Building the Case for Professional Development Centres: Enhancing Institutional Profile

The VCC Centre for Instructional Development (CID) and the School of Instructor Education (SIE) attended the provincial Universities, Colleges, and Institutes Professional Developers’ (UCIPD) meeting on Feb 12th 2009 held at the Capilano University Campus in the tranquil and spectacular forests of North Vancouver. Delegates networked and shared strategies and initiatives to build our profiles within the institution.

UCIPD is comprised of representatives from units responsible for professional development at British Columbia’s public post-secondary institutions. The UCIPD group meets twice a year to network, share effective practices, and provide professional development opportunities for professional developers. Innovative ideas shared at the meeting included the following:

  • intersecting with institutional strategic plans;
  • defining quality teaching, learning and scholarship;
  • collecting, publishing or finding champions for outcomes data;
  • emphasizing core competencies in all cultures and all disciplines;
  • bringing in experts to seed the environment;
  • promoting synergy and partnerships by matrixing into all areas;
  • having key performance indicators;
  • assuring sustainability through succession planning;
  • supporting instructor evaluation;
  • creating partnerships with areas that support student learning;
  • building capacity among faculty through peer review;
  • building a community of practice and sharing interprofessional research.

All delegates agreed that it is better to promote excellence than to react to deficiencies in the system and that communications be appreciative, especially in program or curriculum review.

Universities, Colleges, and Institutes Professional Developers’ (UCIPD) Meeting Feb 12th 2009

There were delegates from many faculty education and professional development areas in BC including  BCIT, Camosun, Capilano U., CNC, Douglas, Fraser Valley U., Kwantlan Polytechnic U., Thompson Rivers U., UBC, UNBC, and Vancouver Island U.

VCC was well represented by Eva Murray from SIE and Karen Belfer, Ginny Cathcart, Lyn Lennig and Robin Popow of the CID.

Reports included innovative and successful ideas for faculty development such as:

  • the integration of reflective practice, transformative dialogue, narrative pedagogy (storytelling and appreciative inquiry); self and peer evaluation and mentorship into professional development;
  • the use of Podcasting and Webinars;
  • assessing teaching effectiveness through use of Small Group Instructor Feedback (SGIF);
  • developing teaching and research e-portfolios;
  • integration of Aborginal values into teaching and learning;
  • curriculum development;
  • supporting education research and scholarship;
  • using personal response devices (Clickers) to assess faculty needs;
  • Hosting guest presenters or guest faculty to seed new ideas;
  • coordinating courses like the Instructor Skills Workshops (ISW) & Instructor refreshers.

VCC CID and SIE delegates harvested many ideas for future meetings and symposia including developing and using research-based best practices. Summaries of the two keynote presentations follow for your interest. All in all it was a wonderful and very educational day.

Graham Fane, instructor in the School of Business, presented a unique initiative leading up to the Olympics, which will provide curriculum for educational institutions everywhere. The group created small vignette cases posing hypothetical questions, and outcomes to start discussion. Faculty can shop the portal for teaching resources and there will be a wide range of topics not just tourism, but also politics, kinesiology, etc. that will serve as a comprehensive information exchange. The project will bring local students together with students from European institution partners to “host” Olympic visitors, officials and athletes.

The E-Legacies Resource Hub-integrates the Olympics into every course at Capilano University bringing the 2010 Olympics to the classroom whether positive or not thus providing a cross section of views. The project was spear headed by LinkBC at Capilano’s Tourism faculties with 20 institutions linked together electronically. The group will use this portal of connection to get curriculum out. Soon after they started they discovered that the Olympics could have an international legacy for the future.

Exploring Pathways into Professional Development – Alice Macpherson

Currently there is no prescribed pathway (e.g., credentials) into the profession of educational/faculty/professional development, no unifying position profile that captures who we are and what we do, nor a clear cut path to guide advancement within the field.

Delegates participated in a focus group as to what draws people to the profession, the routes that facilitate their entry and advancement within the field, and the contexts in which they happen are not clear or consistent. The Pathways research agenda, therefore, is designed to build a better understanding of:

  1. why people become involved in educational development activities;
  2. what enables (or inhibits) some individuals to enter into and progress within the field of educational development; and
  3. what enables (or inhibits) them to commit to a primary appointment in educational development.

Best wishes to retiring members Nancy Randall (VIU) & Penny Heaslip (TRU)


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