A presentation at the League for Innovation in the Community College
1999 Conference in Information Technology
ocotillo ocotillo branches:
ocotillo central
college tech plans
who's doing what

Maricopa's Ocotillo:
10+ years of Learning Driving Technology

Manny Griego, Glendale Community College
Alan Levine, Maricopa Center for Learning & Instruction

Since 1988 Ocotillo has thrived at the Maricopa Community Colleges as a faculty-led, adminstration-supported initiative to address issues of using technology best for teaching and learning. Learn how Ocotillo evolved from topic-oriented committees to a network of college roundtables developing instructional technology plans and raising systemic issues.

The presentation will start with an overview of how and why Ocotillo was created, including the symbolic meaning of the desert plant metaphor. We will share some of the accomplishments of Ocotillo in its first "generation" which led to outcomes such as guidelines for open-entry/open exit courses, wiring standards, copyright guidelines, the Electronic Forum computer conferencing system, specifications for classrooms of the future, and more.

A key factor to Ocotillo's success has been a grass-roots approach where the issues of technology is driven by the needs of teaching and learning. Structurally, a general faculty chair provides overall leadership for Ocotillo, and individual work groups are also faculty-led. At both levels key administrative staff provide logistical support.

The presenters will describe the rationale for "flipping Ocotillo on its head" in 1996, to shift from topic-oriented committees to campus-focused groups modeled after the Teaching, Learning, Technology Roundtable concept developed at the American Association of Higher Education. This new structure has created an effective network by having each college roundtable led by a faculty chair, who meet regularly to share and collaboratively develop solutions to common issues.

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