STEM ZTC Project Update: Aug-Sept 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 project update covers two months as there was a little less activity in August due to holidays. Over the past two months work has continued on the Statics & Dynamics project. The agreement with TRU for the ZTC in Associate Science is under revision and activity on both Engineering and AutoCAD have continued.

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

A request has been sent through the Engineering Articulation Chair and the Math Articulation Chair seeking SMEs to provide reviews on identified OER and free resources from the gap analysis. So far, two instructors have indicated they would like to conduct reviews (Physics). The goal is to provide some options for OER to instructors to consider for their fall term before the reviews have been conducted.

The deadline for reviews to be complete is November 15th but this may change depending on whether enough reviewers are available. Once the reviews are complete the next step will be to put a call out for a ZTC for 1st-year engineering programs.

Physics – Statics and Dynamics
The work over the summer was completed at the end of August with the six co-ops coming to an end. The students developed approximately 300 problems that are now being piloted in a mechanics class at UBC. Piloting the questions is required before adding them to the Open Problem Library in WebWork.

The work is continuing through the fall with two full-time co-op students with a goal of creating another 300 (approx) problems. BCcampus has extended agreements for UBC and Douglas do do this work (10K) and through the First-Year Engineering Common Curriculum project, is funding the graphic designer through the fall as well (17K).

A proposal to present at the OpenEd2020 conference in November was jointly submitted by Melanie, Agnes and Jennifer and was accepted. The presentation will highlight the student’s experience on the project and the collaborative nature of the project.

Sample Problem Developed of Belly Flop

2) Associate Science ZTC

After the initial agreement with TRU was signed the project lead has requested an extension to the end date of the agreement until March 2022. We have agreed to the extension based on TRU providing a timeline with a list of deliverables for the project.

We continue to communicate with Douglas College about a ZTC for their Associate Science program. Currently the Calculus course does not use OER and it is hoped that with the upcoming implementation of WebWork through the OHS project, adoption will soon be possible.

3) Drafting Design Certificate ZTC

Two of the four books (2D and Inventor) have been updated in PDF format. The expectation was for the books to be make available in Pressbooks but this work has not commenced. The agreement with VCC expired at the end of September – a meeting is scheduled for October to discuss next steps to complete the project.

4) Organic Chemistry

A Chemistry instructor from VIU has identified a gap in Organic Chemistry OER and is interested in collaborating on a project to develop one. The challenge is with respect to the creation of hundreds of drawings. OpenStax is planning on developing an OER and and instructor at KPU is already working on a resource as well. Although no funding is planned for this, we will continue to work with partners to see if a project is possible.

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:

  • Advisory Group meeting scheduled for Oct 15th
  • Draft presentation for OpenEd
  • Complete agreement amendment with TRU for ZTC
  • Reviews for first year engineering OER begin

Risks and Issues

Timelines for projects may be impacted as a result of Covid-19 related delays. Institutions report heavy demands on faculty this fall.MedTimelines for completion are being extended (provided details of timelines and deliverables are made available)
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.

Normally agreements have an interim report and final report requirement for funds. Without clear timelines and deliverables associated with them in agreements it can be challenging to keep things on track. With some projects, the challenges for faculty with respect to Covid-19 has likely contributed to delays.

Another lesson learned has been around the success of student-involvement in OER projects. The co-op students were able to make a meaningful contribution to the development of OER for the Statics and Dynamics project under mentorship from faculty members. The work would not have been possible with the students given the time and resources required.

Links and Resources

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