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[Member Profile] Meet Felicia Hou from BCIT

Tell us a bit about where you work and what you do.

I am a Course Production Specialist at BCIT. The Course Production team consists of four people (we are a small team!) and essentially, we are web developers who work closely with the rest of the department to produce online courses. We are responsible for the web development portion of course production.

How long have you been involved in teaching and learning and/or ed technology?

I started out as an auxiliary in Educational Technology Services in 2009. I wasn’t expecting to stick around though – I had a degree in Communication from SFU and was thinking of a career in marketing or PR. However, I ended up really liking working in educational technology and eventually became a part of the Course Production team. Ten years later, I’m still here!

What’s one thing you really love about the work you do?

I like that we are constantly looking for ways to innovate and streamline our workflow. What I mean is, back in the day, course production involved a lot of routine copying and pasting Word into HTML. There wasn’t a lot of room for staying ahead in terms of web development trends and technologies. A few years ago, our team developed a way to automate this process so that we could focus more on the design of our web elements, becoming more agile, and developing new tools that make it easier for course developers, writers, and instructors to create online course content.

How long have you been a member of ETUG?

I’m not entirely sure but my earliest memory of attending an ETUG workshop was at SFU. I remember not knowing anybody at first but by the end of the day, I had met so many interesting people from different institutions across the province.

What do you like best about this community and its activities?

I really like the conferences – it is a chance to get away from my desk and discover what my counterparts at other post-secondary institutions are up to. I like that in recent years, ETUG has been experimenting with different conference formats, such as the lightning talks, but I also appreciate the traditional break-out workshop format because there is always so much variety.

What would you like ETUG to provide more of in terms of benefits/value to members? Any input or help you want members to provide?

As we are involved in more of the technical side of course development, my team and I think it would be neat to be able to do something like a “technologist-in-residence” or “specialist-in-residence” program, similar to faculty-in-residence programs. It would be great if BCcampus could help in facilitating the exchange of learning technologists, web and multimedia developers, and graphic artists across the province to work on special projects (could be a shared resource in the future) with course production teams at another university or institution. I think we could learn and gain a lot from working together.

Do you have any special interests/hobbies?

I love anything to do with the outdoors – backcountry camping, snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, multi-day ocean kayaking, whatever! Last year, I took an avalanche skills training course and I’m hoping to finally get out in the backcountry with my snowboard this winter. I also enjoy playing soccer in an over-30s women’s league in North Vancouver.

Anything special you want to ask or share with members?

We shared our process on automating Word to HTML conversion at the ETUG conference at UBC Okanagan a couple of years ago, but since then we have added several new elements to our Conversion Guide, if anybody is interested in checking them out!

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