Going with the FLOw amidst COVID-19

The recent pivot to online delivery in post-secondary education has created a tremendous demand for faculty development in online course design and facilitation. We responded quickly with a series of online office hours and webinars to help support instructors’ initial panic while converting in-progress courses in March and April.

Post by Helena Prins, Advisor, Learning + Teaching 

We also responded to this urgent need to deliver coursework online by offering our three-week FLO – Synchronous course for free! We were surprised to receive over 80 registrations for a course that can only accommodate 24 people at a time. We opened a second cohort to allow for 24 more participants to hone their online facilitation skills. This course runs from May 11 to May 31.

As we navigate through this unpredictable time, it is our commitment to continue our support of faculty in developing their online facilitation skills. We have created an exciting lineup of Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) courses for the year and will continue to add and adjust as required.

We have also made LAP-E funding available to support faculty in this huge pivot to online facilitation and are accepting applications until May 29. Some courses already identified as eligible for LAP-E funding can be found here:

And finally, we want to encourage post-secondary institutions to consider adopting a FLO course! As openly licensed resources, FLO courses can be hosted in-house and offer opportunities for cross-institutional collaboration and cost-saving professional development. One of the success stories of FLO adoption comes from Ken Harmel, Learning Designer at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV). Over the last month, the UFV had five hundred and thirteen participants and two facilitators taking part in seven MicroCourses. UFV had adopted the BC Campus’s FLO MicroCourse structure to offer to its faculty members and staff a set of seven MicroCourses that are based on a few essential topics in online learning. UFV has added a 1-hour synchronous component to the traditional asynchronous nature of FLO Micros, which has enhanced the connection between faculty and staff and the Teaching and Learning department. Faculty members earn one badge per MicroCourse and a Letter of Completion when they earn all seven badges. With these MicroCourses, novice and experienced online instructors alike walk away more confident that they are ready to teach in the online environment.

At BCcampus we will continue to explore meaningful and sustainable FLO opportunities as we prepare for another semester of online course delivery. If you are interested in exploring the adoption of a FLO course, or for any FLO-related matters, please contact hprins@bccampus.ca.