New year, new energy: Welcoming the new BCTLC co-chairs

The incoming leadership team for the B.C. Teaching and Learning Council (BCTLC) is eager to meet with the post-secondary community of B.C. to learn how they can continue to build channels and community, with an ultimate goal of improving the student learning experience by helping education professionals.

Post by BCcampus’ editorial team

With established roots in energetic and innovative institutions, Dr. Sophia Palahicky, the Associate Director of the Centre for Teaching and Educational Technologies at Royal Roads University, and Dr. Catharine Dishke Hondzel, Director of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at Thompson Rivers University, are well-equipped to take the helm of the BCTLC. But instead of coming in with predetermined plans and agendas, the newly appointed co-chairs are hoping to work with the community to get a sense of what they want and need, and then prioritize and identify strategies to support them.

“The BCTLC is consistently evolving as a valuable resource to the learning and teaching community throughout the province,” shared Tracy Roberts, Senior Manager, Learning + Teaching at BCcampus. “Their capacity to assemble a responsive, flexible group is just one of the many reasons we’ve seen their success with the projects and programs they take on, such as facilitating the teaching and learning portal and enabling collaborative discussions for the K–12 transition into post-secondary education. We’re excited about continuing the close relationships we’ve developed with the BCTLC community, and we can’t wait to see what these two talented leaders will make possible for the system.”

Extracurricular leadership

As co-chairs, Catharine and Sophia will act as the primary point of contact for all BCTLC members, overseeing action groups; administering website content, activity, and front-line communications; and representing the council throughout the province.

“One of the things I love about being part of the BCTLC is the opportunity it provides: providing a glimpse of what the instructional designers, learning technologists, and other supports are trying—and accomplishing—in their teaching and learning centres,” explained Sophia. “The ability to bounce ideas off each other, building and sharing knowledge, enables our learning community to grow and improve.”

Catharine said, “Working within groups like the BCTLC brings meaning to our work, and as co-chair, I’m hoping that we’ll find the spaces where there’s a need, so we can fill it. We’ll start by connecting with the directors and educational developers across the province to ensure they have the support and resources they need to improve the learning and teaching space. We’re also hoping to look at the interest in developing a provincial teaching award, to recognize the phenomenal work being done in our institutions.”

2019 Symposium

At the 2019 Symposium event in October, hosted in beautiful Terrace, B.C., Sophia and Catharine plan to meet with members of the BCTLC to start a conversation and gain interest in the direction for the next year. In addition to meeting with the BCTLC members in attendance and remotely, Catharine will be leading a discussion about The Mind Gap Program: Creating Collaborative Secondary and Post-Secondary School Projects that Support the Inclusion of all Learners.

Notable quote:

“The BCTLC plays an important role as an advisory for the learning and teaching community of B.C. They’re leaders, and they’re on the ground, occupying an important spot in the system. They see what’s going on in the courses and classrooms, broadly share their knowledge, and create collaborative initiatives to overcome challenges and improve the learning space for everyone involved.”—Tracy Roberts, Senior Manager, Learning + Teaching, BCcampus

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