BCcampus provides teaching, learning, and educational technology support to all 25 public post-secondary institutions in B.C. The agency brings together faculty, instructors and institutional staff to collaborate on the development of curricular resources that are then made available to the entire B.C. post-secondary system. These activities involve the coordination of projects that span multiple institutions, introducing and supporting innovations about the ways in which people learn, and helping institutions evaluate and develop good practice in the use of technology for learning. The work done by BCcampus enables a systemic approach to student learning in B.C. while recognizing the expertise and specialization within each institution, as well as the diversity of our system.
Since BCcampus was created, many changes to system needs, teaching methods, and technology have impacted the work of the agency and the projects undertaken. To ensure alignment with stakeholder needs, a system consultation of BCcampus programs and services was undertaken in Fall 2014. Stakeholders were asked to discuss their knowledge of the agency and its services, which services were of particular value and where changes would benefit the system. Much of the work of the agency was strongly validated. Some programs and services, while highly valued, were thought to be outside the agency’s mandate and, as a result, planning is underway to transition that work to other agencies.
Following the review of BCcampus services conducted by the Ministry of Advanced Education in collaboration with BCcampus, the following key deliverables will define the organization’s future mandate:
- Continue to develop, in collaboration with B.C.’s post-secondary institutions, Open Educational Resources, including Open Textbooks. In 2012, BCcampus was asked to produce 40 Open Textbooks in B.C.’s highest-enrolled academic subject areas. That goal has been far exceeded, and there are now 135+ texts available, including 23 new textbooks that target trades and skills training.
- Develop ancillary resources to accompany the texts, and other educational resources to be used by faculty and students in B.C. institutions such as instructional videos, exam banks, quizzes and course modules.
- Work with faculty, librarians, and teaching and learning centre staff to increase the adoption of the resources produced as part of the B.C. Open Textbook Project. This involves advisory committees, workshops, online resources, presentations and other outreach.
- Develop and implement sustainability plans for the collection of Open Textbooks in collaboration with the B.C. post-secondary system so that the resources maintain currency and relevance.
- Develop and deliver professional learning opportunities for faculty and instructional staff in the B.C. post-secondary system to promote student-centered, effective learning environments. This includes, but is not limited to, intensives to support scholarly teaching practice, workshops related to the appropriate pedagogical use of educational technologies including support for the Educational Technology User Group (ETUG) and exposure to emerging pedagogies such as competency-based education.
- Collaborate with system stakeholders and government on special projects that enhance learning opportunities in the province of B.C. for a variety of stakeholders. This includes the Early Years project currently underway and the continuation of projects such as the Elder Abuse Reduction curricular resources, the Professional Cook Gap Training program and the Healthcare Assistant Curriculum Guide.
- Facilitate educational technology pilots. BCcampus will continue to enable the evaluation of emerging educational technologies to achieve collaboration and a centralized service for learning about the value of selected learning technologies. In collaboration with BCNET, BCcampus will manage pilots through to the development of implementation plans, at which point, should the system deem the technology worthy of operationalization, BCNET will assume the management of the project. Implementation of this initiative has already begun with the transfer of responsibility for BlackBoard Collaborate and Desire2Learn licensing to BCNET. Further transfers will happen using a phased approach.
- Deliver technologies and support for the Applied Business Technology and Information and Communications Technology Collaborative Programs.
- Provide consultation services to institutions and government on the use and benefits of open licensing of curricular resources.