Flexible learning: September 2014 update

By David Farrar posted on September 8th, 2014

Now that we have settled into the new academic term, I thought it timely to offer an update on Flexible Learning at UBC.

We first embraced Flexible Learning in response to a number of influences: shifting demographics, funding pressures, rapidly evolving technologies, and new learning research. As these forces grow ever stronger, we continue to focus on improving student learning, extending access, and strengthening operating effectiveness.

Last year, many of you helped shape a strategic framework that outlines the why and how of FL at UBC. Thank you for your input, and please don’t hesitate to share further feedback with Anji Redish.

Consistent with that strategy, we will continue to prioritize support for blended undergraduate course transformations. And in the months ahead, we will also focus on three key areas:

  • Improving the learning technology ecosystem: CTLT and UBC IT have improved the operational stability and user experience of Connect, and are making changes within their units to provide a more seamless central support experience for learning technology. In response to feedback from faculty and staff, they are exploring how UBC’s suite of learning technology tools and applications will evolve over the next few years. Learn more here or contact Simon Bates or Oliver Grüter-Andrew.
  • Supporting new personal, professional, and career development programs: UBC is committed to supporting the development of innovative credit programs in these areas. A new unit in the Provost’s office will provide Faculties and their program proponents with development, marketing, planning and budget support. Learn more here or contact Hugh Brock.
  • Joining edX: UBC recently joined edX as a Charter Member and, as a contributor to edX will participate in the University Advisory Board that serves as the chief advisory body to edX. EdX represents a significant addition to our learning technology ecosystem, and provides a community of peers with whom we can conduct research in how students learn and how best to use technology to support their learning. Learn more here or contact Gregor Kiczales.

We will continue to seek opportunities to engage with faculty members as Flexible Learning evolves. I encourage you to visit flexible.learning.ubc.ca for more information and to address any comments or questions to flexible.learning@ubc.ca.