We gathered in WCC 245 again, slightly different group of folks in attendance, but certainly some familiar faces. We’re starting slowly to develop a group of usual suspects around digital learning. 🙂
The focus of our discussion was online textbooks, an issue Truett Cates brought to our attention but one that several Working Group participants had experience with and thoughts about. He discussed his concerns with online textbooks’ interfaces and how they are different in each case, publisher to publisher. They curate assignments within the textbook app, so that means another administration team to deal with if/when things go wrong. Mike Higgs seconded Truett’s sense that Cengage is particularly bad at this aspect of online textbook development.
I (Brett Boessen) steered the discussion toward open education since I had recently attended the conference. Drawing on the open education community and its practices for OER development can empower faculty by allowing us to directly shape the scale and scope of the resources we ask our students to use. The Working Group thought this might have enough legs among our colleagues to develop as a separate initiative, so we decided to look into that more.
The Group also revived an idea from a previous meeting about creating a digital networked space for discussion in between face to face meetings, and we decided Slack might be a good tool. If you are an Austin College faculty member who would like to participate in the Slack, send Brett a request via email.