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. 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?

 

Fairness to All

A few years ago Mona Hall, Danielle Collins, and I collaborated on an infographic about inter-culturalization of the curriculum. Our central question was: How will we create learner-centred courses for culturally and linguistically diverse readers?

We found that the university has some excellent guiding policies and resources for educators, but it did take some effort to find and read them. Perhaps two of the best were:

“If you plan to read no more . . . at least read this: 

  • Treat people as individuals.
  • Call groups what they call themselves.”

 

The province where we are located, British Columbia, is particularly rich in diversity, and Open Learning students both reflect this diversity and live in an increasingly globalized world. No matter if their home is in a small community or metro Vancouver, students live and work in a multi-cultural society, and the learning from an OL course will be applied in their life and work in this context.

To be inclusive to learners from any background and to help prepare Open Learning students with life skills for a globalized and multi-cultural society, editors need to provide instructional materials that model and develop cross-cultural awareness and respect. It’s helpful to think of students not as a unified “public” but as a diverse group of individuals. If differences are acknowledged in a positive way, it improves the quality of our learning materials and helps us better serve students and better achieve our educational mandate. We can model understanding, acceptance, and mutual respect in a course by adopting inclusive editing practices.

Here are some of our initial (rough) drafts:

 

Student Cafe as Interculturalization of the Curriculum

Our online courses often include the Student Cafe, which is an ungraded discussion area intended to encourage peer-to-peer interactions, foster or enhance student engagement, and build a learning community. Sounds great, but I wonder sometimes how many students post to the Student Cafe? Do they find it useful? Open Learning students often start a course at different times and work through the course at varying speeds, so their forum posts and replies can be sporadic or uncertain.

Is there a benefit for students to use it? Well, perhaps yes. An ungraded online space is recommended as one method to help minority or English language learners succeed in online courses:

“We also believe online courses can work to support these students — when instructors provide safe spaces for ungraded dialogue. […] A ‘safe house’ is a platform in which students can merge colloquial and academic discourse as they develop their writing style. In an online course, this safe house could take the form of an unevaluated discussion forum in which students are free to engage with the course material, with the instructor, and with each other. These spaces can be used for ungraded, informal communication, enabling more inclusive discussion for all students.” (MacKinnon & MacFarlane, 2017, Online Learning Punishes Minority Students, but Video Chats Can Help)

The article has other good recommendations to help diverse groups of students succeed in an online learning environment, for example: Instructor-student video conferencing; grading the ideas instead of adherence to academic writing conventions; and providing comments or feedback to engage with students.

 

Course Developer Credentials

***

UPDATED June 2020: This list is constantly changing, and will be maintained in the future by Danielle Collins on her OneTRU OLEditor page at one.tru.ca

***

We list course developers on the copyright pages of courses. OL style was updated in May 2018 to:

  • Do not use periods between letters in degree acronyms.
  • Include the person’s terminal or highest credential only. 
  • Group the list by years of editions and revisions.
  • Include the year in the heading.
  • Order the groups in reverse chronological order; i.e., most recent is at the top and earliest is at the bottom of the page.

Course Development Team 2018
Course Writer: Name, PhD
Instructional Designer: Name, MA
Editor: Name, BA
Associate Dean, […]Name, PhD
Program Coordinator, […]: Name, MA

Course Revision Team 2014
Course Reviser: Name, PhD
Course Editor: Name, MA
Associate Dean, […]Name, PhD     [include only if different from who is listed above]

Course Development Team 2010
Course Writer: Name, PhD
Instructional Designer: Name, MA
Course Editor: Name, BA

[Check to make sure the course has the new address.]

Thanks to Cindy Ozouf for her excellent work creating a list in August 2017 and updating it in September 2017.

Course Development Team Credentials

The following list was updated June, 2020.

Editors
Supervisor Editing & Copyright: Danielle Collins MEd, BEd, BFA
Mona Hall, MA, Cert. Editing, Dip. Library & Information Technology
Carolyn Hawes, BEd
Justin Frudd, MA, BA, PID, TESOL
Brian Scrivener, MA, BA
Cory Stumpf, BJ
Chris Ward, MA, BA, Cert. Writing & Publishing
Courtney Charlton, MA
Josie Vayro, PhD
Wayne Egers, PhD, MA, BA
Dawn-Louise McLeod, MEd, BA, TESL
Adventure, Culinary Arts and Tourism Management
*Dean, Adventure, Culinary Arts, and Tourism: Doug Booth, PhD, MSocSci, BSc(Hons)
Arts
Dean, Arts: Richard McCutcheon, PhD
*Associate Dean, Arts: Mark Wallin, PhD; Elizabeth Reimer, PhD
*Program Coordinator, Arts: Michael Looney, MSc, BSc
Business and Economics
Dean, Business and Economics: Michael Henry, DBA, MBA, BSocSc, BA
*Associate Dean, Business and Economics: Raymond Cox, PhD, MBA, BComm, BSc, CPA, CGA, CFA, CMA, CCM
Education and Social Work
Dean, Education and Social Work: Airini, PhD, MBA, MEd, BA, Te Ara Reo Level 4 Cert., Dip. Tchg.
*Associate Dean, Education and Social Work: Jane Hewes, PhD
*Program Coordinator, Adult Basic Education: Christine Miller, MEd, BSc, BEd;
(former: Michael Looney, MSc, BSc)
Learning Design and Innovations Department
Chair, Senior Instructional Designer: Melissa Jakubec, MA, BA, Cert. E-Learning, Dip RSA
Senior Instructional Designer: Michelle Harrison, PhD, MA, PDP, BSc
Instructional Designer: Stephen Doubt, MEd; BEd, BA
Instructional Designer: Carol Sparkes, MITE, BA, BComm
Instructional Designer: Doug Reid, PhD
Instructional Designer: Fränzi Ng, MEd, EdD
Instructional Designer: Ken Monroe, MA, MA
Instructional Designer: Marie Bartlett, MA
Instructional Designer: Linda Apps, PhD, MA, BFA
Senior Instructional Designer: Gail Morong, MEd, BSc, Cert. Online Teaching & Learning, Dip. Ed
Instructional Designer: Ted Keating, MEd, BEd, BSc
Law
Dean, Law: Bradford Morse, LLM, LLB, BA
Assistant Dean, Law: Alexis Kazanowski, LLB, BJ
Nursing        
Dean, Nursing: Donna Murnaghan, PhD, MSN, RN
*Associate Dean, Nursing: Tracy Hoot, EdD, RN, BScN, MSN, DHEd
Health Sciences
Academic Coordinator, Health Sciences: David Sheets, MA, RRT
Program Administrator, Science: Kimberley King, BTM; Jean Crowe, MEd, BA
Science
Dean, Science: Tom Dickinson, PhD, BSc
*Interim Associate Dean, Science: Faheem Ahmed, P.Eng, EdD, MA, BA
*Program Coordinator, Science: [no incumbent]
Trades and Technology             
*Dean, Trades and Technology: Baldev Pooni, MSc, BSc
Program Coordinator, Satwinder Paul

Assessment Editing

I recommend this excellent “Assessment Editing” blog post  at the ACES website. Evelyn Mellone and David Pisano are language proficiency test editors at the U.S. Defense Language Institute. They presented a workshop on editing assessments to ACES members, and their PowerPoint notes offer best practices and areas of concern that will be useful for anyone editing exams.

They suggest multi-level editing that starts with copy editing and moves substantive editing. They warn that textual and grammar cues (or clues) could make a test question invalid for assessing students’ knowledge. Partial truths, vague or ambiguous pronouns, or trick questions are equally to be avoided.

Among the many excellent tips they offer, the following copy editing concerns jumped out at me as relevant for our courses:

  • Incorrect grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage
  • Lack of parallel structure
  • Grammar or textual variations that could signal a correct or incorrect answer

Substantive editing concerns to keep in mind:

  • Questions or answers containing partial truths, overstatements, or ambiguity.
  • Unclear pronoun references; e.g., the pronoun it in answer choices without signalling which noun is referenced in the question.
  • Grammar cues, such as verb tense, signalling the correct answer; e.g., a question using a plural verb has only one answer suitable for the verb conjugation.
  • A word or a phrase in the question is repeated in one of the possible answers.
  • Notable differences in answer length; e.g., one answer is much longer or shorter than the others.
  • Qualifiers (all, always, commonly, no) signalling the answer or blurring distinctions between answers.

This is a good opportunity to share some of my own tips:

  • Move the article (a, an, the) to the question stem so answers start with the noun or verb.
  • Check our style guide’s rules for displayed lists.
  • Use bold font to draw attention to key word(s) needed to respond to the question successfully. Test takers are under time pressure, so they might have time only to skim the questions. For example, bold any words used as key terms. “The suffix -gravida means:”
  • Use bold or capital letters to draw attention to negative questions. Words like NOT or EXCEPT are easy to miss if reading quickly. For example, “XYZ is NOT associated with which of the following?”
  • Indicate how many marks each question or section contributes. This helps students pace themselves to have enough time for the more difficult or time consuming questions.
  • Include instructions; for example, “select the best answer” or “select all correct answers”.
  • Flag questions that rely on prior knowledge or information not taught in the course.
  • Avoid gendered language and pronouns if possible.
  • If students respond in a test booklet, make the answer fields large enough for the answers.
  • And, last but not least, check that marks for each question add up to the total marks for the exam or assignment.

Self-Care for Editors

Self-care is a concept taught in our CYMH courses, which can be beneficial for editors as well.

Self-care refers to activities we choose to do to improve our mood, enhance our physical and mental health, and avoid burn-out. Regularly doing self-care reduces stress, and promotes mindfulness and work/life balance.

So what, exactly, does self-care mean for editors?

Well, for one, it could mean that you take your regular breaks. It could mean that you eat healthy food. It could mean you do one relaxing activity every day–water your plants, meditate, stretch, listen to music, create wild and glowing art, etc. Or maybe you do something physical every day–attend TRU fitness classes, stretch, dance, walk through the campus garden, etc.

Self-care could also mean limiting things you don’t like. If it is not fun for you, it is not benefitting you. Don’t check your work email in the evenings, for example. Don’t join meetings if you don’t want to be there (within reason, of course). Don’t talk about work at lunch or on your breaks.

Regardless of the specific activity you choose, self-care definitely means you will do one relaxing or pleasurable activity every day. Schedule it in Outlook and make it part of your work routine. Do it even on the busiest work days. Self-care doesn’t just happen: You need to plan it, schedule it, and do the activity with the intention of self-care. In other words, don’t just wait for wellness to happen by chance.

For inspiration, here are 52 great ideas to promote mental wellbeing and self-care: https://www.workplacestrategiesformentalhealth.com/newsletter/Healthy-Break-Activities.

The Copyediting website also offers self-care suggestions for editors: https://www.copyediting.com/how-to-survive-a-heavy-editing-job/#.WbhfU1WGNyw

  • Take breaks
  • Reward yourself
  • Set tiny goals

 

What’s Our Opposite Job?

“The [U.S.] Labor Department keeps detailed and at times delightfully odd records on the skills and tasks required for each job. Some of them are physical: trunk strength, speed of limb movement, the ability to stay upright. Others are more knowledge-based: economics and accounting, physics, programming. Together, they capture the essence of what makes a job distinctive.

We’ve used these records to determine what each job’s polar opposite would be.”

From:

What is your opposite job? [Blog post]. (2017, August 8). The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/08/08/upshot/what-is-your-opposite-job.html.

The opposite job of an editor is a model.

Editors use these skills the most Models use these skills the most
Communications and media
Ability to maintain balance
Near vision
Gross body coordination
English language
Trunk strength
Writing
Ability to reach with arms, hands and legs
Written expression
Performing general physical activities
Time management
Performing for or working directly with the public
Reading comprehension
Technology design
Negotiation
Stamina
Fluency of ideas
Fine arts
10 Interpreting the meaning of information for others
10 Dynamic strength