2015 OpenEd Forum: Opening Minds, Sharing Knowledge

Thank You!

Thank you to all who attended our OpenEd Forum 2015 on Friday, March 13. It was a wonderful celebration of Open Education Week with inspiring educators. Below you will find photos, presentations and resources shared by the presenters.

Keynote Presentation

Mary Lou Forward, Executive Director, Open Education Consortium

Load Open Inspirations keynote presentation in a new window

Session 1: Resources for Open Education

Session 2: Projects and Initiatives

OER Planning at an Institution

OER Campus Action Plan Template

OpenEd Forum 2015 was UMass Boston’s first conference to address open education. It took place on the UMass Boston campus on Friday, March 13 during International Open Education Week. Over 120 participants attended.

Attendees included UMass Boston faculty, students and alumni, as well as Open Education Resources (OER) community partners, including MA Department of Education (DESE) and numerous higher education institutions from the entire NE region. Provost Winston Langley gave opening remarks and announced funding would be made available to support the development of OER at UMass Boston.

Keynote speaker, Mary Lou Forward, executive director of the Open Education Consortium, provided evidence-based research on the impact of open textbooks for both students and faculty. UMass Boston student and MASSPIRG organizer, Maria Barrow, gave insight into her own experiences with the financial burden of purchasing course textbooks. Inspiring OER pioneers from UMass Boston and beyond shared their work and provided advice for others hoping to do the same.  A workshop on copyright and Creative Commons was facilitated by Charlote Roh from UMass Amherst libraries. The event will serve as a catalyst for developing an action plan and infrastructure to support faculty in accessing and creating OER. Special thanks to UMass Boston eLearning designers Irene Yukhananov and Rrezarta Hyseni for organizing the event and the Healey Library, College of Advancing and Professional Studies, and UMassOnline for their support.

Morning Session | 8:30 am–12:55 pm

Opening Remarks

Philip DiSalvio, Dean, College of Advancing and Professional Studies (CAPS)


Winston Langley, Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, UMass Boston

Keynote Address

Mary Lou Forward (Open Education Consortium)

Panel Discussion: Sustaining OE Initiatives on Campus

The micro to macro focus of this panel moves from a narrative of the Open Education efforts undertaken by one local community college, through descriptions of OER activities at the University of Massachusetts flagship campus, to a report on the formation of a new, regional OER Consortium.

  • Moderator: Alan Girelli, Director, Center for Innovation and Excellence in eLearning, College of Advancing and Professional Studies (CAPS), UMass Boston.
  • Panelists: Lance Eaton, Instructional Designer, North Shore Community College (NSCC); Charlotte Roh, Scholarly Communications Resident Librarian, UMass Amherst (UMA); Kevin Corcoran, Executive Director, Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CDLC).
  • First Responder: Steve Phillips, Assessment Strategist, Thomas Edison State College (TESC).
  • “Ex officio” panel participants working the floor: Andrea Milligan, Director of Instructional Technology and Design (NSCC); Christine Goodchild, Coordinator of Public Services (NSCC); Marilyn Billings, Scholarly Communication & Special Initiatives Librarian, W.E.B. Du Bois Library (UMA).

Concurrent Session 1: Resources for Open Education | 1:00 pm–1:40 pm

Copyright and Creative Commons Introductory Workshop

This workshop will discuss basic copyright, fair use, and Creative Commons licensing through cases and discussion. Audience participation is required!

Facilitator: Charlotte Roh (UMass Amherst Libraries)

Many Faces of Open: UMB Resources for Global Learning

UMass Boston’s instructional designers will show the various applications available for UMB faculty to share course materials (iTunes U, OpenCourseWare, OpenEducation by Blackboard) and will showcase one of UMass Boston’s first open online courses and its role in the engagement of coastal communities.

Presenters: Rrezarta Hyseni, Jouliana Bosneva (Educational Technology, UMass Boston); Anamarija Frankic (Green Harbors Project, UMass Boston)

UMass Boston Libraries and OER

Librarians at UMass Boston will discuss different models of using “fully open” and “modified open” educational resources in your classroom and in your scholarship and how UMass Boston librarians can support those efforts.

Presenters: Andrew Elder, Mary Moser, Xuan Pang, and Joanne Riley (Healey Library, UMass Boston)

Concurrent Session 2: Projects and Initiatives | 1:50 pm–2:25 pm

Affordable Textbooks

Presenters will share their consideration for using Open Source materials to reduce schooling costs and their commitment to keeping the educational experience affordable for students.

Presenters: Rajini Srikanth, Elora Chowdhury (College of Liberal Arts, UMass Boston); Maria Barrow (MASSPIRG)

Open Access for Africa

Presenters will share the Open Access for Africa project–a portal for free scholarly articles and databases in medicine. You will learn how to customize your own open access material for your class or department.

Presenters: Jacob Kariuki, James Muchira (College of Nursing and Health Sciences, UMass Boston); Tina Mullins (Healey Library, UMass Boston)

Early Childhood Courses on UMB OpenCourseWare

The Massachusetts Department of Early Care and Education uses Open Course Ware to make professional development content available across the state to a wide variety of early care and education providers. We will talk and answer questions about the process, the development of the content, and sustained usage of the content.

Presenters: Mary Lu Love (Institute for Community Inclusion, UMass Boston); Chris Pond (Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care)

Group Activity: 2:40 pm–3:20 pm

OER Planning at an Institution

How can OE initiatives be implemented in your institution? Attendees will brainstorm in role-based groups (library, IT, faculty, students, instructional design, administration, etc.) to determine how OER initiatives can be implemented using an open education implementation template provided by facilitators.

Facilitated by Marilyn Billings, Charlotte Roh (UMass Amherst Libraries) and Nicole Allen (SPARC)

Keynote Speaker

Mary Lou Forward, Executive Director, Open Education Consortium


Mary Lou Forward is the Executive Director of the Open Education Consortium, a leading organization dedicated to the development of open education and its impact on higher education around the world. The Open Education Consortium is a worldwide community of hundreds of higher education institutions and associated organizations committed to advancing open education and its impact on global education. Among its activities, the Open Education Consortium supports the development of open educational projects and policies around the world; runs the annual Open Education Week, a world-wide week of events focused on open education; supports the creation of MOOCs using open content; runs the annual Open Education Global Conference; provides consulting and training in digital, online and open strategy; and maintains the international Directory of Open Education Professionals. Prior to joining the Open Education Consortium, Mary Lou served as the Dean of African studies, working with institutions across Africa for nearly two decades. During this time she incorporated technology and distance learning in international educational programming and developed opportunities to collaborate across countries and between diverse student and faculty groups.

Speakers, Moderators, and Contributors

Nicole Allen, SPARC

Nicole Allen is the Director of Open Education for SPARC. In this role she leads SPARC’s work on Open Educational Resources (OER), focusing on public policy and engaging and supporting the library community on this issue. Nicole joined SPARC in 2013 already established as a leading figure in the OER movement through her previous role at the Student Public Interest Research Groups. During her seven year tenure, Nicole worked with college students to organize numerous large-scale grassroots campaigns on OER and related issue areas, including a 40-campus, cross-country van tour called the “Textbook Rebellion” and organizing 3,000 professors to sign a commitment to consider adopting open textbooks. Nicole is widely cited in the media for her work, and is considered one of the leading issue experts on college textbook costs. She also currently chairs the Steering Committee of the Open Policy Network.

Maria Barrow, MassPirg Students, UMass Boston


Maria is the Affordable textbook campaign coordinator for the UMass Boston MassPIRG chapter. There she works with fellow students–as well as Alicia Bissonnette, the MassPIRG campus organizer–to give voice to student’s concerns in regards of the cost of their education. Her goal is to bridge the gap between faculty, administrators and students in terms of this topic; encouraging conversation while focusing on the importance of community and student engagement. She is currently a freshmen here at the university of Massachusetts Boston and is pursuing a double major in Anthropology and Psychology.

Marilyn Billings, Scholarly Communication & Special Initiatives Librarian, UMass Amherst


As head of the Office of Scholarly Communication, Marilyn provides campus and regional leadership and education in alternative scholarly communication strategies and gives presentations on author rights, new digital publishing models and the role of digital repositories in today’s research and scholarship endeavors as well as providing oversight to the UMass Amherst digital repository ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst. Marilyn is actively involved in regional and national workshops on these topics, most recently the Academic Library Futures Symposium at Rice University in September 2012, the Living the Future Conference at University of Arizona in April 2012, and the international SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Resource Coalition) OA workshop held in Kansas City in March 2012. Her most recent activity has focused on her work as a campus leader and national speaker on the topic of alternatives to high cost textbooks, the use of open educational resources, and coordinator of the Open Education Initiative (OEI) launched at UMass Amherst in spring 2011.

Jouliana Bosneva, Instructional Designer, UMass Boston


Jouliana is an Instructional Designer mentoring faculty in the best approaches to achieve effective hybrid or blended learning, including adult learning theory, objectives, lecture materials, assessments, multimedia and other course enhancements. She teaches faculty to develop learning and performance objectives in web-enhanced courses. Jouliana holds a Bachelor in Graphic Design, Master in Education and Master in Digital Media Arts and Science. Her current interests include new technologies, design and development of multimedia learning modules, and Interest in the online environment as an educational and communication tool.

Elora Halim Chowdhury, PhD, Associate Professor and Chair of Women’s and Gender Studies, UMass Boston


Elora Halim Chowdhury is an associate professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, and a faculty affiliate to the Asian Studies Program, and the Asian American Studies Program. She received her PhD in Women’s Studies from Clark University, Massachusetts (2004). Her teaching and research interests include transnational feminisms, critical development studies, gendered violence and human rights advocacy with an emphasis on South Asia. She is the author of Transnationalism Reversed: Women Organizing Against Gendered Violence in Bangladesh (SUNY Press, 2011). Her book was awarded the National Women’s Studies Association Gloria Anzaldua book prize in 2012.

Kevin Corcoran, Executive Director, Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium


As Executive Director, Kevin provides leadership, coordination and assistance on all CTDLC issues including technology, resource management, strategic planning, partnerships, staff development, marketing, and product & service development. Kevin oversees the core technology services of the CTDLC, including application hosting, product development, and customer support. He has 10 years experience in supporting Learning Management Systems, such as Blackboard (Angel, Learn, CE, & Vista), Moodle, and WebMentor, and has participated on various advisory boards within this arena. In product development, Kevin was instrumental in the creation and ongoing design of the eTutoring and Adult Success Center platforms. Leveraging his knowledge of LMS platforms, he guided the CTDLC Product Development Team in integrating these products with the various LMS platforms, and continues to work with staff to develop new concepts in learning technology.

Lance Eaton, Coordinator of Instructional Design, North Shore Community College



Lance Eaton is Coordinator of Instructional Technology at North Shore Community College as well as a part-time faculty member. He has worked with a team of faculty, staff and administrators to help launch an open textbook initiative at the college. The program has included working fifteen faculty to help replace textbooks and utilize OER or other free materials for their courses. He has also worked to replace textbooks in the courses that he teaches. He also uses a service learning project with his students to get them to give back to the internet in the form of contributions to Wikipedia, Librivox, and Amara.

Andrew Elder, Digital Archives and Outreach Librarian, University Archives & Special Collections, UMass Boston

Andrew.Elder@umb.edu Andrew manages UMass Boston’s institutional repository, assists with department projects and programs such as the Massachusetts Memories Road Show, and works on the development of the department’s online digital collections system, using OCLC’s CONTENTdm. Andrew is also the archivist and a board member for The History Project, the only organization devoted solely to documenting, preserving, and sharing the history of Boston’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) communities.

Anamarija Frankic, Director, Green Harbors Project


Anamarija is the director of the Green Harbors Project (GHP), a Fulbright and Biomimicry Fellow. Her educational background in biology, ecology, limnology and marine science, guided her interdisciplinary work in coastal and watershed ecosystem management and restoration, nationally and internationally. In 2008, Anamarija and her students established the Green Harbors Project to discover how urban harbors can become healthy, wealthy and sustainable, right here and now. She recently initiated and established Biomimicry Livinglabs as part of the applied science and whole systems educational approach where academia and local communities are able to learn and teach by doing concrete sustainable projects. Her present research work is based on learning from nature’s three coastal keystone habitats that can only be restored and managed when addressed together: salt marshes, shellfish beds and eelgrass beds. Her premise is that the environment sets the limits for sustainable development.

Alan Girelli, Director, Center for Innovative and Excellence in eLearning, UMass Boston


Alan Girelli earned his Ph.D. in Composition and Rhetoric, Graduate Studies in English, UMass Amherst, focusing on electronic rhetorics and networked communication systems. Girelli directs the Center for Innovation and Excellence in eLearning (CIEE), housed with the College of Advancing and Professional Studies (CAPS) at the UMass Boston. Girelli has been involved with UMass Boston distance education programming since 1996 (before the advent of online education), and has taught online, on-ground, and blended writing and design courses at UMass Boston, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and ITT Technologies at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

Christine Goodchild


Stefanie Henderson, Senior Product and Portfolio Manager, UMassOnline


As the manager of academic services and systems for UMassOnline, Stefanie works with new e-learning tools and products, provides training to the UMass campus constituents, and supports the learning management system. With over fifteen years of technical experience, Stefanie brings her passion for e-learning, web technology, and instructional design to UMassOnline.

Rrezarta Hyseni, Instructional Designer, UMass Boston



Rrezarta is a graduate of the Instructional Design program at UMass Boston where she obtained her M.Ed. Rrezarta has been supporting our faculty and students with online learning in various instructional support roles since 2007. In her role as an Instructional Designer, Rrezarta guides faculty in the design, development and delivery of online courses and best uses of technology for teaching and learning. Rrezarta has a background in the visual arts and is an advocate of open and free education. Her current focus is the design of open online courses and interactive learning experiences.

Jacob Kariuki, PhD Student, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, UMass Boston


Jacob Kigo Kariuki, RN/BSN holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from University of Eastern Africa, Baraton in Kenya. After graduating in 2008, worked in Kenya for 3 years before joining UMass Boston as a doctoral student in the Nursing Population Health program. As a nurse educator in Kenya, Jacob was involved in CVD research and worked with nursing students to screen and follow up patients suffering from CVD. Main interest in cardiovascular health and research, with focus on understanding population specific risk factors and culturally relevant interventions.

Mary Lu Love, Program Director, Institute for Community Inclusion; Instructor, UMass Boston


Mary Lu Love holds a master’s degree in Child Care Administration and has 40+ years experience teaching and administering in private, non-profits, and Head Start early childhood programs. She has taught in higher education part-time for twenty-plus years, and helped to develop the early childhood undergraduate degree program at UMass Boston. She is also a long-standing member of NAEYC, served as a Commissioner of Academy and a validator since 1990-2003. Currently she is program director for several grant funded programs, and teaches early childhood courses and works on a number of early childhood collaborations. She trains on a wide range of Early Education topics from Literacy, Supervision, Early Math, and use of technology. She is also a certified trainer in CLASS (Classroom Assessment Scoring System), the ELLCO, (Early Language and Literacy Classroom Observation) and the DECA (Devereux Early Childhood Assessment).

Andrea Milligan, Director of Instructional Technology and Design


Andrea has been working in higher education for over fifteen years and has a wide array of experience in instructional technology, information technology and library technology. Currently, Andrea is the Director of Distance Learning and Instructional Technology at North Shore Community College in Danvers, Massachusetts. Andrea is also an adjunct faculty member at North Shore Community College and teaches one section of Fundamentals of Computer Concepts. Prior to coming to North Shore Community College, Andrea was the Director of Academic Technology at Framingham State University, where she worked for over twelve years. Before becoming the Director of Academic Technology, Andrea was the Reference and Instructional Librarian at FSU for four years. Through her most recent roles, Andrea has over nine years of practical and theoretical experience in promoting and facilitating the use of technology as an integral part of the total academic experience; helping faculty in the design and development of Web-enhanced, hybrid and online courses; providing professional development opportunities to faculty in using technology effectively in the teaching and learning environment; assisting and supporting faculty and students in the use of academic technology tools; and maintaining an awareness of the latest instructional technologies and emerging technologies that might have an impact on the teaching and learning environment.

Mary Moser, Head of Reference, Outreach, Instruction and Public Services, UMass Boston


James Muchira, PhD Student, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, UMass Boston


James Muturi Muchira, BSN, is currently PhD student in the Population Health track at University of Massachusetts Boston. He has previously worked as a nurse tutor at Tumutumu and Clive Irvine Schools of Nursing in Kenya. At Tumutumu, he worked closely with the Principal Anne Mukuna and Deputy Irene Ndigirigi in the coordination of Kenya Heart and Sole activities. He graduated from the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. He afterwards did his internship at Consolata Nyeri and Kisii Level 5 Hospitals.

Tina Mullins, Reference Services Coordinator


Tina Mullins has been at UMass Boston for eight years working as a reference librarian. She is currently the Reference Services Coordinator and librarian for the College of Education and Human Development. Ms. Mullins earned a M.S. in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has a M.Ed. from Antioch University.​

Steve Phillips, Assessment Strategist, Thomas Edison State College (TESC)


@stevecontip Stephen Phillips holds the position of Assessment Strategist at Thomas Edison State College (TESC), housed in the Center for the Assessment of Learning. Stephen manages a team of instructional designers, instructional technologists, and faculty who develop asynchronous courses for adult learners. His Center also researches and assesses student needs to identify and prioritize programming. Stephen has designed and implemented a competency-based MBA program. Moreover, he has developed an Open Course Option track that allows students to complete an Associate of Science degree in Business Administration by taking free, open, online courses from the Saylor Foundation. Courses in the Associates degree are aligned with the College’s prior learning assessment program and transcripted by TESC when students successfully complete a portfolio assessment or they complete the College’s credit-by-exam program.

Xuan Pang, Head of Resource Sharing and Document Delivery (ILL), Healey Library, UMass Boston


Chris Pond (Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care)


Chris Pond serves as an Educator Provider Support Specialist for the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). Chris has been with the Department since 2009. She is currently responsible for supervising the professional qualifications unit and overseeing the work of EEC’s Educator and Provider Support grantee in region 6, who provides professional development opportunities for early childhood educators. Chris also coordinates and oversees the ISA with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to provide professional development opportunities for public preschool early childhood and special education directors. She is the co-chair on The Department of Public Health’s ICC program planning committee, sits on the Massachusetts SpecialQuest advisory team, and sits on the Connected Beginnings advisory committee. She holds an Associates degree from Lasell College in Early Childhood, a Bachelor’s degree from Wheelock College in Social Work and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Northeastern University. Her background includes 20 plus years working in the field of early education and care. Prior to coming to the Department of Early Education and Care, she was a developmental specialist and supervisor working for Children’s Hospital, Boston in their early intervention program. Chris is dedicated to supporting the needs of children and families and providing professional development opportunities that supports positive outcomes for children and families.

Joanne Riley, University Archivist, UMass Boston


Charlotte Roh, Scholarly Communications Resident Librarian, UMass Amherst


Charlotte Roh is the Scholarly Communication Resident Librarian at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. As part of her responsibilities, she maintains the institutional repository, participates in the Open Education Initiative, and provides education on publishing, copyright, and author rights. Her background is in academic publishing and she still freelances as an editor.

Rajini Srikanth, Associate Provost and Professor, English and Asian American Studies; Director, Honors Program


Rajini Srikanth is Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She is the author of The World Next Door: South Asian American Literature and the Idea of America and the coeditor (with Sunaina Maira) of Contours of the Heart: South Asians Map North America and (with Lavina Dhingra Shankar) of A Part Yet Apart: South Asians in Asian America.

Irene Yukhananov, Sr. Instructional Designer, UMass Boston


Irene Yukhananov is a Senior Instructional Designer, eLearning coach and staff professional development coordinator at the UMass Boston College Of Advancing and Professional Studies (CAPS). Irene is also a faculty member in the Instructional Design Program at UMB, where she teaches graduate level courses in instructional design and multimedia. Her current focus areas include e-pedagogies for online, flipped, and blended classrooms, competency-based education (CBE), development of open access courses with OER, and international online education.