Rebecca Pitt, Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University
Beatriz de los Arcos, Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University
Rob Farrow, Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University
Copyright Year: 2016
Publisher: OER Hub
Conditions of Use
Review of the Long 19th Amendment Portal Project https://long19.radcliffe.harvard.edu/teaching/ Karen Leroux, Associate Professor, Drake University Comprehensiveness The Long 19th Amendment Portal Project is a multi-authored open-access... read more
Review of the Long 19th Amendment Portal Project
Karen Leroux, Associate Professor, Drake University
The Long 19th Amendment Portal Project is a multi-authored open-access educational resource (OER) sponsored by the Schlesinger Library and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Focused on the history of women and voting rights in the United States, it is an exceptionally rich resource for instructors teaching in these fields. This innovative OER includes two well-developed teaching resources, one titled #SuffrageSyllabus, and the other, Suffrage School.
The portal does not purport to be a comprehensive textbook on either voting rights or women’s and gender history. Rather, it provides useful teaching insights and strategies at the intersection of these two topics. The overarching narrative, spanning 1783 to 2020, yet concentrated in the years 1848 to 1982, is effective. The narrative is strongest in its examination of the multicultural context of the suffrage and civil rights struggles, issues of race being central to both. A unit on the politics of the passage and ratification of the Amendment is notably absent, making the portal perhaps better adapted to teaching the history of women and gender and the social and cultural contexts of the suffrage struggle.
There is no index, but there are tables of contents for #Suffrage Syllabus and Suffrage School, and one can download #SuffrageSyllabus to a single, searchable file.
The website is well designed in terms of text and images, and it is edited to a very high professional standard
Published in 2020, the portal offers a good overview of the current state of the field, especially given the extensive new scholarship published to coincide with the centennial of the 19th Amendment. The modular nature of the syllabus and recorded video lessons lend themselves to future additions and updates as needed.
The text uses clear, communicative prose, appropriate for university-level audiences, and the layout is very user-friendly.
The design of the teaching portal branches into two sections which I found very intuitive to use. Each unit of #SuffrageSyllabus consists of a two-week teaching plan, except for the last unit, which aims to build awareness of how the struggle for voting rights is ongoing, especially with today’s concerns about voter suppression. This final syllabus unit, although organized differently, is a fitting coda to the topic. Each recorded lesson in Suffrage School follows a consistent design too.
Modularity is one of the virtues of this OER. All seven units could serve as the basis for an excellent upper-division university-level course on the history of gender and voting rights, but I suspect many instructors will find #SuffrageSyllabus offers a useful tool kit from which they might choose to employ a single unit, find new ways to frame questions for discussion or writing assignments, or use its suggested source lists to freshen the primary and secondary sources they assign. Likewise, the brief recorded lessons of the Suffrage School could be used in a multitude of ways to teach primary source analysis and strategies for contextualization
This innovative portal includes two teaching resources, one titled #SuffrageSyllabus, and the other, Suffrage School.
#SuffrageSyllabus offers seven chronologically organized units, meant to be explored in mostly two-week increments. Each consists of a brief narrative, a few well-curated primary sources (most with links to the digitized source), a series of recommended secondary sources -- ranging from print and online journal articles, chapters in edited volumes, newspaper features, to monographs -- and a selection of suggested assignments.
The first two units cover the pre-1900 history. Lisa Tetrault developed Unit 1 on the Revolutionary era to 1848 in Seneca Falls, and Manisha Sinha developed Unit 2 on the Civil War and Reconstruction. The following four units concern 20th century episodes in this history. Unit 3 developed by Corinne T. Field explores who marched for suffrage and whose struggles for voting rights persisted beyond 1920, while Durba Mitra’s Unit 4 opens up to transnational studies of women’s rights and imperialism in the early 20th century. In Unit 5, Liette Gidlow brings the history of voting into the 1960s and 1970s with attention to the social movements that culminated in passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the even wider range of social movements that grew out of that important victory. Unit 6 by Katherine Turk examines the hard-fought struggles of 1982 over Voting Rights Act Amendments and the Equal Rights Amendment. The last unit, authored by a group of Harvard University students and entitled “2020 and Beyond: The Unfinished Business of the 19th Amendment,” departs from the format used in the first six units, offering only links to primary sources on current issues of gender and voting, citizenship, voter suppression, and civic engagement, and a list of advocacy groups to get involved in the ongoing struggle for voting equality.
Suffrage School offers users the opportunity to explore digitized primary sources from the Schlesinger Library collections with the guidance of a historian. Each module in this branch of the portal consists of a recorded video lesson, a link to a primary source, and some questions to prompt further analysis and reflection. The recorded videos are concise and thought-provoking; almost all are less than 4 minutes in length. Currently the website hosts 18 of these lessons, each analyzing one primary source created between 1855 and the present.
I encountered no interface issues using the portal. It is easy to navigate, hyperlinks load properly, and the images are of high resolution
As noted earlier, the website is edited to a high professional standard.
Cultural Relevance Cultural and contemporary relevance is another strong feature of the Long 19th Amendment portal. Both #SuffrageSyllabus and Suffrage School incorporate multiple sources on women of color who shaped voting rights activism, including Native American women, African American women, and Asian American women. Unit 3 deals head-on with questions of inclusion and exclusion in the US suffrage movement. Understanding resistance to expanding voting rights is also threaded through this resource, with several syllabus units and recorded videos illuminating how ideological conflicts have shaped this history. For example, several of the 20th century units include considerable material from anti-suffragist, anti-feminist, and imperialist feminist sources.
The information in the text addresses all of the topics and ideas as outlined in the Table of Contents. There is not glossary provided for the reader. However, the additional components embedded in the text provide needed information and... read more
The information in the text addresses all of the topics and ideas as outlined in the Table of Contents. There is not glossary provided for the reader. However, the additional components embedded in the text provide needed information and clarification.
The information on the text is accurate and appears to be unbiased based on the review.
Content in the text is relevance and likely will be a good resource for many years to come. The text is arranged in a manner that is easily updated if needed due to the organization.
The text is written in accessible language for novice readers. Definitions are included as needed to support the understanding.
There is no confusing terminology or framework in the text.
The content is easy to read and divided into multiple sections. The smaller sections aim the reader as they navigate throughout the text. Additional thinking points are also embedded into the text to support the reader.
The topics and content within the text appear to be presented in a clear and logical manner.
The text is easy to navigate throughout the entire document. Images and display features were all displayed in a pleasing manner for the reader.
The text is only available by PDF.
No major grammatical errors which would affect the comprehension of the reader were noted.
The text is culturally neutral with no use of sensitive or offensive language.
The book covers all the different areas thoroughly. read more
The book covers all the different areas thoroughly.
I did not see any inaccuracies, errors, or bias.
As OERs continue to increase in popularity, this book is an essential addition to the professor who 'writes, does research, and then writes some more' toolkit.
This book is written for clarity. It is easily understandable and well-organized.
The text is written in such a way that the language is appropriate and understandable.
The progression of the chapters demonstrate an easy path through the various stages of OER.
The book has a logical, clear flow.
Available in PDF format only, I did not experience any problems or distortions.
I did not note any grammatical errors.
I'm not sure culture is a significant issue, but there was nothing insensitive in the book.
The book takes the reader through the steps necessary to combine research with the Open Education Resource context and application. As a researcher, I have been trained to be secretive and possessive about my research, particularly in the pre-publication stages. Open Research makes me reconsider those assumptions. I was reassured to see several references to ethics, and not just the standards of being an ethical researcher, but the ethics regarding the theft of intellectual property. I feel that this book is not a "one read" kind of book. After the initial read to comprehend the contents, it will become an reference manual for working through the necessary steps to write "open."
The book is laid out very logically and will serve as an excellent resource for people who are interested in learning the foundation and flow of OER. I appreciate how you can use this text as a working way to teach beginners about “what” OER... read more
The book is laid out very logically and will serve as an excellent resource for people who are interested in learning the foundation and flow of OER. I appreciate how you can use this text as a working way to teach beginners about “what” OER really means and how to utilize it for your individual research purposes.
The framework of this text is sound and the way it is laid out makes sense. The content is accurate and what I would consider a best practice model.
Since there seems to be a chasm of true understanding of OER among people who choose texts, I believe this content is a bridge that will help folks wrap their heads around how it can/does/will apply to their own research topics and interests.
Overall, the text is laid out in a manner that helps the reader by using guided activities. While the commentary at the end wraps up each section quite nicely, a little more of an introduction to the “what” at the beginning would help the user benefit the most from the nicely curated resources provided by authors.
I appreciate how each of the chapters are laid out in a manner that I know what to expect while working through the text.
This text can be used as a whole or in parts. Facilitated correctly, the individual chapters can stand alone. This is help for beginning courses or introductions to OER as well as supplemental resource for teaching research in general.
The book scaffolds on learning throughout. I would like to see more of an introduction and/or background about why it is important in introduction(s), but that does not take away from how it is logically laid out.
As noted by other reviewers, the biggest challenge in this text is the way it is presented/laid out for the reader. Multiple page breaks and huge chunks of dead space is cumbersome.
Very few errors found in the text. The use of bullet point lists and tables work well for me (some layout issues noted in another section of review)
As more and more universities are moving toward OER, I believe that this text is timely and should be well received.
Overall, I believe this text is well written and nicely laid out. The concepts are easy to follow and to the point. One consideration for improvement would be more options for download (i.e. iBooks) instead of just .pdf which opens on my device(s) only as a continuous scroll situation.
It is a very useful guide through OER and application or first steps to engaging in OER with faculty, staff, but less so for students. The book would make an excellent resource for faculty workshops or librarian workshops as it offers step by step... read more
It is a very useful guide through OER and application or first steps to engaging in OER with faculty, staff, but less so for students. The book would make an excellent resource for faculty workshops or librarian workshops as it offers step by step engagement with the drawbacks and benefits of OER. I thought the opening section on ownership versus authorship was particularly useful for those concerned with intellectual property, independent scholarship, and promotion.
The content struck me as very accurate and its sophistication reflected the expertise of the authors.
I think the field of open publishing is one that doesn't foster longevity therefore given the content of the textbook it will inevitably become outdated faster than say texts of other themes. But the text is general enough that its arguments, examples, and debates that will keep it relevant for some time.
The book as a conversational tone and readers can progress through it with ease. There are practical questions as well as rhetorical devices to encourage reflection and use of the text. The text boxes and bullet point lists at the beginning of each chapter enhance readability and use. I think the style is appropriate for multiple audiences.
The book is consistent with its own standards of style, delivery, and format. I think the authors' text is more consistent than the examples drawn from the participants which can lead to some confusion and frustration for the reader.
I felt that there was an over-use of subheadings, text boxes, and bullet pointing. Text boxes and quotations within spilled over to the next page making it difficult to track comments, observations, and critiques by those interviewed. Perhaps less sections might help with readability and accessibility. For example, Table 1 in chapter 2 covers more than three pages, pages 25-28. This is a very difficult table to read and comprehend as is Table 2 which spans two pages.
The text is wonderfully scaffolded; each section builds upon the previous. I think this lends itself to greater understanding and mastery of concepts/ethical concerns as the reader moves through the book. For example, the activity on page 56 "creating your own mini-research project" is very valuable. It synthesizes everything covered up to that point in the text.
Some of the links to other text based resources (for example the links to blog posts on page 60) were inactive but the youtube video links were active. The design of the textbook had more of a powerpoint slide feel and less of a textbook design. The former lends itself to a feeling of impermanence, but the latter does convey a sense of openness. It's an interesting design choice.
I noticed no distracting grammatical errors. There are some inconsistencies in capitalization of Martin Weller's work on page 57.
The authors may want to consider revamping some of the links and fonts for the purposes of universal design. For example, the authors may want to reflect on text thickness and color choice to make it as barrier-free as possible. But the content did not strike me as insensitive or offensive.
On page 15, the text provides a list of likely areas for consideration concerning an open research framework. From that list, the text contains specific treatments for planning, licensing, ethics, and dissemination, as well as strong contributions... read more
On page 15, the text provides a list of likely areas for consideration concerning an open research framework. From that list, the text contains specific treatments for planning, licensing, ethics, and dissemination, as well as strong contributions on theory and reflection. Less is offered on open methodologies, tools, or data concerns.
Content seems thoroughly considered, with attention to both advantages and challenges of an open framework.
Text is recently published and incorporates dynamic links to curated resources.
Text itself is well-written in simple language when jargon would have been easy to engage. Assumption of the authors seems to be that the reader is a trained researcher seeking transition to an open framework. Testimonials and quotes from the original course are sometimes longer or less clear than the authors' text.
Completely consistent conceptual framework within the text.
Individual chapters in the text would make great curricular units, complete with references and activities. The chapters could be further broken down into individual lessons on the basis of those activities.
Topics are largely sequential, or organized hierarchically.
Hyperlinks were only partially functional in Preview on a Mac, but transcripts are provided in the Appendix to compensate for potential link issues. Unfortunately, the loss of hyperlink navigation hinders the text considerably.
Occasional punctuation and syntax errors. One more round of editing would be appropriate.
No cultural insensitivities, as there are few cultural references. In the ethics chapter, statements are made regarding actions that are "legal" but not "ethical", and such statements inherently carry the cultural perspectives of the authors.
This is a great primer from knowledgeable authors. I feel it could be expanded three-fold for a more comprehensive treatment of the transition to open methodology. Thank you!
This is an open textbook produced as a result of two iterations of an online course concerning Open Research produced with the support of the Hewlett Foundation by the Open Education Research (OER) Hub, part of the Open University, UK. The book is... read more
This is an open textbook produced as a result of two iterations of an online course concerning Open Research produced with the support of the Hewlett Foundation by the Open Education Research (OER) Hub, part of the Open University, UK. The book is a highly practical comprehensive guide to the practice of open research and will be invaluable to anyone who wishes to develop an understanding of open research and it is suitable for either individual study or as part of a group activity.
The chapters are clearly identified and each chapter is introduced with a set of learning objectives (typical of an online course delivery) so any reader is aware of what each part will cover. I would have liked to have seen a glossary of terms at the end of the textbook although the nature of the book infers that much of the text is self-reflective and exploratory in nature, thereby assuming that terms will be revealed and understood as the reader moves through the text. There is no bibliography which is a pity.
As an advocate of open educational practice I can confirm that the content is accurate and error-free and provides a balanced viewpoint regarding open research.
The online course was completed (second iteration) in 2015; writing this review in 2017 means that the material is only a couple of years old which makes it reliable. Open research is still in its relative infancy and therefore the book is likely to be highly relevant for some time. The external links that are provided to encourage self-reflection and further exploration are of high quality and from reputable sources. However, despite this one drawback of the text could be this heavy reliance on external resources such as videos, blog posts, etc. which may generate missing links in the future. It is hoped that the ‘virtual shelf tidying’ will be undertaken at regular intervals to avoid frustration and disappointment by users.
The textbook is written in a very clear style which is not overly academic in its complex language or tone but still retains the academic rigour expected. The textbook has many examples of good practice from experienced practitioners and these are written ‘in their own words’ which allows for authentic stories to be used. The book is firmly embedded in current practice and is therefore highly accessible to the reader.
When a textbook has multiple authors there may be a possibility of different author ‘voices’ affecting the tone of the book. This is not the case with this book as it is evident that the authors have collaborated well and worked to the same standards of consistency throughout.
The book is formed of 5 chapters that build from an initial introduction to a ‘final thoughts’ which would lead you to believe that the book is designed to be read in a linear fashion; this is not necessarily the case. For example, there is an excellent chapter on the ethics of open which could be read as a standalone chapter and this is largely true of the other sections of the book. The online course on which this book is based was a four-week course and it is therefore easy to divide the book up into four or more portions. The self-reflective and exploratory nature of the book allows for a self-paced experience.
The book has stayed faithful to the online course and as such it is presented in a very clear, logical structure. It is very easy to follow and to dip in and out of (although the interface has issues as is pointed out). The reader should have no problem in following the book's arguments and activities.
A small point but the front cover doesn’t do the book justice! It would be nice to see a colourful front cover using a creative commons image to help this useful book stand out. Overall the text is presented reasonably well, although the PDF formatting causes some issues with gaps within the text.
I am a little disappointed that there isn’t an online version of the book as the PDF version renders the external links useless and it is very time consuming going back and forth to highlight, copy and paste the link into a general Google search to find what you are looking for. I would recommend that an online version is provided as soon as possible. The PDF version is also a bit clunky in that if you wish to search for a particular page the search finder doesn’t take you to the right place in the text (although it is good at pinpointing instances of phrases etc.)
Images are good and appropriate in support of the text. However the lack of a glossary, as previously mentioned and a bibliography (which would make currency and updating of links much easier) are important omissions.
The text has no grammatical errors that I could see during my review.
The text is not cultural or context dependent and makes use of a wide range of examples from a variety of contributors and countries. Although written in English the book would be easy to translate and use in other countries where English is not the first language.
Overall this is an extremely useful book providing a thorough yet accessible introduction to open research and is to be recommended. From the first-time researcher to the experienced academic there is something to learn and reflect upon within these pages. As academics, institutions and funders require evidence of research impact and dissemination the role of Open Research cannot be underestimated. I shall be recommending this to my students on the MSc. Information Management course during their studies of scholarly communication and information & digital literacy.
Table of Contents
- 1. Open Research
- 2. Ethics in the Open
- 3. Open Dissemination
- 4. Reflecting in the Open
- 5. Final Thoughts
About the Book
If you have an interest in openness, open education, research skills or want to find out more about the impact of Open EducationalResources (OER), then this resource is for you. You could be:
- Using an OER with students and interested in assessing its impact
- Facilitating sessions on open practice with students or colleagues and looking for inspiration
- Working on a research project and wanting to find out more about incorporating open research techniques into your own practice
- Curious about the benefits and challenges of open research
- Looking to use open tools in your research
- Wanting increased impact for your research
- Interested in open research on OER
This resource will help you explore what open research is, how you can ethically and openly share your findings so others can reuse or develop your work, and the role of reflection and open dissemination. Whilst many challenges and issues apply to all aspects of research (for example: choosing an appropriate methodology), open research brings a range of different opportunities and challenges; it's these that we are specifically interested in exploring. What can openness add to the research process?
About the Contributors
Rebecca Pitt, Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University
Beatriz de los Arcos, Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University
Rob Farrow, Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University