Case presenter

Alona Senishch-Chmilewsky, Lecturer
Aalto ECON, Department of Communication


Small Steps - Giant Leap: Writing a Book Collaboratively

Key words

Open Educational Resources, Educational Technology, e-book, open source freeware, WEB 2.0

Basic course information

Subject: Managerial Communication, 6 Cr
Students: 24
The course is taught to both Bachelor and Master Level students


I am someone who actively promotes creation, use and disctribution of Open Educational Resources. It is evident that most of the Open Educational Resources are produced by educators. My idea was to introduce my students to the field of Open Knoweldge and encourage them to become active creators of such knoweldge. The aim of the project was to:
1. Contribute to the body of knowledge (Business Communication)
2. Improve writing skills by writing an actual book
4. Enhance communication skills through close collaboration
5. Create a book that can be used and re-used (e.g. updated) by others

Study prosess

During 5 weeks of the course, the students have been writing a collaborative e-book using an open source web platform Booki ( , online environment that provides (free of charge) tools for creating, collaborating on and publishing books.) Each student had to contribute at least one chapter reflecting on his/her own case of miscommunication including analysis of the causes of miscommunication and possible recovery methods as based on theories and reading studied during the course.

Communication and interaction

There have been active interection between students, as well as teacher and students. In addition to in-class collaboration, we used ""Facebook"" to share ideas and concerns regarding the book and writing process.

Learning and feedback

Integration of web-based technology with conventional teaching methods got overwhelmingly positive feedback from the students who highlighted such benefits as abundance of active, constructive, collaborative interaction both inside and outside working hours and great accessibility of quality content. In addition, this project made such routine tasks as students’ self-reflection, analysis of reading (articles, theories) much more creative and meaningful. For more information, please see
Student reported such challenges as:

  • expressing own opinions openly in writing knowing that the work will be seen by thousands of readers on the WEB
  • defining what is ethical what is not when revealing some unconventional truth
  • commenting on works of others: criticism vs. constructive feedback



UNESCO Open Educational Practice Clearinhouse:
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