USNH Open Education Initiative

The University System of New Hampshire is committed to innovation in public education. We work collaboratively to improve access to higher education in New Hampshire; to increase the impact that our research, teaching, and service have on the public good; and to provide an agile and connected learning environment to serve a 21st-century world. To that end, USNH supports Open Education materials and practices (open education resources, open access, and open pedagogy) in its commitment to collegiate value, access, and affordability.

Objective: 

To use the Academic Technology Institute for the next year to develop the capacity of each institution within the University System of New Hampshire to undertake meaningful and complementary Open Education and digital technology projects that will make student learning more effective, including:

  • Transition to OER content in order to save money for students and for USNH; 

  • Exploration of Open Pedagogy to strengthen learner-directed learning at USNH; and
  •  Augmentation of Open Access structures and protocols across USNH.

Background

The USNH Academic Technology Institute (ATI) was established in 2011 to bring faculty together to address the challenge of thinking about how rich media could enhance their courses. Each institution selects 10 faculty (plus an additional 5 from UNH starting in 2016) from diverse disciplines to participate in this four day event. At the ATI, faculty explore the pedagogy and tools as well as new thinking around using technology in the classroom. In addition, faculty are given the opportunity to interact and work together with their colleagues across the institutions. 


In 2015, the ATI at Granite State College focused on Open Education, and, in the summer of 2015, the University of New Hampshire kicked off its OER Ambassador Pilot. ATI 2015 spurred many individual faculty members to convert to OER and to introduce open pedagogy into their courses. The UNH OER Ambassador pilot generated significant savings (8 sections of 5 courses generated $136,895 in savings for students), garnered national attention for the university, and established New Hampshire as a center for open pedagogy. In light of the success of these two small-scale initiatives, ATI16 proposes a broader, more sustained effort to develop our commitment to Open Education. By doing this, we would be the first four-year state university system to implement an Open Education program across the state system.