Session 1 - Introductions to the February 2022 C Cohort

Please post your introductions as replies to this post. Speak to any of the three prompts below:

  • A bit about yourself, your project, and your role on this project
  • Your vision for the project
  • Challenges that you anticipate and possible solutions

Hello everyone! My project is to develop a textbook for Lifespan Psychology, which covers everything from prenatal development through death. Along the way, I want my students to learn about how people develop physically, cognitively, socially, and emotionally (which is standard psych stuff) and understand that all that development both influences and is influenced by our cultural, social, and identity contexts. I am really excited about this because in my experience this is a perspective that can help students in any major, even though typically I teach psych and health students. I teach as an adjunct at NECC; full-time I am the Director of Academic Policy, Curriculum, and Assessment so I am so very excited about bringing what I learn through this program into those areas of my expertise as well. ~ Kirsten


Hey everyone! I’m Apurva from Rebus — you’ll see me popping in and out of sessions to share information, resources, and more about open publishing both from my own experience working on OER projects and from facilitating other TSP cohorts. I have a background in Publishing, Literature, and Marketing, and in the recent years have learned a lot about open pedagogy, open publishing tools, equitable publishing practices and more. Looking forward to learning more about you all!

Hello everyone,

I am Jördis. Since Apurva was steering the support ship so well during our first session, I was more of a quiet presence today, but nevertheless enjoyed hearing about your projects and ambitions relating your creations of learning materials/ experiences.

While fairly new to Rebus (joined as January this year), I have had a strong passion for Open Education since my own graduate days in Europe/ Eurasia and have woven this interest into increasingly more professional threads that now underpin my work at Rebus as well as my language teaching and educational development practice.

I look forward to supporting your team efforts in whatever capacity I can as the Rebus support +1 in the months to come!

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Hello friends!

This is Jonathan, I’m the facilitator for this group – nice to “meet” y’all here!
I’ll be working with everyone here to help your projects move forward – I’m very much looking forward to it!
I was a faculty member for many years, and I’ve written several OER, so I hope I will be very much coming from your perspective as you work on your projects … although I’ve also been a participant in the TSP and have learned so much from Rebus that I hope I can also guide you on the “Rebus way”!
This is my first time as a facilitator for the Rebus TSP, so I hope you will bear with me if I don’t always know the answer to TSP-related issues instantly – I’ll track the answers down for you, I promise

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Session 1 Follow-up and Prep for Session2

It was wonderful to meet so many of you, and see all the teams in our cohort represented at our first session!

The main focus was to get to know one another’s projects, understand how our sessions will be structured, and learn about Rebus’ tools and approaches. As some of you requested more guidance for project accountability in the process, we are designing activities for in-session practice and application afterwards, so that you can successively build out your OER creation plan and implement it smoothly over the coming year. On that note, I kindly ask you to complete this week’s activities as outlined in your session handout:

  • Respond below with your introduction, including your role on the project and the dream goal you have for it.
  • Agree to the Memorandum of Understanding for our cohort.
  • Create a project homepage for your project (which will be updated over the course of our program)

We also spent a bit of time discussing Rebus’ collaborative approach to publishing, and how a larger community around a resource can not only make it stronger, but also help maintain it down the line. Our approach hinges on thinking about communications, accessibility, formatting, and more at each stage to really harness the global potential of OER. And these stages can and most likely will be flexible, and thus play out in different ways for each team — that’s what the model is built to do!

We also discussed how being transparent about the process of creation can invite others to contribute and be involved in your projects, whether in big ways or small. The project homepage we host on our Rebus platform, for example, is a unique way to broadcast your project and invite collaborators to join efforts in its creation.

Talking about the tools we use for the Textbook Success Program like Curriculum Hub in Google, for instance, we also mentioned the Rebus Community Forum, where this recap is posted and where we will conveniently streamline ALL our cohort communication. All materials will be available to you throughout the program. We encourage you to share your questions here! Please note that you can use the tag (@feb22c-cohort) for conversations that include all cohort members. In addition, you can also write direct messages to individuals, not only in your cohort, but the entire forum space. Refer to the video tutorials in your handout for a more in-depth overview of the forum and its features.

As for our session recording and Zoom transcripts, you will soon receive a link to a secure Canvas room. Please watch out for the forum message for that.

Finally, please complete any unfinished homework from Session1: Handout. If you want to begin preparing for this week’s session here are links to the slides and to the handout. (You can, of course, always get to slides and handouts through the Curriculum Hub – that was something we looked at in Session 1!)

I will keep an eye on introductions coming in here. Don’t hesitate to reach out if anything is not working for you. I look forward to seeing you in Session 2!

Hi everyone,

I’m Marilyn Billings, just retired as the Head of the Office of Scholarly Communication at UMass Amherst the end of December. My role in this cohort is as a senior advisor for our work so I have no specific project. Thanks to the NECC team for allowing me to “listen in” on their projects. A bit more about myself - I have been a presenter for the Open Education Network for several years and, as the founder of the UMA open education program, hope that experience will be useful for our ongoing work. Some of my personal interests include reading, yoga, pilates, bicycling, visiting friends and family, and checking out regional wineries and breweries.

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Hi everyone! I am working with Deirdre Budzyna to create a Child, Growth and Development textbook.
I am the full-time Director of Career Pathways in Early Childhood Education. It is a grant funded position through the Department of Early Education and Care. I have also served NECC as an adjunct instructor since 2002 teaching psychology and early childhood education courses.
The textbook most of our instructors (including myself) use is very expensive. The course is the most frequently offered courses in our program as it is required for a teacher credential in the field. Our hope is to create a high quality resource that can replace the need for an expensive textbook. I look forward to learning and collaborating with all of you!

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Hello! I am excited to learn more about the Textbook Success Program. Since I am an Instruction & Research Librarian, my goal is to support our faculty, staff, and students at Northern Essex Community College with access to open education resources by being informed about the creation process. Although I have a supportive Library Department and community, I will be adding this adventure to my full workload. I hope to make some positive contributions and lend a hand when needed to my colleagues.

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I am @Bambos (Barbara Ambos) and have been hired through the ROTEL Grant to be the OER Administrative Coordinator for the Grant. I will be supporting all of members of the OTCC, who in turn support grant recipients. I am based at Framingham State University campus, and am also working as part of FSU’s OER support team. I am attending the TSP Adapt cohort meetings, but am here to help everyone. I am a librarian so I am accustomed to doing research, answering reference questions, and helping in any way I can. Please contact me if you have any questions and I can do the legwork on finding the answer or problem solving. My schedule is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. I look forward to working with you all.

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Hi, all-

I’m Rebecca Dowgiert, new Scholarly Communications Librarian at Framingham State University, happy to be on FSU’s Support Team, and ready to help out, especially our 1st FSU ROTEL Cohort.

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I’m Gail Rankin, DCIO and Academic Technologies at Salem State University. I am a co-director of the Viking textbook affordability project and OER. I am excited to learn about the Textbook Success Program as my position works with many faculty who are interested in publishing material for OER. I look forward to learning while working with all of you!

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I’m Jim McGrath (he/his) and I’m an Instructional Designer at Salem State University. I’ve worked on digital project development and led/supported digital projects in other contexts and I’m excited to support a team as part of this initiative.

Hello, all!
I’m going challenges first…as that’s what is first in my mind. The book itself is called “Conversations with the Earth,” a book focused on climate change, in Earth’s past, present and near future. We do the same climate stuff most books do. What we do differently is center the entire discussion in ethics.

Gardiner (2006) noted “If we do not think that our own actions are open to moral assessment, or that various interests (our own, those of our kin and country, those of distant people, future people, animals and nature) matter, then it is hard to see why climate change (or much else) poses a problem.” The global, intergenerational nature of climate change requires that ask ourselves and our students to consider the ethical standing of the other-spatially distant people, people not born-vis a vis climate change. We use national and international cases studies to highlight the climate injustices in communities of color.

Our National case study focus on what the New York Times called “the first American climate refugees,” the people of Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana. As the Times plaintively notes, “That [island] is now dying, drowning in salt and sinking into the sea, and [some residents are] ready to leave.” Those residents-all members of Native peoples from southern Louisiana, must choose to leave their ancestors’ land for an uncertain future, or stay and face the certainty of continued flooding, erosion, and loss. Our case study re-focuses students’ attention to a theme of the book-some problems have no technical solutions-different value systems can lead individuals to make what seems-to others-non-optimal decisions. We make extensive use of OER geo-spatial technologies to immerse students in the lived lives of the people from Isle de Jeans Charles, and then ask students to apply their work to their own communities.

And that’s the challenge-I want to bring the lived experiences of all people to this project. Too many people-particularly people of color-have no voice in the face of climate change. I want readers to use video, images, words, art to comment, document and publish their experiences.

And I have no idea how to do that.

Hi Larry - Are you familiar with the UN Sustainable Development Goals Faculty Fellowship program? Here’s a video that explains the program:

When I’m reading about your project, I think you would be a great candidate for this program. Maybe we could look at ways in which you could involve the students in an open pedagogy project that will empower them and bring diverse voices to this work…I look forward to talking more. I know a few people who have been through the fellowship and had a great experience.

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Hi Everyone - I’m late to the introductions! I’m Sue Tashjian, Northern Essex Community College. I am a member of the ROTEL project team and I really look forward to learning more about all of the projects. I hope that we can all collaborate through this forum to help each other with resources and diverse perspectives on the content. This is truly a great learning experience and I’m excited for the next 12 months!

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