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[Spring Workshop 2015] ETUG, My High5s

Contributed by Leva Lee

As we wind up another year of learning and look forward to the rejuvenation of summer, it’s gratifying to take a moment to reflect on our community’s premier event of the year: the ETUG Spring workshop. In recent years, we’ve become more confident in introducing new elements to our workshop programs, and this year our efforts to experiment have been extraordinary.

Our Spring workshop “High5: Survey says” focussed on the top five themes in higher education as identified by ETUG members: faculty development, academic transformation, learning design, disruptive technology, and new learning models and resources. There were some amazing sessions and we had a record number of presenters and participants this year!

Additional highlights included an open “pretug” event: a “Visual Practice Community Meetup” and graphic recording workshop facilitated by Steering Committee (SCETUG) members Jason Toal, SFU and Tracy Kelly, BCcampus. The pretug was followed by our pub night held at the campus bistro Club Illia which was a busy night of socialising, gourmet eats, and, of course, beer and wine tasting. Also it was wonderful to take a moment after the Thursday evening dinner to thank and honour long-time member Gina Bennett, College of the Rockies. Gina was given the distinction of SCETUG Member Emeritus and awarded a special certificate of recognition for her leadership and service to the ETUG community.

However, when I think of what my High5s are for this year’s workshop, here’s what stood out for me:

  1. Bravo to the brave visual practice community graduates from the Wednesday meetup.  
    They took up the challenge to try real-time graphic recording of the Simon Bates keynote. As well, other participants from the workshop created a lovely graphic wall for participants to share their workshop High5s.
  1. Three Cheers for the amazing “can do” attitude of the SFU Ed Media team and SCETUGgers, who experimented with the Periscope app to live audiocast sessions.
  1. To the University of Victoria TIE Research Lab team: Take a bow!  Vgo, the robot, was a fun and interesting addition to our workshop. How better to demonstrate multi-access learning than by bringing in friend and fellow ETUGger, Grant Potter, from Nova Scotia.
  1. Applause for both our keynotes Simon Bates and Paul Hibbitts for making their plenary  sessions not only engaging, but designed for audience interaction. No easy feat when planning for numbers of 150 or more.
  1. Biggest kudos of all to David Lee, SFU Physics department,  who gave lucky ETUGgers an impromptu tour of the shiny new Trottier Observatory. He didn’t hesitate to share his knowledge and enthusiasm with us. It was an impressive, on-the-spot, carpé diem teaching moment.

A  grand High5 to all presenters, facilitators and participants!  This Spring workshop was a great example about what is so special about our community and its members: a playfulness in learning together, a willingness to take risks and experiment and a real generosity and openness to share our knowledge.

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