R2D2 - Empowering Online Learning: July 21 - August 3, 2008

Process of writing the book

Process of writing the book

by Sylvia Currie -
Number of replies: 12
Curt, I hope you've landed safely on home turf and you've had a chance to rest! Just hearing about your schedule makes me tired. I can't imagine. And Ke, I hope your prep for tenure and promotion is going well. If you need reference letters for your file we'll write a bunch for you! smile

When you get a chance it would be interesting to hear about the process of writing this book. How did you go about gathering activity ideas? Did you involve educators in the field in suggesting activities and/or trying out the activities? Were any activities left out?

Hey, are they any activities we could be trying out during the next week of this seminar? Might be fun to dig in a little bit.

Also, just a process note for participants in the seminar -- feel free to begin new topic threads if you have a new question for the authors or a topic you'd like to initiate. Open the forum then click the "begin a new discussion thread" button.




In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Process of writing the book

by Curt Bonk -

You said: "Curt, I hope you've landed safely on home turf and you've had a chance to rest! Just hearing about your schedule makes me tired. I can't imagine. And Ke, I hope your prep for tenure and promotion is going well. If you need reference letters for your file we'll write a bunch for you! smile"

I have cut way back on travel from over 100+ talks per year in 2005 and 2006 to 83 in 2007 and perhaps 55 this year. The past week was like the old days. You picked a tough week for me to start this.
You also said: "When you get a chance it would be interesting to hear about the process of writing this book. How did you go about gathering activity ideas? Did you involve educators in the field in suggesting activities and/or trying out the activities? Were any activities left out?"

I cannot tell you everything here on a public forum. Six chapters were deleted, there was talk of changing our model name, and there were several long discussions and you might say disagreements about the title. The book writing was started in August 2006 and was done at the end of November 2006. We were/are at July 2008 when the book came out. It took 19+ months to come out.  I think knowing what I know now about the format of the book, we could have had this out 6-8 months earlier. We had to delete chapters--that was painful. Six on theory of gen X and Y, training teachers, other instructional design models, the future, learning styles, and the Web were deleted. We also had to rewrite the entire book in the spring of 2007 (no small task) and then we had to do some more major things in the fall of 2007 and in the spring of 2008 was final copyediting. All that was painful as well. Ke, as she knows, was moving from Texas Tech to Wayne State during the bulk of the writing which also made things a tad difficult--it is never easy to start a new job as an assistant professor and be working on a major book.  Neither of us would recommend it.

We had about 10 activities left out--these just did not fit or were too hard to describe or were thought too simple or were best left for another book. I will use some of these in another 100+ ideas book for motivation and retention online in a model called TEC-VARIETY. This is my next book project. Each letter of TEC-VARIETY stands for a motivational principle (e.g., tone, encouragement, curiosity, variety, autonomy, relevance, interactivity, engagement, tension, and yielding products.).  There will be a third 100 ideas book on blended learning.

We gathered ideas from articles and experiences and talks we had done.  Lots from my keynotes.  We did not have others try them out--we tried them out.

In reply to Curt Bonk

Re: Process of writing the book

by Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers -
Hi Curt,
I'm really impressed. I've been writing a chapter -- during school, work, teaching, and raising a teen -- and that's not close to a book. But I get it.
Great job on getting it out there.

That said-- I think that one of the advantages of writing smaller things online -- would be to get it out faster, but then many things would not be "bought" or one might decide to give them away. I understand people really don't make money on books these days (if ever they did).

I like the idea that you tested the ideas yourself. Jo Ann
In reply to Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers

Re: Process of writing the book

by Curt Bonk -

Jo Ann.  I have written a couple of blog posts in my TravelinEdMan blog about writing for publication (http://travelinedman.blogspot.com/).  I have a system that works (i.e., ignore everyone and everything else and write.  Smile, I am kidding.).  I like sitting on my back deck and sitting down to write and listening to the birds chirp and watch the deer walk by.  We have a forest in the back.  Having multiple laptops at the ready helps.  I do hate it when it rains.  At present, I am working indoors on presentations for the Wisconsin Distance Teaching and Learning Conference next week.  I think the link is down right now, but my keynote is Thursday morning August 7th at the Monona Terrace at 8 am (see http://www.uwex.edu/disted/conference/).

Writing takes tons of persistence, passion, patience, and polishing.  I was just answering Sylvia's questions as to the writing process.  Each book project and chapter is vastly different from the next.  I am writing to be 2nd and 3rd author on book chapters and focus on my book writing.  Hope that helps!

In reply to Curt Bonk

Re: Process of writing the book

by Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers -
Hi Curt,
Thanks for the link and update. I do have to "cave" myself to get to the writing, but I have to be involved in a lot of areas of my interest to stay inspired. I'm writing today -- then 4:00 to 8:00 I'm seeing clients. Tomorrow I'm off to see my family and friends in Ontario -- but I will always have links to my teaching and yet be able to intersperse some events and important people into my life flow. It can be stressful, but it feels enlivening too. I will read the rest of the book on the plane rides (four of them in the next 2 weeks). Perhaps I will write a chapter next time on e-learning for health psychology, art therapy or dance/movement therapy -- someday. For now, the next thing I need to do is to look into wikieducator with Randy Fisher. I'm running behind some of my possibilities, as more are opening.

Best to you on your next chapters and book. I look forward to reading them.

Jo Ann





In reply to Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers

Re: Process of writing the book

by Curt Bonk -
Yes, the world is indeed opening up!!!!!!!!!  And that is a good thing.  But so much to keep track of!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  No one can do it all!
In reply to Curt Bonk

Re: Process of writing the book

by Jeffrey Keefer -

This appears to be a very interesting process, Curt.

Do you envision being able to further develop the cut material into another format, such as some articles or another book entirely (perhaps an advanced set of activities, or one targeted toward a more specific audience)?

In reply to Jeffrey Keefer

Re: Process of writing the book

by Curt Bonk -

Jeffrey: colleagues at the University want to create a database of the 100 activities so you can look up the low risk, low time, low cost ones.  That is a start at a different cut which you mention.  I plan to do three 100 activity books (w trilogy) and then a short Hobbit-like book with all 300 ideas briefly stated in it.  That is a second cut.

In reply to Curt Bonk

Re: Process of writing the book

by E.A. Draffan -
The database sounds a wonderful idea - we have been testing around 140 Web 2.0 type applications for accessibility and usability and will have this available to all - hopefully in the next couple of months. I would love to relate the activities you are describing in this seminar to the various on-line applications. Sadly I have just had this news from Amazon about the book sad

"Dear Customer,

We wanted to give you an update on the status of your order #202-5269257-3467540. We are sorry to report that the following items have been delayed: Curtis J. Bonk (Author), Ke Zhang (Author) "Empowering Online Learning: 100+ Activities for Reading, Reflecting, Displaying and Doing" [Paperback] Estimated arrival date: 12/08/08 - 18/08/08 We are sorry for any inconvenience this causes.

Is there anywhere I can view some of your suggested activities on-line as I would love to be able to discuss them?

Best wishes E.A.

In reply to E.A. Draffan

Re: Process of writing the book

by Curt Bonk -

E. A.

That cannot be write!  I have been ordering and getting many copies. Let me share with the publisher.  Where do you live?

In reply to Curt Bonk

Re: Process of writing the book

by Julia Poole -
Hi All! I haven't been contributing to the discussion because I haven't received the book yet either. I was late in entering the session and I have ordered through Wiley publications.

I have enjoyed following along with everyone and although Nancy had mentioned that we have not been very interactive, it could be that we are in summer mode and not online as frequently. I personally am in the middle of moving houses and a little preoccupied at the moment. I really appreciated all the links from others and sharing how you are using online learning in your institutes.

Do you think that reading discussions are a little different than a class discussion. Perhaps we could have discussed specific topics within the book or activities and given feedback on key points. Perhaps we could continue this discussion after Aug. 3rd and we could set up some sort of chart to post our ideas of how to continue our discussion.

Curt, you have been great responding to the postings and if you are willing to facilitate the discussions after the Aug 3rd, I would like to catch up when I have the book in hand. How does everyone else feel?

Silent partner, Julia


In reply to Julia Poole

Re: Process of writing the book

by E.A. Draffan -
Yes Please - if an extension to the discussion is possible that would be great to allow time for reading the book when it arrives!

JISC have some learning activity links and several people have looked at the various learning style theories in terms of application to online learning.

We did not find them that helpful when it came to trying to match learning activities and Web 2.0 applications. We have tried Richard Caladine MOLTA ideas and adapted them so we have four categories: PM - Provision of Material, AM - Alteration of Material- (Activities which allow the distribution of material to students), IF&S - Interaction between Facilitator and Students (Any interaction or dialogue that takes place between students and facilitators (tutors, teachers)), IA - Intra-action (all actions with application other than the above such as tagging, RSS feeds etc.)

Please please has anyone made a better set of categories for the activities - which are in my mind the next layer and we have about 34 of them for 140 web based interactive applications.
Best wishes E.A.
In reply to Curt Bonk

Re: Process of writing the book

by E.A. Draffan -
I am afraid this is Amazon.co.uk and they are right! Sadly, on many occasions, we do not get instant access to items published in USA! But I will go and add to the other thread in relation to learning activities as we have been working on this aspect of linking Web 2.0 applications to a model of sorts, but sadly not related to your ideas as we await the book!
Best wishes E.A.