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Manifold Digital Services Spotlight: Affordable Learning Georgia

In the last training of the season, Terence met with Jeff Gallant, Program Manager of Affordable Learning Georgia; Joy Woodson, Assistant Director for Marketing Communications; and Lucy Harrison, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Library Services and Executive Director of GALILEO.

Great to be back in Athens this week. Really looking forward to kicking off @ManifoldScholar training and talking about open textbooks with @jeffwgallant and the @ALearningGA team.

— Terence Smyre (@tremayning) November 19, 2019

Terence commented,

It’s hard to believe this is already the last trip of the second round of the pilot program. Yet I think the takeaways from this visit will serve as a catalyst for much of our future work.

Jeff, having had an opportunity to explore the CUNY instance before the ALG instance was up, was well primed to jump into the more advanced topics right off the bat. And straight away he and Terence were able to zero in on some spaces where the platform has opportunities to better provide for the online textbook experience. Of particular note is the notion of using authentication systems like Open Athens—in conjunction with our forthcoming access restrictions and entitlements systems—as a means to credential folks straight away for specific projects. For instance, the system could recognize from the SAML handoff that a certain user has faculty standing and thus is automatically credentialed to see certain projects (e.g., quiz materials) that others would not be entitled to by default.

We also spoke of new possibilities for our ingestion strategies. Advanced Manifold users can do quite a bit with a text, but for those working in Word and Google Doc there are more limitations. Yet that’s where authors tend to dwell most. Being able to meet them in that space and empower them to produce materials that don’t require as much technical attention from the publisher before they are made live will be essential for OA publishers who don’t have large support staff dedicated to such tasks.

As always, Terence was delighted to work directly with librarians and experts in discovery systems. The team has recently been talking about link resolvers and now we can also be thinking through the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting 2.0 standard and the ways it can be mapped to the EBSCO Discovery Network as a means to better surface Manifold materials in places where those interested are looking.

Given all these great conversations, it’s hard not to see this last chapter in the second pilot as a shining light and spark of fire for the next iterations of the Manifold platform.

Manifold will enable Affordable Learning Georgia to take our open textbooks into the future of digital reading. We're very excited about the accessibility and connectedness that Manifold brings to the world of OER!

— Jeff Gallant

For more, visit Affordable Learning Georgia’s website and follow Affordable Learning Georgia on Twitter.

  • Miles traveled: 1,968
  • Food Featured: Tuesday afternoon they made our way downtown for a leisurely and utterly delightful vegetarian lunch at The Grit. Terence had been having a hankering for tofu, and the Golden Tofu wrap with spicy mayo exceeded his hopes.
  • Sights Seen: In a clandestine early morning operation, Terence set out from the hotel Wednesday and made for Independent Baking Co. to surprise family back home with the yummy treats he had the fortune to enjoy last week. He figured there are few better gifts to return with than pastries made by absolute masters of their craft.