OER Ambassadors 2017

The 2017 UNH OER Ambassadors are committed to making substantive changes to their courses through the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) Open Education Practices, and advancing the OER conversation across campus by sharing their experiences with colleagues.


Molly Campbell
Molly Campbell – College of Liberal Arts, Department of English

Molly Campbell is a lecturer in the department of English at University of New Hampshire, Durham. She has been teaching UNH classes in composition and technical and professional writing for nine years, both online and in the classroom. She uses innovative design practices for curriculum in order to create course content that is relevant and immediately applicable in the workplace. Currently she is working on utilizing Makerspace technologies in concert with technical writing and is looking forward to being able to enhance this experience with OER.

Course 1 title: English 401 First-Year Writing, Enrollment: 24.  Course 2 & 3 title: English 502.07 & 08 Professional and Technical Writing, Enrollment: 20 (ea). In Fall of 2017 after attending ATI, I migrated all my courses to utilize open education resources in place of textbooks. In English 401, First-Year Writing, students used online textbooks as well as targeted activities and information available through OER. In this class, we experimented with writing our own grammar primer as a shared resource. The execution ended up being less than perfect, but the process was unique and exciting and the students were able to interact with a dry subject in a new way. In Professional and Technical Writing, I used a combination of online textbooks and OER to support learning goals, but we also achieved tremendous depth and variety in our design segment of the semester. Opening up their projects with Creative Commons and OER allowed their projects to achieve a higher standard of work while maintaining ethical standards. Open pedagogy when doing layout and design work increased the nuance of understanding copyright and creative property and gave the students real tools to use in the workplace.

John Chaston

John Chaston – College of Liberal Arts, Department of Spanish

John Chaston is an Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of New Hampshire whose primary teaching and research specialties include: Spanish syntax, sociolinguistics, phonology; language teaching methodologies; and Spanish culture. He has directed the UNH Semester Study Abroad Program to Granada, Spain including resident director of the program five times. He is currently active on the Board of NHAWLT (New Hampshire Association of World Language Teachers) and in giving workshops and talks related to that work.

My OER project was to begin converting my Spanish 525 Spanish Culture and Civilization course of 45 students to more of an open education pegagogy style and to produce open education resources and have students produce materials that could be used by others. While I did not achieve a complete conversion to OEP and OER, the process was begun. I eliminated textbooks and replaced them with: (a) PowerPoint Presentations that I made primarily of hundreds of carefully selected photos and numerous videos that I took myself while in Spain; (b) descriptions of places and events based on historical accounts and personal experiences; (c) use of YouTube, other videos and photos, and articles and book chapters – few were from official open access sources (because those don’t exist yet), but they were given source credit, and in the case of book chapters remained under 10%, the legal academic limit. My plan is to turn these into open resources for others. A most important part of the course was to require students to carry out a project on any element of Spanish culture or history (so long as I approved to make sure of appropriate content and to avoid repetition of topics). I encouraged them to pick topics of special interest to them that they feel needed more extensive and detailed coverage. These were completed with the understanding that the students would be presenting their work to other students and that they would be asked to allow these to be shared as open education resources. Only one of the 45 students did not give permission for their work to be used in this way. These were beyond remarkable and I feel that they were the highlight of the course! This allowed students to bring in their interests and expertise regardless of their academic and personal specialties:  Weather and Natural Disasters of Spain; Spanish Street Art; Skiing in Spain; Ancient Water Systems in Spain (how aqueducts, fountains, and heating systems worked anciently); Superstitions in Spain; Salvador Dalí; Politics and the Spanish National Soccer Team; Fish and Fishing in Spain and its Territorial Waters; and many more.​

EK Cho

Eun Kyeong Cho – College Liberal Arts, Department of Education

Dr. Eun Kyeong (EK) Cho is an associate professor at the University of New Hampshire. Over the past 25 years, she has been in the education field as a classroom teacher, internship supervisor, researcher, and teacher educator. Her research interests include technology integration in education, educational leadership and advocacy, and supporting children and families from diverse backgrounds. As an OER Ambassador she is planning to design a course that utilizes high-quality open educational and library resources in lieu of textbooks.

EDUC 948: Leadership and Advocacy in Early Childhood Education.  Enrollment: 5 (we may have more until the first week of the Spring semester).  Plan for using OER: Textbooks and weekly reading materials are from OER. Students will be asked to create/submit final assignment (Advocacy Project) to be shared as an OER. Students will be encouraged to create a blog entry (on our existing OER space, https://ecseat.blogspot.com/) on a topic addressed in the course. 

Marcos Del Hierro

Marcos Del Hierro – College of Liberal Arts, Department of English

Marcos J. Del Hierro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire. He received his BA in English from Baylor University in 2006, his MA in English and American Literature from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2009, and his Ph.D. in English from Texas A&M University in 2014. His research focuses on intersections in Rhetoric and Composition, Race, Embodiment, and Technology. He is particularly interested in how Black, Latina/o, and Indigenous cultural traditions influence the development and use of hiphop rhetorics and technologies. His essay, Fighting the Academy One Nopal at a Time, appeared in El Mundo Zurdo: Selected Works from the Meetings of The Society for the Study of Gloria Anzalda in 2012. As a member of the Calmcac Collective, he co-authored the performance piece, The Calmcac Collective, or, How to Survive the Academic Industrial Complex through Radical Indigenous Practices” in El Mundo Zurdo: Selected Works from the Meetings of The Society for the Study of Gloria Anzalda in 2013. His forthcoming publication, Stayin’ on Our Grind: What Hiphop Pedagogies Offer to Technical Writing, will appear in the collection, Integrating Theoretical Frameworks for Teaching Technical Communication. In addition to his publications, Marcos has won several awards, including the Charles Gordonne Award for Creative Nonfiction (2011); the National Book Award BookUpTX Fellowship (2012); the Chairs Memorial Scholarship from the Conference on College Composition and Communication (2013); and the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) Faculty Fellowship (2015). He is currently working on his first monograph project, Homegrown Critique Through the Rhetoric(s) of Hiphop, which theorizes the Art of Makin’ Do as a rhetorical tactic that looks at discarded knowledges, materials, and technologies as always/already reimaginable, reusable, and recyclable.

ENGL 401: First Year Writing (24 students).  The primary use of OER-based pedagogy in this class will be by not requiring students to purchase textbooks. Readings will be made available through access to the library and on our Canvas site. Students will engage with OER through several projects and assignments. The following is an example: ​​​Deep Dive Assignment: To practice research skills, students will look through blogs and social media on a topic of their choice, and curate their findings to the class by using the Flipboard app.  ENGL 913: Composition Theory (10 students).  The primary use of OER-based pedagogy in this class will be by not requiring students to purchase textbooks. Readings will be made available through access to the library and on our Canvas site. Students will engage with OER through several projects and assignments. The following are two examples: Deep Dive Assignment: To practice research skills, students will look through blogs and social media on a topic of their choice, and curate their findings to the class through several options. Students can use the Flipboard app, make a poster presentation, or a codex.  OER Reading Assignment: For some weeks, I will make two chapters, of a recently-published book in the field, available through our Canvas site. One student will be responsible for reading the entire book, and will lead discussion. The student reading the entire book will be encouraged to obtain it through the library or Interlibrary Loan.

Maeve Dion

Maeve Dion – University of New Hampshire at Manchester

Maeve Dion is a teacher, researcher, communicator, and policy writer in the areas of national and international cyber security, internet policy, and global governance. She specializes in the legal, economic, policy, and educational issues relating to critical infrastructure protection, particularly information infrastructure. As an educator, Maeve has broad international experience and pedagogical concentrations in security, law, and civil service.

My ambassador project has been applied to several courses (3 so far), but the main course is HLS 455 Introduction to Cybersecurity, for which 21 students were enrolled in Fall 2017, and another 21 are enrolled for Spring 2018 (as of Jan 17th). This course was completely redesigned over the summer of 2017, with an emphasis on open pedagogy and open educational resources. As compared to the previous textbook-based course from Spring 2017, the Fall 2017 student evaluations were higher overall, and indicated about the same amount of time (or a little less) per week spent on the course. During the summer redesign, I devised a case study and assembled various open resources to replace the textbook. Based on the CEITL assessment and my discussions with students, I have revised the course slightly this spring, to bring in a little more balance of summarizing mini-lectures (for those students not accustomed to or comfortable with open pedagogy), to alter the assignments for more depth and less frequency, and to try to remedy student perception that the OE materials constituted “more reading” than a normal textbook assignment. Some of the activities and assignments in this course include: analyzing the case study and creating a policy outline for planning for, implementing, and maintaining security (group projects, using discussion boards and jigsaw technique); creating and critiquing multiple-choice questions on a weekly basis (modeled after Rajiv Jhangiani’s similar activity, and using discussion boards); and dedicating 20 minutes of classtime (per student) for each student to teach a current events issue to the class, including Q&A and application of the issue to our course concepts and materials.

Maureen Gillespie

Maureen Gillespie – College of Liberal Arts, Department of Psychology

Dr. Maureen Gillespie received her bachelor's degree from UNH ('06) with a double major in Psychology and English. She immediately began a PhD program at Northeastern university ('11) and specialized in experimental psychology with a focus on language and cognitive processing. Her dissertation centered on the cognitive processes underlying language production. She then went on to complete a 1-year post-doctoral program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign before joining UNH as a lecturer in the Psychology Department in the Fall of 2012.

Over the Fall 2017 term I incorporated OER into my Psychology of Language (PSYC 712) and Research Methods in Psychology (PSYC 502) courses. In Psychology of Language, students created their own open access book that covered primary source literature while geared toward a general audience and published it in Pressbooks. In Research Methods in Psychology, I created a collection of open-access questionnaires that students could use for independent research projects. Students designed studies, collected data, analyzed the data, and presented their findings at the end of the semester.

Elyse Hambacher

Elyse Hambacher – College Liberal Arts, Department of Education

Elyse Hambacher is an assistant professor of Education at the University of New Hampshire. She employs critical social justice perspectives to strengthen equity and promote excellence in elementary education and the preparation of preservice and inservice teachers. A former elementary school teacher in Miami and Japan, she teaches courses on qualitative inquiry, social justice, and classroom management. Her research interests include critical teacher education, disproportionality in school discipline, and urban schooling. She has authored publications in the journals Urban Education, Equity and Excellence in Education, Educational Leadership, and Action in Teacher Education. Elyse earned her PhD in Curriculum, Teaching, and Teacher Education at the University of Florida.

Classroom Management: Creating Positive Learning Environments (EDUC703C/803C) is an eight-week online, asynchronous course for aspiring teachers and current professional educators in the field. The elective course is taught at least once per year and typically has an enrollment of 25 students. In this course, students are encouraged to use an equity-oriented focus to learn about how to create strong relationships and build community in their P-12 classrooms. After completing the summer OER experience, I have completed a exhaustive search of open resources that can support my students’ learning. I’ve added two open videos in particular, one that takes place in Somersworth, New Hampshire, that have helped me meet the course’s objectives. Much of the course involves small group discussions about course materials and students are encouraged to demonstrate their knowledge by getting creative and using various open pedagogies. For example, students have written screen plays and created videos to complete assignments. To help me keep up with all of the new open resources and pedagogies I come across, I use Pocket, a website that enables me to organize relevant course materials and ideas to review at a later date.

Lori Hopkins

Lori Hopkins – College of Liberal Arts, Department of Spanish and Women’s Studies Program

Lori Hopkins is Associate Professor of Spanish, Core Faculty of the Women’s Studies Program and co-director of Latin American Studies. As a Latinamericanist, she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on contemporary Latin American literature and culture on topics such as Human Rights and Performance Arts. Her current research project involves the relationship between literature, ethics and politics, especially as literature and the humanities force us to consider the ethical relationships of peoples and cultures.

Krista Jackman

Krista Jackman – College of Liberal Arts, Department of English

Krista Jackman is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of New Hampshire. She teaches primarily in the Composition Program, focusing on first year writers. Krista has been teaching at the university since 2004, and has been long focused on the work of student engagement, sustainability and integrating useful technology into her classroom pedagogy. She has been entirely paperless since 2006, and has developed extensive rich media related assignments. Most recently Krista has partnered with the Parker Media Lab to use a text based gaming technology called Twine to teach persuasive rhetoric. Krista regularly bothers her Academic Technology friends for “just a little help with something…” Krista holds a BA in English from UNH and a MAT in English from Rivier University.

I applied three primary OER related changes to my courses. First, I removed all of the student-purchased textbooks from all three sections I taught. I replaced those reading materials with Open Educational Resources, that students accessed via links that I created for them in our Canvas course. Next, I researched Open pedagogy, and considered ways that I could integrate this philosophy in my courses. I decided to work with my ENGL503 course specifically, as it was comprised or a larger number of upper level students. I redesigned my course to specifically include assignments that might have a lasting impact on my students and their experiences outside of the undergraduate arena. In ENGL503, my students spent the semester developing assignments that developed the theme of their choice. They housed their research, their writing, their semester’s work in individual web sites that they designed, curated, developed and maintained. According to my assignment, my students developed MyPages sites that represented them as scholars, that showcased their academic development, perhaps a balance to the exclusively social identity that most students maintain online. Most importantly, their sites are Open, public and represent and share the work they did this semester.

Vanessa Levesque

Vanessa Levesque – University of New Hampshire, Sustainability dual Major

Vanessa Levesque is the Assistant Director and Lecturer for the Sustainability Dual Major at UNH-Durham. Dr. Levesque received her PhD in Ecology and Environmental Studies from the University of Maine as a research fellow with the Sustainability Solutions Initiative. Her teaching and research integrates knowledge and methods from multiple disciplines, with a particular interest in sustainability science and collaborative governance. Dr. Levesque holds an MS in Natural Resources Planning from the University of Vermont and a BA in Ecology and Evolution from Dartmouth College. In addition to her academic background, Dr. Levesque has worked in the field of environmental planning and policy at local, state and federal levels, she is a trained facilitator, and she spent three years in Uganda as a Peace Corps volunteer. Vanessa has twin girls, lives in Portland, Maine with her family, and loves all things outdoors.

Course: SUST 501: Sustainability Perspectives & Methods, Fall 2017.  Enrollment: 15 students.  What I did: I incorporated an open pedagogy approach to the course, from having students provide input into course assignments and rubrics to getting rid of almost all of the ‘throw away assignments.’ For example, the course has multiple field trips; when I taught this class last, students had to write papers that summarized what they learned and apply course concepts to an analysis of what they learned. In fall 2018, students instead created WordPress blogs and they were assigned a blog post after each field trip to show what they learned and how it demonstrated course concepts. This blog will then transition to an “ePortfolio” for all the students that continue on as Sustainability Dual Major students and take the capstone course (which currently is all of them).   Perhaps the biggest experiment in this course, however, was to have the students start drafting a “Sustainability Methods Reader” that, when complete, will be an OER for this class in the future as well as others who want to teach similar topics. In Fall 2017, students worked in groups, and each group wrote the first draft of two chapters for the Reader. The purpose, again, was to have the students work on assignments that had real use, as well as to start creating a resource for a topic that currently has literally no appropriate materials for undergraduates.

Loan Phan

Loan Phan – College of Liberal Arts, Department of Education

Loan Phan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Education at the University of New Hampshire. She earned her Masters of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy and PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Nevada, Reno. Her research interests include multicultural counseling, ethnic minority identity development, and group counseling and process. Professor Phan currently teaches counseling based courses for educators in a variety of fields.

My project was a fully online asynchronous course titled “Navigating Difficult Dialogue” that had an enrollment of 18 students. I used Kaltura videos and instructor prepared PowerPoint presentations and notes to replace a required textbook. Another required textbook was replaced with a free ebook. I incorporated OER media sources (Youtube videos) and other videos (training videos and a film) into my assignments and activities to make student learning more meaningful, and gave students interactive opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge of the course content. Lastly, I modified the modules in order to support the students’ ability to integrate the course material and apply their knowledge to their field of study.

Kevin Pietro

Kevin Pietro – College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Biomedical Sciences

Kevin Pietro is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Biomedical Sciences. Since his arrival to UNH in 2014, Kevin has taught a number of courses such as, Sports Nutrition, Weight Management, Treatment of Adult Obesity, Geriatric Nutrition, and Nutrition and Wellness. Additionally, Kevin oversees the undergraduate Field Experience course and hosts an on-going research independent study, which collaborates with UNH Athletic, to assess the body composition of student-athletes. Before joining UNH, Kevin has worked as a Clinical Dietitian in a hospital setting, where he assessed patients with a wide-variety of conditions. Currently, he is pursuing his Ph. D. in the Education department at UNH, with a particular interest in cultivating empathy in undergraduate nutrition and dietetic students.

NUTR 546- Nutrition for Exercise and Sports was the course that become the primary focus of my OER/Open efforts last semester.  In addition to using all free online resources (Position Papers, Review articles, Videos, Webinars, etc.)  instead of a traditional textbook, I attempted to create three major assignments that were geared to spreading accurate, sports nutrition knowledge to a larger, diverse audience.  All 64 Students were required to tweet (Twitter) weekly about the course content, linking their tweet to a popular hashtag or a company/organization/individual.  Students had the opportunity to assess the diet and body composition of a SIX03 endurance athlete, providing them dietary guidance in accordance with the current sports nutrition guidelines.  Lastly, students developed short videos pertaining to a variety of sports nutrition related topics, suitable for local and regional high school athletes. 

Dante Scala

Dante Scala – College Liberal Arts, Department of Political Science

Dante Scala is an associate professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire. He teaches American politics, and his research interests include the New Hampshire presidential primary, the presidential nomination process, and political demography and geography.

Course title: American Presidency Enrollment: 34.  I used OER in two ways: Reliance on online OER for primary sources, which allowed me to reduce dependence on assigning textbooks. Built a research project for students around using primary sources, in collaboration with librarian Louise Buckley.

Daniel Seichepine

Daniel Seichepine – University of New Hampshire at Manchester

Dr. Daniel Seichepine is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuropsychology at the University of New Hampshire, Manchester. He is a clinical neuropsychologist with specialization in dementia and mild traumatic brain injury (i.e. concussion). He has published several peer-reviewed publications on mild traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, and normal aging. His current research program is examining the long-term effects of repetitive mild traumatic brain injuries on cognition, mood and behavior.

Course number and title: Brain and Behavior (PSYC 731).  Semester: Fall, 2017.  Enrollment: 23. In my Brain and Behavior course (PSYC 731) I implemented two Open Education Practices (OEP).  First, the traditional textbook was replaced by a resource already paid for by the University (uptodate.com).   In this course students learn about certain neurological disorders and this resource is the primary source used by medical professionals to obtain current evidence-based information regarding these conditions.  The second OEP, was that I added a two-week magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain segmentation training and assignment.  For this assignment students went to the computer lab and used an open-source software program (ITK-Snap; http://www.itksnap.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php) to delineate various brain structures and to calculate their volumes.  From a teaching perspective, this was an outstanding assignment for the students.  In addition to learning about neuroanatomy, they discovered how difficult it is to identify the exact boundaries of various brain structures using MRI and how this challenge influences both clinical practice and research.

Filip Thurston

Filip Thurston – University of New Hampshire - Thompson School

I am a lecturer at the Thompson School of Applied Science teaching courses in writing, public speaking and social issues. I received an honours B.A. in Professional Writing and Communication Studies from York University (Toronto) and an M.Ed in the Teaching of Writing from Plymouth State University. For the latter, my capstone researched the potential of student-instructor texting in process-driven writing instruction. With my educational background in rhetoric and journalism, interests in psychology and sociology, and my unique position teaching communication courses for TSAS students, my courses focus on making students more capable of persuasion and more critical of the subtle and overt persuasion directed towards them/society.

This Fall, I incorporated free resources into my two sections of COM 209: Expository Writing & Reading with a total enrollment of 45. Initially I had adopted some first-year writing textbooks for my course. When my students didn't engage with those texts, I shifted to exclusively using freely available popular longform articles and podcasts for discussion/response-driven content and OWLs and other online resources for instructional content. For the former, students were actively engaged because I was able to tailor the content to their interests and personalities. For the latter, I was able to assign specific instruction materials (for example, a resource on using commas effectively) at relevant points in the writing process for specific students who needed them. Students who did not need the same instruction were not forced to purchase something they didn't need. Besides using completely free resources, using OER allowed me to shift resources mid-semester as I was not trapped by a text my students had already paid for. For the Spring term, I am working with CEITL and my colleagues to use as much OER as possible for Thompson School courses. Additionally, I have incorporated OER into my two other courses--Public Speaking (COM 210) and Social Issues (SSCI 202).