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Unleasing Z Monster

Houston Community College will share experiences of creating what sometimes feels like an enormous and unrealizable task and what may seem to be a monstrous educational disruption, a Z-Degree. Building a Z-Degree might seem like simply a matter of packaging courses, but in reality, it requires design, intention, and cultivation. After years of piecemeal attempts to adopt and promote OER, HCC gained focus with a directive to launch a Z-Degree, which came from multiple stakeholders, including students, Board of Trustees, senior administration, and faculty champions. This commitment enabled us to secure external and internal funding sources, clarify policies and procedures, and ultimately place OER on a solid foundation for the future. We will share our process for revising and adopting an OER policy guide, identifying and recruiting faculty, and engaging with multiple stakeholders within the institution (Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, libraries, CTLE, and students). HCC has partnered with Lumen Learning to provide initial training and course hosting, and we are working with our Institute for Instructional Engagement & Development to create a sustainable infrastructure to build our capacity of OER course offerings. In some cases, it has been necessary to make compromises to bring critical programs on board, but the college has done so out of a commitment to the ultimate goal of building a complete degree plan and developing OERs options for the future. Finally, HCC is establishing a program for data collection and analysis in order to understand the effects of the initiative on key indicators. This session will include real time polls and Twitter feeds. It is aimed at all levels, but particularly colleges who want to launch a Z Degree.
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