With a new school year on the horizon, here’s a glimpse at some of the programs, events, and activities that might be entering your world of learning and teaching in the near future.
Post by BCcampus’ editorial team
Our calendars are jam-packed with activities, events, and plans to help the learning and teaching community of B.C. We’ve put together this teaser to give you a taste of what’s to come, and we’ll regularly share more information about activities and events of interest to educational professionals of B.C. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the updates in your inbox.
“Our organizational focus hasn’t changed: we will continue to improve student learning by supporting Learning and Teaching, EdTech, OpenEd, and Collaborative Projects,” explained Mary Burgess, Executive Director at BCcampus. “The new year brings us new opportunities to improve our ability to ask the right questions, facilitate effective conversations, and collaborate on informed and intelligent projects designed to support evidence-based teaching, learning, educational technology, and open educational practices throughout the province. We’re motivated by the successes we’ve enjoyed in previous years, and eager to see where we can go from here.”
Our team has grown, with more opportunities coming up in the fall. We’ve hired three new project managers, and we’re in the process of hiring two more. Clint Lalonde has returned to the team and will be working on the Open Homework Systems project, and we have a few secondments from local institutions: Krista Lambert, from the Justice Institute of B.C., is returning to help us with the work we’re doing for Adult Basic Education (ABE) and Zed Cred (soon to be renamed ZTC – Zero Textbook Costs). Melanie Meyers from the Justice Institute of B.C. will help us improve the searchability of Open Educational Resources (OER) and ZTC for Business and STEM, and Tim Carson from British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) is working as the Trades Representative for Open, and plans to refine our entire suite of OER to improve awareness and access.
We’ll continue the audit of our open textbooks, creating a rigorous standard that we will use to determine what should be included in the collection.
The current focus for Open Education is to:
- Save students money on textbook costs to increase equitable access to post-secondary education in B.C.
- Increase flexible teaching and learning options for educators
- Increase Institutional capacity for the creation, adaptation, and dissemination of open education
- Continue to position B.C. as a leader in innovative and impactful open education practice nationally and internationally
Working directly with the learning community of B.C. has brought fascinating projects to our attention, enabling us to be responsive to the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training strategic directions around education and training. We have had great success with projects such as the open-source, student-focused Educational Electronic Health Record (EdEHR) system ; the Indigenization Professional Learning Series; the Early Years Portal Project (EYPD); and other programs that sometimes take us outside the scholarship of teaching and learning. We have new team members to facilitate and lead complex projects with our partners: Robynne Devine for Mental Health and Wellness as well as Sexualized Violence and Misconduct projects; Corey Ranger for Mental Health and Addictions – Substance Use Peer Supports project, and Declan Robinson Spence to provide support across all of our projects. We continue to work on the ECE Occupational Standards project with MCFD while we take on a small project with the Engineering Articulation Committee to advance a common first year set of courses across participating institutions.
- Provide consultation and facilitation practices that promote engagement, participation, and consensus-building
- Mobilize existing capacity and expertise in the system to accomplish shared goals
- Model practices that ensure diversity of perspective to support the interests of equity-seeking groups
- Support practices that further the Indigenization of the post-secondary education system
- Advocate for the use of open practices whenever appropriate
- Publish articles on project-related research and thought-leadership to share new learning and ideas
Learning + Teaching
Our team is growing and shifting, with some internal moves within BCcampus leading to the creation of new spaces in our department. We’re looking forward to introducing you to our new coordinator for the Learning and Teaching team, and we have plans to hire one additional advisor.
Tannis Morgan, Director of the Centre for Teaching, Learning, & Innovation at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), is on secondment with the Learning + Teaching team as an advisor to work on capacity building for open pedagogy.
We’re excited about the upcoming events – ETUG and Symposium 2019 next month, Festival of Learning 2020, and numerous Liberating Structures and Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) workshops scheduled for the coming months. Join our online book club as we work through James M. Lang’s Small Teaching.
The goals for the Learning + Teaching team include:
- Support innovation in teaching and learning that responds and adapts to the changing needs of students, faculty, and instructors
- Promote effective learning environments
- Achieve economies of scale through a systemic approach
Outside of BCcampus
We’re thrilled to share the positive activities, events, and programs led by educational groups throughout the province are working on. We are proud to be a part of the learning community of B.C., working with talented and innovative groups who share our focus. Here are a few activities that we’re looking forward to sharing more about in the months to come:
British Columbia Teaching and Learning Council
Under the direction of new co-chairs, Dr. Sophia Palahicky, from Royal Roads University, and Dr. Catharine Dishke Hondzel from Thompson Rivers University, the British Columbia Teaching and Learning Council (BCTLC) is planning to consult with their members to promote a collaborative approach for the group for the next year. They’ll meet BCTLC members virtually and in-person at the upcoming Symposium 2019 event in Terrace, discussing approaches to ensure the community has the support and resources needed to improve the learning and teaching space.
British Columbia Federation of Students
Tanysha Klassen, the new chairperson for the British Columbia Federation of Students (BCFS), shared a glimpse into what the BCFS has planned:
Knock out Interest
Building on the success at the provincial level in the elimination of interest on student debt, the BCFS is campaigning to encourage current and former students to email Justin Trudeau and their local Member of Parliament through the Knock Out Interest website.
Our Time is Now
The BCFS is launching an Our Time is Now campaign to create a social movement designed to engage young Canadians and compel them to pledge to vote in the upcoming federal election.
Stay tuned for updated info
Be sure to check back often to learn more about the teaching and learning environment of B.C. Whether we’re celebrating milestones achieved in OER, recognizing the serious wealth of talent we have within the post-secondary institutions across the province, or promoting events to meet with and learn from each other in a variety of events and locales, it’s our pleasure to provide you with the information you need to excel in your role.
“The new year brings us new opportunities to ask the right questions, facilitate impactful conversations, and collaborate on evidence-based educational projects throughout the province. We’re motivated by the successes we’ve enjoyed in previous years, and eager to see where we can go from here.” – Mary Burgess, Executive Director, BCcampus