Celebrating a Challenging Year
This annual review is intended to share what we’ve done, what we’re doing, and what we’re planning as we continue to provide teaching, learning, educational technology, and open education support to the learning community of British Columbia.
Since time immemorial, the səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsleil-Waututh), Skwxwú7mesh-ulh Temíx̱w (Squamish), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich), and the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations of the Lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen) Peoples have walked gently on the unceded territories where we are grateful to live, work, and play. We are committed to building relationships with the first peoples here, based in honour and respect, and we thank them for their hospitality.
We’ve heard from just about every post-secondary institution across the province regarding their approach to Indigenization, with questions about how they can better support Indigenous students in their institutions. Building on the Pulling Together professional learning series that we launched in 2018, we are continuing to effect systemic change to make possible processes and practices that support Indigenization, decolonization, and reconciliation.
Open as default
It wasn’t long ago that open textbooks were what people thought of in terms of open educational resources (OER), and while we’ve seen massive success with our adoption and adaptation of open textbooks, we appreciate that open itself is expanding. There are multiple types of OER, as well as new developments in open pedagogy. The Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) program allows learners to earn an associate degree, certificate, diploma, or undergraduate degree without paying for textbooks. This brings affordable and valuable credits to learners throughout the province, while enabling educators to develop and improve the curriculum.
Our passion for open remains strong, and threads through the activities we plan, participate in, and facilitate throughout the province.
We continue to recognize and acknowledge the diversity of individuals and needs within the post-secondary system of B.C.: valuing their input and respecting their beliefs. This year, we pushed ourselves to be more inclusive in our events, projects, and communications. In addition to starting our internal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) learning team and creating a position specifically designed to address the issues, we’ve hosted inclusive design webinars to help people throughout the province learn to build inclusivity into their activities.
We’ve formed partnerships with local experts to ensure we’re baking accessibility into our events, like the Cascadia Open Education Summit, ETUG’s anniversary, and Symposium 2019. And we’re bringing a critical eye to everything we do to bring more voices to the conversation, whether that’s through interpreters, supporting materials, or financial assistance to help people attend the events they’re drawn to. By improving accessibility, we can create informed dialogue where everyone can contribute without barriers.
As a collective of highly motivated, engaged, and energetic professionals, we are eager to continue celebrating the successes with our partner institutions, and analyzing, documenting, and overcoming the challenges that manifest as we work towards our objectives. We are on track to achieve the goals outlined in our 2016-2019 Workplan, and along the way we’ve discovered better results, surprising successes, and new opportunities that allow us to continue to provide value to the post-secondary institutions of B.C. We have just finalized our 2020-2023 Workplan, and will be measuring our performance and informing our activities based on this guide.