Taking inspiration from a story about Finnish mathematicians who (successfully) attempted to write an open mathematics textbook in a weekend, this weekend (16-17 Nov) a group of intrepid Otago staff are leading collaborators from a group of institutions across Australia and New Zealand in writing a Media textbook in a weekend. Partly funded by Creative Commons, the project teams will work together in a purposely constrained timeframe to create a peer-reviewed text for use at their own institutions — and of course, being openly-licensed, for re-use by others.
Senior Lecturer in Otago’s Media, Film and Communication Department Erika Pearson says that in part the project aims to fill a gap: most introductory-level media texts are expensive for students and tend to be US-centric, rather than focused on our own cultural paradigm. The process itself will be a new experience for those involved, with teams across Australasia communicating via video link-up to keep tabs on each others’ progress — a bit like the V 48 Hours Film Competition but with teams collaborating to produce a textbook at the end of the weekend. In addition to producing a book that will be made available through institutional repositories, the process itself will be documented so that those involved can repeat and build on the process in future years and for others to learn from.
No doubt Erika and her team will welcome offerings of food and drink to keep them going over the course of the weekend!