Out of Print: Building a Digital Environment for Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship


This is a proposal for a presentation at the Open Education 2007 conference hosted by Utah State University, September 26-28 2007. The co-conspirators for this work are Jim Groom from University of Mary Washington, and D’Arcy Norman from The University of Calgary.


While many individuals and groups are actively creating Open Content resources, little documentation is available on the strategies and techniques used to create effective Open Content using available open source and free utilities and services. It is proposed to create both an effective open content resource, specifically for use in Higher Education as part of a History/Literature course, and a separate website to document the process, decisions and strategies used while authoring.


It is hoped that we will be able to demonstrate learning on two separate levels. First, by framing out a History/Literature course on North American captivity narratives that will be actively incorporating, providing, and utilizing reusable archival resources from the early colonial period (all of which are in the public domain). The class will not only trace the students’ engagement with the open content within this virtual learning environment, but will also include a syllabus, extensive online bibliographical resource, assignments, reading notes, student reactions and individualized research.

Second, the rationale for the design and framework used to create this virtual learning environment will be available alongside the open course content for others to learn how to go about such a process. Moreover, the process of building such an environment will be detailed to afford any interested parties a step-by-step reference for developing their own open content resources.


Localization will be approached in multiple ways.

  • Strategies for managing multilingual versions of the resources will be outlined, if not implemented. A recipe for multilingual open content authoring will be provided.
  • Cultural localization will be encouraged through the re-use and integration of the components of the open content resource. Each part/page of the resource will be individually addressable, and strategies for remixing the website and adding new, culturally localized and relevant, resources will be described.

Potential Impact

The proposed set of open content resources will potentially have positive effects on two separate levels. On a specific level, the History/Literature resource will be freely available for use, adding to the available curricular resources.

On a broader level the documentation resource will be available, providing information on the open content authoring and publishing process. It is hoped that this resource becomes useful enough to help others to author and publish other open content resources using the strategies and techniques that will be described.



One response

6 08 2010

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