IDD&E Alum Steve Covello G’11 Advocates for Open Education

Steve CovelloWhile many educators are grappling with how to convert their lessons into an online format that is exciting and engaging, Steve Covello G’11 has literally written the book on this topic, and is offering it for free. Covello, a graduate of the master’s program in Instructional Design, Development, and Evaluation (IDD&E), has been with Granite State College (USNH) since June 2011 as the Rich Media Specialist and member of the instructional design team for the college’s fully online degree programs. As part of this work, he designs and develops interactive online multimedia and works with faculty on developing rich media skills for their online courses.

Covello is also GSC’s Pressbooks administrator, which is the “definitive OER publishing platform in higher education.” He describes OER (short for Open Educational Resources) as an “international movement away from expensive textbooks toward openly licensed resources under Creative Commons licensing.” He is a USNH Open Education Ambassador and works every year with faculty on projects to migrate their course resources to OER.

“OER makes sense for reducing students costs, but it also is closely tied to other issues like social justice given that the platform for developing OER means that students themselves can contribute to the content of the instructional material. Open Education (the larger umbrella of all of this) is about students being creators of what is knowable rather than passive consumers of it.”

Covello has been teaching online since 2012 and has had instructional strategies published in the Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository at the University of Central Florida’s Center for Distributed Learning. He has produced no-cost OER e-books for students as part of his online teaching work, titled Trends in Digital & Social Media and 21st Century Communication.

Covello has also applied his skills to making critical mental health resources available through the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI). “I dedicated three years to the conversion of the NAMI Connect Suicide Prevention training program from face-to-face to a fully online training program. This has greatly expanded access to training for K-12 educators, mental health providers, medical staff, and leaders of youth organizations in all 50 states.”

Steve earned a B.A. in Communications Radio/TV at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey and, prior to that, earned an A.S. in bowling lanes management and pinsetter mechanics from Vincennes University Junior College (IN). He has also earned CIWv5 certification for web design/development and is an Apple Certified Help Desk Specialist.

While at Syracuse, Steve was involved in supporting the School of Education’s website and video communication needs, especially in projects that involved direct engagement with the Syracuse community.

As an alumnus of the IDD&E program, Steve has volunteered as an IDD&E classroom guest professional since 2016 to help students connect with the professional community of practice and participate in discussions that involve real world challenges in the instructional design field.

Steve and his family currently live in Contoocook, New Hampshire, where he makes his own pizza and bagels and continues his interest in bowling.

What is rich media?

Rich media is a set of systems and resources with unique capabilities to convey information beyond the affordances of text alone. Rich media is not necessarily as a particular thing, such as a video in a course, but rather a broad set of communication resources to be used optimally under certain conditions.