About the Course

This is the main information hub for BIO 381 Tropical Marine Biology at Keene State College.  Students in this course explore various aspects of tropical marine biology, including coral reefs, their associated habitats, diversity, ecology and conservation.

Even if there wasn’t a pandemic going on, if you haven’t had me as an instructor before, this course will be a bit different from what you are used to. My approach to teaching this course is to use the methods and philosophy of open pedagogy.

What the heck is open pedagogy? It depends on who you ask, but for me, open pedagogy involves a few key features. First, it’s about professors like me giving students much of the control and agency over what and how they learn.  Secondly, it emphasizes students contributing knowledge, not just consuming it (like memorizing stuff and spitting it back on a test or paper).  And finally, it’s about sharing knowledge in an open way, using digital tools and open licenses, allowing us to connect and learn with a larger world outside of our classroom. 

This course website will be your Go To. I will use canvas mainly to post announcements, share files with you and receive files from you (check out the canvas modules section). You always have the option to submit things there, and send messages, which will remain private between the two of us.


I assume that students in this course have the ability to discern for themselves what is helpful to their learning; there is no ‘policy’ for attendance. So I don’t “take attendance” but I certainly notice who is there, and by “there” I mean how you show up for this class, literally as well as virtually, and asynchronously as well as synchronously. I hope you don’t miss classes or miss out on engaging in this work, because well, you will miss stuff and this can impact your learning. Beyond that, we will miss you.  I like to think of our class as a community, and when someone is missing, that affects all of us.  But I know that things happen, life doesn’t just stop because you have this class. Mostly I want you to want to come to class or show up online. If you find that you don’t or can’t, I hope you will let me know why. I will ask you to assess your own attendance periodically through the semester.


You will grade yourself in this course by assessing your progress periodically throughout the semester. First, turn in a grading proposal that indicates the breakdown for how you would like assess your learning this semester. You will submit this on canvas. See more details there.

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Basic Needs

Any student who faces challenges securing their food or housing and believes this may affect their performance in the course is urged to contact the Dean of Students (deanofstudents@keene.edu), Gail Zimmerman, for support. Furthermore, please notify me if you are comfortable in doing so. This will enable me to provide any resources or information that I might have.

Note also that The Hungry Owl offers free food and personal care items to all students that may be in need.  Any student may pick up items at satellite locations at the Spaulding Gym, Rhodes, Elliot Center or Science Center (see bookshelves on the 3rd floor). Please see the Hungry Owl Facebook and Instagram and Twitter accounts for up to date information or stop by the Joslin House location (basement) to look at the bulletin board.  All student information is kept confidential. 

Official KSC Policy and Commitment to Privacy Protection

In this course we will be using various interactive web tools which have been selected to continue teaching and learning outside the physical classroom. These tools push us towards a better understanding and a better utilization of the changing landscape of online media. Assignments published on the web, unlike traditional “paper” assignments, can be shared, distributed, and critiqued by a global audience. Protecting individual privacy, as a matter of policy and practice, is of utmost concern to Keene State College. Therefore, information such as grades, the professor’s formal analysis of student assignments, or other information that should remain private will never be communicated through public channels on the web.

You should be aware that most applications used by Keene State provide a variety of options for maintaining and controlling access to your work. You are responsible for understanding the various privacy options the technology allows, and choosing options appropriate to your needs. You may also wish to license your material in ways that make it more easily shared and ensures that course-related assignments are not only credited appropriately, but that you determine the rights associated with your intellectual property (for more information about licensing your content please visit http://creativecommons.org).  (we will talk about this in class). 

If you are particularly concerned about your privacy, contact me in person or at kcangial@keene.edu to talk about your options.

Student Technology Support

Stay tuned for more information about student technology fellows that can provide some help. This domain site created by Emily Whitman has some tutorials.

Professor Info and Office Hours

Instructor:   Dr. Karen Cangialosi

email:  kcangial@keene.edu

twitter:  @karencang

Office hours are Tues Thurs 2:00pm-3:00pm on zoom, or by appointment. I am available electronically almost 24/7. Just ping me with a canvas message, email or, on twitter for fastest response.  On twitter (just write @karencang then your message), or we can arrange a zoom video conference nearly anytime you want. Just let me know.

Textbook:  what? no textbook? Nope, it’s all freely available online. 0$ 

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