Rajiv Jhangiani, Ph.D.

Open Education, SoTL, Psychology

Month: August 2017

Trying something new: Sketchnoting my research

Inspired by George Veletsianos’ Research Shorts and a recent Sketching in Practice (SKiP) workshop I took with Amy Burvall, I am trying a new way of sharing my research: sketchnoting. In this first attempt, my co-author (and wife) Surita Jhangiani and I recorded a voice over summarizing our recent survey of the perceptions, use, and impact of open textbooks among post-secondary students in British Columbia. I then used the app Procreate to sketch on my iPad (exporting brief video clips with each additional segment) and finally used iMovie to stitch it all together.

While I hope to produce more sophisticated sketches over time, I didn’t want to shy away from sharing my first effort. So, with the hope that this is useful to those of you who would like a quick overview of our study, here it is:

“If you could tell a new open textbook author one thing, what would it be?”

Earlier this year, Linda Frederiksen (Head of Access Services, Washington State University Vancouver) reached out to me (along with several others) and posed this question. She has since done a wonderful job of synthesizing these suggestions into a chapter titled “Ten Tips for Authoring Success,” itself part of a new guide for Authoring Open Textbooks, edited by Melissa Falldin and Karen Lauritsen from the Open Textbook Network.

I encourage you to read all of the ten tips provided by brilliant colleagues such as Amanda Coolidge, Lauri Aesoph, Dianna Fisher, Quill West, Amy Hofer, Mike Caulfield, and others. Here is what I wrote:

To your question, “What Is The One Thing Every New Open Textbook Author Should Know?”, I would say that although constructing an open textbook is easier when you think about it in terms of a conventional textbook structure (e.g., sub sections within chapters that may also be grouped into sections), know that the most exciting elements of OER have to do with the greatest weaknesses of conventional textbooks. With an open textbook you have the ability to update content frequently, so write with this in mind (e.g., do not keep referring to one particular study as this may be replaced over time). Think about how you might take advantage of the digital platform by embedding interactive simulations, videos, and online activities. Consider how you can invite students into the process of OER creation, even if through personal application questions or small exercises. And finally, do not wait for your open textbook to be in some mythical “perfect” state before releasing it to the community. Pilot it, collect student feedback, and revise. Consider this an iterative process that you own. And if you are feeling a bit bolder, develop the textbook itself in the open, permitting and even inviting feedback from colleagues as you develop each sub-section. It may seem daunting to open yourself up to that level of scrutiny, but the resource will be far stronger for it. If you think about it, this is what the process of opening education is all about.