Recently myself and my team were approached with a project to take part in building an open education resource, or OER, in collaboration with Campus Manitoba and Red River College. Having never approached building an OER before, I am learning so much. We are currently building the resource in Pressbooks, as it is being presented as a textbook resource. Due to the volume of material, however, I pitched the idea for a multi-book format to better organize the contents and make the structure a little more user friendly (these sort of contributions usually are product of the realm of the Digital Media Specialist).
Something to note as well: many content authors are used to structuring their content for print, which includes leaving space in a Word document for learner answers, instead of incorporating interactivity into the LMS or CMS system, and including full web addresses which, while necessary for print, are not accessible online and not screen reader friendly. Descriptive text must be used for all links, and when an author queries “Well, how will they know which website to go to?” we must ask them whether they are creating a resource for web or print? The two cannot be approached synonymously any longer as the ‘jack of all trades master of none’ approach doesn’t do justice to either method of delivery. Essentially, the role of the Digital Media Specialist, in education, is to act as a guide and interactive translator for paper constructs entering a digital world. This is something I am able to bring perspective and expertise to, and I very much enjoy assisting educators to build the very best online learning experiences for both themselves and their students.