Greetings, fellow adventurers. Prepare to embark on an exciting journey into the realm of Open Education Resources (OER)!
Recently, both myself and my incredible team were approached with a thrilling project—a collaborative endeavor with Campus Manitoba and RRC Polytech to construct an OER. As an instructional multimedia designer, delving into the world of OER construction has proven to be a remarkable learning experience! Our chosen platform for this venture is Pressbooks, which serves as the perfect canvas for presenting the OER as a textbook resource. However, given the sheer volume of material we’re working with, I proposed a redesign of the content layout—an innovative multi-book format! This approach offers enhanced organization and a more user-friendly structure (and let’s face it, such contributions often fall within the realm of the instructional multimedia designer).
Now, here’s an important tidbit to note: Many content authors (SMEs) are accustomed to structuring their material with a print mindset. This approach involves things like leaving space in a Word document for learners’ answers, rather than incorporating interactivity into the Learning Management System (LMS) or Content Management System (CMS). Furthermore, these authors often include full web addresses, a necessary component for print, but not ideal for online accessibility or screen reader friendliness.
We must remember to incorporate descriptive text for all links. When an author raises concerns about how learners will know which website to visit, we must ask them a crucial question: Are they creating this resource for web or print? It’s essential to acknowledge that these two mediums cannot be approached synonymously anymore. The “jack of all trades, master of none” approach simply doesn’t do justice to either method of delivery.
“When an author raises concerns about how learners will know which website to visit, we must ask them a crucial question: Are they creating this resource for web or print?“
Thus, the role of the instructional multimedia designer in education becomes that of a guide and interactive translator—helping paper constructs gracefully transition into the digital realm. This is where my expertise and passion shine through, as I thoroughly enjoy assisting educators in crafting the finest online learning experiences for both themselves and their students!
Mahalo for joining me on this accessibility expedition,