Monday, January 20, 2014

Baltimore Bullet Points: Themes that emerged from the session.

The sessions (I and II) on open source math texts in Baltimore were a lot of fun. I heard a lot of people exclaiming how great it was to finally put names to faces. As I watched the talks I started to see a number of themes that I thought we might discuss in this forum in the coming months:
  • Licensing. What are the pros and cons of different permissive licensing schemes?
  • Collaborative work. How do we develop communities of authors around a specific project?
  • Credit. How do we acknowledge the contributions to a particular project? How do we convince our academic bosses that contributing to an open source text project should count towards tenure and promotion?
  • Technology. How do we harness existing technologies in our projects? What kinds of new technologies are needed? 
  • Assessment. How do we develop a review process so that textbook adopters (and others) can judge the relative merits of open-source texts?  How do we know who is using our texts?  How do we manage feedback from our users?
  • Media. What issues surround the medium of distribution (e.g. on demand printing, web-based, ebook etc)?
  • Publicity. How do we promote our texts?
  • Public Policy.  How do we shape public policy to create space for open source texts in public education?  How do we secure external funding to support the creation of open source texts?  What are some existing resources in this sphere?
  • OER Resources.  How do we merge/supplement open source texts with other open educational resources (OER)?
  • Best Practices.  What are some common standards that can be adopted/promoted as best practices for authors to improve their work?
These are a few of the topics that I noted during the talks.  I'm sure there are others that I've missed.  If I have missed something, make a note of it in the comments section below.  It may be that these topics and others can form a framework for the development of a best practices document over the coming months.

I will be contacting some of the people that presented in Baltimore to solicit articles for the site.  In addition, if you would like to write a post or direct me to something that might be of interest to the community, use the contact form on the right side of the page. We'll try to average a posting a week plus some discussion in the comments section.

Hopefully everyone made it back from Baltimore without too much difficulty.  Perhaps we'll meet again at the Joint Meetings in San Antonio.


Camden Yards across from the Convention Center, JMM 2014


3 comments:

  1. Great list! And thank you for organizing the session - it was so encouraging to see all the enthusiasm for this initiative. I look forward to exploring these topics in greater depth.

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