it was a report that had been worked on, and the title of it is escaping me at the moment. Werner, sorry. 

But I think that didn’t go through the same process with the student translators, but that idea of content moving in both directions is really critical to keep this part of this conversation, it’s not just about English language content being created within say the North American content, where we do have a lot more funding available and whatnot. Leigh is just showing me the title, and I don’t speak Spanish, I can’t pronounce it very well. Sorry. 

But as I say, I think that’s important as part of this conversation is that it’s not just about moving content from the North American context into others, we should also be really looking carefully and thinking about how that flow can go in many more directions. 

Karen: Well, we have a few minutes remaining. So, please feel free to unmute and ask your question if you’d like to do it that way, or post it in the chat. Jonathan posted I’m not sure if it’s a comment or a question or a dreamscape or all of the above, but he said, “Maybe the goal of the OER community should be to make the tools for adaptations so dead easy that the default would be that we would always make bespoke versions when we use them in small or large ways.”

And then wonders is this asking too much because instructors are busy, they can’t do that, etc. Anyone care to comment?

Zoe: Yeah, I think that’s exactly what I was grappling with in my mind as we were talking earlier, is we are doing the work to try and make it really easy. But exactly, as you point out, Jonathan, that then creates more work. So, it’s a never-ending series of questions to tackle. 

Rajiv: If I can jump in briefly? One of the things I’m envisioning is peer review is increasingly I think a wonderful thing to integrate during the process. But perhaps deliberately seeking peer reviewers from a very different context, and part of that peer review is just perhaps highlighting or annotating to note well, these are the examples that don’t really translate to this context. And even as an annotation, a layer that one can add in, if that is going to be localized for a different content, it really makes it much easier if you know which pieces need to be changed. 

Zoe: Absolutely, I love that approach. And we’ve even seen cases where texts have gone through peer review and one of the reviewers has said, “Well, I could write a chapter on this topic, which I think is really missing from this selection in the text as it was first set out.” So, that happened in that instance, at the time of creation. But that is also a way that adaptations can come out of a text is that they see, okay, this is the foundational text that we can use. 

And then, as a reviewer who is also an instructor, I can take it and adapt it on my own if I so choose to as well as feeding back into the core text, the home text. Rajiv, I think we need a dreamscape or plugin or script that switches English spellings from US to UK, Canadian? If I had any coding skills whatsoever, I would write that myself. 

Carrie: Just add Us to every few words. 

Werner: I have a question from this, I know many of the people gathered here are related to higher education institutions. But have you guys looked at progress or best practices with the K12 community adapting or creating textbooks? It’s one of my obsessions. That’s why I’m looking in this audience to see if there is something new I can catch. Or maybe the question should be how would the challenges be different if you compared higher education from K12? 

Zoe: One of the real challenges at least from our perspective as supporting creation is that there is a lot more structure and policy. It’s a different kind of environment to navigate, which is why our focus is on higher ed. But I have a couple of people I might be able to introduce you to, Werner, if you want? Because certainly, there is talk between those working on higher ed and those on K to 12. There are enough differences that I think you can work in both. 

We have at least as Rebus, chosen to focus on higher ed. But I’ll put you in touch with some people. 

Karen: Werner, there is also, and you maybe already talked to Dave about this, but there was also an initiative at the University of Minnesota working with K through 12. And some of that work ended up in this curricular module that I will put in the chat, which is more just about a how to, how the instructional designers worked with I think they were junior high-ish teachers in adapting an OER for their classroom. But if you want to know more, Dave could help. 

All right, I think we are at our hour’s end, and so I would like to thank everyone who attended today and offered their experience and questions and curiosities. I would also very much like to thank the Rebus Community for partnering on Office Hours, and of course, our three guests. Linda Frederiksen, Carrie Cuttler, and Werner Westermann, we really appreciate having the three of you here today and talking about your work adapting OER. So, thank you. And do we have next month’s?

Zoe: Yes, so I’ll echo your thanks, Karen to everybody here today, really great conversation as always. Looking ahead to next month, the topic is starting an open textbook project. And I believe Apurva has just dropped a link to the details with the date and time and everything there. So, we hope to see you again, and in the meantime, keep an eye out, OTN and Rebus both always have fun things going on. 

So, keep an eye on our Twitter and newsletters for things. We are @Rebuscommunity and OTN is @open_textbooks. 

Karen: Indeed. Okay, farewell. 

Zoe: Fantastic, thanks so much everybody. 

Multiple: Bye. 

Chat Transcript

00:17:51 Veronica Howard: wooo!
00:19:40 Karen Lauritsen: Linda also contributed “Ten Steps for Authoring Success” to the OTN Authoring Open Textbooks Guide:
00:21:56 Apurva Ashok: Linda and Sue’s open textbook, “Literature Reviews for Education and Nursing Graduate Students”:
00:25:38 Zoe Wake Hyde: Amazing!!
00:27:14 Rajiv Jhangiani: Ta da!
00:27:24 Apurva Ashok: Thanks, Rajiv! 🙂
00:28:10 Rajiv Jhangiani:
00:33:01 werner:
00:36:10 werner:
00:36:18 Rajiv Jhangiani: A good example of an open textbook that has been translated into many languages is Tony Bates’ Teaching in a Digital Age:
00:37:31 werner:
00:38:49 werner:

00:40:17 werner: Teachers as authors
00:40:33 werner:

00:40:53 werner:
00:40:58 Rajiv Jhangiani: The “Voldemort” books that do not permit the original author/publisher to be named 🙂
00:41:12 Apurva Ashok: Thanks, @Werner!
00:41:42 Rachel Becker: I work in a community college and am wondering how to best support instructors in creating OER who often don’t have extra time or funding.
00:42:33 Leigh Kinch-Pedrosa: My question is for Werner, you mentioned being excited about AI for automatic translation. Are you following any specific AI projects or tools in development that we should be aware of?
00:43:45 werner: Hi Leigh:
00:44:18 werner: very interesting promoted to translate MOOCs, but wanting to expand to other OERs
00:44:26 Leigh Kinch-Pedrosa: very cool, thank you. I’ll add that to my resource list
00:45:24 Rajiv Jhangiani: My biggest tip would be to look at reusing/adapting/remixing OER before creating. Second biggest tip is to collaborate across institutions (e.g., within the same discipline). The affordances of open allow for a lot more collaboration than a traditional publisher process.
00:46:18 Rajiv Jhangiani: At KPU we only have small grants for OER adaptation ($2000) that are almost always used to hire student assistants or work with student focus groups during development.
00:46:20 Karen Lauritsen: Rachel, you may want to share adaptation and creation guides with your faculty as resources, too. OTN Community and BCcampus have created guides…
00:47:17 Leigh Kinch-Pedrosa: Making Open Textbooks with Students (Ed. Elizabeth Mays)
00:47:21 Rajiv Jhangiani: Pick a limited number of projects that will have high impact (e.g., lots of students) and that have a high degree of success. Then leverage those early wins.
00:47:37 Rachel Becker: These are all such fantastic ideas. Thank you!
00:48:26 cgermano: Rajiv, good advise. This is my method at my college.
00:48:30 Rajiv Jhangiani: Some institutions that have the funding but not the people (and vice versa)
00:50:04 Rachel Becker: My college is just getting Pressbooks 🙂
00:50:12 Rachel Becker: Yes it is
00:50:15 Amanda Larson: Yes!
00:50:29 Amanda Larson: The table of contents is autogenerated from the material you make!
00:50:38 Rajiv Jhangiani: Q: One stumbling block for translation is the availability of fonts in PB for languages different from English. For example, when I was working with an instructor on a workbook for Introductory Punjabi we had to put a request on GitHub for the open source community to add an open font for Punjabi. Is there any work happening to make this easier for OER in different languages?
00:51:19 Rajiv Jhangiani: (Student was paid) 🙂
00:53:27 Rajiv Jhangiani: Yes, we used an open Google font
00:54:34 Jonathan Poritz: The font discussion is a little weird to me: I work in the Linux world, and there are hundreds (more?) fonts which I’ve installed on my machine for no cost, etc. And when I look at things in PDF or a browser or wherever, it seems always to work….
00:55:05 Leigh Kinch-Pedrosa: Joe, you mentioned you were localizing an American macro-economics book in Ohio for a EU audience. Is it difficult to localize when you are not in the place you are localizing to? If so what were some of the challenges

00:56:33 Rajiv Jhangiani: Yup
00:58:21 Rajiv Jhangiani: Wondering about using a modular approach, alternating theory and application, with the latter being contextualized
00:58:46 Jonathan Poritz: Maybe the goal of the OER commnity should be to make the tools for adaptations so dead easy that the default would be that we would always make bespoke versions when we use them, in small or large ways…. Or is this asking too much — instructors are busy, can’t do that at all, etc.?
00:58:52 Joe: That is one of the things I want the students to experience – finding as well as understanding why the euro-zone approach is different, as well as familiarizing themselves with the institutions. They won’t be completely at ease with the zone, but they should come away with a much better understanding. I hope.

00:59:51 Leigh Kinch-Pedrosa: Thanks Joe! It sounds like a great project. It’s an exciting challenge for students. 🙂
00:59:53 Rajiv Jhangiani: Or annotating the non-local example to showcase local examples, even as student assignments?
00:59:57 Joe: I should add our target audience is at an English-language university in Lithuania, so we didn’t have to worry about translation.

01:00:30 Jonathan Poritz: +1 @rajiv on annotation as a localization tool!
01:02:05 Jonathan Poritz: @rajiv: how about a model where the widely-available OER is the “international” version, and each class in each location makes a localization annotation layer a part of the coursework for students (“renewable assignments” for the win!)
01:02:28 Rajiv Jhangiani: Yes, I love that idea JP.
01:02:56 cgermano: That would be fabulous idea!
01:04:40 Leigh Kinch-Pedrosa:
01:04:45 Rajiv Jhangiani: Amen to that! Thank you Zoe
01:04:52 Leigh Kinch-Pedrosa: ^the book Zoe was looking for
01:07:02 Rajiv Jhangiani: Also a dreamscape: A plugin/script that switches English spellings from US to UK/Canadian 🙂
01:07:11 Joe: I wonder if someday we’ll be required to do that – as publishers move to attach their value-added items to open textbooks, it’s not inconceivable (admittedly of low, low probability) they stop producing textbooks.
01:08:29 Rajiv Jhangiani: Werner, this is one massive initiative that you are probably already aware of:
01:08:54 werner: thank you Rajiv!!!
01:09:06 Rajiv Jhangiani: From listening to Kristina Ishmael (a leader in this space) the challenges and the selling points of Open are different in K12
01:09:15 werner: thanks Zoe
01:09:38 Karen Lauritsen:
01:09:58 werner: thank you Karen
01:10:05 Rajiv Jhangiani: Lovely to hear from everyone.
01:10:08 Apurva Ashok: Thanks everyone!
01:10:08 Amanda Larson: Thanks lovely people! Have a great day!
01:10:08 Rajiv Jhangiani: Thank you for hosting
01:10:12 Emily Frank: Thank you!
01:10:16 Jonathan Poritz: thanks to speakers and organizers!
01:10:17 cgermano: Thank you all!
01:10:22 Veronica Howard: Thank you!
01:10:32 Carrie Cuttler: Thanks for having me!
01:10:34 hristovar: Thank you!
01:10:37 Apurva Ashok:
01:10:47 Joe: This was my first time attending but it won’t be my last. Thanks to everyone!
01:10:52 Amanda Hurford: Thanks so much!
01:10:53 Earleen Warner: Thank you!
01:10:55 Donna Langille: Thank you everyone!
01:11:02 Leigh Kinch-Pedrosa:

01:11:03 Rajiv Jhangiani: CC-Bye!
01:11:07 werner: Good bye to all, thanks for your time!!!

Thanks to Mei Lin for preparing the audio transcript and video captions!

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