Learning about Learning
Over the past 12 months, we’ve invested a substantial amount of time and made considerable financial investments to help learning professionals in British Columbia investigate current and innovative approaches to teaching and learning.
“Our individual and collective journeys with truth and reconciliation are often emotionally laborious, but necessary. Our commitment to raising the voice of truth and finding our role in reconciliation is an ongoing opportunity for each of us. In 2019/20, we embraced our personal learning by reading Thomas King’s Truth About Stories in the BCcampus book club; completing the KAIROS Blanket exercise; attending the Moose Hide Campaign — standing up against violence, and participating in various local events with Indigenous speakers, such as UBC’s Honouring Indigenous Writers Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon.”
Director, Collaborative Projects, BCcampus
Land Acknowledgement Training
To help us develop a better understanding of how to intentionally and respectfully engage with Indigenous communities, we invited Alicia Hibbert from the University of British Columbia and Rebecca Shortt from BCcampus to facilitate a land acknowledgement workshop in March for some BCcampus employees.
The workshop’s intentions were to help people appreciate that they belong here on this land; begin to know what they can do moving forward in this work of Indigenous engagement; and shift perspectives away from fear and paralysis towards empowering communities using resources available. To achieve these goals, the workshop began by building a safe space among participants to discuss topics around settler-identity, decolonization, reconciliation, and Indigenization.
Individuals attending the workshop were able to develop a personal land acknowledgement to use in communications, conveying their gratitude to the First Peoples and our hope to create a strong and powerful relationship with all people.
“To help us better understand the impact open education practices have on teaching and learning, we’ve brought in open education researchers for annual fellowship roles with BCcampus. This year, we have three exceptional and diverse fellows exploring the topics of trades, learner perspectives, and adoption impact. Their passion and dedication to access and equity for all students will help us develop and promote the OER movement throughout the province and across the country.”
Director, Open Education, BCcampus
Open Education Advocacy and Research Fellows
To help raise awareness for open educational practices (OEP) used in post-secondary institutions, we invited faculty in B.C. to apply for one of three Open Education Advocacy and Research Fellowship roles. The fellowships were responsible for engaging in research of open practices; attending and presenting at conferences and meetings, and authoring articles for the BCcampus blog. They also received funding for conference fees, travel, and incidentals for an approximate value of $5000 each.
The one-year terms were awarded to:
- Chad Flinn, BCIT, to conduct research on open education and vocational trades
- Michelle Harrison, TRU, for research into learners’ perspectives on open educational practices
- Karen McMurray, CMTN, for collecting qualitative and quantitative data about the use of open textbooks
To bring a new perspective to open while providing opportunities for local educators to investigate the topics that interest them, we have brought in additional help through secondments from local institutions:
- Krista Lambert, Justice Institute of B.C., is helping us with the work we’re doing for Adult Basic Education (ABE) and Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) programs in B.C.
- Melanie Meyers, Justice Institute of B.C., is helping us improve the searchability of OER and ZTC for business and STEM
- Tim Carson, British Columbia Institute of Technology, is working as the Trades Representative for Open
“Scholarship of Teaching and Learning… begins with intellectual curiosity, is conducted deliberately and systematically, is grounded in an analysis of some evidence, and results in findings shared with peers to be reviewed and to expand our knowledge base.”
Assistant Director, Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching
Scholarly Teaching Fellows
The 2018-2019 scholarly teaching fellows program featured appointments of 18 months, with the final report delivered in July 2019. A key requirement for this fellowship program was the open sharing of the research, so future educators, researchers, and students throughout the province could use the findings to inform their teaching.
The final reports provide the methodology and findings from each of the fellows’ research projects:
- Leslie Molnar, College of the Rockies – The Effect of Gamification Elements on Engagement and Achievement in Calculus 1 and 2
- Heather Smith, University of Northern B.C. – Unpacking Power Hierarchies in Students as Partners Practices
- Carrie Nolan, Coast Mountain College – Round Teaching: How Shapes Shape Learning
- Peter Arthur, Senior Scholarly Teaching Fellow, University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus – Developing Strategic Learning
To explore the effective pedagogical use of education technology in post-secondary education, we invited educators in B.C. to apply for research funding from BCcampus. The central goals of the BCcampus Educational Technology Fellows program were to enable faculty to experiment with technology interventions that assist in solving their pedagogical challenges and to generate and publish empirical research on the effectiveness of that technology.
The 18-month appointments were awarded to:
- Sarah Van Borek, Emily Carr University of Art + Design – action-based research into creative narrative-based media, and approaches in supporting diverse, inclusive, and equal online and blended learning environments
- Derek Turner, Douglas College – evaluate new and existing virtual reality platforms using evidence-based inquiry
BCcampus Advisory Group
As facilitators and conveners of teaching and learning, open practices, and collaborative activities, we recognize the need to engage the academic communities we serve. To ensure we can create a welcoming and productive environment for all, we have selected twelve active and engaged representatives from post-secondary institutions in B.C. to form our advisory council. In meetings led by Mary Burgess, executive director at BCcampus, discussions are held regularly to identify and assess ideas and approaches to improve the post-secondary system as a whole.
Open Homework Systems Advisory Group
During the past fiscal, we began work on the BCcampus Open Homework Systems (OHS) project, funded through the $3.26 million endowment from the B.C. government and led by Clint Lalonde, Project Manager, Open Homework Systems. To guide the OHS, we assembled a cross-sectoral advisory group, composed of:
- Agnes d’Entremont, University of British Columbia, Senior Instructor, Mechanical Engineering
- Brendan Hunter, Langara College, Course Materials Supervisor, Bookstore
- Devon Keys, BCNET, Business Analyst, Shared Systems and Technology
- Josie Gray, BCcampus, Advisor, Inclusive Design and OER Collections
- Kyle Maddox, Douglas College, Student, Computing Studies
- Levente Orbán, Kwantlen Polytechnic, Instructor, Psychology
- Michelle Harrison, Thompson Rivers University, Instructional Designer
- Will Engle, University of British Columbia, Strategist, Open Education Initiatives