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richard

sebastian

RS

1240 westminster ave richmond, virginia 23227


CELL (804) 840-5357 EMAIL richard.sebastian@gmail.com
BLOG http://edtech.vccs.edu

ABOUT
I am a creative and dynamic thought leader with an established record of educational leadership and instructional
technology innovation. I strongly believe that promoting successful lifelong learning is crucial to the future of the
Commonwealth, and that technology is one important tool that can be leveraged to help create transformative learning
experiences for Virginias students. As the Director of Teaching & Learning Technologies, I have brought a clear,
compelling vision to Virginias Community Colleges and my leadership has helped create systemic change in the effective
use of technology in the classroom throughout the VCCSs 23 colleges.
My current focus is on open educational resources (OER), effective online and blended learning, emerging educational
technologies, and digital citizenship.

EDUCATION
Doctorate, Education
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 2008

CERTIFICATIONS
Educause Leading Through Technology Graduate (2014)
Blackboard Collaborate Product Specialist
Google Apps for Education

EXPERIENCE
Director of Teaching and Learning Technologies, Virginias Community Colleges
RICHMOND, VA - 2011 - PRESENT

Provide leadership and vision to VCCS colleges about effective use of teaching and learning technologies,
Collaborate with college academic officers, deans, instructional designers, and faculty on technology policies and
best practices,
Work with the Academic Services and Research team on special, System-driven projects,
Oversee the systems learning management system as well as other enterprise-level instructional technology
software packages,
Provide eLearning policy and procedure recommendations to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Services and
Research,
Provide policy direction and management of eLearning projects and teaching and learning resources for 23
community colleges, and
Develop policies and structures for eLearning students that facilitate student success.

Virginia General Assembly, January 2015

White House Symposium on Innovation in Higher Education, Washington, DC. November


2014

Appearance before Virginia House Committee on Education regarding HB 2041

Invited participant

William & Flora Hewlett Foundation: Zero-Textbook-Costs Degree Foundation Meeting,


Washington, DC. February 2015
Invited participant

Hewlett Grantee Meeting, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, Sausalito, CA. April, 2015.

Virginia General Assembly, January 2014

Grantee participant

With Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, co-wrote Request to Amend House Bill 30, Item 210: VCCS Open Education
Resources.


RECENT PROJECTS
Zx23 Project
I am the Principal Investigator of the Z x 23 Project, made possible by a grant from The William & Flora Hewlett
Foundation, which allows the VCCS to scale the zero-textbook-costs degree model by providing funding, support, and
training to 15 VCCS colleges to build pathways to their own Z-Degrees. Each participating college will adopt, adapt,
and pilot a set of open courses and then evaluate the outcomes. I am working with grant partner Lumen Learning to
document how OER successfully scales and becomes mainstream, and answer the question, How do we make Z-
Degrees portable?

My work with OER over the past four years has established Virginias community colleges as a leader in the
development and use of open materials. During this time, over 70 open courses have been developed using
Chancellors Innovation Funds (CIF), Chancellors OER Adoption Grants, Professional Development Grants, or local
college funds. Collectively, the efforts of Virginias Community Colleges have saved students millions of dollars in
textbook costs. With the addition of two new Z Degrees from NVCC, the VCCS now offers 3 all-OER associate degrees.

Chancellors Innovation Fund
http://edtech.vccs.edu/educational-technology-resources/chancellors-oer-adoption-grant/


I manage the annual Chancellors Innovation Fund (CIF), a competitive fund open to faculty and staff at VCCS colleges
to support innovative, targeted projects that closely align with the VCCSs strategic goals. All CIF projects are
developed, piloted, and assessed by during a single fiscal year. In collaboration with the Chancellor, I established the
focus-areas for each years fund, develop the Request for Proposals, create and manage the online application,
organize a review committee, monitor the progress of each grantee, and evaluate and share the project deliverables,
which are required to be openly licensed.

Textbook Costs & Digital Learning Resources Committee
https://www.scribd.com/doc/253309655/2015-Textbooks-Costs-Digital-Learning-Resources-VCCS-2015-Final-Report

Wrote the charter and co-chaired this committee, part of the VCCS Reengineering Task Force, devoted to reducing
textbook costs for students and leveraging digital technologies to improve teaching and learning throughout the
VCCS. Among other outcomes, the work of the TCDLT committee lead to the 17-college bookstore contract with
Follett, Inc., as well as a revision of presidential evaluations that includes a metric for reducing textbook costs. I was
the main author of the final report, which can be found at: https://www.scribd.com/doc/253309655/2015-
Textbooks-Costs-Digital-Learning-Resources-VCCS-2015-Final-Report

Chancellors OER Adoption Grant
http://edtech.vccs.edu/educational-technology-resources/chancellors-oer-adoption-grant/

Led creation and management of a set of grant funds to incentivize faculty to develop courses in which all required
materials are free and openly licensed. Twelve faculty were awarded grants in 2012; an additional 20 faculty, as well
as three librarians, were awarded grants in 2013.

OpenVA
http://openva.org/

I am one of the founders of OpenVA, a committee created at the behest of former Virginia Secretary of Education,
Laura Fornash, to investigate ways to reduce textbook costs for Virginias students. With little funding, the OpenVA
committee has offered two successful summitsone in 2013 at the University of Mary Washington and a year later
at Tidewater Community College. A third OpenVA summitOpenVA 2.1was organized and hosted by William &
Mary graduate student, Jamison Miller, on May 2, 2015.

SCHEV recently formalized the committee as the OpenVA Advisory Group to make recommendations to [SCHEV]
regarding initiatives and policies that may facilitate the adoption of open educational resources by the public

institutions.

LMS Needs Assessment Committee
Created and currently co-chair a committee made up of VCCS faculty and staff to determine the overall pedagogical
needs, particularly in regard to online learning, of VCCS faculty and students, and identify ways digital tools, such as
an LMS, can meet these needs. The group will also identify the necessary affordances of digital tools, research
products and service that have these affordances, and make final recommendations on tool selection.

Adjunct Faculty, Virginia Commonwealth University


RICHMOND, VA SPRING 2010-SPRING 2011

Led the development of two new courses, Theory & Practice of eLearning Integration into Adult Learning
Environments and Design Challenges in Using Educational Technology for Adult Learning, for a three-course
Teaching with Technology strand for the VCU School of Educations graduate program in Adult Learning,
Instructed two of these graduate courses, and
Collaborated with the VCU School of Education faculty on course revisions and additional M.Ed. program
development.


Instructional Technology Specialist, VCUs Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center
RICHMOND, VA 2005-2011

Provided leadership and guidance to the field of adult education in Virginia in the area of educational technology
integration and distance learning by developing policies, conducting research, managing grants, and directing
statewide technology initiatives,
Directed and managed technology-related projects for the Virginia Literacy Institute, Virginia Adult Learning
Resource Center, and the Virginia Department of Education, and
Developed, coordinated, and delivered trainings to adult education administrators and teachers.

RELATED PROJECTS
PluggedIn VA
Served with then Secretary of Technology Aneesh Chopra as a member of the initial visioning team; developed
original curriculum concept and program plan and co-developed the creation innovative six-month curriculum;
oversaw all aspects of the projects development, implementation, and evaluation; identified funding opportunities,
wrote proposal for initial Governors Productivity Investment Fund grant, and consulted on successful grant proposal
for Chancellors e-Learning and Enhancement Development (CEED) fund; coordinated project staff, including
development staff in Kentucky, evaluation staff in Tennessee, and program staff in Southwest Virginia, and managed
relationships with project stakeholders. Led the project, currently featured in TopJobs 2021 legislation and the
recently-awarded Elevate SNAP grant, to success.

eLearnVA
Directed all aspects of eLearnVA, a statewide distance education program that provides web-based GED and
workplace instruction to adult Virginians; researched, identified, and recommended emergent technologies and
promote instructional practices to improve online educational services for eLearnVA students; recruited, trained, and
oversaw a staff of online teachers; developed support technologies and database systems to track student
enrollment and achievement.

Summit on Adult Education in the New Digital World
Led the development and organization of an educational summit that brought leading educational policy-makers,
researchers, and practitioners from across the country to Virginia Commonwealth University to discuss the future of
technology integration in the field of Adult Basic Education. Pioneered a parallel virtual summit using live video
streaming, Twitter, and an online discussion forum for online participants and observers.

Policy2Performance
Served on a multi-disciplinary team with members of the Virginia Department of Education, Southside Community
College, Department of Labor, Economic Development, and adult basic education on a federal project to research and
develop policies to increase the success rate of non-traditional adult education students in postsecondary education

and training.
Virginia Adult Education Certification program
Designed and developed a 2.5-hour instructor training, Teaching and Learning with Technology, for the Virginia Adult
Education Certification program, a new requirement for all Adult and Continuing Education program managers and
instructors.

ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCE

Educational Technology Office Graduate Assistant, University of Virginia


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - 2003-2005


Adult Education Instructor, Henrico County Jail East Educational Services
BARHAMSVILLE, VA - 2002-2003


Adult Education Instructor, Henrico County Adult Education Center
HIGHLAND SPRINGS, VA - 2001-2002


Workplace Instructor, Philip Morriss Employee Development Center
RICHMOND, VA - 1998-2001

RECENT PRESENTATIONS
Shockey, N., Sebastian, R., Waltz, A., (2015). Strength in Numbers: Open Networks Influencing Changes in Practice.
Advancing Research Communication and Scholarship Conference. Philadelphia, PA.
Sebastian, R. (2015). Community College Panel: Promoting Student Success through Open Education. Open Education
Global Conference. Banff, AB, CANADA
Davis, P., Huff, C., Rosecrans, J., Sebastian, R. (2015). Scaling Open: Reducing Textbook Costs Across Virginias Community
Colleges. League of Innovations for Community Colleges. Boston, MA
Groom, J. & Sebastian, R. (2014). The State of Open. 2014 Open Education Conference. Washington, DC.
Miller, J. & Sebastian, R. (2014). BASIC SKILLS FOR THE INFORMATION AGE: Incorporating digital competencies across
curricula. The Council for the Study of Community Colleges Annual Meeting. Washington, DC.
DeMarte, D., Lewis, J., Sebastian, R., Wilson, V. (2014). How Virginias Community Colleges are Using Digital Technologies
to Reduce Textbook Costs and Increase Student Success. American Association of Community Colleges Annual Meeting.
Washington, DC.
Sebastian, R. (2014). Teaching the Future Workforce: A Grand Tour of VCCS Educational Technologies. New Faculty
Seminar, Virginia Beach, VA.
Sebastian, R. (2013). Opening the VCCS. Open Education Conference. Park City, UT.
Finnegan, C., Sebastian, R., Stamper, R. (2012). A Snapshot of VCCS Students Use of Technology. HireEd Conference. Hot
Springs, VA.
Sebastian, R. & Williams, L. (2013). Textbook Zero. Innovations Conference. Dallas, TX.
Sebastian, R. & Williams, L. (2013). OpenTCC. New Horizons Conference. Roanoke, VA.
Sebastian, R. (2013). The VCCS is Getting Googlier: Google Apps for Education. New Horizons Conference. Roanoke, VA.
Sebastian, R. & Cook, G. (2013). VPT MathSite: Online Resources for Developmental Math Students. New Horizons
Conference. Roanoke, VA.

PUBLICATIONS
Sebastian, R. (2011). The Mass Amateurization of Adult Literacy Instruction: Exploring Crowdsourcing in Adult Basic
Education. Proceedings. The Summit on the Future of Adult Education in the New Digital World. Richmond, VA.

Sebastian, R. (2009). PlugGED In. Progress: A Publication of the Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center. Winter/Spring
2009. Vol. 21, No. 2.
Sebastian, R. (2009). Teaching & Learning with Technology in Adult Basic Education: Technology Integration. Virginia Adult
Education Certification Program. Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center. Richmond, VA.
Sebastian, R. (2009). Teaching & Learning with Technology in ESOL Education: Technology Integration. Virginia Adult
Education Certification Program. Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center. Richmond, VA.
Sebastian, R. (2008). Using Personal Weblogs to Teach Writing in the GED Classroom. (Doctoral dissertation, University of
Virginia, 2008). Dissertation Abstracts International, 69, 2884.
*Sebastian, R. (2007). eLEARN Virginia: A new e-learning program for adult Virginians in need of GED and Workplace
Education. Proceedings. Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Ed-Media 2007 World
Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia, & Telecommunications. Vancouver, British Columbia.
*Sebastian, R. & Kinzie, M. (2006). Development of Social Problem-solving Networks in the Interactive Web-based Game
The Beast. Proceedings. Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). E-Learn 2006 World
Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, & Higher Education. Honolulu, HI.
Sebastian, R., video for The Airplane by One Ring Zero (2005). Addendum DVD. B&W, 16 mm film & digital video. 2 min.
Hammond, T. & Sebastian, R. (2005). Digital Image and Video Editing Software. Teaching with digital images: Acquire,
analyze, create, communicate. Editors: Bull, G.L., & Bell, L. Published by the International Society for Technology in
Education.

GRANTS
Zx23 Project. William & Flora Hewlett Foundation awarded the VCCS a one-year grant to scale the Z-Degree.
Distance Learning Center: eLearnVA (2009-2010): Awarded by the Virginia Department of Education, Office of Adult
Education & Literacy to manage and run eLearnVA, a statewide online GED distance education program.
The Governors Productivity Investment Fund (PIF): Awarded to develop and evaluate the PluggedIn VA curriculum.
Chancellors e-Learning Enhancement Development (CEED) Grant: Southwest Virginia Community College awarded a
CEED grant to fund Southwest Virginia Community Colleges implementation of the PluggedIn VA In curriculum.
Distance Learning Center (2008-2009): Awarded by the Virginia Department of Education, Office of Adult Education &
Literacy to manage and run eLearnVA.
Distance Learning Center: eLearnVA (2007-2008): Awarded by the Virginia Department of Education, Office of Adult
Education & Literacy to manage and run eLearnVA.

COURSES TAUGHT
School of Education, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Design Challenges in Creating eLearning for Adults
Theory & Practice of eLearning Integration into Adult Learning Environments

Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Digital Media Development
Educational Game Design
Software Applications
Teaching with Technology: Special Education

AWARDS & RECOGNITION


GameJam Game Design Contest winner (2009) Innovations in eLearning conference, George Mason University, Fairfax,
VA.
Finalist, Kookaburra (2004), Adrenaline Film Project, Virginia Film Festival, Charlottesville, VA.

Film selection The Airplane (2004), Vinegar Hill Film Festival, Charlottesville, VA.

COMMUNITY SERVICE
Friends of Northside Dog Park
Led a group of community members in establishing a dog park in the Northside Richmond. Serve as co-chair of the Friends
of Northside Dog Park (FNDP) steering committee. Coordinate meetings with the FNDP members and representatives of
the Richmond City Recreation & Parks Department. Created website and fundraising and public awareness campaigns.
Wrote a successful grant to Nutro Dog Food to support the park.

HandsOn Greater Richmond
A local volunteer organization that connects individuals, families, teams, and corporate groups to meaningful volunteer
opportunities in the Greater Richmond region. I have worked on short-term projects for ElderHomes, Friends Association,
B.A.R.K., and St. Josephs Villa.

MEMBERSHIPS

Educause
Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT)
American Educational Research Association (AERA)
OER Consortium

TECHNOLOGY SKILLS

Learning/content management system experience, including Blackboard Learn


Web design (including HTML hand coding and CSS)
Basic PHP/MySQL programming
Familiarity with graphic design and image editing software
Digital video production and editing
Digital audio production and editing
Video streaming compression and delivery