BC Open Textbook Summit 2017 has ended

BCcampus is pleased to, once again, host the Open Textbook Summit. This year’s event will take place May 24-25 at SFU Harbour Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada).

The Open Textbook Summit brings together leaders in the Open Textbook field, from faculty who are reviewing, adopting and developing Open Textbooks, to student advocates, librarians, institutional administrators, government officials, and policy staff. Together, we look at what other institutions are doing to move the Open Textbook agenda forward, share experiences about what has worked well and what could be improved, and look ahead to explore how open pedagogy can influence Open Textbook development to enhance teaching and learning.

Back To Schedule
Wednesday, May 24 • 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Back to Basics: Authoring Open Textbooks that are Easily Remixed and Distributed

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In order to remain faithful to the tenets of the open textbook movement, careful thought must be given to how they are published, distributed, and especially to how they are authored. Popular authoring tools, such as Word and iBooks Author, require the writing and styling of documents to happen simultaneously. This paradigm restricts authors to publish their content in the formats those tools are specifically designed for. Word restricts authors to paper-based formats, and iBooks Author is limited to eBook formats. By separating content from its formatting, authors free themselves of the restrictions imposed by these tools and allow themselves to write their content once, and then publish it in any format they choose.

Plain text files allow for this separation of content and formatting. Furthermore, they are platform independent and lend themselves to version control, which allows authors to collaborate and record the provenance of their contributions. True to the five Rs of openness, plain text files are ubiquitously editable. The most simple of text editors are included in all major operating systems and the most popular, fully-featured text editors are free of cost and are themselves open source.

In this workshop, participants will hear the full, yet brief, case for authoring open textbooks in plain text using the minimalistic markup syntax, Markdown. The workshop will begin with a personal anecdote, including the motivation for investigating Markdown; however, the bulk of the time will be spent learning the Markdown syntax using tools already installed on participants' computers or alternative web-based editors. Participants will then have the opportunity to beta test a web-based conversion tool developed by the University of Oklahoma Libraries. This web app, as well as the entire workflow being proposed, was specifically designed with open textbook authors in mind to facilitate their easy authorship of quality, archivable, maintainable, democratized information.

Cody Taylor has been developing open educational resources for OU Libraries since January of 2014 and has been an emerging technologies librarian since June of 2016.  Cody holds an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from OU and is a certified Software Carpentry instructor. He is interested in embedded electronics, prototyping, open source hardware and software,  and makerspaces.


Wednesday May 24, 2017 3:00pm - 4:00pm PDT
Segal Rooms 1400-1410

Attendees (9)