Pub101: Inclusion 2024

Published on April 26th, 2024

Estimated reading time for this article: 31 minutes.

Pub101 is a free, informal, online orientation to open textbook publishing. This April 24, 2024, session is the third in our series this year. Host Micah Gjeltema of the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities is joined by guest speaker Christina Trunnell of Montana State University Library for a discussion of inclusion in open publishing.

Watch the video recording of this session or keep reading for a full transcript. For those interested in reading the conversation that took place among participants and the resources shared, the chat transcript is also available below.

Note: If your comments appear in the transcripts and you would like your name or other identifying information removed, please contact Tonia.

Audio Transcript

  • Micah Gjeltema (Open Education & Affordable Content Librarian, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities)
  • Christina Trunnell (Assistant Dean, Montana State University Library)

Micah: Welcome everyone. As we are admitting folks, I'll just go ahead and introduce myself. My name is Micah Gjeltema. I am the open education librarian at the University of Minnesota. Just as we sort of are welcoming people in before we get started, just to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to be here, you can go ahead and do our little kind of chat activity today.

Go ahead and kind of mention to us your pronouns, where you're from. I thought for a topic, I was thinking a lot about as it gets sunny the summer side salads that I've been missing so much, the slaws and the salads. And please comment with your favorite summer side salad.

I am planning a party with a couple of friends in the next weeks for a pasta salad party where we're all bringing different kinds of pasta salads, and I'm very excited about that. So yeah, as you enter, go ahead and kind of comment. Again, just let us know where you're from, and we'll get started shortly. Some good salads already. Strawberry poppy seed salad. Tomato and watermelon. At the same time? Sorry, maybe it's rude to ask food questions, but it is after lunch for some. Hopefully, that helps a little bit. Maybe it'll just whet the appetite of others. Thank you so much.

Again, if you're just kind of entering here, our little activity is to enter in where you're from and maybe a favorite summer side salad that you're looking forward to as it warms up. All right, it looks like we've got quite a few people here, so I think I'll go ahead and get started.

So hello and welcome to the Open Education Network's Pub101. Thanks for joining us for today's session. My name is Micah Gjeltema. I'm the open education and affordable content librarian at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. So I'll be hosting and facilitating today, but soon, I will be handing it off to Christina Trunnell, the assistant dean of the library at Montana State University.

She'll be talking about inclusion in the context of open education publishing. As always, we will leave time for your questions and conversation, and there may be some of you who have a lot of experience in this topic in addition to our guests. So we do invite you to share your experience as and resources. We like to keep the chat lively, and as always, feel free to share links to any resources that you think other people might be really interested in. Before we go, I'm going to have a couple of housekeeping details. We do have an orientation document that includes links to a lot of the materials that we'll be talking about here.

I'm going to go ahead and just right now put in the chat our link tree. So this is a link that has all of our other links in it, so you can kind of browse those as we speak today. I'll also be entering links as are relevant to our conversation. And please do remember that there is also that companion resource for these sessions, the Pub101 Canvas Curriculum that is also within that link tree, and that's where you'll find a lot of the resources and templates that we mention. This session is being recorded and will be added to our YouTube Pub101 Spring 2024 playlist.

There's also a transcript being generated that will include not only the audio and video of this but it'll also include the chat material. So if you are kind of panicking as I sometimes do, as people put in incredible resources and links to things in the chat, that should all be preserved for you to access later as well. We are committed to providing a friendly, safe, and welcoming environment for everyone aligned with our community norms. So please join us in creating a safe and constructive space, particularly for today's topic of inclusion.

And finally, I'll just go ahead and pop that link in the chat again just to be sure. That is the link tree, and that will have the links to all of the other materials that I've just discussed and that you may be experiencing as we go forward or want to catch up on after the session. So, hopefully, that's all very clear. I will now go ahead and hand things over to Christina to talk about inclusion.

Christina: Thanks, Micah. Let me share my slides with you all here. So it's a delight for me to be here. I love Pub101 and all the resources that it gives to you all. And as Micah said, I'm going to be talking about diversity, equity, and inclusion in our publishing and especially in open publishing. As I do that, I just want to recognize that our social and political climate has shifted in the last year or a couple, to be honest, to make having these conversations a little more challenging at some institutions or within your states.

So recognizing that. We will have... I will pause and give you space to ask really specific questions, or I will also put out that my contact info is here on this first slide. The slides will be shared out with you all. So if you have an issue that you maybe want a sounding board or want to talk about outside of this, feel free to reach out to me specifically. I'm happy to have those conversations with you. So today, we will talk about how to incorporate some active DEI engagement in your publishing program.

And this, when I say publishing program, I'm talking about if you have or are creating a full program, if it's just you at your institution, you working with one author, you trying to get a couple of authors through, all of these options, I would like us to think about active engagement with DEI work. So I will talk about some of the risk and responsibility that comes with that, how to develop a first approach to DEI instead of a remedial approach.
Some specifics about incorporating DEI into course materials, including design and information equity, and then some of the self-care and empowerment that comes with this type of work or is needed with this type of work, so that's what we're going to go over. If you have questions or thoughts, please pop those in the chat. I will try to monitor that, but I'll be pausing periodically so you can ask those as well. And then, as Micah said, we'll have a Q&A time at the end.

So I always start any conversation about this topic with these two statements that I think are really essential for us to ground ourselves in. And that is, "Equity is human, and equity work is honest." Humans are not easy or succinct. They are messy and loud and problematic and beautiful, and equity work is going to be all of those things. So, as we think about it, remember it is a very human type of work that we do, and it is also honest. We cannot change or fix or be better at any equity-based work if we're not honest about where we're at in that work. So those are the two things that I will ask you to keep at top of mind. But also, when you leave this session and as you have struggles or if you're questioning things, remember this is human work, and it is honest.

So ground rules for publishing support, and I am talking to you all as if you are the publishing support to people on your campuses or at your institutions. But these are also my ground rules for any type of conversation about race, diversity, inclusion, equity, or allyship. And the first question is, is this important work? Is it things that we should... Is it something that we should be doing? And if your answer is at all yes, then the first thing we have to do is accept the risk. This is a risky type of academic work because it is human. It often will not go well.

So when you accept the risk you accept, will it always go well? Maybe not. Maybe you'll try something or put forward a policy or equity statement that doesn't work well, that is rejected, or you get negative feedback, or people don't understand what you're trying to say. It won't always go well, but that's okay because it's important work. It's worth doing. Will you make mistakes? That's kind of the human part. We do. We all make them. I've made them so many times, but it's worth staying in the conversation for. And a lot of people that I work with and talk to in this area, they may have made a mistake, and it makes them shy from staying in the DEI conversation.

And I would say it's always worth the risk, but be honest about your mistakes. "When I put forth this policy and I did not consider how it would affect this particular group. So let me rethink this and do a different job that maybe connects with all groups." We're not going to get it perfect. We're not going to get right 100% of the time, but being honest about being in the conversation is really important.

And then the second thing I want to talk about is what is the responsibility you have in this, in your role for academic publishing? You have space to offer guidance to authors, but is the creation of the textbook or the OER that you're helping to publish yours, or is it theirs? And whose responsibility is it to make a good work? And I think that's a real challenge for me because I might have standards that my authors do not on certain things. So knowing where you're able to have the conversation is really important. So, if you're thinking about from a publishing support side, what resources can you have to give your authors to say, "Please consider all of these things as you're writing your textbook. Please consider incorporating some of these into your textbook."

How do you make a resource that covers that area but also leaves the onus on the author to complete it? We can publish textbooks that we don't agree with or we don't... we think could be done differently, but that's not our job to judge. So, as we do this, think about what's your obligation. Where can you provide guidance? And then, are there minimum standards for publishing? Most... Many of you probably heard from my colleague Jackie last week about accessibility. And so thinking about what are the standards that have to be met for accessibility, I think, is a really good way to start a DEI conversation. What are my minimum standards, or what can I ask my authors to consider?

And if I'm going to publish something that doesn't meet at least the standard. That's going to be different based on your institution, based on your program, based on your state, how you are funded. So all of those factors have to come into play, but those are questions that I think really are foundational for where you go individually with this work. So how do we jump into DEI? I think it stems from system thinking, right. And I pulled a couple of snippets from Wikipedia's definition of systemic racism. And for me, these are very indicative of academic publishing. It's embedded in normal practices.

It originates in operation of established and respected forces in society, or is more established and respected than academic publishing, which does not endeavor to be racist, right. So there are systems already in place that we are working with and trying to make better. And so if we pause our system thinking and we come back to what we're creating. A great essay that I really like that kind of grounds me, but that's me, is Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay on Art. And in it, he says that all artists... So I'm thinking of our authors, right. All authors, creation is the aim.

They want to create something new. And yet, he posits that we are incapable of creating anything that is not influenced by our society, our family, our religion, our culture, the time period that we're alive so that we have all of these influences. And what we do is we end up imitating them whether we're trying to create something new and great or not. And so imitation is what he says is the finest form of art, which I think is interesting.

But that imitation is if we're doing system thinking and we're thinking of systemic racism, systemic forms of oppression, systemic uses of language that are harmful, they're already embedded in what you and your authors are doing. So I'd like you to consider stepping back from that system thinking and consider perspective. And what that means to me is we can work really hard on all of this stuff, and our perspective might be as small as a ladybug's because we can only see what we're looking at.

So that first perspective that I said I was going to talk to you about, that's how I think we are successful in DEI in academic publishing and open publishing, is from the first point of contact with our authors with our programs as we're developing them, if we start to embed how many perspectives, what other perspectives besides ours, we will stop imitating the systems that we have... that we are a part of and including more perspectives beyond what we're traditionally trained to do. And that's really important. Otherwise, we are just the ladybug following in the footsteps of everything that's come before us.

And open education has such power to shift academic publishing with a more inclusive, equity-centered perspective. So for your program and how you talk to your authors, first think about what your goal is. So what is your goal in open education publishing? Free access to educational resources, money save for our students. Those are easy. But do we have a bigger goal? I'll show mine in the next slide. And then how do we approach that goal from a first approach? How do we include those perspectives? And if we're doing those two things, we do create a foundation of inclusivity.

So we've put together a great guide for authors, some checklists, some resources that you can use and share out with your authors. Again, those are as Micah said in the curriculum. So they're already embedded there, and I'm happy to point them out and share links at the end. But these can help you create that foundation of inclusivity. My goal when I first started in open education was this challenge of am I just delivering content? Am I creating or publishing a resource that just delivers content? And if I'm doing that, am I not ensuring that my students are maybe less prepared to engage in a multicultural world?

They're getting a one-sided or skewed potentially view of the issue or demonstrating one-truth learning, as the many textbooks that I've used in the past just share one point of view. My students are not learning how to speak and interact with a diverse world without adding to this structure of inequity or bias. And they are also inadvertently learning implicit bias that supports this system thinking the structure of oppression. So if I want to challenge any of these, then I'm going to start looking at my content that I'm putting into my publications, my textbooks a little differently, and this is the problem that I think we have a great ability to help shift in our roles.

Okay, so how do we do this? Things to ask our authors to consider. Things that we want to maybe question about the books that we're helping support. Number one, do they reach their target audience? Depending on what size and type of institution you're coming from, this is a bigger challenge for some. Community colleges are pretty awesome at reaching their target audience. For and onward universities sometimes have a harder time with this. So reach in the audience. We're professionals. Our faculty are writers. They know how to write. They're teaching. But often, they're doing it in the manner of writing that they're consuming as a professional.
So the first thing that I ask authors is, is the language approachable? And this is something we really can lean on the academic publishing world to support us in?

However we feel about academic publishers and their business models, they are very smart at hiring knowledgeable people that know how to put information in a way that's approachable. So is the language approachable? Are the vocabularies built into the information they're sharing? Are they highlighting terms and defining them, or are they talking to their audience, their students, as if they already know all this content? So it's something that if you're publishing, it doesn't matter what level of textbook to challenge your authors with.
Did they explain these concepts? Did they build the vocabularies from unit to unit?

Another question that is really important to me is, are the scenarios relatable? Maybe they're applicable to the field of study, but are they relevant to the students that they're speaking to? So one of the best examples I've come across is a business accounting text, and all the examples were talking about different equity that you would get in the home buying and reselling and financing portion of how to buy a home and that type of accounting for a business to invest in properties, all the examples were in the multi-millions.

And the class that was using this textbook was largely migrant and immigrant families, low English first language population. So the scenarios might be applicable to the topic, but are they relevant to your students? Do they make sense to your students? Can we explain this concept in a way that your students would get? Really key in inclusivity. In design equity, one of the most common things that we think about in the open education world is diversity of representation in images, right.

We have a lot of really great resources out there, and Creative Commons licensed images to represent diverse people. Is that incorporated into their text? But I would also say in other examples, similar to what I just was speaking about, but also experiences. Are the experiences, are the stories they're sharing relatable to a diverse group of people? Maybe your faculty member is in rangeland science, and everything's about life on the farm, but the farm they're talking about is a different level than maybe some of the students they're trying to reach. So do we have a different or a diversity within those examples and experiences?

Because same with names. Names are really common, but let's make sure our textbooks have a diversity of representation that students can self-identify with some of those names in a diverse group of students. And then I also really challenge authors to, however they want to publish, consider, is there a diversity of formats available that their students can access? So yes, we're publishing in open education, but are there low-cost print options? Is there a PDF option that they can turn into an MP4 and get the audio? So what other options can this faculty provide, can you provide? Easy things to consider upfront.

Same with, is it accessible? Remediating, going back through, and making those changes after a text has already been written is a challenge. So is it something they're considering upfront? When you talk about accessibility and you've already heard about some really good accessibility options. But I want to go back to that how publisher textbooks look compared to a lot of OER. So yes, we want to make sure it meets accessibility standards, but also thinking about our audience. Is there a To The Reader guide that explains to this new student how to use this textbook?

What are the key places they should look? Are there questions at the end of each section that allow them to connect back to the material? That's a really simple thing to add into a textbook that really makes a dynamic difference to a variety of learners. So is there a guide on how to use the text? Are they explicitly calling out the connection to additional reading or other ancillary materials that they're providing?

So I'm thinking about an author that I worked with who created a writing textbook in Pressbooks and didn't include a lot of ancillary materials and resources that they use in their course that are really quite key in that textbook because they didn't want to have to go up and update the links commonly or worry about broken links, and it left such richness out of the textbook. So, instead, what I challenged this faculty with that turned out very well, is to call out those resources. Watching this video is really helpful.

Maybe you put the link in. Maybe you don't. Maybe you just put a citation so that others can find it, but are you calling out why it's helpful and connecting the student who's trying to learn to the written material and the ancillary material? So making those connections and really being explicit is a design equity element that really makes the text inclusive. And then... So those are things we can do style-wise that really help.

Then we come to the content. And I call this the tricky part because we are not the authors of the content, and I don't want to make any of you feel like I'm asking you to question your author's content. Not. But I want to give you some guides to help them to think about their content, hopefully before they create it or get to the, "Here's my text, I'm ready to publish," stage because it will make their content richer. So three things. Subject coverage. Is it honest and inclusive? Are the perspectives covered in material inclusive and relevant to the subject? And is the language inclusive and devoid of microaggressions? So those are three ways that you've probably already heard about. I'm going to go through really quickly, and then I'm going to pause for some questions that we can make sure or ask our authors to make sure to consider as they're creating the material.

So information equity. Is that subject covered, honest, and inclusive? This is really important, and it's important to talk about the honesty part. Again, it comes down to that perspective where my perspective is unlimited or diverse it may be. If I'm writing about my subject matter, I'm going to use history examples because those are easy for me, but this is applicable to a variety of subjects. If I'm saying, "Here's what happened in Rwanda in the late-1990s and the situation about that genocide." Do I say explicitly in my text not just the situation but where that perspective is coming from? "Western News reported this situation."

Am I being honest that this does not include the accounts of locals at the time or maybe from United Nations officers at the time? Is it being honest about the limitations? And this is kind of a tricky place for some faculty because they might feel like you're questioning them. You're not. You're asking, is this honest representation? And what I have found is the more honest they are about what's missing or what further study could be, it invites engagement by the student. It invites them to, or it elicits inquiry. They're interested. They're maybe looking up what they're missing. "My textbook said this, but it also said it was missing this."

That's similar to perspectives that are covered. So if I'm talking about a particular situation, event, am I including all sides? Am I saying, "The January 6th elections riot that happened in the United States was this." Then, am I including first-person accounts from different groups or just one group? Am I giving news from a neutral side, or am I showing the diversity of opinion? So let's be honest about that in our texts. That's a really great thing to include or encourage faculty to include. And then, also is my... the language inclusive and devoid of microaggressions?

This is a harder thing for a lot of, especially your white faculty, to understand all the microaggressions that are out there. So challenge them to consider gender-neutral language and person-first language. We have a great guide that the OEN has put together with some links to those resources, but it's really, really important to students to address that inclusive language. Okay. So I'm going to pause there and see if there's questions. I see a couple of things came in chat.

So feel free to unmute yourself and ask a question. But is there anything that I've talked about that you're interested in or want to hear more about or challenge? And I see Amanda just shared the Diverse Names Generator, which is fabulous because then you're not responsible for having to be creative with your own names. Okay, so if you have more questions, pop them in the chat. If you're not comfortable, we're about to do the Q&A portion anyway.

Sara Davidson Squibb: Christina...

Christina: So... Yeah, go ahead.

Sara Davidson Squibb: Can I ask you a little bit about when you're having these conversations, are you trying to do everything up front? Are you, I don't know, providing feedback more incrementally along the way, or what have you found is effective?

Christina: So I found, and I guess I'm asking you to do two things. I'll go into that. But I found the most effective, Sara, is to approach this up front. The more you can start people thinking about perspectives other than their own and what their intention is, the better quality content, the more inclusive content they're creating. So if I have an author come to me... I'll give you two examples. One, we might offer a grant. A faculty member wants to write a book on X topic. So I'll just say sign language. That's one we recently did, right. Write a sign language textbook.

I want to get in before they've done any kind of content creation or maybe are just in their planning stage, and say, "Here's things to consider, right. Are you considering the skin tone of the drawn hand symbols you're putting on your page? Are you considering these types of perspectives? Is this situation that you're having your students or conversation that you're having them talk about, are there other conversations that might be more relevant to a different variety of your students? Can we give them multiple examples instead of Johnny saw Susie at the grocery store and asked her on a date?

Are we giving a variety that might be relevant?" So the sooner I can get in that conversation, I think it's the most effective because I'm never going to tell them how to write their text, but it helps them to start thinking about things they wouldn't. The flip side would be a faculty member comes to me and says, "Hey, I wrote this textbook, and I heard you can make it open access. Can you help me publish this?" They've already created their content. So I will take the same resource and say, "Sure, of course, here's the steps to this process, but also, did you consider these things in your textbook?

Would it be helpful if I shared some resources with you, like where you can find diverse images or the diverse names?" These are things that make the most successful textbooks. And so it's easier for them not to have to remediate, but I feel like my responsibility is in telling them how to write. It's "Here's some things to consider," and I'm going to do that no matter where they are in the process. Does that make sense?

Sara Davidson Squibb: Yes, it does. I can see where that ideal is getting that information out in front.

Christina: Yeah. And so then, as you're thinking about the other... The other thing I was going to say is, as you're thinking about your publishing program, if you're thinking about these same things from the start or in the middle or wherever you're at and saying, "Okay, who are we leaving out?" One of the things I found we had, the state had a faculty grant program, and I had really... I had money to give away, which is not the norm in OER world, right. I had money to give away, and I had faculty that just were not applying and not interested and using open education because it was tied to this grant funding.

And what I learned was, in rural, sparse economic areas, this idea of a grant application process was... just that language, was not inclusive. It was putting up barriers. So I had to redo the marketing and re-look at the language to say, "Here's all the great things you could do and how I could support you." Right. How are we even within our programs using language that's approachable, that's maybe some diverse scenarios of how they could get to their funding or get to our help?

So I think talking with authors but also looking at our program and how we're connecting with our faculty, authors are both areas that I would consider this work valuable, I guess.
Other questions? Thanks, Katy, for the anthropomorphic animals comment. That's great. I think Amanda and I probably have the same list of diverse image sources that are out there. So yeah, you share that out, that's great.

Okay, so last thing before we... I kind of pause entirely for other open Q&As as I feel like it's really valuable. This work's so important not just in the field of open education, and most of us believe that education should be equally accessible to all, but I feel like it's really important in our society and our world as a whole. And I want to... I like to spend some time acknowledging that sometimes it comes with discomfort.

Obviously due to my slide, are you totally comfortable having some of these conversations? And if the answer's maybe, or not entirely, or not really at all, that's completely okay. So going back to that, how to have these conversations entirely? Honesty. Equity is human. Equity is honest. So be honest with yourself about the fact that this is hard. The fact that maybe you're not comfortable with this. We kind of have to dive in because it matters. And if it matters to you, you have to dive in. But only by openly addressing how you feel about it can you actually get more comfortable.

So if you say, "Hey, this is a cool resource, and I want to have this conversation with my faculty, but I feel really uncomfortable," then let's have a conversation about it. The important thing to remember about the human aspect is, because equity is a human issue, it means you're never alone in this work. There's so many other humans in here with you and are happy to have a conversation with you and say, "Oh, I totally missed that one. Or I felt like that was so uncomfortable." I've had those conversations where I had to turn around five minutes later and write an email and say, "You know what? I'm pretty sure I said this wrong. Here's what I meant for you to hear. I'm sorry if I made you uncomfortable."

People appreciate honesty. So the more honest we are with ourselves, the better we get at this work. And the other is to truly, actively care for yourself. It's like an emotional labor cost to jump into some of these conversations, especially when you're not confident or you don't feel sure where they're going to go. So if I know I'm going to have that conversation, I give myself breathing room beforehand and after. I budget into my calendar, "Okay, I'm going to need a minute to get mentally clear or breathe afterwards."

So take care of yourself as you're doing this work because it really matters, and it's the unseen work that tends to get put aside for the routine of the systems that we're already in, and we have to actively take care of ourselves in this process. So that is my mental self soul care advice for this type of work. And I'm going to go ahead and stop sharing, but I really do encourage you all to know that it's valuable and important. And many of our values, including the OEN, support this. So come back to it if you need to take a break, but reach out, connect with this community. It's a rich community, and we're here for you in this.

So it's my big spiel, but there's a lot of great resources. The couple that I talked about, that you may want to use, again, they're in the Pub101 Curriculum. But one is this Guiding Authors Towards Inclusive Content Creation. You can take that, you can... oops, I didn't put the link. Sorry. Getting you the link. You can take that and modify it to fit your institution.

And then we have a great, on the same page, there's a couple of great links. But the OEN has this diversity, equity, and inclusion rubric that goes into some detail about what I talked about, but when you get down to the guides and lexicons, there's really great resources for inclusive language. So I'm going to share both of those here. Yeah, questions, challenges, struggles at your institution where you can't talk about equity. I'm happy to hear them all.

Micah: Thanks so much, Christina. I'm going to jump in right ahead of questions for something that we'll sort of dovetail with those questions. So do keep writing those if you are, keep thinking about them if you are. But yeah, again, thank you, Christina, so much for sharing your experience. I really love the reminder that it is human work. I think a lot of people sort of feel that DEI work, that it is a dangerous game sometimes, and that we can sort of avoid taking risks by using what we think of as objective academic language.

But it's a really great reminder that that language is not objective, and it really is still on us to kind of be making more of an effort and being brave and being human. So thank you so much for that.

I have linked in our chat a link to the Padlet. That's kind of a collaborative little board where we can anonymously, I should note, share ideas. So we are working to adapt some of our curriculum to be more tailored to faculty and instructor authors. We'd love it if you would take a brief moment and think about what you would like authors to know about this topic.

If you've never used Padlet before, it's pretty easy. Just click the plus sign next to today's session, which is session three. It'll open a sticky for you to write on. You can even change colors and things like that. Go ahead and add your comment, and then click publish to share it. Again, these are anonymous. We are really, really curious to kind of get some of your feedback about what you would like your instructors that you're working with to know about how they can work with you, what sort of resources they might need, anything like that.
So go ahead and add your comment and hit publish, and we'll kind of be taking a look at those as well. So now we go ahead and move on to the Q&A. So please do feel free to share your questions and comments in the chat or raise your hand, and we can call on you.

As people kind of consider, one thing that I was really thinking about a lot during this conversation, particularly as juxtaposed with last week's session, just the relationship between diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility seems to be so strong. I'm a little bit curious, Christina, how you kind of recommend, do you feel like it's so important to always kind of speak about those together? Do you try to frame them in different approaches? How do you approach individuals who maybe come to you with one and are a little bit less interested in the other?

Christina: Interesting question. I actually... So let me think about this. I think people are more comfortable coming to you with accessibility questions, and I like to put them together because we should be considering these all equally, whether it's ableism, learning styles. I mean, all of them are things that we should be considering, and to me, they're user-first centered. So if we're making a resource, it's for the students. So yes, we want to make it accessible for the students, but if our language that we're using has so many barriers, does the physical or digital accessibility standards matter?

We're still putting up barriers. So I like to put them together to make it... I guess I feel like I'm trying to normalize DEI conversations, right. We should be checking inclusive language constantly. Everything we should do. We should be checking accessibility constantly with everything we do. So the more we normalize that, the more approachable it is. And I can only speak as a white person, obviously, but I would say there's a lot of white academia that's uncomfortable joining into those conversations.

But they understand accessibility and standards and practices. So the more we can loop them together and be like, oh, is your PDF accessible? But also, did you include these how-to-use guides, and would you consider changing some of your language to include vocabulary that's called out that students can understand and helping them to see that it's not a guilty thing. "I didn't do something wrong. I just have to consider other perspectives." I think we can make changes more universal. It's my very long-winded answer. Hopefully makes sense.

Micah: It wasn't an easy question. I appreciate it.

Christina: So I just want to call out one of our lovely colleagues from the State of Florida who said it's so difficult to navigate, being from Montana. I feel ya. There are things that we can do to have these conversations, like this guiding author's checklist. Maybe you don't say the word diversity because that's a trigger word in your state, but maybe you talk about approachable language instead or a variety of perspectives.

So there's ways that we can get towards these concepts and help individuals and faculty move this direction that is less triggering for those in conservative... and conservative is not actually the right word to use. I apologize for that. But states and institutions that have some of these hesitations or flat out you can't use these or do work in equity or diversity. So yes, proficient in synonyms. Yes, I like that.

Micah: Yeah, we've been using the words mattering and belonging quite a lot.

Christina: Student belonging is really popular right now. Also, as we're hitting that big population bubble that a lot of institutions have worried about, I've started just using this retention, retention and success. These are our retention efforts. We're making better textbooks. We're making more accessible textbooks. It's the same thing. I would like to call it for what it is, but also, if that's going to get you support and funding, call it what you need to call it.

Micah: Maybe to add another tricky accessibility question. But again, I feel like... It's interesting when we were thinking about that, and there was a moment during the session where we talked about sort of universal design and how, in some cases, universal design is ideal in that it kind of removes... it really considers barriers and it really removes as many as possible. But that depending on your situation, sometimes universal design maybe is less effective than design that is tailored perhaps to a particular community or a particular student group and things like that. I'm curious how you kind of consider these ideas of universal best practices versus that sort of dynamic responsiveness that comes with diversity, equity, inclusion.

Christina: Micah with the tough questions again. Just kidding. So I think universal design, if we fully embrace it, would take us quite a long ways. You can't design for all perspectives. And I think what becomes so important for me is faculty reaching your audience. I could write a fabulous textbook on whatever topic, and it might go over well really here in my community, but if I move this to this urban Chicago university, it might not meet those... that population as well. So how do I write with multiple perspectives? And I think that honesty is just the really hard ground foundation for me.

If I'm honest, this is the perspective that I'm covering. This is where I'm coming from, and here's the areas that I didn't look. Not only is it going to invite my students to look elsewhere or engage in other communities, but when I have someone from a community that's very different reading that material, it is respectful and honoring that maybe their perspective isn't included. So maybe they want to take... And this is where I see such potential in OER. Maybe they want to take my textbook and add those perspectives or shift. I think it is human, so it's a moving target.

It's always going to be imperfect, and it's always going to have missing voices. But the more honest we are about that, the better quality we get. I also think we have gotten very complex in design. I heard an OER session a few years ago at a conference about, Let's Make Ugly OER. I was like, "Oh no. I like to make a few things pretty." But also, is that benefiting the most people? And maybe I have to back up and say, "The most benefit is something that is very streamlined, is very simple."

And then depend on my faculty to teach to their audience, right. Again, what's the purpose of my content? Am I just sharing information? I think that's going to vary dependent on discipline. So I think universal design has a place, but I also think it's flawed because it's not going to fit every situation either. And Amanda, I wasn't saying let's make ugly OER. That was just the name of the session, and it did crack me up, but I understood his point.

Amanda Larson: Yeah. And I do get the point. I do get the point because that's also sort of... I was in a keynote recently about Let's Do Messy AI. Let's not worry about setting all of the best practices before people start using it because you get too far behind the learning curve, is the point there.

Christina: Yeah.

Amanda Larson: But when it comes to OER, whenever people move to that, Let's Make Ugly OER, let's just get it together and do it. I'm there for the spirit of that, but I'm also like, "Oh, please don't," because then the instructors are like, "This is poor quality. I would never adopt this."

Christina: Yeah. And then we go back to where we were 15 years ago, where they're like, "All the OER is crap." Yeah.

Amanda Larson: Yeah.

Christina: I don't want to go back there. Okay. Well, I hope this was helpful. Again, you've got some great resources in your Pub101 Curriculum, and my slides have my contact info. I'm always happy to talk about DEI issues with anyone, so feel free to reach out.

Micah: And within the link tree, you will find that we do have a link to a feedback form that's always very helpful for us if you do choose to leave us some tips and tricks for what we can improve on or what you really appreciated here. So thank you for doing that in advance. Thank you so much, Christina. We really appreciate you sharing your experience. Thank you all for joining us as we continue to learn about open textbook publishing.

We hope that as we continue to share available resources and recommendations, one of your key takeaways is the sense that you're not alone in figuring out how to support open textbook authors. And as you hear from today's lesson, it is human work, and it's a little bit messy, and we do really appreciate the effort and the interest in this work.

We do really look forward to seeing you all next week. The session will be linked. You can find that on the orientation materials. So we do hope you will join us. That will be talking about MOUs, memorandums of understanding. Thanks again everyone for joining us. Thank you very much, Christina. We really appreciate it.


Chat Transcript

00:19:17 Lori Albrizio: Strawberry poppyseed salad at Panera rocks! From always summery Fort Lauderdale, here. :)
00:19:17 Elisabeth Ball: Elisabeth from Florida Virtual Campus; good summer salad is tomato and watermelon.
00:19:27 Kestrel Ward: Kestrel Ward (they/them) from Florida Virtual Campus Library Services, and my favorite is caprese salad, love that balsamic.
00:19:32 Jeanne Pavy: she/her, in New Orleans, I love a good kale-and-feta salad
00:19:34 Linda Miles: Linda Miles (she/her), Michigan State University. I like anything with mayonnaise, but my favorite is probably my mom's potato salad. However, the temperatures will be in the 20s tonight so it feels like summer is eluding us
00:19:49 Thomas Gillespie: Tom Gillespie - potato salad with extra celery seed.
00:19:52 Yasemin Onder (she/her): Yasemin from Iowa, Kirkwood Community College
00:20:03 Jenni Breems: Jenni Breems, Dordt University. Anything with locally grown greens
00:20:10 Elizabeth Tolman: Liz Tolman, Texas Higher Ed Coordinating Board, Potato Salad - of course!
00:20:12 Andy Johnson: Andy from University of Virginia's College at Wise. I like a good potato salad.
00:20:13 Karen Janke (she/her): in Chicago, where it's really cold today, love a "real" Greek Salad that is mostly cucumbers, tomatoes, and a hunk of feta.
00:20:14 Christina Trunnell: Favorite summer salad is watermelon, feta, and mint.
00:20:20 Katy Smith: Katy SMith, St. Louis, MO--vegetarian german potato salad :)
00:20:23 Morgan Ray: Flathead Valley Community College, roasted root veggie salad
00:20:28 Cassidy Watson (she/her): Cassidy from Rollins College. Any salad with strawberries!
00:21:09 Micah Gjeltema:
00:21:16 Laurie Preston: Ashland, VA - fresh fruit salad
00:21:33 Alia Lizotte: arugula & candied rhubarb with lemon dressing
00:22:10 Micah Gjeltema:
00:25:30 Micah Gjeltema: Christina’s slides will be made available at the end as well!
00:34:54 Micah Gjeltema: For anyone joining us, here again is our linktree! You’ll find the orientation document with our scheduled sessions, the PUB101 Canvas Curriculum, and our Padlet for an activity to come. There is also a feedback form as well as links to past sessions in video and written transcripts.
00:34:55 Micah Gjeltema:
00:48:37 Amanda Larson: Going back to the diverse names part, I really like to share this name generator with authors:
00:49:40 Jeanne Pavy: Reacted to "Going back to the di..." with 👍
00:49:42 Morgan Ray (she/her): Reacted to "Going back to the di..." with 👍
00:49:53 Amanda Larson: Some of them also have pronunciations! 😄
00:51:58 Micah Gjeltema: Similar to the name generator, I was shown the Open Peeps project recently—you can generate diverse human illustrations very easily, and they’re licensed CC0!
00:53:08 Amanda Larson: i love open peeps! Story Set is also great - and are customizable, and openly licensed.
00:53:27 Katy Smith: I have found that is hard for the images with different skin tones. I often use anthropomorphic animals when possible, but then I'm afraid that they look too juvenile. (Not in OER yet, but flyers, etc.)
00:53:29 Amanda Larson: I have a list of diverse image sources that I share out ahead of a project
00:53:47 Katy Smith: Replying to "I have found that is..." hard to find, particularly in Canva
00:54:11 Katy Smith: Reacted to "Similar to the name ..." with ❤️
00:54:18 Katy Smith: Reacted to "i love open peeps! S..." with ❤️
00:54:24 Joe Levy: Reacted to "Similar to the name ..." with ❤️
00:55:33 Joe Levy: Reacted to "i love open peeps! S..." with ❤️
00:56:10 Amanda Larson: Most likely! 😄
00:58:41 Micah Gjeltema: Just to bump it again for anyone who joined recently or lost it in the chat, here is our linktree! You’ll find the orientation document with our scheduled sessions, the PUB101 Canvas Curriculum, and our Padlet for an activity to come. There is also a feedback form as well as links to past sessions in video and written transcripts.
00:59:48 Amanda Larson: This is a helpful resource to come back to as you do this work -Enhancing Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) in Open Educational Resources (OER)
01:00:24 Christina Trunnell: Guiding Authors Toward Inclusive Content Creation
01:01:08 Christina Trunnell:
01:01:11 Christina Trunnell:
01:01:23 Micah Gjeltema:
01:06:34 Micah Gjeltema: Please feel free to ask questions in the chat, or to raise your hand if you would prefer to speak! 🙂
01:07:54 Morgan Ray (she/her): We are starting to use Access, Belonging, and Success in place of "DEI"
01:07:58 Lori Albrizio: I've become very proficient with synonyms....
01:08:07 Amanda Larson: We can still do the work, we're just not going to call it that!
01:08:17 Amanda Larson: I've seen belonging crop up everywhere!
01:08:19 Morgan Ray (she/her): Reacted to "We can still do the ..." with 👍
01:09:20 Micah Gjeltema: If it isn’t obvious, the pinned sticky note on the Padlet has the prompt: “What do you want faculty to know about working with you as you make open textbooks together?” As you consider these topics, add your answers! You can add them after the session as well.
01:12:24 Amanda Larson: filling these gaps - is also a great opportunity to get instructors interested in Open Pedagogy, and having student voices help fill those gaps in their OER.
01:12:48 Jeanne Pavy: Sorry I have to run to another meeting but this was really helpful--thank you so much.
01:12:55 Amanda Larson: Let's not - because instructors treat that as a quality issue.
01:14:48 Micah Gjeltema:
01:14:54 Joe Levy: Thanks!
01:14:56 Amelia Brister: Thank you! Very helpful!
01:14:59 Lori Albrizio: Thank you!
01:15:23 Susan Jardaneh: Thanks so much! Very helpful!
01:16:02 Thomas Gillespie: Thank you.

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