The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: February 23, 2018

"Writing is amazing! When I write I am empowered by my thoughts, entertained by my imagination, and enlightened by my wisdom." ~Theresa LewisIn this week’s collection of noteworthy articles from around the web, we share discussion on stuck points and writer’s block, identifying when enough is enough, and a focus on writing for the reader. Additionally, there are tools and resources on open textbook self-publishing, open access technology options, publishing options for early career researchers, and instruction and datasets on focus groups. Finally, we find discussions on the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), university presses, and the continued life of print publishing.

Theresa Lewis said, “Writing is amazing! When I write I am empowered by my thoughts, entertained by my imagination, and enlightened by my wisdom.” As you write this week, be empowered, entertained, and enlightened so that your words can empower, entertain, and enlighten those who read them. [Read more…]

TAA announces 2018 Textbook Award winners

Twenty-six textbooks have been awarded 2018 Textbook Awards by the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA). Four textbooks received William Holmes McGuffey Longevity Awards, 17 textbooks received Textbook Excellence Awards, and five textbooks received Most Promising New Textbook Awards.

The McGuffey Longevity Award recognizes textbooks and learning materials whose excellence has been demonstrated over time. The Textbook Excellence Award recognizes excellence in current textbooks and learning materials. The Most Promising New Textbook Award recognizes excellence in 1st edition textbooks and learning materials.

The awards will be presented during an awards reception at TAA’s 31st Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference in Santa Fe, NM, June 15, 2018. [Read more…]

8 Production steps for creating your scholarly podcast episodes

PodcastingIn part 2 of a two-part webinar series titled, “Promoting Your Scholarship via Podcasting (It’s Easier than You Think!)”, Dr. Katie Linder, director of the Ecampus Research Unit at Oregon State University and the host of the “You’ve Got This” podcast, “The Anatomy of a Book” podcast, the “Research in Action” podcast, and the “AcademiGig” podcast, outlined the following 8 steps to producing a scholarship-related podcast. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: February 16, 2018

"Writing is my passion, not my job. I need to write as much as I need to breathe, if not more." ~A.E. CroftIs writing your passion? As we celebrate Valentine’s Day this week, we look at some of the articles focused on ways to make what we love to do – textbook and academic writing – even better. Included in the list are ways to de-stuff your writing, appropriately incorporate illustrations, and combat isolation through peer writing groups. From a technical perspective, topics of quantitative set analysis, methodology, social bookmarking with reading lists, peer review processes, and Open Access also make the list of topics.

As you continue your writing efforts this week, reflect on the significance of your contribution and the love of writing that consumes your practice. As A.E. Croft put it, “Writing is my passion, not my job. I need to write as much as I need to breathe, if not more.” [Read more…]

Student review of textbook provides valuable feedback

Understanding RhetoricWhen was the last time you received honest feedback about your textbook from students? For many authors, feedback is provided during production from a team of editors. For a luckier few, instructor and student review may be part of the production process, especially for first editions. But rarely do authors have direct feedback from the students their book is intended to serve post-adoption.

Dr. Elizabeth Losh, associate professor of English and American Studies at William & Mary University, and author of Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing, has made student feedback a key component of her writing process. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: February 9, 2018

"Writing is a process of creating yourself again and again for an ever-searching mind." ~Debasish MridhaThis week’s article roundup includes a mix of foundational advice and reinvention of ideas. In the academic world, there are posts discussing ways to establish a track record of grant writing, visualization techniques, and ways to survive a PhD mixed with new scholarly search tools, publisher roles, and disruptions in scholarly communications.

From the textbook perspective, the benefits of print over digital, the intellectual properties of learning, and opinions on professors teaching from their own textbooks are mixed with open-access publishing, OER disruption, and new platforms for self-publishing textbooks.

As Debasish Mridha tells us, “Writing is a process of creating yourself again and again for an ever-searching mind.” As you write this week, keep searching as well. [Read more…]

5 ways to incorporate podcasting with your scholarship

Podcasting webinarIn part 1 of a two-part webinar series titled, “Promoting Your Scholarship via Podcasting (It’s Easier than You Think!)”, Dr. Katie Linder, director of the Ecampus Research Unit at Oregon State University and the host of the “You’ve Got This” podcast, “The Anatomy of a Book” podcast, the “Research in Action” podcast, and the “AcademiGig” podcast introduced the concept of podcasting as an online radio show – one in which scholars can establish expertise on a topic. Addressing the individual scholar, she posed five questions to initiate the conversation of how to incorporate podcasting with scholarship. [Read more…]

Welcome new members to TAA: January 2018

Welcome to TAAWith membership in TAA, you are not alone. You become part of a diverse community of textbook and academic authors with similar interests and goals. We are pleased to announce the addition of 44 new TAA members who joined us in January 2018.  [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: February 2, 2018

"While writing, just try to have fun with your ms. Enjoy the process, but push on. Always push toward the finish line!"In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we have found suggestions for academics on using LinkedIn, choosing a research method, improving your conclusion, and getting back up after perceived failures. In the publishing industry, topics of collaboration using Crossref, the evolution of the megajournal as PeerJ turns five, and the future of university press in Kentucky top the list. Finally, the cost of textbooks continues to be present in the articles of interest.

This week we hope that you will find inspiration among the posts to both make forward progress with your writing and to make an impact. As Darynda Jones suggests, “WHILE writing, just have fun with your ms. Enjoy the process, but push on. Always push toward the finish line!” [Read more…]

How to explain complex ideas in a simple way

Explaining complex ideasAs teachers and authors, we are often faced with the challenging task of conveying information that, although second nature to us, is completely foreign to the students learning the material. Several experienced textbook authors share their best practices for explaining complex ideas in a simple way, including the use of metaphors, visuals, procedures/processes, and hands-on multisensory activities to improve learning success. [Read more…]