2017 ABT Online Collaborative Program Sprint

In 2016/17, BCcampus conducted an internal review of our role and involvement in the Applied Business Technology Collaborative Online Program. As a result of this review, and the current mandate of BCcampus to focus on piloting new innovative ways to deliver programs, we provided notice to the ABT Coordinators of our intention to discontinue hosting and supporting the current model of the program. A notice was provided in November 2016 for a June 2018 end date.

Post by Denise Goudy, Director, BCcampus 

During various meetings with stakeholders, such as sector councils and provincial deans’ groups, it was made clear that the participating institutions continue to value the collaborative delivery of the ABT program. As a gesture of support, BCcampus hosted a two-day Sprint workshop to enable participating and interested institutions to identify the future state of a provincial collaborative program for ABT.

The invitation to the Sprint was issued to Deans and Directors, ABT Coordinators, Registrars and Institutional Research offices in the collaborative program and to institutions that expressed an interest in exploring options. The participants represented each aspect of the institution that touches on the collaborative program, with the exception of technical personnel (IT and/or Business Analyst) and students.

The purpose of the Sprint and bringing the group together was to engage everyone in the design and delivery of the future state of the ABT Online Collaborative Program.

The Sprint was held over two days, hosted by Vancouver Community College, and facilitated by BCcampus. The facilitators used a human-centered design approach to build efficacy combined with the standard sprint methodology of defining, deciding, and designing. Success was dependent on having the various groups represented (IR, Registrars, Coordinators and Deans/Directors). Liberating Structures activities were used to engage the group and move forward with the task at hand – It was important to remain fluid and responsive to the needs of the group as we worked through the various scenarios. In hindsight, having a third day would have been valuable given that the event was held just before people starting taking their summer vacations.

“The only issue is that another day might have been good. It feels like we stopped just as progress was being made, and with the summer break right after the meeting, momentum seems to have been lost. Not a BCcampus hosting issue – just a timing issue.” – Survey Participant

The group engaged in networking activities to reinforce participation to collaboratively design a solution.

Participants were given an opportunity to consider a solution they would like to explore and attract others in exploring it with them, taking into consideration of the bold ideas put forth through the workshop, two solutions were explored. The two leading solutions proposed by participants were:

  1. ABT Online Cooperative:
    • An interim solution as a new iteration is worked out
    • Multi-institutional MOU for transfer credit
  2. Third Party/Neutral Party/Central delivery:
    • All online
    • Pick and choose at will
    • Use transfer block/etc.
    • Teach locally as desired (with a provincial curriculum)
    • Mix and match
    • All course updated in Moodle
    • Some faculty could teach online for TRU-OL
    • Program/Non-program basis

The final outcome of the two-day Sprint involved action on the part of the institutions wishing to further explore the two options. The cooperative option had several key action steps identified at the workshop and we expect it is taking shape this Fall.

We feel the Sprint was successful, however, it would have been better to schedule this during the term when decision makers and faculty would have been able to maintain the momentum created at the Sprint.

A final report for the ABT two-day Sprint can be found here.

We look forward to seeing how this program will transition to the participating institutions.

Notable quotes:

“Engaging process, interactive, designed to get conversations started.” – Survey Participant

“I liked that we were guided along with developing some social and group context first. “ – Survey Participant

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