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[Institutional Update] Capilano University

Contributed by Darin Feist, Capilano University


Darin Feist is the ETUG institutional representative for Capilano University. Darin works in IT Infrastructure and currently sits on the Senate Instructional Technologies Advisory Committee (SITAC). SITAC is populated with both senate and non-senate members, the majority of whom are faculty. SITAC seeks ongoing advice and input from Capilano University’s Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE).
NOTE: This document, ETUG 2018 Institutional Update: Capilano University, was a joint effort between SITAC and CTE.

Our institution

Main Campus: North Vancouver
Satellite Campus: Sechelt, Sunshine Coast

Enrollment Information

Fall term enrollment numbers: 7000 students in credit programs; 900 international students
Arts & Sciences 26%
Specialty programs 65%
Access Programs 9%

Our educational technology

What role does e-learning play?

E-learning offers students the flexibility to enrol in classes that accommodate their schedules and help balance their work, family, commute time, and personal obligations. Our current online course offerings have 100% enrolment.

What role does distance learning play?

The importance of learning in place has been recognized as having increasing positive impact on learners. There is a connection between students, locations, and curricular activities.
Traditional distance learning is declining, instead place-based learning (community outreach, connections, collaborations) are gaining increasing importance. Fully online courses can create their own place and culture of learning.

The role of classroom technology

Technology is a tool that enhances innovation in education, but it can’t be the driver of pedagogy. Faculty need more information about tools in the sense that they aren’t always aware of the way technology can support their teaching.



Web conferencing application

Cisco WebEx is the institutionally supported application.

What’s new or noteworthy in your educational technology or educational innovation?

Our ePortfolio project is now embedded in all English 100 classes. It is a foundation for not only our Bachelor’s degrees, but also all our credentials. In the next stage of the project, we are working on program-level portfolios  where we work with departments to help use that initial English 100 ePortfolio design to develop an intentional four-year portfolio for Bachelor’s degrees.
In addition to the ePortfolio project, CTE is working with faculty to develop more engaging online courses (and online components). We are running our second Active Learning Online course (a two-week course) to help faculty build more active engaging online modules, map out an active online learning process, etc. One learning outcome of this course was to demonstrate an Edtech tool based on active learning. For example, all faculty created a flip-grid introduction, used WebEx for video-conferencing, and Padlet among other tools.

What are some of the challenges to working with technology?

There are always challenges to finding technology that meets everyone’s needs. In the case of communications, there is the internal piece and the inter-institutional piece. A concern among some faculty at Capilano is finding technology that provides both. An example of this is WebEx. While WebEx is a good product for certain aspects of higher education teaching and learning, it is essentially a Cisco business tool. From this perspective, some of the features desired by instructors are not available. A specific example of this, in the classroom context, is the ability to do break-out sessions/rooms.

Partnering possibilities

In general

We (post-secondary institutions) need more partnerships so that we can more easily collaborate on various educational initiatives. This can be as simple as starting a conversation about what new or interesting technology various BC higher education institutions are using, why they are using it, and what the perceived benefit is to students and instructors—teaching and learning.

In particular