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. 

In 2009, The University System of New Hampshire (USNH) created the Academic Technology Steering Committee as a sustainable support system that encourages and supports faculty in the creation and integration of rich media resources in their courses to enhance teaching and learning.  USNH supports Open Education materials and practices (open education resources, open access, and open pedagogy) in its commitment to collegiate value, access, and affordability.

In 2011, the USNH Academic Technology Steering Committee founded the annual Academic Technology Institute (ATI) as a way to bring faculty together to explore and find solutions to how to integrate technology and rich media into their courses to transform their pedagogy and course design.  Each of the 4 institutions (GSC, KSC, PSU, UNH) selects 10-15 faculty from diverse disciplines to participate in this multi-day event. Open Education has been the theme of every ATI since 2015.

USNH Open Education Objective 

To use the Academic Technology Institute 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 Open Education Resources (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.

Open Education and the USNH ATI 

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, ATI 2016 proposed a broader, more sustained effort to develop our commitment to Open Education. By doing this, we became the first four-year state university system to implement an Open Education program across the state system.

ATI  2017, called Open Education: Pedagogy & Scholarship in a Connected Environment focused on faculty ambassadors' course project proposals in the areas of open educational resources (OER), open pedagogy, or open access journals.

At our ATI (2018), the focus was on Open Education: Pedagogy, Technology, and Advocacy. Faculty ambassadors engaged in foundational and elective workshops infusing Open Educational Resources (OER), Open Pedagogy/Open Educational Practices, and Open Access Publishing with pedagogy techniques and technology tools. Sessions also focused on advocacy approaches to advance awareness and adoption of Open Education within USNH and beyond. The follow up event to ATI 2018 was the ATI January 2019 event, titled Open Education & Student Agency: Empowering the Student Voice & Facilitating Access. 

Our most recent event, ATI 2019 was titled Open Education: Building Connection, Collaboration, & Community. Keynote presentations included Projects, Institutions, Systems, and States: The Work of an Open Ambassador by Robin DeRosa; Inclusive Open Pedagogy by Jesse Stommel, and Situating Students in Digital Work by Martha Burtis.