August 11 Usability Day Event

Members of the OER community gathered on Friday, Aug. 11 at the Toronto Metropolitan University Library and Archives (RULA) to discuss the progress so far on the Open Publishing Infrastructure Project, funded by eCampusOntario. Discussions ranged from the importance of helping Ontario teachers and student quickly and easily search for and find open learning resources, to the proposed look and feel of an Open Library design created by Agile Humanities.

Key enhancements to Pressbooks, the industry-standard open publishing platform, were also demoed and discussed, featuring a new design approach for the publishing platform by Plank Design.

Some of the highlights from the day’s discussion were as follows:

Search is primary. Remember that search is the most important functionality in the front end of the portal in the near term Finding materials should be the primary focal point.

Versioning and federation of content. Versioning was a key area of focus. What happens when materials change and evolve at BCcampus OpenEd change? How will content be federated and shared? How will versioning of materials be tracked?

Tracking adaptation. How do you get information on an adapted textbook? How will you know its lineage? How do you track the adaption process? This is an area for focus.

Building community. Getting educators involved in OER is another key area of focus. The call to action for the portal is important so that educators know how to get involved. Incentives and creating communities are key.

Clarifying user roles and actions. Clarify adoption, adaptation and creation. Make sure the community understands what each means. Clarify how learners and educators use the portal. Added note, should ‘create’ be featured so prominently on the main page of the portal?

Metadata matters. Do we offer enough ways to search materials, is there enough here to make the search and discovery work at this early stage? How best to collect community feedback on metadata?

A full recap of the day can be found here. An overview presentation can be found here.