Closing the divide at Symposium 2019

Overcoming distances, making room to grow, and engaging an interested, aware, and eager community of learners are all part of the upcoming Symposium 2019: Learning Transformation. Join us in Terrace, B.C., on October 25, 2019, to help reimagine how education is made possible.

Post by BCcampus’ editorial team

We’re weeks away from the on-the-road edition of Symposium 2019, and we’re excited to connect and work with the teaching and learning communities in Terrace.

Bringing everyone together

In our world of convenience and proximity, it’s easy to forget how big the province actually is. Within B.C.’s footprint of about 944,735 km2, you could fit Texas, Washington, and West Virginia, and still have room to squeeze in Guam. In real-world numbers, the drive from the Northern Lights College campus in Fort Nelson to Simon Fraser University in Burnaby is about 17.5 hours, without stops. It takes serious commitment and substantial planning to make that kind of drive.

Due to the immense size of the province, the decision to attend a teaching and learning event can be a logistical challenge for many instructors and academic professionals. With fewer flights available to those in the remote communities, prices are high and flexibility is low. In many cases, educators have to choose whether to save money and drive or pay more and fly. Or not go at all.

Symposium 2019 makes the decision to attend a bit easier. Hosted by Coast Mountain College in Terrace, the venue is central to many institutions while providing attendees from Victoria and Vancouver the opportunity to escape their typical schedules and make time to connect with other professionals in an affordable, comfortable setting with minimal distractions. Holding events at different institutions throughout the province gives everyone the opportunity to attend and contribute.

As well, to help defray the costs of attending, the BCcampus Learning Access Program for Educators (LAP-E) can help instructors and teaching faculty across the province enjoy this event—and others like it—by providing financial assistance for registration fees, travel, and accommodation.

We’re looking forward to meeting and greeting the regular participants in post-secondary learning events, like Festival of Learning or Open Textbook Summit, and the educators who haven’t been able to attend previous events. Whether you’re from the big city or a small community, you’re invited to see what the teaching and learning world is like outside of your bubble.

Creating a space for teaching and learning

“We’ve broadened the program focus of Symposium 2019 to include a greater range of topics,” said Tracy Roberts, Senior Manager, Learning + Teaching at BCcampus. “Scholarly Teaching and Learning is still one of the streams, but attendees will find more about teaching practice, including supporting diversity and the work of our teaching partners in the K–12 space.”

The one-day event includes several compelling topics, including Women’s Studies 101: How I turned South Asian men into Euro-Canadian Suffragettes; Coding with Drones – an experiential approach; and Bacon Grease and Buoy Clinging: Adventures in affording students the dignity of their own suffering and challenge. Check the events page for a full listing of sessions.
Keynote speaker, Dr. Jay Roberts, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of Education at Earlham College, will be sharing his thoughts and guidance on a selection of risk-based opportunities for educators, such as experiential education, and how it’s not limited to applied or social sciences.

Making connections

“What’s great about this event is the opportunity to connect with more people, inside and outside of the sessions,” explained Tracy. “The pre-conference Liberating Structures one-day workshop offers tools and techniques to create lively and inclusive classes and meetings, while the post-conference field day explores the experiential place-based learning environment through a tour of the Nisga’a Museum or hiking the lava beds of the Nass Valley.”

Don’t miss this opportunity to explore new spaces, meet other educational professionals, and step outside of your comfort zone, physically and professionally, at Symposium 2019. Registration is now open.

Notable quotes:

“The program committee at Coast Mountain College (CMTN) has been fantastic. They’re so keen to welcome everyone to their campus, and they’ve worked really hard to create an experience that everyone will remember.” —Tracy Roberts, Senior Manager, Learning + Teaching, BCcampus

“We can sometimes view the K–12 sector and the higher education sector as so entirely different in terms of pedagogy, but the questions and innovations from the teachers in both spaces can be quite similar.”—Dr. Jay Roberts, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of Education at Earlham College

Learn more