This year we continued to support educators seeking ways to improve their practice. Our research fellows developed strong proposals to stimulate curiosity; the communities of practice we support continued to thrive and grow; and we investigated ways to improve teaching and learning practices in B.C. through resources to implement anti-racist strategies on campus and new tools to deliver higher-quality open educational resources.
Honouring Indigenous History and Culture
The following is from an op-ed article written collaboratively by a small team at BCcampus. The majority of us are non-Indigenous and recognize we still have much to learn; our opinions and understandings may change as we continue to learn and grow. We acknowledge we are writing from a position of privilege and power and that we do not speak for BCcampus as a whole.
“With the remains of over 1100 children recovered from the grounds of many former Indian residential schools throughout B.C. and across the country, our hearts are with the survivors and their loved ones, who have always known what we have all just had confirmed. We mourn the loss of their children and grieve with their families and for all the children who are still missing and yet to be found.”
At BCcampus we have been incredibly fortunate to receive teachings from many generous Indigenous educators, and our hearts are also with them and their communities.
How To Be an Antiracist
In November, we hosted a discussion called How To Be an Antiracist: Schools and Syllabus with Dr. June Francis from Simon Fraser University and Dr. Moussa Magassa from the University of Victoria, facilitated by Olaolu Adeleye from BCcampus. As well, we created a book club hub to help institutions across the province access a support network and develop actionable steps to apply and implement an anti-racist strategy on their campuses.
Transformational Learning: Anti-Racism and Anti-Hate
In support of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training’s mandate of putting people first, working toward lasting and meaningful reconciliation, and supporting equity and anti-racism, BCcampus was tasked with identifying and evaluating currently available anti-racism and anti-hate resources in B.C.’s post-secondary system.
In collaboration with the Ministry, we worked alongside a diverse group of racialized and Indigenous experts to develop The Gift We Give One Another: A Collection of Anti-Racism and Anti-Hate Resources. This collection includes an environmental scan of publicly available anti-racist/anti-hate resources from B.C.’s post-secondary institutions, a webinar series that focuses on improving equity in post-secondary spaces, an offering of the transformational Equity Sequence training, and a powerful infographic tool from the BCcampus Anti-Racism Anti-Hate Working Group.
The project was informed by values developed in partnership with Tidal Equity. The working group used a rubric of Equity Sequence training to create and evaluate their activities, while the core project values, A.D.V.O.C.A.T.E., were developed based on the resource implemented as part of the BCcampus Anti-Racism Book Hub in 2022.
The BCcampus Anti-Racism and Anti-Hate Working Group is a community of racialized and Indigenous students, faculty, and leaders from across the province who came together with the shared purpose of informing and shaping anti-racism and anti-hate work. The learnings come from a place of lived experience and collective wisdom, with the intention of providing transformative calls to action.
The anti-racism/anti-hate resources are designed to facilitate an interconnected learning journey to guide readers from intention to action.
Picking Up the Paddle in Manitoba
A few BCcampus staff members had the pleasure of sitting with Joan Garbutt, Carley McDougall, and Kris Desjarlais, key collaborators on the Pulling Together: Manitoba Foundations Guide (Brandon Edition). We got to hear how they went about adapting the BCcampus Pulling Together: Foundations Guide (the first of the six guides in the Pulling Together Learning Series) into a Manitoba-based resource for Assiniboine Community College and Brandon University staff, faculty, and administration.
In one of the BCcampus FLO Fridays — weekly virtual events designed to facilitate learning online — Dave Smulders, faculty in UBC’s Department of Educational Studies and program manager of faculty development at the Justice Institute of British Columbia, led a session about understanding and interpreting the concept of ungrading, including how the current institutional culture around grading and students’ expectations about grade delivery may present barriers to ungrading approaches.
Emerging Media Community of Practice
"EMCoP is a product of the EML at UBC, but we don’t want anyone to feel that UBC owns it — it belongs to the community."
Executive Producer, UBC Studios and Emerging Media Lab
This year we helped a working group of local educators interested in enhanced learnings through digital experiences grow into a community of practice. Building on the support we’ve shown for emerging media, such as the SOILx.ca augmented reality program, or Geography VR, the first known use of virtual reality in courses at UBC, BCcampus recognized the need to encourage development in this realm. The Emerging Media Community of Practice (EMCoP) is the most recent member of the communities we support, such as the Educational Technology Users Group (ETUG), Simon Fraser University Community of Practitioners in Education (SCoPE), British Columbia Teaching & Learning Council (BCTLC), B.C. Open Educational Technology Collaborative (OpenETC), and B.C. Open Education Librarians (BCOEL).
Getting Ready for Hybrid or HyFlex Learning
We were part of many conversations regarding hybrid and HyFlex learning, stemming from a call for proposals to expand our suite of Facilitating Learning Online courses. Registrations were beyond expectations, so we knew there was an appetite to learn more about these related but separate concepts.
One of the biggest themes to emerge was a serious concern about how the fall delivery would be handled by participants’ respective institutions. Understanding of “flipped” classroom experiences also varied and evolved among participants. When looking at the varied models, our participants highlighted the need to focus on learning outcomes to determine the best approach.
Briana Fraser and Mirabelle Tinio from Langara College took on the challenge of engagement strategies for hybrid and HyFlex courses during another well-attended FLO Friday session. As the facilitators explored what meaningful experiences have in common through a Zoom chat with the participants, it was clear that interaction and relationship were two common threads. The FLO facilitators unpacked three types of interaction — student-to-instruction, student-to-student, and student-to-content — and the importance of alignment between learning outcomes, activities, and assessments.
“One of the aspects of HyFlex that really resonates for me is it comes from a desire to include everyone. The idea is to meet every student where they are by design, not as an after-the-fact retrofit. HyFlex has the power to make students we marginalize in our system more likely to learn what we want them to. So for me, HyFlex is about equity; it’s about opportunity; it’s about inclusion.”
Executive Director, BCcampus
Facilitating an Accessible Presentation
To ensure our message and materials are accessible to as many people as possible, we developed a presenter toolkit to help faculty, staff, and students facilitate an accessible presentation. The open educational resource (OER) included essential concepts, including slide design and virtual presenting tips.
Continuing the theme, Terri Bateman, distributed learning facilitator at North Island College, shared a tech tooltip about the accessibility checker in Microsoft Office, a simple way to make documents and emails more accessible. The accessibility checker is available for Word, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, and PowerPoint for Windows and Mac.
Josie Gray hosted a webinar for the BCcampus team to help us explore accessibility and UDL in OER. The webinars described the principles behind WCAG, introduced some different assistive technologies, and explained how to create accessible tables, images, videos, audio, links, and math equations. By creating educational materials with accessibility in mind, we can ensure these resources are more useful, powerful, and accessible to all.
Strengthening Digital Teaching and Learning for Trades, Vocational, Education, and Training Practitioners
Dr. Sally Vinden (lead author) from Vancouver Island University, Chadwick Flinn from Medicine Hat College, and Tim Carson of BCcampus shared their findings in a published article informed by the research they conducted into the strengths of digital teaching and learning in trades, vocational, education, and training.
We also hosted another event to encourage Trades faculty to begin or build on the inclusion of Indigenous knowledge in future curriculum development and delivery. The Pulling Together Series for Trades Faculty was the first offering of its kind where we hope to include apprentice and recent-graduate stories and experiences.
Forming Strong Cultural Identities in an Intersecting Space of Indigeneity and Autism
BCcampus Research Fellow Heather Simpson, of the Justice Institute of British Columbia, shared her participatory action research project, using digital storytelling to weave together individual and collective narratives that represent storied experiences of Indigenous post-secondary students with autism in rural and remote areas of B.C. Titled Forming Strong Cultural Identities in an Intersecting Space of Indigeneity and Autism, the research goals were to address the gap in self-determined, culturally relevant knowledges in teachings and learning literature, specifically in the areas of Indigenization; decolonization; and equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Creating Impact through Community-Based Co-design Projects within Curriculum
Is it possible for community-based projects embedded in curricula to mutually benefit society and student learning? What can happen when we bring design students together with children with learning differences? How does collaborating with individuals with lived experience of a disability impact student learning? How can people living in long-term care contribute to the education of design students? These are some of the questions that BCcampus Research Fellow Caylee Raber, director of the Health Design Lab at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and Lisa Boulton, associate, BCIT and Emily Carr University of Art + Design, sought to uncover.
Pivoting to Inclusion: Designing Ancillary OER in a Collaborative Cross-Institutional Environment
In June 2020, Theresa Southam, coordinator of the Teaching & Learning Institute (TLI) at Selkirk College, along with Scott Gerrity, instructional specialist at College of the Rockies, received a BCcampus foundational grant— a grant that aids institutions to examine how they can incorporate open education into their teaching systems.
After a call for proposals from instructors at both institutions in fall 2020, a cross-institutional open education working group accepted three proposals for creating OER. The projects include:
- A podcast for students on their experiences learning online and in blended learning environments
- Demonstration videos that will accompany a planned BCcampus textbook for healthcare aid programs in the province
- Branching quizzes for nursing programs
Throwing the Bones and Building Their Models
BCcampus 2020–2021 Research Fellow Rob-Roy Douglas of Northern Lights College shared his experience incorporating Indigenous approaches to learning into an online statistics course, revealing how astragalus bones have been widely used, across many cultures, for fun, games of chance, and to divine the future.
“Integrating Indigenous and experiential learning into an online statistics course is challenging, especially given how much material we cram into a term. I feel strongly that it is as much the approach to learning as the content of the material that counts. Traditional Indigenous learning was through narrative storytelling and experience. I also feel strongly that this is the approach to learning that actually works for most students.”
Northern Lights College
Thinking About Weather: From the Personal to the Statistical
In a separate article, BCcampus Research Fellow Rob-Roy Douglas explored the statistical science of meteorology: looking at how we’ve amassed large quantities of historical data and how this can inform our awareness of future weather-based events as well as how Indigenous Peoples enhance their understanding of weather through accumulated data based on individual observations passed on from generation to generation.
Learning While We Teach: The Experiences of Instructors in Community-Based Programs
BCcampus Research Fellow Dr. Carmen Rodriguez de France, assistant professor of Indigenous Education at the University of Victoria, created a research topic to learn from the experiences of Indigenous and non-Indigenous instructors who facilitated courses in four of the community-based programs delivered by the Department of Indigenous Education at the University of Victoria.
“My aspiration is to inform our Indigenous education programs and courses by exploring these approaches to teaching and learning. I hope to help advance the possibility of access for Indigenous students who up to this point might not have been able to participate in post-secondary opportunities due to the perception that Indigenous languages and pedagogies could be taught and learned only in face-to-face environments and contexts.”
Indigenous Education, University of Victoria
Teaching and Learning: Co-creation with Good Relations
In late summer 2020, during the heat of the pandemic, Vancouver Island University (VIU) collaborated with the Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nation to deliver a face-to-face iteration of the Aboriginal Construction Foundations Program. Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ is a remote community on Kyuquot Sound on northwestern Vancouver Island accessible only by boat or plane. The collaborators in the project, each coming from unique perspectives, worked together to meet students where they were and enable them to access and have healthy journeys throughout the program. Of the eight students who enrolled in the program, seven graduated. A smokehouse now stands as a legacy of the students’ and collaborators’ time together, a result of co-creation with good relations.
“Indigenous students often struggle to see themselves reflected in centralized post-secondary environments. I hope this research can identify how community-based programs enact enduring decolonization principles and practices through relationships that enable students to feel grounded and balanced as they study.”
Changing Paths, Changing Priorities
The pandemic had a severe impact on the research plans for BCcampus EdTech Fellow Derek Turner. His initial studies were to evaluate the affective learning gains of students using virtual reality (VR) field trips and to compare the effectiveness of different types of VR technologies, but shifting needs and changing pedagogies meant his topic of virtual field trips went from being something of interest to educators to being the only tool available for providing some version of these vital learning opportunities.
“Continuing the same research path no longer made sense, neither practically nor theoretically. Without students taking in-person field trips or using high-tech VR equipment that spring, I didn’t have sufficient data to finish the research as planned. More important at the time, however, was that new questions suddenly became much more of a priority. Some of the questions that repeatedly arose in my discussions with other faculty included: What types of students learn better using online field trips? Do some students have obstacles with taking these trips? If so, how can we reach them and help?”
BCcampus Edtech Fellow
Effectively Moving Away from Traditional Proctored Exams in First-Year Physics Courses
University of Northern British Columbia instructor and 2020–2021 BCcampus Research Fellow Meghan Costello shared her experience using a non-traditional assessment for her online first-year physics courses and the resulting influence on student learning.
“Although the primary motivation behind this project was to encourage academic integrity, I have found that having to explain questions via video has had positive effects on student engagement and concept mastery.”
BCcampus Research Fellow
On the Front Lines of the Pivot to Online: Measuring the Real Impact of Alternative Assessment in Remote Learning
BCcampus Research Fellow Elle Ting, along with co-investigators Andy Sellwood and Andrew Dunn, developed a framework and methodology to explore the impact of alternative assessment in remote learning, asking: Had the conversion of assessments to a remote learning format become the determining factor for increased academic misconduct? If so, and assuming continued remote learning, what means do instructors have to mitigate academic integrity violations?
Taking the Time: How Okanagan College Used the Time Investment Grant
In fall 2020, BCcampus regional open education representatives were provided an opportunity to issue grants to post-secondary institutions that wanted to kick-start or expand the use of OER. As the common refrain seemed to be “I would if only I had the time,” removing the barrier of time appeared to be the best way to meet those institutions’ needs. This focus on time as a barrier resulted in BCcampus creating the Open Education Time Investment Grant. Here is the story of how one institution used it.
Time Investment Grant Used to Create New Psychology Resource
Dr. Dinesh Ramoo at Thompson Rivers University wanted to resolve a gap in OER available for the psychology of language. This topic is one of interest to many students in psychology courses. In his response to the call for proposals, he provided a strong case for the development of a new resource. Dr. Ramoo used the Open Education Time Investment Grant to create a textbook titled Psychology of Language. This book has a broad appeal to anyone interested in learning about linguistics as well.
To Print or Not to Print
In the spring of 2021, we partnered with Vretta and the Manitoba Open Education Initiative to survey post-secondary institutions across Canada to investigate how they were using printed open textbooks in their classrooms.
The study revealed that faculty use a variety of parameters to judge whether a textbook (open or commercial) is right for their course. In this survey, quality (content, image and diagram clarity, readability) and cost of a textbook ranked near the top. These factors were followed by thorough coverage of, and relevance and alignment with, the course curriculum; inclusion of practice exercises and problems; and the availability of multiple formats that are easy for students to find and download.
Learning about LaTeX
Another popular topic of discussion this past year was the use of LaTeX, a typesetting system developed by Leslie Lamport and initially released in 1984. This is relevant in a teaching and learning environment because the language makes it possible to write mathematical equations and display them on platforms like WordPress and Pressbooks.
The BCcampus “Hey, You’re Pretty Fantastic” Award program is an opportunity to recognize and appreciate the folks we work with for their outstanding commitment to our vision and values.
Nearly every month, a candidate is nominated, then everyone chimes in with what they appreciate about that individual.
- March 2022 – Katheryna Khong
- February 2022 – Amanda Coolidge
- October 2021 – Mirjam van Hasselt
- September 2021 – Jonathan Orr
- July/August 2021 – George Meyer
- June 2021 – Leva Lee
- May 2021 – Arianna Cheveldave
- April 2021 – Kelsey Kilbey
Recognition and appreciation are vital to the team, even when they aren’t directly related to teaching and learning. We’re real people at BCcampus — with lives, experiences, likes, and dislikes outside the world of academia, so it’s important that we make time to share and support concepts beyond the nine-to-five.
Last fiscal year, we made time for organized crochet sessions, with the creations contributing to the success of the Orange Shirt Project at the Faculty of Education at UBC Vancouver. We continued our Peer Coaching Community of Practice to give everyone the opportunity to engage with each other while improving their coaching skills. And we reviewed the visual anthology Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection #1, compiled and edited by Hope Nicholson and published by Inhabit Education Books Inc.
We hosted show-and-tell sessions to build better connections within the team, allowing each other to share some of the things that bring them bliss, like their hometown, their fur-child(ren), their special talents, and anything else they are proud of.
We held two equity, diversity, and inclusion sessions, hosted by Bakau Consulting, to learn ways to disrupt unconscious bias and to discuss the fundamentals of gender and sexuality. Another workshop session, hosted by Chanelle Tye and Victoria Lam, provided perspective about power and privilege.
In the BCcampus café, we built an inclusive community space for casual, important, awkward, and transformative conversations.
And finally, through a series of virtual staff retreats, we made time to celebrate recent wins within our respective departments.
Open Education Sustainability Grant Success
In 2019 BCcampus created the Open Education Sustainability Grant to support colleges, institutes, and universities to take the next step toward campus-based open education sustainability by further supporting the integration of open practices and methods of teaching and learning into their current systems.
Recently Capilano University completed its Open Education Sustainability Grant for Institutions project, the results of which illustrate nicely the intent of this relatively new grant.
Hewlett Foundation Funding
In April BCcampus was the proud recipient of a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in the amount of $900 000 USD over three years to support open education in B.C.
SCETUG – Passing the Baton
Recent changes in the world of the Stewardship Committee for the Educational Technology Users Group (SCETUG) gave us an opportunity to highlight this talented group, sharing how they bring value to teaching and learning in B.C.
Celebrating 10 Years of Open Textbooks in B.C.
2022 marks the tenth anniversary of the launch of the B.C. Open Textbook Collection, and we’re celebrating the collection all year long.