Engaging with the B.C. Teaching and Learning Network

The B.C. Teaching and Learning Network, formerly University, College, and Institute, Professional Development (UCIPD), has adopted a new name and is focused on supporting educational developers throughout the province.

The most recent workshop for the B.C Teaching and Learning Network was held at Vancouver Community College in early October, and focused on connecting colleagues and developing solid plenaries to further the development of professionals within the field of educational development. The event was filled with valuable ideas, resources, and conversations through energized sessions consisting of in-person and remote attendees.

Graphic Recording of October 2015 BC-TLN event via Tracy Kelly, BCcampus
Graphic Recording of October 2015 BC-TLN event via Tracy Kelly, BCcampus

The B.C. Teaching and Learning Network (BC-TLN) is a community of individuals working to support teaching and learning in post-secondary environments in British Columbia. While the transition from UCIPD to BC-TLN is formally complete, the new executive team is currently in the process of strengthening its identity and communication structure. The team is working towards improving the collaboration and linkage between partner organizations, and making it easy for interested educators to learn about, join, and participate in the BC-TLN.

The goals of the BC-TLN are to provide professional development for post-secondary educational developers in B.C.; review best practices, challenges, successes, experiences, and resources that support teaching and learning excellence; create a supportive network of mentors; share innovative and collaborative approaches to teaching and learning; and provide recommendations to other educational organizations across the province with regard to policy, approach, and appropriate educational development related concerns.

Isabeau Iqbal, the current chair of the BC-TLN, told us, “There are still a few people who are confused about the various groups that play a role in supporting the professional growth of educational developers in B.C. The BC-TLN; Educational Technology Users Group; and the B.C. Teaching and Learning Council are excellent resources and mutually supportive organizations, with slightly different mandates. For the BC-TLN, we are focused on supporting the educational developers and helping them find the professional resources and opportunities they need to create innovative tools and approaches to teaching and learning in British Columbia.”

Educational Development Events

The BC-TLN hosts two, two-day events per year, one in the fall and one in the spring, and both sessions are open to in-person and remote attendees. The topics are selected by consulting the network to identify current concerns and interests. Day one is a half-day of professional development, and the following day includes an educational development round robin, where participants share and discuss an educational development activity that excites them; two professional development sessions for educational developers; and a tour of an educational resource at the host institution. Each event is organized, facilitated, and staffed through volunteers, and the venue provided by a host institution. A request for volunteers and host institution is shared prior to each event via the BC-TLN listserv.

How to connect with BC-TLN

The group has an online presence through the BCcampus SCoPE community website, as well as through twitter. You can sign up for the existing listserv to receive regular updates or to ask your own questions or provide support on topics you’re intimately familiar with. Members of the UCIPD listserv were automatically added to the BC-TLN list. To be added to the BC-TLN listserv, please email Isabeau Iqbal. The BC-TLN is a bi-directional resource that is entirely dependent on membership and the generosity of host institutions; members provide input, advice, and support, as well as their own inquiries, to improve their approach to education. This give-and-take approach is an effective way to create strong connections and access resources throughout the province.

Notable Quotes

“This group exists because of its intense willingness to share, collaborate, and learn. Members are devoted to their work, and also to sustaining the UCIPD Community of Practice. There is not a resistance to reaching out beyond the existing group, or to try new tools and activities. There is just caution, and for a good reason. When you have a rich CoP there’s something to be said for staying the same. It serves the purpose of its members — to learn from one another. The members, in turn, take that back to their own institutions.” ~Jennifer Walinga

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