News

Online Learning in an Adapting to COVID-19 World

This post is the second in a series highlighting the many resources and webinars still available on our Adapting to COVID-19 website. Check out this earlier post we published on the topic of Mental Health.

The practice of online learning had been growing even before the pandemic due to expanding global communities, improved access to online resources, and significant efforts by organizations like BCcampus. The COVID-19 pandemic created an opportunity for institutions and students to quickly switch to an online learning environment, but the transition was not without its challenges, as many in the sector were still unfamiliar with the online way of doing things. The “pivot” (listed on LinkedIn as the word of the year in 2020) had many students and instructors looking for resources that would support them.

In the spring of 2020, BCcampus launched an online repository for students, staff, and faculty that offered this support. The site was created not only to help those looking for tips regarding online learning and teaching, but also to provide a place to find information surrounding mental health concerns, financial relief, safety, and personal rights. New content was added iteratively and regularly in those early days of the pandemic. Due to its substantial adoption, we were able to create frequent webinars, connecting with both learners and educators across the province to find out where they needed the most support. Each session was recorded for those who could not attend or so attendees could go back and revisit the sessions as much as they like.

As we enter this third year of the pandemic, we’ve learned nothing really is certain and that we need to be prepared for change. Learning that is exclusively in-person might not make sense anymore, and hybrid/HyFlex models are gaining in popularity. This is because online learning, when done well, can bring with it both flexibility and accessibility to content that many students may not have enjoyed through in-person instruction. The forced pivot two years ago has meant our familiarity with online learning has improved, but really, there is always more we can learn. 

Below is a full list of the Adapting to COVID-19 webinars geared toward helping students and educators benefit in an online learning environment. Whether you are new to online learning or have been doing it for some time now, we hope you will peruse the session recordings and resources for the topics you’re most interested in and expand your own online learning and teaching toolkit. 

Resources:

Webinars:

Adapting to COVID-19: Multimedia (Audio/Video/H5P) Help

Are you building learning and support resources and wondering about how to incorporate multimedia into learning and support spaces? In this session reviews recommended practices for audio and video, talks about how to use H5P, and answers any questions you have. 

Adapting to COVID-19: Establishing and Building a Stronger Relationship with Your Supervisor

Facilitated by staff members from UBC Counselling Services and UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, this webinar focused on assisting graduate students to build strong working relationships with the supervisor and committee members that support their progress through their graduate programs.

Adapting to COVID-19: In it Together – Building Community and Enacting Care in Online Environments

This one-hour webinar to explore how to create and build community in online learning environments. Learn how your existing practice can be supported by technology, and understand how to support and connect with students in this uniquely challenging teaching moment.

Adapting to COVID-19: The Technology Toolkit

This one-hour drop-in session built upon the information provided in the webinar on building community and enacting care in online environments above.

Adapting to COVID-19: Learning Design Studio Drop-In Sessions 1 and 2

Brenna Clarke Gray and Ian Linkletter facilitated these one-hour drop-in sessions, which continued to build on the information provided in the webinar on Building Community and Enacting Care in online environments. This session provided participants with the ability to consider learning design and the tools that will assist them in connecting with students in online environments. 

Adapting to COVID-19: Using Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to Remove Barriers for All Learners

For our safety and wellness during COVID-19, online learning will be a feature of our educational landscape for some time to come. This webinar will helped navigate some of the issues that the pivot to online presented and how Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles can support both instructors and your students. This webinar is rich with practical tips, strategies, and examples whether you are new to UDL or a seasoned practitioner. 

Adapting to COVID-19: Developing a Work/School/Life Balance during Graduate Studies

This webinar was facilitated by members of UBC Counselling and the UBC Wellness Centre to assist graduate students in identifying and managing the competing roles and priorities they encounter during their studies and research. Each of these roles entails different responsibilities and commitments. How school and work responsibilities align with your personal priorities, and relatedly, how you choose to spend your time, can contribute to your sense of school/work-life balance.