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Category: Zx23 (Page 2 of 2)

Zx23 Webinar Central

Did you miss the recent Zx23 session in your specific discipline? Looking for a catalog of Zx23 webinar recordings? You will find all of the webinar session recordings in a single place: on the Zx23 Webinar Central Recording Archive page. You can find it at http://bit.ly/zx23_archive.

Sessions are organized by date and labeled with the specific webinar topic. Just click on the purple Collaborate icon, enter your name and email address, and the recordings should launch. Continue to monitor the Zx23 events page for upcoming webinars.

Zx23 Webinar archive

Adopting OER Just Got Really, Really Easy

OER_course_tabThere is a new feature in Blackboard Learn that is going to make it extremely easy for VCCS faculty to browse, preview, and adopt open courses to use in their classes. Now, when faculty login to Blackboard Learn, they will see a new tab at the top of their screen called OER Courses (OER stands for open educational resources. For a good definition of OER, see the Hewlett.org site). The new tab contains a list of openly licensed courses—courses that use free and open educational materials instead of traditional publisher-created textbooks—that have been developed, reviewed, and shared by VCCS faculty.

All VCCS faculty are welcome–scratch thatencouraged to browse this catalog of open courses to request access to preview any courses they are interested in. Once a faculty member finds a course they like, they can copy it into a Blackboard shell to use. For free. No strings attached.

Simple as pie, right? Well, that’s what we hope at least.

Currently, the following eleven open courses are available on the OER Courses tab:

  • BIO 101 General Biology I
  • BUS 100 Introduction to Business
  • BUS 236 Communication in Management
  • CST 100 Principles of Public Speaking
  • ECO 201 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • ECO 202 Principles of Microeconomics
  • ENG 111 College Composition I
  • ENG 112 College Composition II
  • ENG 243 Survey of English Literature I
  • PSY 200 Principles of Psychology
  • SDV 100 College Success Skills

If you want to take a guided tour of the new tab, feel free to register for a webinar that will walk you through the features of the tab and provide more details about adopting the courses found there. The next session is scheduled for Tuesday, August 25 from 9:00-10:00am via Blackboard Collaborate. You can register by completing the short online form: http://edtech.vccs.edu/sneak-preview-of-the-oer-courses-tab-in-blackboard-tuesday-aug-189-10am-sign-up-here/. Once you sing up, you will be emailed the link to join the webinar.

Hopefully, this new tab will make it easier than ever for interested faculty at colleges across the VCCS to adopt open courses, giving them more flexibility with their course materials and saving their students money to boot.


Zx23 Ink: Freddyburg Free Lance Star

Cheryl Huff, professor of English and humanities at Germanna Community College, is rethinking textbooks.

GCC professor and Zx23 Program Manager Cheryl Huff got a nice write-up in the Fredericksburg Free Lance Star about her role in the VCCS’s Zx23 Project.

Cheryl Huff has heard the excuses over and over from her students at Germanna Community College. Those who started class without the required textbooks would explain that they were having problems getting their financial aid or had to wait until their next paycheck to buy them.

“It’s very frustrating on both sides,” said Huff.

Now the GCC associate English and humanities professor is working to eliminate their frustration and hers. She’s on a one-year leave of absence to head the Virginia Community College System’s new Zx23 Project.

Read the entire article online at http://goo.gl/EqYNFM.

Announcing the Zx23 Project Grantees

Congratulations to the VCCS colleges selected to participate in the Zx23 Project. Each college will receive grant funds to support faculty and staff in building a Z-Degree at their respective institutions. You can click on the college abbreviation in the first column to see additional application details.

See the Zx23 Project page for news and updates on grantees and other aspects of this groundbreaking project.

There is still a chance for a few additional colleges to participate in the Zx23 Project. Contact Richard Sebastian at rsebastian@vccs.edu for details.

College First Last Type of credential Type of program Grant
NVCC Dr. Braddlee Associate degree Liberal Arts $15000
VWCC Elizabeth Wilmer Associate degree General Studies $15000
PVCC John Donnelly Associate degree General Studies $14760
TNCC Patrick Tompkins Associate degree Social Science $15000
TCC Daniel DeMarte Associate degree Administration of Justice $15000
GCC Ann Woolford Associate degree General Studies $14855
CVCC William Sandidge Associate degree General Studies and Business Administration $15000
NRCC Pat Huber Associate degree General Studies $15000
WCC Lorri Huffard Associate degree Science, Specialization in Mathematics $15000
PDCCC Tara Atkins-Brady Credential* Certificate in General Education $14100
JTCC Leonda Keniston Associate degree General Studies $15000
JSRCC Jane Rosecrans Associate degree Social Sciences $14912
MECC Vickie Ratliff Associate degree Management $15000

Meet the New Zx23 Project Manager: Cheryl Huff

Cheryl Huff

Last week on this blog I announced the official release of the Zx23 Project Request for Applications. Today, I’d like to announce the selection of Cheryl Huff as the new, full-time Program Manager for the Zx23 Project.  Cheryl (BA, MA-LA, M.Litt) has been teaching, chairing, training faculty, and coordinating projects at Germanna Community College for the past nine years. Her background is in ancient Greek philosophy and the works of Shakespeare. Through Germanna’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), Cheryl implemented institutional change in distance learning at the college as well as across the VCCS. She specializes in designing quality online courses and course materials, including open educational resources. In 2012, Cheryl received a Chancellor’s OER Adoption Grant to develop OER for her English course and has since become an OER leader at Germanna and the VCCS. Cheryl brings this wealth of experience to the Lumen Learning team. In her new role she will focus exclusively on the Zx23 Project.

Cheryl says, “There is no evidence that Gandhi actually said, ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’ but that doesn’t make it any less of a good idea. I believe we can change the world of education through OER development for the VCCS, working with Lumen.”

As the Principal Investigator for the Zx23 Project, I am extremely pleased to hear about Lumen’s selection of Cheryl as Program Manager and I look forward to supporting her and the other Zx23 Project colleges over the next year. Congratulations, Cheryl!

Zx23 Project Request for Applications Released

zzzVCCS colleges interested in being part of the…drumroll please…ground-breaking…innovative…envelope-pushing Zx23 Project can now download the official Zx23 Project Request for Applications.

The Z x 23 Project is a one-year grant to support the VCCS’s long-term goal of scaling Z-Degrees to all 23 VCCS colleges. The $200,000 grant from The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, combined with matching funds from Chancellor DuBois and the System Office, will be used to fund, support, and train faculty and staff at up to fifteen Virginia community colleges interested in building Z-Degrees. Each Zx23 Project college is eligible for a grant of up to $15,000 to develop the first twelve courses of a Z-Degree. Lumen Learning, Inc. will work closely with faculty and staff at participating colleges to help build these pathways, host the courses in Blackboard Learn, and evaluate the outcomes of the pilots. The grant period ends June 24, 2016.

Please read the Request for Applications for application deadlines, grant details, project deliverables, and timelines. The Request for Applications and the Zx23 Project online application form can be found on the project website at http://edtech.vccs.edu/educational-technology-resources/oervccs/z-x-23-project/.​

 

Inquire Within: Hiring Zx23 Program Manager

Looking for a one-of-a-kind opportunity to assist Virginia Community College’s dramatically scale open educational resources across the state? Want to work for Lumen Learning, in my opinion one of the most interesting new technology start-ups? Are you lovable, flexible, and committed to the success of community college students? If so, take a look at the description for the Zx23 Program Manager below.

The Zx23 project Program Manager (Program Manager) is a critical position in helping Virginia successfully meet the ambitious goal of offering a zero-textbook-cost degree (“Z degree”) program at all 23 of its community colleges. Employed by Lumen Learning but working exclusively on the Virginia Community College System’s (VCCS) Zx23 project, the Program Manager will serve as a connection between the innovative work in Virginia and the broad resources and experiences of Lumen and its other clients and partners. The position will start begin immediately, through June 30, 2016, with possible ongoing opportunity for employment with Lumen with continuing focus in Virginia or beyond.

There has not been an open education effort on the scale of the Zx23 project before and the Program Manager position will be critical to the project‘s overall success. Dedicated to defining, guiding, and facilitating a program that has the potential to create positive change across the Commonwealth of Virginia, as well as serve as a model for similar efforts around the world, this position will require creativity, flexibility, risk-taking, and critical analysis in order to be successful. The Program Manager is often the initial emissary of openness and of new teaching and learning practices and will be expected to constantly seed and nurture positive change.

To see the original job description or to apply, click on the following link: http://lumenlearning.com/jobs/zx23-project-program-manager/

OpenVA 2.1: Powdered Wig Version

Thomas Jefferson Reenactment

“P.S., citizens: ye should license openly all of mans’ intellectual endeavors to avoid some serious problems down the road.”

OpenVA is putting on its breeches and tri-cornered hat, hopping on its pony,  and heading to Williamsburg, VA. OpenVA is evolving from a centrally-organized, annual summit to more of an umbrella term for a collection of institution or group-sponsored gatherings focused on all forms of openness. This is a good thing, I think, and was the goal anyway, shared at the close of OpenVA 2.0 last October at Tidewater Community College with the idea of the college “drive-by.”

The W&M event is really an ideal format for the next iteration of OpenVA. Jamison Miller, previous OpenVA participant and graduate student in W&M’s Higher Education Program, organized OpenVA 2.1 to address particular needs at his institution, but has designed the event with input from the the broader open community in Virginia. Here is the announcement Jamison posted to the OpenVA mailing list:

We are excited to announce “OpenVA 2.1”, a 3-hour workshop on Open Educational Resources (OER) that will be hosted at the College of William and Mary on Saturday, May 2nd. Although OER are gaining exposure and adoption across the globe, awareness remains one of the chief obstacles to implementation. This event, then, is about fostering a rich and varied awareness of the many faces of OER. We are organizing two focused panels to critically discuss:

  1. the current OER landscape and what constitutes OER and,
  2. first-hand accounts of OER implementation from a variety of disciplines and contexts.

These panel sessions will be broken up by an expectedly spirited keynote address from Gardner Campbell, Vice Provost for Learning Innovation and Student Success at Virginia Commonwealth University. Space in the agenda will be reserved for audience input, as we hope to encourage an engaged dialogue relevant to attendees. And lunch is on us!

It is good to see the DIY, guerilla spirit of the first OpenVA conference continue. The first conference was created 2 1/2 years ago out of spit and polish, rolls of duct tape, Werner Herzog-recommended bolt-cutters, pure, unrefined human ingenuity, and a small roll of bills that constituted a budget. We referred to it as an “inaugural” event at the time, but that was purely aspirational. Here we are today, with another exciting event at one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious colleges. Who’d a thunk? Details below. It’s free, but you have to register.


Saturday, May 2nd, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. (doors open at 10 for coffee)
Media Center, Ground floor, Swem Library
The College of William and Mary
400 Landrum Drive, Williamsburg, VA 23185

Free weekend parking available in all campus lots
Directions: https://swem.wm.edu/about/directions-parking
The event is FREE, but pre-registration is required as there is a cap of 50 attendees. Register at http://openva.org/register-2/. Please distribute immediately to interested staff and faculty. For questions, please contact Beverly Covington or Jamison Miller.

The Portable Z: We’re Doing Five Blades

Portable ZOne of my favorite Onion articles is an expletive-laced “op-ed” by fictitious Gillette CEO and President James M. Kilts responding to his company’s lack of innovation in the “multi-blade” razor game. Softening up the language a bit so the VCCS will continue to allow me to blog, the modified headline reads: “Screw It. We’re Doing Five Blades.” I’m not going to link to it for obvious reasons, but you get the drift. Google the Onion + five blades if you want to read the whole, hilarious, testosterone-soaked article. Again: lots of cuss words.

Well, Virginia’s Community Colleges are “doing five blades,” too. Not in the multi-blade razor/moisturizing aloe strip space, of course. No, instead–building on the pioneering work of Tidewater Community College–the VCCS is taking OER to the next, audacious, metaphorical five-blade level by scaling the zero-textbook-cost degree–or Z Degree–to all 23 VCCS colleges.

The initiative, called the Z x 23 Project, is made possible by a generous grant from The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, an organization with a deep interest in understanding how to successfully scale OER. The one-year grant will allow the VCCS to kickstart the process of building out the Z Degree by providing funding, support, and training to fifteen (15) VCCS colleges to begin building pathways to their own Z Degrees. An initial cohort of 6 colleges will begin work right away and work through the summer. A second cohort of 9 colleges will get underway in early fall 2015. Each participating Z x 23 college will pilot the open courses they adopt for this project. Lumen Learning, the VCCS’s partner in this endeavor, will work closely with participating institutions to build these pathways, host the courses in Blackboard Learn, and evaluate the outcomes of the pilots. Along the way, we also want to document how OER successfully scales and becomes mainstream, and answer the question, “How do we make Z degrees portable?”

Virginia’s community colleges are known internationally for their innovative OER work and significant accomplishments in developing and using open materials. TCC’s groundbreaking Z Degree, the first all-OER degree in the world, is partially responsible for putting Virginia on the OER map. However, much of this attention also comes from Virginia’s uncommon central structure, which enables the system to translate a commitment to scale OER into action. Sixteen VCCS colleges have developed and deployed OER courses. Over 70 open courses have been developed using Chancellor’s Innovation Funds (CIF), Chancellor’s OER Adoption Grants, Professional Development Grants, or local college funds. Collectively, the efforts of Virginia’s Community Colleges have saved students millions of dollars in textbook costs. And with the addition of 2 new Z Degrees from NVCC, the VCCS now has 3 all-OER associate degrees. All of this has taken place in less than 3 years.

This is a growing, global movement, and the next three years are going to bring even more dramatic results. This grant from the Hewlett Foundation is going to allow the VCCS to continue to lead the way forward.

Details about how your college can become a Z x 23 college will be forthcoming in the next few weeks. In the meantime, feel free to post a comment on here or contact me directly to express your interest or get additional information.

The 3rd Annual Open Textbook Summit is calling

Call_for_Proposals___Open_Textbook_SummitThe call for proposals is out for BCcampus’s 3rd Annual Open Textbook Summit. The summit will be held on May 28-29 in Vancouver, British Columbia. This is the same location as the Open Education Conference on November 18, 2015, which also has a call for proposals.

Summit topics include:

  1. Faculty experiences adopting, adapting or creating open textbooks
  2. Student advocates and students who have experienced open textbooks
  3.  Open textbook project staff interested in sharing experiences and resources
  4. Government representatives who are, or are interested in, creating policy and establishing funding programs
  5. Librarians supporting open textbooks
  6. Open textbook research initiatives
  7. Open textbook peer review
  8. Institutional support for open textbook adoptions
  9. Technology to support the development and use of open textbooks
  10. Innovative pedagogical activities involving open textbooks  and open pedagogy

Submissions  are due on March 23, 2015. Acceptance announcements go out no later than April 2, 2015. Presenters get their registration fee waived.

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