2021 AZ Regional OER Conference: Keynote Speakers

Open Education: Do Better

January 29, 2021

Open education has been hailed as a framework to address high-cost course materials, as there is an increase in the adoption of open educational materials. However, conversations about inclusive teaching and anti-racism pedagogical practices need to be at the center of open practices. How do we make sure that scholars and sources from marginalized communities are better represented? How does open education help decolonize school curriculum? This keynote seeks to address the urgency of adopting social justice practices in open education and strategies on how to do this.

Presentation Resources:

Jasmine Roberts


Jasmine Roberts is a lecturer in the School of Communication at the Ohio State University, where she teaches in the areas of public relations writing, digital activism, and campaign strategy. Roberts’ advocacy work centers on the experiences of people of color, women, and queer communities.

Along with her communication expertise, Roberts is also a renowned open education leader. She has delivered numerous keynote presentations across the country on the topics of inclusion in open education. She is the author of the highly-rated, openly-licensed book "Writing for Strategic Communication Industries".

In her spare time, she loves to connect with her green babies (52 plants total), fur babies (2 dogs), and loving fiancé. 

Jasmine Robert’s TEDx Talk:  I’m Tired of Talking About Race

Lead with Innovation: Open Education as a Means to Achieve Global Justice, Student Success, and Faculty Engagement

February 5, 2021

As we continue working toward a more socially just landscape in U.S. higher education, it has become increasingly important to come together to discuss and celebrate the core values of open education. With continued uncertainties from COVID-19 and growing social justice concerns, our teaching practices and learning environments may be challenging for our students. In this interactive virtual keynote, Shinta Hernandez will share effective open education practices, cross-institutional collaborations, faculty engagement strategies, and faculty leadership and professional development opportunities. Upon completion of the keynote presentation on February 5, 2021, and follow-up workshop on February 12, 2021, participants will learn more about accessible, affordable, equitable, inclusive, and innovative methods to improve student engagement and to increase student success by way of open education. Participants will also learn about the various ways in which faculty engagement can be increased, connections to a community of practice can be made, and faculty leadership of open education can be leveraged at their respective institutions.

Presentation Resources:

Shinta Hernandez


Shinta Hernandez is the Department Chair of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice at Montgomery College in Montgomery County, Maryland. During her 14 years at the College, she has worked on helping to advance work in the areas of open educational resources and open pedagogy, social justice and equity, inclusive curriculum, faculty professional development, international collaborations, and online education. She currently serves on the leadership teams of the Montgomery College Achieving the Dream (ATD) Student Success Network, the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER) Equity and Inclusion Committee, the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) Faculty Advisory Council, and the Maryland Sociology Affinity Group.

Prior to academia, Shinta worked in research and public policy think tank organizations in the Washington, D.C. area, namely the Urban Institute and Westat. As a public policy researcher, analyst, and project manager, she conducted extensive quantitative and qualitative research studies and traveled across the U.S. on-site visits to conduct program evaluations, including projects on the No Child Left Behind Act, the National Child Abuse and Neglect Study, and the Food Stamp Program Evaluation.

Shinta received her B.A. degree in Psychology from Brandeis University and her M.P.P. degree in Social Policy from Georgetown University. Currently, in the Sociology Ph.D. program at the University of Maryland College Park, Shinta is nearing the end of her dissertation work entitled “A Sociological Analysis of the Impact of Online Education on Community College Completion: A Case Study of Montgomery College in Maryland.”

Panel Discussion: Department of Education Open Textbook Pilot Grantees

February 12, 2021

Join us for a conversation with Department of Education Grant recipients about their experiences and the impact their projects have had on open education and student success.

Presentation resources:

Ariel Anbar 


Ariel Anbar is an award-winning science and education innovator. In education, he directs the Center for Education Through Exploration at Arizona State University, which is reinventing digital learning around curiosity, exploration, and discovery. In research, he explores Earth's past and future as an inhabited world, and the prospects for life beyond. He is a President's Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and School of Molecular Sciences, an affiliate of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, and a graduate of Harvard and Caltech. In 2017 he was named one of 10 “teaching innovators” by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

About OpenSkill

OpenSkill develops open educational resources (Active OER) that foster essential workforce skills as part of a $2.5M funded program by the U.S. Department of Education. The development team includes Arizona State University's Center for Education Through Exploration (ETX) and three community college partners: Maricopa Community Colleges, Ivy Tech Community College, and Miami Dade College.

OpenSkill Tools are customizable digital resources enabling active learning that foster essential skills, portable across disciplines. Active learning is at the heart of the OpenSkill vision because skills are best learned by doing. OpenSkill Tools can be used alone or supported with ready-to-use assignments, guides, and quality, existing OER materials, all made available on the OpenSkill Hub.

Delmar Larsen


Delmar Larsen is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Biophysics Graduate Group in the University of California, Davis. Delmar’s current research interests extends across many scientific disciplines including biophysics, physical chemistry, molecular biology, and computational modeling, with a common thread of investigating and characterizing of rapid condensed phase dynamics. Delmar is the Founder and Director of the LibreTexts project consisting of 14 independently operating and interconnected libraries that focus on augmenting post-secondary education in specific fields in both STEM fields, social sciences, and humanities. Supported by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and the State of California, the LibreTexts project is being built by thousands of active developers (students, instructors, and outside experts) across multiple campuses and nations. The chemistry library is the most trafficked OER education site in the world and the entire project is currently responsible for over ~250 million student visitors annually. LibreTexts has served students with over 550 million pages since 2008, which resulted in four millennia of confirmed reading.

Kim Ernstmeyer


Kim is a certified nurse educator and nurse practitioner with over 15 years of experience in simulation and interprofessional education. As the current Open RN Grant Project Director, and previously as the Curriculum Project Manager of the ARISE project, she has led multidisciplinary teams to create free, evidence-based, open educational resources (OER).  The ARISE project created 150 OER augmented-reality, multidisciplinary simulations, and serious games that are available on Skills Commons and have been downloaded internationally. The project won second place in the Serious Games and Virtual Arcades competition at the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH) in January 2018.  The Open RN Project is funded by a $2.5 million grant from the Department of Education to create five Nursing OER textbooks and 25 virtual reality simulations.  The first OER textbook, Nursing Pharmacology, published in June 2020, won the Open Textbook Award for Excellence from OE Global.  Kim has presented these multifaceted OER projects at several international conferences, including IMSH, the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL), the National League for Nursing, Achieve the Dream, Open Ed 2020, and OE Global 2020.  She co-authored the “Impact of Interprofessional Education on Nursing Students’ Attitudes Toward Teamwork and Collaboration with Physicians” in the Journal of Nursing Education.  Kim is passionate about improving safety in health care by enhancing the development of clinical judgment through active learning resources and simulations.

About the Open RN Project 

The Open RN Project is funded by a $2.5 million, four-year grant from the Department of Education to create five Nursing OER textbooks and 25 virtual reality simulations.  The textbooks are being developed collaboratively with faculty from the Wisconsin Technical College System consortium led by Chippewa Valley Technical College.  Over 200 faculty from across the country are also participating as peer reviewers.  By the end of the project, it is projected that over 5700 nursing students will be impacted annually in Wisconsin alone, with over $1.5 million in textbook savings annually.

The first OER textbook, Nursing Pharmacology, was published in June 2020 and already has over 22,000 international users. It won the 2020 Open Textbook Award for Excellence from OE Global. The second and third textbooks, Nursing Skills and Nursing Fundamentals, will be published in Summer 2021.  The final two textbooks, Mental Health & Community Concepts and Management and Professional Concepts, will be published in Summer 2022. The textbooks have CC-BY licensing and are published in Pressbooks, as well as uploaded to LibreTexts, for easy remixing by nursing faculty nationwide. Twenty-five virtual simulations are also being developed using the VR platform Acadicus with associated OER scenarios created in H5P.

To read more information about the project, register to receive quarterly updates, or indicate interest in participating as a peer reviewer, go to the Open RN website.

Inside the H5P/Pressbooks Kitchen: Supporting BCcampus Open Homework Systems Projects

February 19, 2021


Across British Columbia's higher education sector, BCcampus has been successful at expanding the development and adoption of a growing number of open textbooks. A next-level effort is supported by their Open Homework Systems Project, aimed at taking on the proliferation of commercial publishers' homework problem platforms. This supported the first round of projects aimed at updating existing open textbooks authored in Pressbooks with infusions of interactive practice activities created with H5P software. The metaphor of "cooking with H5P and Pressbooks" in a kitchen was designed to reinforce the experimental practice, working/deviating from recipes, and the communal attributes of these familiar spaces. This presentation will provide an overview of the project and share examples from the first "spiced up" textbooks now available for use and reuse. What can be better than home cooking?

Presentation resources:

Alan Levine


Alan Levine explores the potential of new technologies for education. In 1993 he plugged a Mac SE/30 running a web server into the Maricopa Community Colleges network and has not left the web since. He has brought innovative ideas to his work with the New Media Consortium and the University of Mary Washington, and now is on his own as an independent consultant (see http://cog.dog).  An early proponent of blogs and RSS, since 2003 Alan has shared his ideas and discoveries at CogDogBlog.com. Alan works from home in Mortlach, Saskatchewan where his current interests include digital storytelling, photography, bending WordPress to his whims, and randomly dipping into and sharing from the infinite river of the internet. Having started his career at Maricopa he is excited to return, even if just virtually.

Building Global Competency and Empathy in Times of Crises: ‘Life in Quarantine’ as an OE Framework

February 26, 2021


The COVID-19 pandemic caught the global community by surprise. As the pandemic continues, the disruptive and paralyzing nature of life in the age of social distancing remains front and center. Life in Quarantine: Witnessing Global Pandemic was founded by three Stanford University doctoral students, Farah Bazzi, Ellis Schriefer, and Nelson Shuchmacher, to discover ways in which this global crisis might provide avenues for community building, leadership, global competency, and the cultivation of empathy. The LiQ project has created an online platform that allows communities across the globe to share how the pandemic has changed their lives and reflect on its broader consequences. Although the project began as a global historical archive, relying on personal, written contributions, it transformed into an online hub for various creative collaborations addressing life during the pandemic. One such collaboration that LiQ is most excited about is the partnership with professor and counselor Dave Dillon, and his OE textbook, Blueprint for Success in College and Career. This partnership has generated LiQ’s new initiative ‘Teaching Quarantine,’ an OE resource for educators throughout the United States (and potentially across the world) to share ways in which teachers can incorporate discussions about the pandemic in their classrooms. In this keynote, the founders of Life in Quarantine, alongside professor Dillon, will discuss the exciting evolution of the project. As the project nears its first anniversary, they will reflect together on LiQ’s successes and challenges as well as the meaning of leadership, initiative, and resilience in this difficult time, and share their story of how teachers and students have come together in ways commensurate with the challenge of our time.

Presentation resources:

Nelson Shuchmacher Endebo


Nelson Shuchmacher Endebo is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature at Stanford University. For the most part, his academic work deals with the literary history of technology and natural philosophy in 16th and 17th century Iberia and its colonies, especially Mexico and Brazil. Nelson is also very much engaged in the uses of technology in and out of academic settings. At Stanford, he co-directs the Poetic Media Lab at the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) and is a former contributor to the Florentine Codex Project at Bucknell University. He also works with the EPIC Fellowship staff of Stanford’s Global Studies Department, where he helps community college professors develop global curricula and integrate technology in their classrooms.

Ellis Schriefer


Ellis Schriefer is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Iberian and Latin American Cultures Department at Stanford University. She studies contemporary Spanish social movements, urban activism, and community-established public spaces (espacios autogestionados), with an emphasis on understanding how diverse urban communities establish a sense of collective identity through their social practices and cultural production. Ellis holds a BA in Spanish from the University of Otago (New Zealand), and an MA in Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literature from New York University.

Farah Bazzi


Farah Bazzi is a third-year Ph.D. candidate in early modern global history at Stanford University. Farah’s work attempts to bridge both Mediterranean and Atlantic history by focusing on how objects, people, and imaginations moved between the Ottoman world, Morocco, the Iberian empires, and the Americas during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Furthermore, Farah’s research interests include empire, environmental thought, race, indigeneity, cosmology, and conquest. Farah holds a BA in Political Science, a BA and MA in Middle East Studies from Leiden University, and an MA in History from the University of Chicago. Besides her academic work, Farah takes great pleasure in writing poetry and dedicating time to the art of cooking.

Dave Dillon


Dave Dillon is the distance education coordinator and a professor of counseling at Grossmont College. He currently serves as an Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges OERI (Open Educational Resource Initiative) Regional Lead. He curated and co-authored three OER (Open Educational Resources), including Blueprint for Success in College and Career (Rebus Community, 2019), which won a Textbook Excellence Award from the Textbook and Academic Authors Association and an Open Textbook Award from Open Education Global. Dave chaired a statewide California Community College OER Task Force in 2017 and was a Stanford University Global Studies Fellow in 2019.  Dave is passionate about student success, equity, learning material quality, open pedagogy, accessibility, affordability, and design.