For the past two years, I have been exploring ways to make educational materials accessible to students on mobile phones. In my online courses, for example, I have moved away from Blackboard, which is not well designed for mobile users. Much of my course content now lives instead on websites I have built with Weebly or Google Sites. These platforms provide responsive templates that work well for students on any size screen. While grades, administrative announcements, and discussions still take place on Blackboard (which is institutionally mandated and required for FERPA compliance), the majority of the text, audio, and video content for the courses is now housed on fully responsive sites outside of the LMS. Students can access the course materials from their phones at any time, without needing to log in to the cumbersome LMS system. More than half of my students now report that they do most of their course reading on their phones.
#AcWriChat TweetChat: Not on Twitter? Watch live here on 1/26 at 11 a.m. ET
Join TAA on Twitter on Friday, January 26 at 11 a.m. ET using the hashtag #AcWriChat for our latest TweetChat focused on making time to write within the busy-ness of work and life.
Not on Twitter? Not sure what a “Tweet Chat” is? Follow us here (you won’t be able to actively participate, but you will be able to follow the chat live).
How I met my first textbook acquisitions editor
I was introduced to my first acquisitions editor through the recommendation of a colleague.
At the time, our state had added a new course in infection control to our curriculum and none of the instructors had been able to nd an acceptable book that included the necessary content for teach- ing infection control to health care providers. Since I had some experience in this area, I compiled my notes and handouts into a self-published forty-eight-page booklet, which I provided to my students at no cost. A colleague at another college asked if I would make this booklet available for his classes, so I contracted with a local printer to produce the booklets and sold them to the college bookstore.
Join us 2/22 for the TAA webinar, ‘Tips and Techniques for Enhancing Your Approach to Visuals’
Too often incorporating images isn’t part of our initial project planning, if it is ever part of the planning at all. Join us Wednesday, February 22 at 1-2 p.m. ET, for the TAA webinar, “Tips and Techniques for Enhancing Your Approach to Visuals.” Author and illustrator Bethann Garramon Merkle will share tips and hands-on techniques for enhancing your approach to visuals by using illustrations in publications and presentations.
Join us 1/25 for the TAA webinar, ‘Six Strategies for Using Social Media to Promote Your Writing’
You can spend (and waste!) a lot of time on blogs and social media. Be strategic and use these tools to complement your academic writing, textbook authoring, and related consulting services.
Join us p.m. ET for the TAA webinar, “Six Strategies for Using Social Media to Promote Your Writing,” when writer and blogger Janet Salmons will share six ways you can use blogs and social media, including: developing credibility, building a network, reaching new readers, sharing resources, encouraging textbook adoption, and disseminating findings outside of academia. She will help you evaluate whether you should start your own blog, page, or group, or contribute as a guest.
Q&A: Advice for prospective textbook authors
Q: I have an idea for a textbook and I hope to put a proposal together soon and start looking for a publisher. Can you share any advice as I begin this process?
Mike Kennamer, TAA Vice President: “My suggestion for starting to look for a publisher is to first look at companies who publish in your field. I’d recommend that you review their websites and determine which one (or two) seem to be the best fit for your title. Many publishers provide information for prospective authors online, including what they look for in the proposal. Generally, they will want to see two chapters, a detailed table of contents, list of features, and information about who will use the book, the size of the market, and competing titles. If you are unable to find author information online you might consider contacting a sales rep and ask them to put you in touch with someone who does acquisitions for the company. Becoming a textbook reviewer is also a good way to form a relationship with a publisher.