|University of Northern Colorado|
Almost as good.
Students are increasingly being priced out of college.
Students shouldn't have to choose between a textbook and food.
Textbook cost is a social justice issue!
The average student should budget \(\$1240 - \$1400\) for textbooks and course materials (annually).
To cope with the cost:
Purchase an older edition.
Delay purchasing the textbook.
Never purchase the textbook.
Share the textbook.
Steal the textbook.
Source: 2018 Student Textbook Survey, Florida Virtual Campus.
The times when students did not matter are over. I want to be really emphatic on that. This industry relied for too long on the notion that, “if I can convince the professor, I don’t need to worry about the student, and I can charge whatever I want.” I think these times are over and they’re over for good.
OER fosters creativity and innovation.
Customization improves student learning.
I don't love the book we are using and it is expensive!
My students don't really need a book, do they? I'll write some notes.
I have a lot of notes. Also, I want tenure.
Apparently it is now cool to self-publish books!
All along, I'm thinking deeply about how to teach.
There is something especially rewarding about thankless work.
Goal: develop useful materials for our students.
Then share them.
The source must be shareable!
PreTeXt is a markup language for writing textbooks: XML that can be transformed into various output formats including LaTeX and html.
Write Once, Read Anywhere.
Free and open.
Con: could be more user friendly.
Write all my course materials in PreTeXt.
Easier to share material with open textbooks.
My fingers don't need to remember what markup language I'm using.
Better experience for my students (because of awesome output).
Preparing for class and providing students with resources:
Practice and collected homework problems (maybe with solutions).
Quizzes, exams, study guides, etc.
When do these get written? How do they get shared?
Paper copy to bring to class.
PDF for students who were absent.
Some way to give solutions.
GitHub and GitHub pages.
Makefile or build script.
Visual Studio Code (and PreTeXt-tools).
Custom xsl stylesheet to extract “worksheets”.
Pandoc and pandoc-pretext.
Open “activity-new.ptx” and write content (as
make ws-new, inspect output (activity-new.pdf).
Fix spacing, typos, etc.
make ws-new, repeat.
Save-as file with appropriate name, change
Go to activities.ptx or main.ptx and
<xi:include> the file.
make html, and
git commit and
All of that needs to be easier.
What is reasonable to expect new PreTeXt users to be willing to do?
This will be a good summer project.
How do you read these:
Comments, suggestions, updates: firstname.lastname@example.org.