Session 3: Storytelling and Communications

Key Links:


Thank you for being present at today’s meeting, @may24a-cohort. If you missed the meeting, the video will be posted on this document which you should have bookmarked:

We started the session by reviewing our homework in the Rebus Forum. These are the assignments that you should have turned in to the May 2025 A Cohort area:

  1. Complete the MOU by replying to the Memorandum of Understanding May 2024A Cohort topic.
  2. Make an individual reply to the Session 1: Introductions topic.
  3. Make an individual reply to the Session 2: Project Scoping topic.
  4. Post a first draft of your Project Summary Submission to the Project Summary Submission (May 2024 A Cohort).

We also looked at our settings and verified that each participant was receiving email updates for our cohort. If you need assistance with any of these assignments, please let me know.

Next, everyone reported on the work that they did with Project Scoping, particularly in regards to the first three areas of the handout. You will be able to continue updating this document until you turn in the final version on September 30th. This is also when your first chapter is due.

Today’s session was designed to continue the scoping work from last week and we returned to look more closely at those parts that relate to the storytelling in your OER, namely the motivators, the audience, and the course materials.

Storytelling allows you to situate your role in the work, describe the story of your project, both within your team, but also more broadly as you market your OER. We used a template [link above] to guide your teams in the process of creating your project storywork plan.

Review the quote from late Ojibway author Richard Wagamese in our slides [link above] — and you’ll see how central narrative and story is to the work of OER creation. We discussed the transformative power of education and how storytelling can play a role in making inclusive content with effective processes.

We emphasized acknowledging and validating different types of knowledge and expertise — and how you all play an integral part in this work by reflecting on the content of your OER (approach, vision for the discipline, knowledge, research, text, media, contributors, students, pedagogy). Jo-ann Archibald’s Indigenous Framework for Storytelling offers a guide to help you articulate the work you will be doing on your OER projects, both internally to inform decision-making on your OER but also externally to the broader open education community.

Thinking deeply about the storywork you want to do as content creators and team support members, may sound like a lot of effort, but we know from experience with past cohorts how well those efforts play out in the longer term. Having a clear understanding of the storywork for your resource - both its purpose and content - is critical throughout the publishing process to ensure you create an effective and culturally sustainable resource.

Homework Activities

Prior to our next session, please complete the Session 3 Homework activities in your handout [linked above]. These include a mix of individual and team-based activities:

  1. Share your personal story by writing a bio (we’ll review this next week) as a reply to this post. We went over examples in the session. This bio should eventually go into the beginning of your Pressbook.
  2. During our breakout session, you should have had time to complete your Storytelling & Communications handout. Follow-up with your team to complete a draft of this submission.
  3. Post a team draft of your Storytelling & Communications Submission topic.

Next week, our focus will be on establishing team roles and effective collaboration to support your project’s success. We had some teams with only one member present today, so I hope that everyone will be able to attend next week.

Dawn Simms, M.S: Though born in Ohio, I’ve lived in south Louisiana for the past thirty years. I spent 13 of those years as a student, researcher, and instructor at Lousiana State University (LSU). I left LSU in 2013 and joined the Biology faculty at a smaller private institution just down the road called Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University (FranU). Currently, I am an Assistant Professor of Biology, Biology Lab Coordinator, and Chemical Hygiene Officer at FranU. I’m an experienced laboratory manager (with technical expertise in microbiology, virology, genetics, immunology, and cell culture lab protocols) and an author of 9 peer-reviewed publications and over two dozen conference presentations. My teaching experience includes courses in Microbiology, General Biology, Genetics, Practical Experiences in Biology, and Research Problems in Biology/Medicine. I’ve developed and modified course materials and curriculum as part of the Council of Independent Colleges Seminar on Science Pedagogy, the Quality Matters Quality Assurance System, and the Course-Based Undergraduate Research model. My work focuses on making educational materials more accessible for low-income students, enhancing student engagement, and developing better learning assessment tools.

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Hello everyone, my name is Colton Wiggins. Here is my story!

I am a dually registered healthcare professional in Polysomnographic (Sleep) Technology & Respiratory Therapy with seven years of experience. Currently serving as the 1st program director of the Sleep Technology program at Southern University at Shreveport.

My educational background consists of a Master of Science Degree in Management & Leadership (2023) & a Bachelor of Business Administration with a focus in Healthcare Management (2022) from Western Governors University (WGU), an Associates of Applied Science Degree in Respiratory therapy (2016) from Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC), and an Undergraduate certificate in Polysomnographic Technology from Thomase Edison State University (2023).

My teaching philosophy is based off the three-letter word “FOR”. A while back, while serving as the Administrative Pastor at a local assembly here in Louisiana, the leadership of the church came up with a vision and mission for the upcoming year that anchored to that three-letter word, “FOR”. It is a simple word that carries with it a lot of weight when put into the context of serving others. Often time quoted this way, “I am FOR Others!” This statement stoked the question, how can I be FOR others? From that point on, I filter every decision by first asking that question. Then answering it by ensuring my actions support those whom I am being “FOR”. The way I do this in the capacity of a teacher is by following these principles; Be Welcoming, Listen More-Talk less, and teach by learning how the student learns.

I aspire to use this philosophy of being “FOR” others as the driving force behind my contributions to my cohorts OER.

Thanks for reading! CW

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Rusti Liner’s Bio (Flood Mitigation):

Ms. Liner has been teaching college courses since 2010. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography from Louisiana State University and a Master of Science from the University of Southern Mississippi. She recently developed and introduced the first Louisiana Community and Technical College System’s General Studies concentration in Emergency Management. An active member of the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Association (LEPA), she has also been actively involved in disaster management and has been deployed to 15 nationally declared disasters across the United States. She shares that one of her most memorable disaster response experiences was during the BP Oil Spill, when she responded as a volunteer wildlife transportation chauffeur and recounts that the Louisiana brown pelicans were majestic creatures that inspired the entire response team. As a certified Geographic Information System’s Professional (GISP), she mentors GIS professionals inside and outside of the classroom. Outside of the classroom, Assistant Professor Liner enjoys live music, traveling, rock collecting, hiking and just about any adrenaline sport (white water rafting, skydiving, surfing, zip-lining, parasailing). She is the mother of a beautiful teenager and partner to a local artist and interior designer.

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Kendra Anspaugh, MSPH: I’m a native of southeast Michigan, and received my BS in microbiology from Michigan State University. I came to Louisiana to attend graduate school at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, where I received an MSPH in tropical medicine, and have lived in New Orleans for 16 years. I was an instructor and assistant professor of anatomy & physiology and microbiology at Delgado Community College for nine years, and have been an assistant professor at University of Holy Cross for six years, where I teach anatomy & physiology, medical terminology, and several public health courses, and mainly teach online since COVID. I’m interested in creating a textbook and course that are adaptable to online learning that are both affordable and rigorous.

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Dr. Melissa Johnson is an Assistant Professor and Program Leader of the Human Nutrition and Food Program at Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She earned her B.S. degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Human Nutrition and Food/Dietetics from Southern University and A&M College and her M.S. degree in Food Science from The Pennsylvania State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Integrative Biosciences from Tuskegee University. Dr. Johnson’s research interests include food product development, functional foods, health promotion, disease prevention and the relationship between diet and chronic disease. She often expresses her creativity through cooking, baking, crafting and writing.

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Tanganika Johnson, Ph.D.: I am a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, I hold a BS in Microbiology, an MS in Toxicology, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Microbiology. I am the mother of one daughter who holds a BS in chemistry and an MS degree in cannabis therapeutics. I currently work as an instructor at Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, where I currently teach classes in Microbiology, General Biology for majors and non-majors, and Anatomy & Physiology 1 and 2 lectures and labs. I have experience in course design in the areas of general biology, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, forensic biology, and cell physiology, and have co-authored lab manuals and supplemental material for general biology courses. My research interest involves environmental health studies. I am interested in participating in this project because I have found that the cost and limited accessibility of an adaptable textbook with resources is a real issue for this generation of students. In my 20+ years in education, I have also found that many of the science textbooks are hard for students to read and are not that relatable for minority students. To be a part of designing a textbook and resources that are adaptable, relatable, and easy to read to help facilitate the learning process for many Louisiana students will be a great accomplishment. In my free time, I enjoy just relaxing at home, swimming, working out, cooking, and traveling.

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Paul Haddican, MA: I am a lifelong native of Louisiana and I earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in History from Southeastern Louisiana University. I have worked in higher education in Louisiana since graduating in various roles across Admissions, Registrar, and Academics. Currently, I am an Academic Advisor & Instructor at Southeastern Louisiana working directly with first semester students, particularly first-generation students. I also work as an Adjunct Instructor of History at Baton Rouge Community College where I strive to bring the past alive and make it relevant for today’s population.
I am passionate about higher education and believe that everyone deserves the chance to succeed. I am committed to providing equity and ensuring that all students are equipped with the necessary tools, skills, and resources to achieve their goals.

Waneene C. Dorsey, Ph.D. I served as a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Grambling State University (GSU). Prior to my academic career, I worked as a phlebotomist and medical technologist for 10 years in the microbiology unit at E.A. Conway Hospital. After leaving the fields of phlebotomy and laboratory work, I earned a Master of Arts in Teaching Natural Sciences, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science-Toxicology. Currently, I am engaged in cancer research at GSU, where I have mentored and trained over 50 students with biotechniques and laboratory research skills. Courses that I teach include: BIOL 113 and BIOL 114 for STEM majors, BIOL 103 and BIOL 104 for non-majors, BIOL 303: Essential of Human Anatomy & Physiology, BIOL 312: Principles of Toxicology, BIOL315: Water Quality Management, and BIOL 409: Biological Research. The limited accessibility of textbooks for these courses presents a significant challenge for enrolled students. Providing Open Educational Resources is crucial to enable GSU students and other college students to use available resources and to ensure the attainment of course learning objectives.

Shelcie S. Menard-Harvey, PhD: I am a native of Louisiana, born in Lafayette. I was raised in St. Martinville for most of my childhood. While I did leave Louisiana to attend the University of Florida for a few years, I returned to Lafayette, LA to complete my B.S. in Biology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL). During my time as an undergraduate, I decided to pursue a doctoral degree at ULL, as well. I spent my time as a doctoral student studying the repair of hair cells in the sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis, and gaining teaching experience in Cell and Molecular Biology. I completed a pre-doctoral teaching fellowship at University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), where I began teaching Human Anatomy and Physiology. I returned to UNCC as a post-doctoral fellow after completing my doctoral program in 2018. There, I continued my research in the physiology of hair cells and continued to teach Human Anatomy and Physiology laboratory courses. After my postdoc, I returned home to Louisiana to take a position teaching Human Anatomy and Physiology at Louisiana Tech University, and I have recently joined the faculty in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) as an Anatomist.

Louisiana is my home, and I hope to create positive change through my interactions with students in the classroom. I enjoy helping students to make connections with content, whether it is through classroom activities, storytelling, or comparing course content to everyday occurrences in life. Engaging in the creation of OER resources is one more way in which I can help to make education more accessible and enjoyable for our students.

The project lead for the nutrition cohort is Angie H. Balius. She is the Assistant Director of Library Services and the OER Coordinator at Northshore Technical Community College in Hammond, Louisiana. She earned her B.S. in journalism from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1991 and a Master’s in Library and Information Studies from the University of Alabama in 2008. She is an enthusiastic member of the Open Education movement and a returning cohort leader with LOUIS, the Louisiana Library Consortium. She previously worked on a team to create both an open textbook and a course for Developmental Psychology, particularly for dual enrollment students. Her research interests are media literacy, AI use in higher education, and instructional design and technology.