Collaboration in the Interior opens new doors

Institutions in the Interior region are working together towards common goals, many of which relate to furthering open education and — more recently — meeting their faculty learning needs. This collaboration has direct impacts on the communities these institutions serve and greatly affects their region.

Post by Ross McKerlich, Open Education Advisor, Regional Representative, Interior

College of the Rockies and Selkirk College have a strong existing relationship as a result of being a key part of the Interior of B.C. In addition to the team approach to tackling the learning, research, and innovation needs of the region, Selkirk College and College of the Rockies immediately initiated communication when COVID-19 altered their respective learning landscapes. Along with BCcampus, the two institutions worked together to consider faculty development synergies and now invite each other to participate in some joint faculty professional development.

A similar invitation was made during Open Education Week in March when the Thompson Rivers University Students’ Union held a series of open education workshops and invited their open colleagues at Nicola Valley Institute of Technology to attend. This provided a learning opportunity as well as the chance to build relationships between and strengthen open education initiatives at the two institutions.

Finally, the University of British Columbia Okanagan hosted an open education event during their reading week in February which included a keynote by Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani, Associate Vice Provost of Open Education at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Representatives from Okanagan College attended, and the event was livestreamed and recorded so many institutions could benefit.

Collaborations like these strengthen the Interior region and drive new ideas such as open education forward. It is inspiring to see institutions realize the benefits of working together in this uncertain time. Whether it is inviting other institutions to open events or proposing that neighbouring institutions join forces to provide for faculty development needs, collaboration is making an impact in the Interior region of British Columbia.

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