Contributed by Andy Sellwood, VCC.
My role at VCC is as an Instructional Associate. I am one of four people that work in the position. Our main responsibility is to work on projects initiated by the many academic departments in the college related to the creation or revision of programs and curriculum. We also support instructors and department leaders in their roles and sit on various college governance committees and college-wide working groups.
We are housed in the Centre for Instructional Development (CID) along with two support staff; a distributed learning support technician and a Moodle media developer. As a team we provide support to faculty in their education technology needs. This can range from anything to basic learning management system (LMS) support to helping departments move content or courses online. We use Moodle as our LMS and Skype for Business for web-conferencing.
VCC has three campuses. One is downtown, one is on East Broadway and one is on Annacis Island. We have a wide range of programs; everything from Academic Upgrading and University Transfer to Culinary and Hospitality, from English as a Second Language to Transportation Trades etc…
In 2016 a survey was conducted of Moodle users at VCC. It was found that 40.9% of respondents use Moodle for building or maintaining course resource shells (so students can access course materials and web links for example) and 17.4% of respondents use Moodle for building or teaching partially online courses (i.e. blended courses). Only 9.9% of respondents use Moodle for building or teaching fully online courses.
One area at VCC that has seen a significant increase in its fully online course delivery is the Provincial Instructor Diploma Program. Six of the courses in the diploma have been available fully online for several years. Enrolment in the online delivery of the courses has seen a 23.5% increase between the fiscal years 2012/13 and 2016/17.
VCC’s Automotive Service Technician (AST) and Automotive Collision & Refinishing (ACR) departments offer a number of blended delivery programs. For example, the Automotive Service Technician Diploma (for international students) and AST Foundation Certificate Program are approximately 90% F2F and 10% online. In these programs Moodle is utilized as a supplement; that is, for exams, attendance, homework submissions, student forums, practice quizzes, online video….etc.. Also, in the AST department the e-pprentice Apprenticeship program is approximately 10% F2F and 90% online (apprentice employers appreciate this type of program delivery, employers are only without apprentices for 40 hours rather than 210). In the ACR department the Collision Foundation Certificate is approximately 20% F2F and 80% online.
An LMS Project team led by Kathryn McNaughton (Vice President Academic) and Marlene Kowalski (Vice President Administration and CFO) has been put together to look at how the online teaching and learning environment can be enhanced at VCC. The team will, for example, look at how Moodle is being used at VCC as well as identifying opportunities for increased online learning at the college.
The culinary program at VCC went through a major re-design in 2016. Part of the re-design included creating a blended delivery model involving the use of an e-textbook. Starting in January 2017 culinary students now have the option of using an e-textbook instead of buying a physical textbook.