FAQ and Help Notes


Texthack 2013



1 This is intended to be an open source textbook.

The resultant material will mold around the needs of the participating university’s Media and Communication Departments and teams. The material included in the book will reflect the requirements and the areas of interest of collaborators.


2 The project is the beginning of an evolving resource for teaching. However, version 1 (the one hacked together in November) will be a fixed document stored in a digital form at the University of Otago Library, and accessible online. It will be freely available under a CC-BY 3.0 License.


3 If in any way it is incomplete collaborators can add material after the weekend. If it needs updating this can also be achieved by additional material as well as by altering existing material. Any additions and alterations will be Version 2 then 3 etc. The material is available for downloading and using in any way as teaching material. The only requirement is that attribution is respected.


4 It is expected the book will be incomplete and will continue to grow after the hack weekend. It is as much about testing, documenting and improving the process of creating an innovative textbook, as it is the textbook itself.  However, we do hope to produce the core of a shared, regionally appropriate textbook free to be used by all media and communications courses.

5 The hack weekend is where collaboration occurs, where the pre-prepared materials, notes and drafts are collaboratively worked on, edited, and improved.

6 Beginning now teams can meet either face to face, or in any other way, to pre-prepare material in an assigned area of interest. These areas will be the result of expressions of interest, the sharing, where appropriate, of course outlines and requirements and group discussion amongst collaborators.




FAQ and Help Notes

Questions could arise around ownership/usage/adaptation/reproduction – refer to the legal statement contained in the Project Plan.

Matters of process and technology will occasionally need clarification such as software and repository processes etc.

Recommended links;





Creative Commons New Zealand


Creative Commons Australia


Research into other booksprints and texthacks provides some insight into possible problems and how to fix them

In the case of this project there is an expectation that the content can be pre-prepared or derive from existing teaching material.

Content and technology not being ready before the Texthack Weekend

Certainty around the technology requirements should be achieved early.

Teams need to decide their focus early.

A demarcation between the times for preparation.

And time for the creation of the book.

The roles of the various stakeholders need to be understood.

The planned format and content of the book is not realized

Due to the collaborative and evolving nature of the process this is possible and is reflected in the anecdotal evidence of previous booksprints.

A policy on last minute change, balanced with a readiness to change, may be required.

This would be influenced by how ready the project is prior to the Texthack Weekend.

The living aspect of the project means that changes could be postponed to a later date.

The objective of the weekend needs to be intact during the weekend to ensure it runs smoothly (previous comment).

Previous experience (Booksprints) say that it is best to keep writing and deal with edits afterwards. More content is better than not enough.

Teams not familiar with the software or systems

Again this is demonstrated by previous booksprints.

All participants need to be aware of this and prepared to advise and help when needed. Equally, each team will need to become technology ready before the weekend. That could mean each having a tech-contact person.

Certainty around which software and version is being employed.

Some expertise could be required during the project weekend to deal with matters arising.

Book not ready by the end of the Weekend

This could be a consequence of the plan not coming together.

Evidence suggests that this can arise from technical delays.

Lack of graphic designers.

Too much time spent proof reading during the weekend. Some tasks can be left.

Lack of sleep/sustenance etc.

However, in the case of this project there is an expectation that the content can be pre-prepared or derive from existing teaching material.


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