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New initiatives to transform student learning
Four new collaborative projects received Aspire Learning and Teaching (ALT) funding in 2019—funding that strives to transform student learning through supporting program-level curriculum innovation. This year’s projects reflect a priority focus on enhanced experiential learning opportunities, increased flexibility through delivery models, and incorporating a learner-centered practice and open education resources. Congratulations to project leads: Ernest Goh, School of Engineering; Allison Hargreaves, Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies; Sajni Lacey, UBC Okanagan Library; and Jennifer Jakobi, Faculty of Health and Social Development.
Some changes are coming to the ALT program— see below!
Several other initiatives have been funded and I am eager to see their outcomes:
Addressing UBC’s strategic goals Inspiring Spaces and Inclusive Excellence, Peter Newbury, Director, Centre for Teaching and Learning is leading a project to develop thoughtful and deliberate strategies around the design and use of learning spaces on our campus. This initiative includes the enhancement of one classroom per year for three years in order to create effective and inclusive learning spaces for face-to-face instruction, inter-campus courses, internationalization of courses, and much more.
Makerspace is an open access workspace on campus equipped with a wide range of machines and tools designed to allow users to bring their ideas to life. Heather Berringer, Associate Provost Learning Services, is leading a new project targeted at developing hands-on leadership to ensure the program continues to grow and create new opportunities for increased usage and engagement.
Public Humanities Hub – Okanagan
The Public Humanities Hub – Okanagan, led by Greg Garrard, will contribute to UBC’s strategies around research excellence by furthering research opportunities in the humanities and highlighting the impactful research (present and future) done on our campus. This pilot project, in conjunction with a sister pilot project in Vancouver, will foster research relationships with external partners, build internal connections between our campuses and support the research culture at UBC.
Press Play! Research Creation, Arts Entrepreneurship, and the Digital Archive
This project, led by Karis Shearer and Emily Murphy, sits in the overlapping spheres of transformative learning and research creation, key goals of UBC’s Strategic Plan. “Press Play!” gives undergraduate students an opportunity to pitch and execute a research creation project centered on creating a digital archive of previously unrecorded materials.
Student Learning Hub
Scheduled to open in September 2019, this new academic space will streamline undergraduate student access to academic supports in a single, high-profile physical and online location, in order to remove boundaries and provide seamless access to students. The enhanced student learning hub will enable and inspire student success through quality, peer-supported learning programs, including support for writing, languages, math, science, and the campus Supplemental Learning program.
Enhanced Support to WorkStudy Program
To address the need for more paid work opportunities on campus the Excellence Fund has supported 14 additional WorkStudy positions on campus for a total of 70 positions. This program is symbiotic for our students, who earn income and valuable career experience, and our campus, which benefits from having a strong student employment presence.
Research Services Expansion
This service expansion creates a storefront that brings together researcher-facing services and tools provided by the Library (including the Centre for Scholarly Communication), Research Computing Services, and the Office of Research Services, and will support a more formalized partnership to better coordinate services and maximize institutional investments. The storefront provides a single point of contact and access to create a more seamless support network for researchers, providing convenient access to the information, tools, and services needed to support the entire research lifecycle.
Introducing the ALT-2040 Fund
The Aspire Learning and Teaching (ALT) Fund was established in 2015 to support the transformative learning recommendations of the Aspire Vision by encouraging academic program innovation. Over the past four years, 14 projects were funded, engaging faculty members and students in every UBC Okanagan Faculty. In that same time period, the University developed a new strategic plan (Shaping UBC’s Next Century). UBCO responded by setting a bold direction for the campus through Outlook 2040.
As we contemplate the Fund’s fifth year of operation, we want to honour the founding principles of Aspire and bridge to the transformative learning vision of Outlook 2040. To signify this, the full name of the funding opportunity will change to Aspire-2040 Learning Transformations Fund – ALT-2040 Fund for short!
To accelerate our ability to meet the academic innovation expectations embodied in Outlook 2040, the ALT-2040 Fund includes two categories: 1) program enhancement (projects up to $25,000) and 2) program development and transformation (projects up to $100,000). This change creates opportunities for more faculty to access support for engaging in different types of program-level innovation. The ALT-2040 Fund, unlike its predecessor, may be used to develop new academic programs.
With the change in scope, the ALT-2040 Fund is poised to be a tremendous engine to support UBCO’s Outlook 2040 transformative learning goals. Look for the release of the Call for Proposals in September. More information will be available then at http://www.alt-2040.ok.ubc.ca.