Interview with a professor and open education librarian at Wake Forest University about creating a research-based digital classroom: Domestic Knowledge. (48 mins with transcript)
Supporting the Domestic Knowledge project on PubPub was an extraordinary experience. As a digital pedagogy specialist who works with faculty and students in the classroom, having a platform as easy to teach and as easy to use as PubPub solved a lot of workflow problems I’ve had with other digital publishing tools. From the students’ perspective, the authoring interface couldn’t have been simpler, and I appreciated the opportunities it afforded me to teach students more about citation, accessibility, privacy, and Creative Commons licensing. Rather than wrestling with lost logins and a complicated dashboard, I could just send students to a submission button, which guided them through the process of submitting a draft.
Here are a few other things that I found to be essential when working with students on this project.
To transcribe the manuscript recipes, Stephanie and I needed access to an affordable and straightforward transcription platform. There are a few products out there for this, but I stumbled upon FromThePage and I am so glad I did.
FromThePage (FTP) is an open-source platform for collaborative interaction with texts, making possible everything from transcription and translation to indexing. Editing a transcription is similar to editing a Wikipedia article, in that anyone with a FTP account and access to the document can add or improve a transcription. All edits are logged, linked to the individual contributor, and reversible.
We were working with one particular text from the Wellcome Library, and to my great pleasure, FromThePage allowed us to import that text into its platform by linking it to the text’s IIIF manifest from Wellcome, so we’d always be viewing a high-resolution, zoomable facsimile of the text in FromThePage.
Sara and Ben Brumfield, the creators of FromThePage, are just fantastic. They were always willing to hop onto a call to answer questions we had, and we were so impressed with their product and the service they provided that my library now supports FTP through an organizational subscription. My colleagues in our Special Collections and Archives are especially excited to start crowdsourcing the transcription of some of the papers in our university archives.
I’m a strong advocate for open pedagogy, in which students produce, publish, and/or improve work meant to be of value to a public audience. Since working in the open often runs up against concerns for student privacy and safety online, I get opportunities to educate students about their privacy rights and ways to mitigate the safety risks. It also presents opportunities for me to help students better understand their rights and responsibilities as creators, including things like copyright, intellectual property, and the Creative Commons.
Usually at the start of any student publishing project, I dedicate some class time to having these discussions with students and having them submit an agreement acknowledging their understanding of their privacy rights and granting us permission to publish their work with a Creative Commons license.
My Student Author Consent form is still somewhat rough, and it’s cobbled together from various other similar forms I’ve either developed myself or discovered online. I’m not even sure if it’s legally binding, and I don’t operate as though it is. But it does provide some structure for these conversations, gives the process some legitimacy, serves as an opt-in mechanism for students, and offers me and instructors some peace of mind as far as student copyright and FERPA protections are concerned. Feel free to make a copy and modify as you see fit. (And just in case, I’ll add that I’m not a lawyer, and that’s not a legal document.)
In any given semester, the volume of student submissions can be somewhat overwhelming, especially for this perfectionist who loses sleep over things like missing preview images. To ensure more of the students’ submissions meet my team’s basic publication criteria and thus eliminate a lot of back-end work for myself, I guide students through my PubPub Preflight Checklist. My checklist provides some basic instructions on what to look for before submitting a draft for publication: everything from formatting text headings to inserting proper citations to adding image alt-text.
I’ve found that running through the checklist in a pre-publication workshop has significantly improved the quality of final submissions and reduced the amount of time I spend on production editing. Again, feel free to make a copy.
It’s always helpful to have something to point students to when they miss a class workshop or need a refresher while they’re preparing their drafts. With the help of Allison Vanouse (formerly with Knowledge Futures) and Katherine Fata (Knowledge Futures Community Services Intern), I put together these custom Getting Started resources that are essentially in-depth tutorials on doing anything students would need to do in PubPub. I usually create new versions of these for each new community I support, customizing them to fit the specific needs of that class or assignment.