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[Spring Workshop 2015] Summary Feedback

Thanks to everyone who chimed in to give us such extensive feedback on this year’s workshop. What has been an interesting trend to see is how our community is growing with so many new members: It’s a near split between those that are first timers and long-time participants. This is also represented similarly in the feedback responses. Some points well-taken on workshop improvements are the need for more clear and succinct session descriptions, attention to a good balance to time given between sessions but not too much time that the program lags. As well, better AV support for presenters and in some spaces, better sight lines. In future posts, we hope to respond to some questions asked related to the focus and direction of ETUG programs (e.g shift from use of ed tech or to teaching enhanced with technology use).
We received 30 responses. Here’s what you said!
And if you have additional comments or ideas for ETUG, please send a note to Contactus@etug.ca/. We appreciate all your input in helping us to continuously improve our workshops and member activities.


How many years have you attended ETUG Workshops?


This is my first year 10 33.3%
2 yrs 3 10%
3 years 4 13.3%
4 years 3 10%
5+ years 9 30%
I have attended pretty much ALL of the ETUG workshops 1 3.3%
Other 0 0%

What did you think of the theme for this workshop on the top 5 issues for higher ed as identified by ETUG members?


The theme didn’t interest me. 0 0%
It was alright 5 16.7%
It was great 15 50%
Woot! Woot! 7 23.3%
Other 3 10%


On average, were the sessions too short, too long or the right length?


too short 0 0%
too long 0 0%
just right 27 90%
Other 3 10%


What did you think of the food at the workshop?


The food could have used some help 0 0%
It was fine 8 26.7%
Loved it 20 66.7%
Other 2 6.7%


Please provide a comment or two on the workshop sessions. What stood out for you? What could be improved?

  • There was a technical problem with the one of the slideshows when the remote didn’t work. And there wasn’t tech support around.
  • many presentations were interactive + participatory! Thumbs up or should I say High 5! poster session was great – time to network & mingle
  • I really liked the time between sessions. I felt I had time to talk to the attendees or presenters without having to rush off to the next session. This was really well thought out and I felt it drastically improved the conference.
  • I really loved when presenters involved us in the sessions. When they asked us challenging questions, and had us considering solutions. Not sure of any improvements, it was fantastic!
  • The workshop sessions were generally of high quality with lots of opportunity for interactivity. Presenters could improve their presentations by reducing the number of screenshots used in their slides. Most of the time these were very difficult to see and the text impossible to read.
  • mix of interactive hands on workshops with expert presentations was good and the mix of time frames was also good.
  • I like the way the presenters were also participants, so we could carry on the conversations informally during the breaks. I particularly appreciate the amount of time between sessions. We had enough time to move to the next session and also have a quick conversation.
  • Loved being introduced to new technology I can incorporate into my classroom and online
  • A strong key note speaker is very important. Simon Bates was very good. A SME and a teacher. A good combo. I would like a clearer abstract from the presenters as to their intentions to their presentation. I was very uncertain at times what was really going on and I could not presume from the title what was happening. As a result the delivery was sometimes unfocussed and a bit boring. If you don’t have a clear ‘how’ of your delivery in 45 minutes, the audience becomes impatient. I also understand from speaking to some colleagues at my home institution who were not in attendance, after I shared my comments and thoughts about the conference with them, that it appears that Etug is shifting from an educational technology focus and how a technology is used, to how to use the technology in your classroom as a SME, faculty, instructor. The google cardboard was fun but I immediately started thinking about the REAL cost of using this type of technology in any type of classroom setting. The background work and cash to make this a reality. Therefore I would have like to have seen deeper discussions around this as there are some serious pro/con arguments to be made before we can think about he implementation of this type of expensive technology. Would really like to see the pro/con of use of a technology when a faculty/instructor presents. (Note: Commentary edited for this post due to length.)
  • Most of the sessions were good. However, I would personally prefer more “hands-on” workshops such as the Google Cardboard session.
  • as always, the community is fantastic. Keynote could have been a better fit with the themes, more targeted to the group, and more “rousing call to arms” about academic transformation and FD issues.
  • I enjoyed most of the sessions… The keynotes were ok but not as ‘inspirational’ or forward-thinking as in past years.
  • Good and varied choices
  • The format was great and I got to see several useful sessions during the workshop.
  • I think I had poor luck with my selections, as none of the sessions I went to were what I wanted. Some were very focused on the technical use of a particular tool when I would have preferred to discuss the theory behind choosing that tool and the outcomes of its use. Some of the sessions were so poorly run I was amazed that those people were instructors.
  • I thought the opening keynote was a really solid choice for the High5 theme!
  • What stood out to me was the high level of interactivity in each session, and how during every session I had tangible action items that would inform my work!
  • Perhaps having a more clearer description of the session (instead of just the titles).
  • Hibbitts was terrific, Simon Bates was insightful. Next time I will propose something to speak about that our department is working on as we have a lot of interesting innovations going on.
  • I really enjoyed the opening keynote. One thing to improve: it ran over time into the break, especially with the housekeeping announcements.
  • The sessions in DAC were not always easy to follow, either the column was in the way, or the font was too small on the screen, or the presenter was too quiet. A training of the presenter and some suggestions for the presentations could have helped. Maybe a different layout of the room. This just goes to planning of the event, including checking how the space will work.
  • A couple of the workshop formats did not work for me. I understand the power of collectively drawing on the experience of the participants, but there needs to be a framework or structure and some way of identifying conclusions/recommendations. A couple of these ‘open’ formats left me no wiser.
  • The keynote speakers were fantastic, and most of the workshops were very useful. Some breaks were a little long (before dinner on Thurs. and Friday lunch). Overall, a great conference though.
  • Loved the sessions that were designed for more interaction/engagement of participants. Did not love sessions that were low participant engagement.

What was your favorite thing(s) about the workshop?

  • Networking. Catching up with everyone. There are a lot of people doing wonderful things related to ed tech, and it is fascinating to hear the various stories. Also, I REALLY liked the robot and think we might have made the evening news with it, had we invited media.
  • Diversity and quality of sessions offered (and the food was awesome!)
  • great people, generous break times, great food
  • The diversity in the work that ETUG participants do within the field of education.
  • Peerwise. very provocative and interesting. tony bates. his new book is great. Faculty/instructors from around the province showing off what they are doing with technology.
  • To catch up with colleagues, brainstorm ideas and to play with Google Cardboard.
  • I really like the brain-storming / sharing sessions, although I wonder how well they will be followed-up on.
  • Enjoyed getting to try out some new technologies – robot, Google cardboard and learning about tools such as Peerwise and Socrative
  • The opportunity to network and find out what others are doing.
  • 1. Networking 2. Networking 3. Networking 4. Some of the sessions on OERs and open textbooks
  • Great to have a chance to meet up with the ETUG community and make more connections.
  • The pace. I liked how we had time to mingle as well as listen to lectures.
  • The welcoming, inclusive, humble, open, warm, curious, and kind people that seem to come to this conference.
  • The three keynote speakers. I loved becoming involved in giving feedback and input on their work. They were all engaging and relevant.
  • people, location, food, structure
  • I enjoyed the down time/social activities. At lunch I sat with a fascinating and experienced group of educators who had a wonderful conversation about things they’ve been trying, what works and what doesn’t, what areas of concern need to be addressed. It was largely based on their respective personal experiences, but was very useful information to share.
  • Network opportunities, good sessions
  • The networking and friendly atmosphere
  • the networking, new ideas. Great crowd!
  • Great selection of topics and networking with peers.
  • Opportunities to network and share ideas.
  • The opportunity to engage.
  • There is always something new that you can learn + the networking is great.
  • networking opportunities were great, well timed and perfectly situated; location, location, location was fabulous!; I also really like the fact that ETUG draws people from all of the BC institutions of HEd. This is a great community effort.

What was your favorite session and why?

  • Faculty development: It’s complicated! Because… it is complicated! And was enriching to hear different offerings from the array of different backgrounds in the room.
  • I don’t have a favorite, there were many great things about all the sessions I saw.
  • Peerwise. Good presenter. SME and teacher. talked about the pros and cons of implementing something.Very important.
  • not sure … – Bates was very interesting –
  • Keynote speaker
  • Forgot the title: the one with Tracey Kelly and BJ – wish it had been a full day session actually – the content covered was gold in terms of what’s relevant in the ETUG arena (i.e., economics versus learning).
  • Valerie Irvine’s session on multi-access
  • The keynote addresses – informative, provocative, got audience involved.
  • Google Cardboard because it was highly interactive, engaging and very hands-on.
  • It’s a tie: Ditching Workshops with Melissa & Stephanie from VIU (because it really resonated with me in terms of a sentiment I’ve been sharing for years); By the Pen with Jason Toal (really appreciated the framework presented & the interactive nature of the session);
  • I don’t think I could pick a favourite. I didn’t enjoy any of the sessions I attended. (I’m not trying to be mean. I heard some of the sessions I didn’t attend were amazing.)
  • Paul Hibbitts. He was an engaging and practiced lecturer. He had everything prepared very well and it just flew by.
  • Hibbitts – insightful and groundbreaking integration of technology and learning workflow process.
  • The two-part session on OERs. It is great to have someone walk me through it and point out ways in which we might engage ourselves and our learners in developing and using open educational resources.
  • “Virtual Reality—Real Learning: Hands-on with Google Cardboard”  Fantastic session, as it was very interactive.
  • Afsaneh Sharif (online designing…. can’t remember name). It was very timely for my needs!
  • “Open Pedagogy: Defining & Designing” as it helped everyone envision a broader meaning of “open” in terms of education.
  • How do we increase universities support of professors OER an social networking. Good workshop format that was well structured and drew on collective experience to suggest concrete actions.
  • I could only stay for a day, so I had to miss Friday. My favourite session was Tony Bates’. Such an experience and authority in the field. It is always inspiring to hear him. Other sessions were good, too.
  • The opening keynote; I found it really eye-opening.
  • Hard to say. I attended the pre-conference Visual Practice session which was great.
  • The Vancouver Island University sessions were both great – “Forestry goes Paperless and Digitizing the Toolbox”. I like the practical case studies and sharing of practices. The Keynote by Simon Bates was also very interesting.
  • “PDPIE Framework: Online Course Development Quality Cycle” presented by Afsahneh Sharif, UBC. This is directly related to work I was currently doing and being able to touch base with the presenter was extremely valuable.

What did you think of the workshop venue?

  • I found the Halpern Centre rooms too far from DAC. Even if wanted to switch in the middle of the session, I would have either lost good part of it, or been very disruptive coming back to DAC.
  • Awesome!
  • SFU is a bit of a distance for me, but the venue was beautiful.
  • Was great! SFU campus is actually quite nice.
  • Beautiful.
  • It was good.
  • Great!
  • SFU is not my favourite venue – it’s easier to get to Edmonton from the Vancouver west side. I spent three hours a day on buses. The Diamond Alumni Centre has a nice view but not good for keynote presentations because it was impossible to see the screen. Particularly annoying if you put a lot of effort in designing good slides. None of this really mattered because the networking and sessions were good.
  • Great.
  • Excellent – great view, nice seating. Would have liked the back of the room to be the stage – didn’t like how you couldn’t leave or go to washroom without parading in front of keynote speakers. The visibility issues were well managed by having the extra TV screen and making the slides available online.
  • Good location and
  • worked well
  • great!
  • Very convenient, nice facilities, nice view, great atmosphere!
  • Breathtaking views, scrumptious food. Everything was great, though the concrete stairs at the entrance to the DAC are very steep and the distance back to res is quite long.
  • while it’s out of the way, it is an awesome venue once you get up there. Simon Hotel great, I heard bad feedback about the res rooms. Loved that the DAC and Halpern were close, and also close to the TLC was handy!
  • Excellent
  • excellent venue!
  • Nice and worked well.
  • brilliant! the scale of this conference is wonderful and while I appreciate the organizing is a huge task it doesn’t have a big “conference production” feel which is so nice.
  • Excellent!
  • It was wonderful (and the weather was perfect)!
  • great
  • Lovely campus, and not too much walking needed between the sessions. The rooms were nicely laid out. Wireless was a bit inconsistent.
  • SFU was a great venue! It was closer for us coming from the interior by car and I appreciated the little bit of isolation and think it helped keep me focused.
  • Great, nice location, but maybe its time to move it around the lower mainland.

If you attended the ETUG pub on Wednesday at Club Ilia and/or the Thursday posters & dinner at the DAC , what did you think of the food, venue and overall experience?

  • The food was really good and diverse.
  • Club Ilia was a joyous event but very noisy. Our room needed air — you can never tell what the weather will be like! The posters on Thursday night were even more fun than I anticipated. Lots of participant engagement and no lack of interesting topics. Everyone shares what they know! The appetizers were divine, and the dinner was delish. I just hope everyone likes salmon!
  • good experience
  • Thursday dinner was very nice – thanks for serving a bit earlier than 6:30pm this was a bit late and makes for a really long day. Food was fantastic.
  • Just great. Appies at pub night were fantastic. Club Ilia was a bit noisy but not bad. THe hor d’oeuvres (at poster session) were fantastic
  • Poster session & dinner. Food & venue were all good.
  • Actually, this was the one disappointment. The food was expensive, limited and not very good. I ended up paying $32 for a very overdone, thin steak. It seemed like they took the opportunity to take advantage of the customers. In retrospect, I wish I’d left and gone somewhere else along that stretch.
  • Food great in both places.
  • overall experience great, food too expensive at Club Ilia The DAC food was AMAZING!!!!! loved that they kept bringing delicious bites around.
  • Poster sessions were great, lots of energy and nice room with a view.
  • It was all fine, but it would be nice to find a place where we can move around and mingle a bit more.
  • very good
  • Enjoyed the beer and the food and the networking. Difficult though to move around at Club Ilia – got stuck in a corner for the whole evening. A reception might have been better.

For 2015-2016, what sort of activities would you like to see from ETUG?

  • More of the same 🙂
  • Anything interactive, engaging, and relevant to ETUG members. I think there could even be a rubric for this that is included in submission criteria (i.e., is your session designed for high engagement or not?). It would up the game of the conference.
  • Activities that encourage you to network with different people in the room. Perhaps facilitating an activity that allows you to sit in different tables.
  • I would like to see a regional get together for folks from the island (easier to travel) and/or a listserv for ETUG members to allow easier collaboration.
  • Not sure if you’ve ever done this before – I would like to see lightening talks on specific ed tech tools. I am interested in what people are using and why, but don’t necessarily want to sit through an hour-long discussion about it. I just want a quick glimpse into what people are doing. Maybe even slightly longer than a lightening talk, like 10-15 minutes per tool.
  • Leading innovators demonstrating what they are doing, why and how successful or otherwise it was and why. One or two policy/strategy sessions where some practical actions are or policies are decided, e.g. rewards/incentives for innovative teaching; developing and implementing flexible learning initiatives
  • Liberating Structures, followed by a Liberating ETUG (guess who is filling this out?!)
  • Maybe roundtables on specific topics? Collaborative activities for different groups (ex. ID meeting with a focus on resource sharing).
  • Continue the great work:-)
  • More of the same!
  • Maybe more show and tell
  • Half day workshops, news.
  • While I do like the workshop format I think this community is rich in examples and practice and perhaps we could have some time structured around intentionally sharing practices e.g. hosting practice discussions – show and tell your work – share half-baked projects and trouble shoot with peers – what are people trying on the ground in terms of OERs? How is it working and not working? what are we doing that’s making a difference in terms of share-able practice? This could be a facilitated discussion among participants as one example of a possible additional format to add to the mix at ETUG.
  • More hands-on & play activities like the Google Cardboard one. It’s always important to discuss & reflect, but we do that a lot at our day-to-day jobs as educators. Rarely do we allow ourselves to “play” and I’d like to see more sessions that let participants play, spark creativity & stimulate spontaneous collaboration.
  • More of the same.
  • I’ve been enjoying the TELL sessions in addition to the face-to-face Workshops.
  • Anything similar to the Spring workshop would be amazing.
  • increased opportunities for smaller group collaboration (hoping the sharing of ID resources etc… comes to fruition).
  • Structured ways to network, share ideas and learn from each other.

If you have specific ideas for ETUG activities, would you be willing to take the lead or lend a hand? If yes, please add your contact info below that will be shared with SCETUG and activity planners.

  • mentioned above – you may have tried more design-based and process oriented sessions in the past Q. This year there were numerous themes about “education development”. How do we get more academics/instructors into the conversation? Q. Does the ETUG community reach into other sectors? e.g. private sector, non-profits or other public sector places? What could we learn from people in these spaces? It may be challenging to bridge to other worlds beyond higher ed but on the other hand it may be useful to do so. Not sure what this would look like. How does the ETUG community stay in touch between conferences? Is there a FB site? How do you broaden the network?
  • I can provide a rubric for what to look for (and how to create/considerations for) in an interactively designed session.
  • yes
  • I have been thinking it might be valuable for me to share my experience as an instructor, making the transition from f2f to online teaching. The challenges, the anxiety, the unexpected rewards. Happy to share if you think it would benefit our ETUG colleagues.
  • I’d be willing to help out at future ETUGs.
  • Not at this time, but perhaps in the future I would be interested in the SCETUG (2017 maybe)
  • Not sure I will be around for 2016 – ask me later!
  • I’d like to see some more hands-on activities/workshops such as raspberry pi, minecraft, scratch, makey-makey, robotics, scolding or 3D printing. I can assist with connecting with the local Maker community.
  • Yes
  • I already talked to (a SCETUG member) about being more involved. I am just afraid of the commitment and taking too much of my time. This group has always been dear to me.

For 2015-2016, what themes, topics, workshop formats (e.g. online or unconference) would you like to see happen or explored?

  • Streaming would be good.
  • xAPI, Learning Ecosystems
  • I am fascinated by how my son has responded to Duo Lingo, free online language software. could we adopt some of their methodology? They invite people around the world to collaborate on developing new language programs. You can compare your progress with your friends and have friendly competitions. Etc.
  • see above: Liberating Structures. Also further explorations with Faculty Development. We have just started to scratch the surface.
  • I’d prefer a more structured event (not unconference), or have different features (5 minute talk, ice-breakers, etc.)
  • I liked it the way it was.
  • I would like to see more focus on: 1. pros and cons in the presentation. The two women who presented on making 160 videos to teach instructors how to use D2L glossed over this issue. There was obviously some serious considerations on making faculty move to this area and I would like to see more more opportunity for the presentation of how this occurred and how they got through it. i would also like to see how they included teaching and learning faculty in the design of their videos. If they got away with no input from the faculty in the learning and teaching centre, it would be a shame. 2. a clear goal for the presentation and what the audience can expect to get from the topic. If the faculty/instructor/staff presenting isn’t clear on how to do this, go speak to a teaching and learning faculty in their institution and get help. When I go to a session and then I find out, the process is vague and the activity is confusing. I become quickly bored with everything and disengage. With all the phd’s and m.ed’s in the room I could not have been the only one who felt like this.
  • Faculty Development Support Students (especially those new to online / blended) Change Management Support Models / Frameworks Course Development Models / Frameworks
  • What about Bev Trayner-Wenger and Etienne Wenger’s new edited book: “Learning in Landscapes of Practice”? How about bringing in these two for a community-building session? What are the landscapes of this practice? Who is doing the work? Who needs to be doing the work? How do they do they work? What’s tough about this work? What’s inspirational? etc. etc.
  • Unconference or Multi-access themes? Mobile Maker themes?
  • maybe round tables
  • Process/experiences/challenges when making changes to student digital learning environments.
  • any

Do you have any suggestions for a great campus destination for a future ETUG workshop? Venue for a Pub night or Meetup?

  • Anywhere downtown or accessible via transit in Metro Vancouver.
  • A lot institutions have on-campus maker spaces. Maybe we can do a Maker-themed workshop at one of the maker space campuses? BCIT, UFV, SFU SIAT, UBC Engineering…etc.
  • what about UBC? I don’t know when was ETUG last time at UBC, even Robson Square. If it is UBC (Point Gray), it could be Mahony & Suns’ or Dentry Irish Grill on West 10th
  • I think the SFU campus was a great choice.   SFU downtown campus is great too
  • Selfishly, I prefer downtown or somewhere closer to ferry for ease of travel.
  • TRU! 🙂
  • How about Emily Carr’s new campus? Or somewhere in the interior, such as Kamloops or Kelowna. Any Biercraft!!!
  • RRU is pretty great, though it has been our venue in the past. What about VIU?
  • Capilano University
  • not sure at this point
  • Learning Labs at Sauder School of Business

Please use this space to give us ANY feedback about the Spring Workshop. We really want to hear from you!

  • This was my first Spring ETUG and it was incredible. I’m so happy to have presented, shared and spoken to so many individuals in so many different roles.
  • A tweet up would be cool! I loved how much conversation there was on Twitter, its cool to then meet up with and meet your twitter connections!
  • Thanks for all your great work! ETUG is always a crowd favourite. LOVED it! 🙂
  • Good work, lots of thought behind it. Thanks
  • Would have appreciated free parking. $26 for parking really sucked.
  • I wonder if an earlier end time on a friday (say…2?) might be better. we sadly left early and missed Paul Hibbitts, but (in addition to being tired/needing to get home) we were worried about friday afternoon crazy rush and ferry travel.
  • I really enjoyed the workshop – keep up the good work!
  • Excellent job organizing this event, as always!! A big thank you for all your hard work.
  • I also loved the handprints High 5’s on the wall at the end. I only wish I’d thought to take a picture of mine.
  • It was a great workshop esp. in terms of a community-driven topic agenda (High5)!
  • It’s getting big, so more attention needs to be given to enabling networking. Maybe a cracker barrel session to break the ice like Athabasca used to organize (wine + 15 minutes at different tables + wine, everyone moving around and getting to know each other).
  • I am sincerely grateful to the members of the Steering Committee for their personal invitation to be part of the conference this year. During this high-tech time, the high-touch is even more important. Many thanks for your hard work and creativity!
  • Very impressed.
  • The workshop was really good. THANK YOU
  • I think the focus has shifted form the use of technology to how to use the technology in your classrooms. We need talk about the stories of using technology in the classroom, the good, the bad and the ugly but with a focus on its, ‘here to stay’. I really enjoy the conference as its small and local. And the cost! You can’t beat it. But numbers are really low. We need to tell more people around the province about etug and get them out. We have tons of local post-secs in the lower mainland. Need to re-enculturate faculty and staff that June is the time for renewal of our teaching and learning skills, not leaving the campus for an early holiday. As more and more is going or will be going on-line we cannot afford to push our heads into the sand.
  • Glad I attended this year after not attending for a few years.
  • I would be interested in working on “landscapes of practice”

Comments are closed.