STEM ZTC Project Update: July 2020

This monthly status report is to share progress each month for the the STEM ZTC Project and to outline plans for the coming month.


This section will be highlights from the last month. High level budget info. Can include a video snapshot of features for example.

This past month STEM activity has been largely focused on the Statics & Dynamics project as well as the gap analysis for 1st year engineering. Details are provided below. In addition an agreement was signed with TRU for the ZTC in Associate Science and we are still discussing the possibility of funding a ZTC project at Douglas College as well.

More information about previous activity and timelines for the project can be found on the STEM ZTC Charter Wiki page. This status report will provide a snapshot of the latest activity and current information.

Activity Last Month

Goals that were met, decisions made, milestones met, etc.

The following is a summary of the activity on STEM ZTC projects:

1) 1st Year Engineering Common Curriculum

Brian Dick (VIU) has completed and submitted a report for the gap analysis of OER for first year engineering. The report includes details of the process undertaken for the analysis. The findings indicate that there is not currently a great deal of adoption of OER in the CFYEC (only 3 or 4 institutions) but that programs are making use of ‘free resources’ as well. These resources are available at no cost to students but are not CC licensed. After discussion it was decided that both OER and free resources will be included in the next phase of this project which is to review the resources for their quality and suitability for the CFYEC. The report identifies that there only a couple significant gaps in available OER, the main one being Physics which is being currently being developed under this project.

Reviews will commence in the fall term. In the meantime Melanie drafted a document outlining the identified available OER that has been adopted, not necessarily adopted and free resources and provided this document to the articulation chair to distribute to its members. The goal is to provide some options for OER to instructors to consider for their fall term before the reviews have been conducted.

Physics – Statics and Dynamics
Lead authors Agnes d’Entremont and Jennifer Kirkey have been working supervising the co-op students in the development of the problems. Brina (graphic artists) has established a look and feel for the graphics, is following the physics style guide and working closely with the students and faculty on developing the illustrations. The work for both the students and the graphic artist is taking longer than anticipated however the focus is on producing quality problems rather than a large quantity. Agnes has requested two students to stay on and work through the fall semester as a subsidy is again available. BCcampus would provide an additional grant (approximately 7500-10K) to cover the cost of these students and the faculty members in addition to further graphic design costs (10-15K).

2) Associate Science ZTC

A blog post we published to announce the ZTC in Associate of Science grant at TRU and to make available a pathway that we have developed for any institution to consider creating a ZTC in the subject. Melanie and Krista worked with Marketing and Communications to develop a page on the open site to highlight the pathway. The hope is that it will be the first of other ZTC pathways to be documented this way.

Douglas College only requires one course to adopt OER (Calculus) which is contingent on the availability of WebWorks Open Homework System. We are working with the OHS project and with Douglas College to see how BCcampus can support them in completing a ZTC.

3) Drafting Design Certificate ZTC

Two of the four books are near completion in Pressbooks (AutoCAD 2D and Inventor). The project is scheduled to be completed at the end of September – Melanie has requested an update on the timeline for the project.

Planned Activity

Goals for next month – what we’re looking forward to/excited about. Includes development, meetings, communication, etc.

Here are the activities planned for next month:

  • Schedule Advisory Group meeting for September or October
  • Create new agreement for continued work on Statics & Dynamics problems
  • Confirm next steps for ZTC Associate Science with Douglas College
  • Check in with TRU on Associate Science
  • Plan for reviews for first year engineering OER
  • Melanie will be away Aug 1-24 so there will be less activity this month.

Risks and Issues

Timelines for projects may be impacted as a result of Covid-19 related delays.LowCurrently STEM ZTC projects are on target. Using a phased approach on projects will help to manage possible delays.
Work on STEM ZTC projects will likely extend beyond the end of fiscal 2020/21. While existing funds will be distributed to institutions on time, they will require from BCcampus beyond March 31s, 2021MediumProject Manager roles will continue until Sept 2021 to provide that level of support.

Lessons Learned

List of things that went well and what improvements could be made.

It continues to be apparent that faculty are stretched in many ways while they adjust to online teaching demands for the fall term. However, frequent check-ins and offers of support are appreciated always.

Links and Resources

Include links to useful/related info such as slides from an update meeting, related projects or other resources of interest.

Pathway to Associate of Science Degree web page

Blog post: Pathway to open science programs in BC