If you ask Vivian Forssman what technology she uses to boost her leadership productivity, the answer is surprising: “I pick up the phone,” she says. “I’m a bit old-school that way. I like to get things done fast.”

Despite this confession, Vivian is keenly aware of new technologies, particularly those changing the landscape for the delivery of post-secondary education. Day-to-day, she is the Director of the Centre for Teaching & Educational Technologies at Royal Roads University, and now she’s the 2016-17 chair of the British Columbia Teaching & Learning Council (BCTLC).

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Back row from left: Jennifer Jasper, Isabeau Iqbal, Mary Burgess, Tannis Morgan, Kathleen Haggith, Shirley Lew, Julia Denholm, Janni Aragon, Patricia Cia, Kele Fleming, Tracy Kelly, David Porter, Beverlie Dietz, Tim Paul, Grant Gregson, Grace Dyck. Front row from left: Theresa Southam, Peter Arthur, Vivian Forssman, Liesel Knaack, Stephanie Chu, Maureen Wideman.

Sharing a powerful goal

There is a voice from each post-secondary institution on the BCTLC. Appointed members are campus leaders with expertise in faculty development, technology integration, and/or educational/curriculum development. As a partner, BCcampus provides financial, logistical, and other resources to support BCTLC operations. Together, their goal is: “fostering impactful learning in B.C. post-secondary institutions,” says Mary Burgess, BCcampus Executive Director.

BCTLC members work to ensure that faculty, administrators, and others on campus can integrate technology into student learning and success. “It’s crazy for each of our 25 institutions to develop their own solutions, says Vivian. “We collaborate and make things happen.”

The broader purpose

“Research provides evidence that good learning happens in social environments,” says Vivian. “We look at how to design online curriculums in the context of social learning, to enhance the post-secondary experience, and prepare learners to go out into the world and solve wicked problems.”

Top three goals

Priorities for the BCTLC in 2016-17 include:

  • Continuing to mature active collaboration between teaching and learning centres across the province;
  • Partnering, in more structured ways, with BCcampus;
  • Planning and convening teaching and learning opportunities with faculty partners to develop and facilitate learning online.

Notable quote:

“Teaching and educational technology centres inhabit an interesting place at the centre of our institutions today,” says Vivian. “While policy drives much of what we do, we have the opportunity to support and influence educational development in our organizations at a time when students demand more choices.”

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