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Sunday, May 31, 2015

What do YOU want?

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog lately. I think it’s time for a redesign. I’d love to see a new look, but while I’m at it, how can I make it more useful?

I remember the year I started this blog. I had been freelancing for a year and had landed a job as a project editor for Harcourt’s Randstad division. I searched the Internet constantly for a resource that I could use to help me find freelance jobs focusing on education. Nothing. After a few months of this, I realized that if I was looking for that resource, then so were other people. And in January 2008, this blog was born.  I started by sharing my thoughts on breaking into freelance education writing and by posting leads that I’d found in my daily searches. If they weren’t a good fit for me, then they were a good fit for somebody and it was a shame to waste all that searching.

2008 still has more blog posts than any other year. What I remember most about that year is the sense of community I felt. When I went back into the classroom and couldn’t keep up with the posting, that community took up the slack. Terry, Beth, and Michele started posting leads. Michele is the only volunteer still posting and she's a big part of why this blog is still alive. Thank you, Michele. You are appreciated.

So now what? I know that this blog has become a solid resource for both freelancers and those who hire them. It’s not going away. But it may be time to evolve. I’ve thought about the focus and here’s where I stand: I want to help connect education freelancers with the companies who need them. That’s my focus. If, within that focus, I can help new freelancers get started or experienced freelancers move into new market areas then so much the better.

I know that this blog has about 1,000 email subscribers. (Wow! I remember how excited I was when we hit 200!). Most of those are job seekers, but some of them are people who hire freelancers. With this post going out to 1,000 subscribers, I should get some solid feedback.

So here’s what I need from you. What do YOU want out of this site?

We currently have:
  • blog with job leads
  • discussion board
  • small list of writers

Are these effective? Do they need to change?

I’ve been thinking about:
  • guest blog posts from freelancers
  • guest blog posts those who hire them
  • interviews with freelancers
  • interviews with those who hire them
  • a writer page with short profiles of our freelancers
  • a company page with short profiles of companies who hire freelancers

What do you think about these? Are they too much? Is there something missing? I need feedback!

I would love to hear from you on this. If you want to share your thoughts with the community, go to the post and comment directly there. If you want to respond to this post by email, I'll be the only one who receives it. If you give me permission, I can add it to the comments as submitted by a subscriber. Reading your ideas might generate more ideas. Post links if you have examples of what you'd like to see here.  I found that the more people involved in the conversation, the more people will get involved.

I look forward to hearing from you!
Laura Coulter

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Experienced assessment writer needed for college-level biology exercises (telecommute)

Description: Sinauer is an established publisher of college-level science textbooks and supplements. We are looking for an experienced educational assessment writer with an advanced biology degree to create original stimuli and items at Bloom’s levels 3-6 in the areas of genomics, genomics, and/or evolution.
Required experience: Ph.D. in science (preferably biology). Three or more years’ experience writing college-level science items.
Timeline: May through December 2015
Location: Remote
Rate: $250 per stimulus/item set
Please send a current résumé. List your areas of content specialty, and provide an original stimulus with 4 to 6 free-response items and answers.

Life sciences assessment professional to help develop learning objectives

Description: Sinauer Associates is an established publisher of college-level science textbooks and supplements. We are looking for a science educator/assessment professional with experience developing learning objectives and outcomes for a comprehensive biology course.
Preferred experience: Ph.D. in life sciences (preferably biology)
Timeline: May through November 2015
Location: Remote
Please send a current résumé and a cover letter describing your experience developing learning objectives in the sciences, along with a brief sample of your work.