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Tidewater Community College’s Textbook-Free “Z-Degree”

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Tidewater Community College’s Textbook-Free “Z-Degree”


PAMELA DALE:
-0.5941 IS EQUAL TO… TIMOTHY RANKER: I’VE RUN
INTO SEVERAL CLASSMATES AND I’VE TOLD THEM, IF THEY
HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE A Z COURSE, THEY
NEED TO JUMP ON IT. MELISSA HOCH: ONCE YOU GET
USED TO THE MATERIAL ONLINE, IT WAS EASIER TO FOLLOW
THAN HAVING TO GO BACK TO A BOOK TO REFERENCE. MEGAN KADESCH: IT
SAVES FINANCIALLY, IT’S A GREAT RESOURCE TO DO
AND I WOULD RECOMMEND IT HIGHLY. LINDA WILLIAMS: POPULATE,
WHAT WAS THE SAMPLE MEAN? DR. BAEHRE-KOLOVANI: IN
2013, WE BEGAN THE PROCESS OF CREATING THE
FIRST IN THE COUNTRY, DEGREE PROGRAM THAT WOULD
NOT USE TEXTBOOK MATERIALS FOR OUR STUDENTS. LINDA WILLIAMS: WHEN WE
FIRST STARTED THIS Z-DEGREE PROJECT WITH TCC,
IT WAS ABOUT REMOVING THE COST OF TEXTBOOKS
FROM THE EQUATION. MELISSA HOCH: I TOOK THREE
Z COURSES AND I SAVED ABOUT $500 TO $600 JUST IN BOOKS, WHICH IS HOW MUCH
ONE CLASS COSTS. TIMOTHY RANKER: ONE TEXTBOOK
I HAD TO BUY FOR JUST THIS SEMESTER WAS A $200 TEXTBOOK
AND WHEN CONSIDER SOME TEXTBOOKS ARE MORE EXPENSIVE
OR A LITTLE BIT LESS THAN THAT, THAT CAN ADD UP TO A
LOT OF MONEY, REALLY FAST. DR. BAEHRE-KOLOVANI: THE COST
OF THE TEXTBOOKS ARE ESTIMATED, BY THE COLLEGE
BOARD, ON AVERAGE, FOR A COMMUNITY COLLEGE
STUDENT, PER YEAR, TO BE OVER $1200. SO WE ESTIMATE THAT IN
THE ONE SEMESTER ALONE, WE SAVED OUR STUDENTS
60 SOME THOUSAND DOLLARS. TIMOTHY RANKER: FROM THE
MILITARY BENEFIT STAND POINT, AND SOMEONE WHO’S BEEN
FORMALLY DEPLOYED, I THINK IT’S AN
OUTSTANDING IDEA. THE FINANCIAL ASPECT HELPS
VETERANS NOT HAVE TO PUT FORTH AS MUCH AS THEIR BOOK STIPEND
ON THEIR GI BILL TOWARDS MATERIALS AND IT
ALSO ALLOWS THEM, WHERE IF YOU DO HAVE A
DISABLED MILITARY VETERAN, THEY NOW HAVE THE ASSET
AVAILABLE AND NOT HAVE TO USE THE MONEY THEY WERE
SPENDING ON BOOKS AND COME OUT OF POCKET FOR
ALL THE EXTRA RESOURCES. MELISSA HOCH: NOT
HAVING TO BUY ANY BOOKS, I WAS ABLE TO PROVIDE
ORTHODONTIC CARE FOR MY YOUNGEST DAUGHTER. YOU’RE WORKING BACKWARDS. DIANE RYAN: THE IMPACT
OF OER ON MY STUDENTS I BELIEVE HAS BEEN TREMENDOUS. I GAVE STUDENTS THE ASSIGNMENT
OF DOING A SELF-EVALUATION OF THIS SEMESTER, AND
THE MAJORITY OF THE CLASS EXPRESSED HOW MUCH THEY
LIKED THE OER MATERIAL. THIS IS YOUR SELF-EVALUATION. PAMELA DALE: THE PRIMARY
TAKE AWAY FROM DESIGNING AND DELIVERING A Z-COURSE HAS
BEEN HOW FOCUSED THE STUDENTS ARE DURING LECTURE. THEY REALLY ARE ACTIVE
LEARNERS AND THEY PAY ATTENTION. MEGAN KADESCH: MY
EXPERIENCE WITH TAKING A Z-COURSE WAS PHENOMENAL. IT WAS EASIER TO
GET THE MATERIAL, IT WAS EASIER JUST TO
SIT DOWN WITH A LAPTOP, INSTEAD OF HAVING A LAPTOP,
A TEXTBOOK, A NOTEBOOK. DIANE RYAN: THE OTHER
THING THAT IT HELPED THEM DO IS REALIZE THE VAST AMOUNT
OF MATERIAL THAT’S OUT THERE, THAT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THEM. TIMOTHY RANKER: THE Z-COURSE
DIFFERED VERY MUCH FROM THE PUBLISHER MATERIALS
BECAUSE YOU WERE ALLOWED TO DO OTHER THINGS BESIDES
WHAT WAS IN THE MATERIAL. WHEREAS A TRADITIONAL
TEXTBOOK FOLLOWS A COURSE OF INSTRUCTION, THE Z-COURSE
ALLOWED THE PUBLISHED MATERIALS TO BE VARIED TO BE
ABLE TO PULL IN SOMETHING ELSE THAT THE STUDENTS MAY
BE LACKING AT THAT TIME, WITHOUT HAVING TO CREATE
A LOT OF EXTRA WORK FOR THE STUDENTS IN HAVING
TO FIND THOSE MATERIALS. MEGAN KADESCH:
EVERYTHING’S ONLINE, YOU CAN GO AND GET TONS OF
DIFFERENT WEBSITES FOR THE SAME TOPIC AND HAVE
DIFFERENT VIEWPOINTS, YOU CAN GET YOUTUBE
VIDEOS, IT’S JUST, THERE’S MORE OUT THERE
FOR YOU THAN JUST A BOOK. LINDA WILLIAMS:
YES, I LIKE THAT! WITH AUTHORITY! WHAT I REALIZED IS HOW MUCH
OF A PARADIGM SHIFT IT IS, FOR NOT JUST THE STUDENT BUT
FOR THE FACULTY MEMBER TO CUT THE UMBILICAL CORD THAT
WE’VE HAD WITH TEXTBOOKS. DIANE RYAN: FIRST OF ALL,
IT MADE ME REALLY LOOK AT MY ASSIGNMENTS AND MADE ME THINK,
“OK AM I DESIGNING THESE ASSIGNMENTS TO TRULY MATCH
WHAT I’M TRYING TO TEACH HERE. PAMELA DALE: I DIDN’T HAVE
TO HAVE A LOT OF FLUFF OR EXTRANEOUS PROBLEMS THAT
DIDN’T HAVE ANY SENSE TO THEM. I COULD STREAMLINE
THE COURSE AND HAVE THEM DO PROBLEMS THAT MEANT SOMETHING
IN THEIR CAREER. DR. BAEHRE-KOLOVANI: WE’RE
NOW USING THIS PROGRAM, THE Z-DEGREE PROGRAM, AS
AN EVALUATIVE INSTRUMENT TO IDENTIFY WHAT OTHER PROGRAM
AREAS WE WANT TO TARGET SO THAT THE STUDENTS IN OTHER
DEGREE AREAS CAN BENEFIT FROM THE SAME APPROACH. MEGAN KADESCH: IF I HAD A
CLASSMATE THAT WAS CONSIDERING A Z-COURSE, I WOULD
TELL THEM, “GO FOR IT!” IT’S A GREAT OPPORTUNITY, EVEN THOUGH YOU
DON’T HAVE A TEXTBOOK, YOU’RE NOT BEING HINDERED
FROM YOUR LEARNING EXPERIENCE. MELISSA HOCH: ONCE YOU GET
A HOLD OF HOW TO DO THINGS AND MANAGE THE WEBSITE,
IT’S REALLY GOOD. TIMOTHY RANKER: IT’S A
CUTTING-EDGE TYPE TECHNOLOGY, IT’S A WAY THAT THE
CLASSROOMS COULD POTENTIALLY BE MOVING FORWARD. DIANE RYAN: FOR MY
COLLEAGUES WHO ARE INTERESTED IN ADOPTING OER IN THE FUTURE,
I WOULD GIVE THEM THE ADVICE, “ABSOLUTELY, GO FOR IT!” AN OER CLASS, IN A SENSE,
IT’S THE ON-DEMAND OF EDUCATION BUT YOU HAVE TO BE OPEN
TO CHANGING YOUR MATERIAL, AT LEAST EVERY SEMESTER, IF NOT MID-WAY
THROUGH THE SEMESTER. DR. BAEHRE-KOLOVANI: ALL
OF THE REPUTATION THAT THE COLLEGE HAD IN
TERMS OF VISION, INNOVATION AND RISK TAKING
REALLY CAME TO FRUITION IN THIS PROJECT AND THE
COLLABORATION AMONG OUR FACULTY WAS BAR NONE. MEGAN KADESCH: I’M GLAD THAT I
WAS ABLE TO ENROLL IN Z-COURSES. MELISSA HOCH: IT WAS ONE
OF THE BEST THINGS THAT’S HAPPENED TO ME SINCE
I’VE BEEN AT TCC, I WAS ABLE TO SAVE SO MUCH
MONEY AND PUT IT TOWARDS SOMETHING BESIDES MY
EDUCATION, TOWARDS MY FAMILY. TIMOTHY RANKER: THERE’S SO
MANY VALUABLE POINTS ON THIS. IT’S UNIMAGINABLE AT THE END
OF WHERE THE VETERANS CAN BE ABLE TO USE THIS AND
PERSONALLY, I ENJOY IT. THAT’S WHY I’M TAKING ANOTHER
ONE THIS NEXT SEMESTER. LINDA WILLIAMS: I THINK THAT
OF EVERYTHING THAT I KNOW NOW, THAT I DIDN’T KNOW
WHEN I STARTED, IT WAS THAT IT WOULD
ABSOLUTELY TRANSFORM THE WAY I TEACH, WHAT I TEACH AND
HOW MY STUDENTS LEARN.

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1 thought on “Tidewater Community College’s Textbook-Free “Z-Degree””

  1. Carolyn Lambert says:

    Cool!

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