Blog

Accessibility

Technical Accessibility

  • Colour
  • Transcripts?
  • Plug-ins?

There is an option to enable an “increase font size” function for users in the web theme options. This will soon become a default behavior.

PDF accessibility is somewhat limited and, in particular, some files are not able to be interpreted by screen readers. The PDF conversion tool that Pressbooks uses does support PDF tagging, which improves screen reader compatibility. However, often the best solution is to offer web and ebook versions of a textbook in addition to the PDF so readers can find the format that best suits their needs. (PB User’s Guide – 75 Accessibility & Universal Design)

The International Digital Publishing Forum has a checklist to prompt ebook creators on accessibility functions they can incorporate while creating their content.

Pressbooks a11y Color Scheme

If you would prefer a website interface with higher colour contrast and underlined links, you can enable the Pressbooks a11y color scheme for your account. Just follow these steps:

  1. Go to Users > Your Profile from the left sidebar menu, or click on your name in the top right corner of your screen
  2. On the Profile page, find the Admin Color Scheme setting and select Pressbooks a11y. 
  3. Click Update Profile at the bottom of the screen.
  4. This setting will only affect your own account. Other users accessing the same books as you will not be affected.

What Can You Do?

Accessibility is about more than just the technology; it needs to start with a book’s content. When creating your textbooks, you can take an active approach to implementing accessibility best practices. BC Campus and CAPER-BC (Centre for Accessible Post-secondary Education Resources) have created an introductory Accessibility Toolkit for textbook creators. Below are some suggestions we have highlighted from the Toolkit, and we highly recommend reading the full text. Use chapters, headings, and subheadings to organize content (see more in our chapter on Navigation).

Add alternative text to functional images that clearly describe the content.

Ensure that font sizes are not too small and that you enable the option for the user to increase font size in web outputs.

Check the contrast when using a shaded or coloured background with text.

Resources

MSKTC. (2014, June 19). Writing and Testing Plain Language. US Department of Education. (https://msktc.org/lib/docs/KT_Toolkit/MSKTC_Plain_Lang_Tool_508.pdf

Working Remotely

Process Change! 

Some editors may be working from home in the next few weeks. 

What? Why? 

The health authorities urge Canadians to practice social distancing, and we can do our work without being in close proximity to others in public spaces. 

man in blue hoodie using laptop computer

Photo by Dimitri Karastelev on Unsplash

What Does This Mean? 

We are still working! We will be doing daily check-ins with Dani C or Curriculum Services folks, and we’ll stay in touch with everyone about current projects.

Some editors will come in to the office as well. 

shallow focus photo of orange cat near laptop computer

Photo by Catherine Heath on Unsplash

How Can I Talk to an Editor?

Nothing could be easier!  If you don’t see us around the office, get in touch by email, Skype for Business, or WhatsApp.

And we might be on Mattermost (if we can figure-out how to sign-in). 

people sitting down near table with assorted laptop computers

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

How Can I Learn More?

TRU’s web page on COVID-19 is being updated daily, and it is a great resource to check for the most recent information.

 

H5P Workshop (WordPress)

Carolyn, Courtney, and Chris attended the second session of H5P training to learn how to use this tool outside of a course LMS (in WordPress). This opens the potential for students to use the technology to built and share their own learning tools or ePortfolio pieces.

Workshop facilitators Brenna and Jamie gave many examples of learning and helped us make our own content.

 

H5P Training

Dani, Courtney, and Chris attended the first of three workshops on creating interactive educational media in Moodle, WordPress and Pressbooks using H5P. Jamie and Brenna did a great job facilitating the workshop with examples, step-by-step guidance, and ample hands-on time to experiment with interactive media.

For an overview of the session and some jaw-dropping examples, see Create Share and Reuse Interactive Content – Part 1 (Moodle) on the Learning Technology blog.

Some questions and their answers from the session:

Editing Team Meeting Notes – January 15, 2020

Attendees: Chris, Cory, Courtney, Dani, Justin, Mona, and Naomi

Time: 11:00 am                 Location: OL344

Notetaker: Courtney

Notes

News

(Naomi)

  • January 15, 2020 Budget Meeting recap
    • More or less business as usual
    • Budget requests have neither been approved nor denied
    • Increased OL enrolment but decreased on-campus enrollment
  • Speexx language training tools are no longer stable in language courses
    • At this time, it is unclear if current students will have reliable access

SWOT Follow-up

(Naomi)

  • Affirmation of the strengths, professionalism, and skills of the editing team
  • Opportunities
    • What could it look like to involve editors earlier in the course design process?
    • Upcoming curriculum services meeting to look at the nuts and bolts of course design
    • Initial meeting will be followed by another meeting to address what we need to do to support good course design; what can we try?
    • Example: Think about a positive example from a course that you can share at the meeting.
  • Engagement with students
    • What are the practicalities for editors to engage with students and/or student feedback?
    • Are there opportunities for individuals to engage with students outside of the editor role if this is an important value to the editor?
  • Accountability
    • Accountability between editors and IDs – CServ meeting will hopefully address some concerns
    • Leadership is also looking at SME accountability
  • Access to senior leadership
    • Is there a feeling of disconnection? If so, do you have any suggestions for how this can be addressed?
  • It’s the time to be bold and try new things!

 CUPE Funds

  • There are funds available. If considering a conference, it is easier to get funds if we are involved in the conference (i.e., presenting)

Quick Roundtable

  • Discussion of adding Professional Development to Editing Meetings
    • Time constraints must be considered
    • Potential to create drop-in PD opportunities for OL community
  • Re: Access to senior leadership (Chris)
    • Face-to-face/drop-in engagement
    • More transparency
  • Dani will start being part of the Internal Review rotation
  • Reminder: Indicate when you start and finish Internal review in D4P
  • Naomi is looking into D4P and courses being “parked” in editing
    • Be sure to fill in the editor start date on the left-hand side
    • Indicating suspensions of work on course: pause button?
  • Chris has received a few questions from production about files that are not in their production folder, but were with his files in the Pre-Production Review folder.
    • We cannot resolve these questions because we do not have access to the files sent to production and, typically, we are not informed of decisions made after we have placed files in pre-production review
  • New Copyright guru, Mark, starts next week!

CONGRATULATIONS MONA FOR FINISHING YOUR MA!!!!

Editors Meeting Notes for Oct. 23, 2019

Attendees (in alphabetical order): Chris, Cory, Courtney, Dani, Justin, and Mona

Time: 11:00 am                 Location: OL344

Notetaker: Justin             Timekeeper: Collective effort

Notes

  • Pop survey on our website:
    • What’s working on the website? – working well as a reference tool for editors, layout, content
    • What would you like to see on the website? – more contribution from other editors, enlarge target audience to include other stakeholders and course developers, more subsections to reduce scrolling, increase access to site, OER support resources
    • Who is the intended audience of the website? Editors, IDs, Curriculum Services, Production, possibly OLFMs and other course developers

Topic 1: Editors Website

  • Discussion kicked-off on website elements
  • Original intent of website, as told by Chris:
    • History involves input from an array of sources
    • Basically, most recent approved policy sent via email was uploaded to wiki
    • This linear process became the 1st generation of what we now know as the website
    • Rapid-fire emails—sometimes several in a week—drove the need for continual updates
    • Despite upgrading from wiki to WordPress website, this process became overwhelming
  • Blog section on WordPress site was initially intended to capture approved policy emails
  • New editors have and should continue to have access to resources for onboarding purposes
  • Now meeting minutes are being added to blog – Note: needs new heading
  • Website is accessible to the public, though historically very low traffic
  • Publicly shared site can raise our professional profile at institution level and beyond
  • On one hand, privacy is a concern, but transparency is the payoff
  • Website as a platform allows us to advocate and educate
  • Can/should serve as an archive for in-house creations, PD events, and progressive resources
  • Diversity of purpose(s) speaks to the need for differing sources of input; needs full team effort
  • Note to discretion: policy updates reworded/names removed before publicly shared
  • Some website elements can/should remain private (e.g., meeting minutes)
  • Intent of this new endeavor is to have a dynamic site, not static
  • Leadership will need updates as we continue forward to account for our time spent on this
  • How will Leadership measure success?
  • Photo gallery to be included, since this adds a needed human element
  • Complex items like CG have both static and dynamic elements; could be divvied up into tabs
  • Media and/or Production could help out with layout, but content is on us
  • New hire/onboarding docs could easily be added
  • Blog sections could include Policy, PD, Meeting Minutes (private), Agenda Items (private)
  • Tabs could include Blog, Resources, About Us (similar to LinkedIn)

Next Discussion:

  • Update CG and Style Guide
  • Resources and References
  • Captions and Credit Lines
  • Revisit Process Mapping

 

Editors Meeting Notes for Oct. 9, 2019

Attendees: Chris, Cory, Courtney, Justin, Mona, Dani

Date  Time 10/9/2019 11:00 AM Location OL344

Notetaker: Cory Stumpf – Timekeeper: Chris Ward (unofficially) 😉

What is a reasonable expectation for internal review?

  • Course Guide components, assignment titles and marks, etc.
  • Assessments: marks (do they add up?) / grading criteria
  • Headings
  • Consistency (of capitalization, titles, etc.)
  • Check D4P to get an idea of what’s been done
  • Check CNET (note discrepancies but don’t change anything)
  • Perhaps look closely at one module, and if problems are found check for similar ones in others
  • Flag what stands out—comment rather than change, unless obvious (e.g. missing period), then change and inform editor—make clear what you’ve identified and/or adjusted
  • Search “OLFM” throughout?
  • Student Handbook – should we remove mentions of it in all cases? Maybe the handbook should be updated.

Credentials

  • Sometimes should include additional appropriate credentials (not just the most recent) if they are relevant to the course/program (e.g. CGA certification for Accounting)

Capitals – Black Americans/White Southerners etc.

Positive Notes

  • Grateful for Wednesdays, particularly of the wellness variety, and especially when cheese is involved
  • Glad that we are discussing things together such as the importance of word choice, and that we continue to learn from one another and improve upon what we do
  • Newer courses provide most student satisfaction, so we’re doing something right!
  • We will be ordering desk copies for you of the 7th ed. APA Publication Manual!

Tabled for next meeting:

  • Editing website: Who/what is it for, and what do we want it to look like?

Additional information:

Mona, Justin and I went to the Ask an Analyst session, Understanding Open Learning Students: Data-informed Insights and Outlooks

This session validated much about what we know already about our students, but there were some key takeaways for me, mainly: 1/3 of all OL enrolments represent only 25% of our courses; students want more media and videos in the courses, students are struggling with exams, which is preventing them from re-enrolling in another OL course, enrolments are continuing to grow (mostly international and dually enrolled students); 93% of students said that their course met expectations and that they would recommend their course in 60 of our courses  (mostly the newer courses). ENGL and STAT courses represent the most enrolments.

IPE – Factbook 2018/2019

Other institutional reports from IPE that you may find interesting.

Matt D. from Program Delivery set up a small meeting with Sarah from Accessibility Services – She gave us some interesting stats. For example 40% of their students (that they are accommodating) are OL students, many who are suffering from mental illness or neurological disorders. Sarah said that she would be sharing her presentation with Matt – so I will let you know. This is interesting information to have from a UDL perspective as well: Are OL courses meeting the needs of these students in terms of how they are developed? Could we do better? A few weeks ago, Naomi shared a resource from the CNIB, which is good to take a look at in terms of what we may suggest for universal design.

How can we use these resources to improve our editing of distance courses?

 

Editing Team Meeting 9/25/2019

Editing Team Meeting

Date | time 9/25/2019 11:00 AM| Location OL344

Meeting Notes:

Attendees: Dani, Mona, Justin, Cory

Regrets: Chris; Courtney

Note taker: Mona

  1. Editor’s website:
  • Log-in;
  • Review current content;
  • Collaborate;
  • Determine common objectives.
  1. Free online micro-course to master the basics of OER and Creative Commons:

Open Education, Copyright and Open Licensing in a Digital World (LiDA103)

  • Editors are welcome to attend;
  • Starts on October 7, 2019;
  • 2-week course, commit to 1–2 hours/day;
  • Negotiate with Naomi to use some work time;
  • Certificate earned upon completion;
  • Registration link: https://oer.nz/wcol2019
  1. Maintenance Courses:
  • Change to file version for Rachelle’s IP review: Moving forward, she will *always* review the edited version.
  • Editors to flag new/deleted 3-rd party materials for her attention;
  • Dani will share the edited files with Rachelle upon completion of peer review process.
  1. “One-offs” (those maintenance projects that *should* involve only one component of a course):
  • Be sure to check all materials that could be affected by the corrections/changes made;
  • Discussion was around accountability and transparency of the very narrowed scope.
  1. Internal Review
  • Discussion postponed to next meeting;
  • Consider what common issues occur in the process;
  • Consider scope: skim vs. total re-edit.
  1. Style considerations for each course/discipline:
  • Justin suggested adding that information in D4P2 in the notes section;
  • Advantage to next editor: reduction of time spent determining which style was deemed appropriate.