Course development has many similarities with the production of textbooks. Textbooks may have one author or several co-authors. In the case of WIX, we are faced with a team of authors, from three different institutions.
But textbooks also involved other people – such as subject editors, language editors, graphic designers and professional publishers. The production team often spans two different institutions: universities, on the one hand, and publishers, on the other. The universities provide the authors, who are specialists on the subject: law, nursing, political science, … The publishers provide a range of technical specialists: editors, designers, media people …
In the same way, online course production requires close collaboration between authors (subject specialists) and a variety of technical specialists. The division of labor between professions and institutions can be set up in different ways. At Oslo Metropolitan University we distinguish between three main roles: producer, subject editor, and media editor.
The producer represents the teaching environment. The two editors represent the publisher rather than the teaching units. In our case the university library serves as publisher.
- The producer is charged with the creation of academic and pedagogical content (teaching materials). The overall responsibility for the financing and implementation of the project lies with the producer and her or his academic unit.
- In the case of WIX, Erika and Marianne lead a team of authors, coming from Oslo, Bangalore and Moscow from
- The subject editor is responsible for content editing and for quality assurance before publication. The subject editor may be able to contribute material (text, images, video) to the subject itself.
- Tord may also support (i) production on the edX platform, (ii) coordination of the author team and (iii) language editing
- The media editor is responsible for production support, focusing on video, still images and animation.
Producers combine the roles of project director and subject specialist. If they are familiar with the production platform (the Studio editor in the case of edX), they may actually manage most of the production tasks on their own. If they are unfamiliar with the platform, they will need training and support in order to do production work. If they have the skills, but lack the time, they may delegate some of the technical work to the editors.
Subject editors typically assist with
- Training for the edX platform
- Copyright issues
- Language and content editing
- Difficult information searches
- Alpha testing of course sections
Media editors deal with technically demanding multimedia production, providing
- Media training
- Recordings of interviews and discussions
- Green screen recordings
- Recordings from class rooms
- Production of transcripts