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[ETUG 2011-2012] Year in Review

Note: This post was written by Amanda Coolidge for the ETUG update session at the Spring workshop June 7/8, 2012.

I wanted to take the opportunity to discuss and showcase what ETUG has accomplished in the year. All of our SCETUG members have been busy with various activities throughout the year and its important to acknowledge all of the amazing work that has taken place.

Over the course of 2011-2012, we at SCETUG, decided to take stock of what the community is looking for when it comes to ETUG activities and initiatives. Many times we, as the steering committee, come up with an idea that we think is great, but perhaps isn’t always fitting to what the community wants. So, in the Fall of 2011 committee members Kele Fleming, Gina Bennett, Michelle Harrison, and Brent McIntosh led the charge as community liaisons. They each sent personalized emails to various ETUG members asking key questions about the activities and initiatives that have been ongoing across ETUG. The overall theme of the questions was “What is ETUG doing well? And what can ETUG do more of to ensure you get the most out of the community?”

Based on this feedback, SCETUG then came up with a plan for the year ahead. Each initiative this year was based on user- as in your feedback. You spoke and we listened!

Here are some of the highlights from the 2011-2012 year:

1. The Website

As some of you may know, our website was hacked this year. Yes, hacked. Apparently we have hit a new level of awesomeness- why the hackers chose ETUG’s website to hack, we really have no idea…but it did lead us to make some quick decisions about how to re-launch the website and what its main purpose was to the community.

After many discussions it was determined that the best use of the website, for now, was to be a communication place- a site where our users can quickly and easily get the information needed from ETUG to participate in events and read about our latest happenings. Information in and information out. Thanks to the wonderful work of the BC campus co-op students from SFU, Leva, and Sylvia, a new website was born…and frankly in record time.

For those of you who haven’t had the chance to peruse our site, I would like to take the opportunity to walk you through the site… available at ETUG.CA.

You will notice that we have simplified the look and feel of the site. Now you can access the key initiatives- highlights, workshops, online events, and information on how to join ETUG.

2. ETUG Lunch n’ Learn or the T.E.L.L. series

Under Online Events: This is where we house another initiative that was born out of a community response, the Tuesdays with ETUG Lunch n’ Learn or the T.E.L.L. series. As a community you indicated that although the workshops are great, they only happen twice a year and as a community you were craving further professional development opportunities, in particular with a focus on “what are others out there doing?” The TELL series was our response to your request. Here is the gist of the TELL series: Many of us frequently develop workshops at our institutions. A lot of time and energy goes into the development of the workshop and the materials, but we might only present this material once or twice to members of our institution. This is your chance to re-use and share your workshop presentation with a wider community, the ETUG community.

These sessions occur the last Tuesday of each month and are 1 hour long over a lunch hour via BB Collaborate. The sessions are presented by you, volunteers, and without your help this wouldn’t be a success.

Since January, we successfully implemented and delivered this series and our participant numbers range from 15-30. After each session, we post the recording link and provide a summary of the discussion, so even if you can’t make it, you get the chance to be a part of the series.

The TELL series has included the following topics:

  • “Save Time Online: Strategies for Effective and Efficient Course Design and Online Teaching”, facilitated by Royal Roads University, Instructional Designer & ETUG Chair, Amanda Coolidge
  • “Open spaces: WordPress in Teaching and Learning”, facilitated by Lucas Wright and Emily Renoe, Learning Technologists, Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, UBC.
  • Gina Bennett, E-learning Specialist with the College of the Rockies for “The Hybrid course: A new breed of animal?”
  • Clint Lalonde, Manager of Learning Technologies at Royal Roads University. The title of the presentation was “Let the Net Work: Harnessing the power of networks to solve real world problems”.
  • Valia Spiliotopoulos, Patric Lougheed, and Scott Gerrity “Case Studies in Innovative Technology Use”

If you would like to participate in our TELL series, please send Leva Lee an email so we can get you signed up! leva.lee@bccampus.

3. Member Profiles

Because our community is so important to us, we wanted to use the site as a way to get to know others. This is where our Member Profiles come into play.Each month a member from SCETUG selects one ETUG member to profile. This month, Janine Hirtz from UBC Okanagan volunteered to interview Mike Minions from Okanagan College.

The member profiles can be in a variety of formats— from a Skype interview to an audio clip to a written question and answer piece. Whatever the format, the key is to introduce and profile various ETUG members across institutions.

To find other member profiles you can search by tags and there you will find the list of monthly member profiles or click on the link on the home page “get to know the members”

4. Workshops

In 2011-2012 we hosted two workshops, the first being the Fall workshop, held at Kwantlen University “You are Here: Supporting Mindful Journeys in Our Practice”.

We had over 100 participants at this workshop and we invited members to share their experiences and “mindful journeys” and consider where we are, where we want to go in the world of teaching, learning and technology. In the spirit of transparency, we posted all survey results of the workshop on the site.

It was a really fun workshop to put together and one that took a lot of risk on behalf of SCETUG. I am not sure we have ever had a workshop start with a meditation before!

Our  Spring Workshop, “Innovation: What’s on Your Horizon?” has the theme of innovation which came out of this year’s Horizon Report. As a committee, we recognized that the Horizon Report is a valuable resource across all institutions as it helps to highlight various innovative practices that are occurring now and those that are upcoming.

But what we wanted to do was find out what WE are doing in the BC Post-secondary system to support innovation. We wanted to hear from you, learn from your experiences, and see if perhaps we could bridge some innovative practices across institutions.  Hopefully our goal will be achieved by the end of the upcoming two days of Spring workshop!

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