Thursday, March 22, 2018

Festival of Learning 2018

The Festival of Learning (May 28 - 30, 2018) is a biennial conference that brings together multiple groups and individuals with an interest in advancing their work as educational professionals. The organizers of the event also encourage participation from students, and I hope many take them up on that invitation! For starters, I can't wait for the student panel on Tuesday morning facilitated by one of my favourite people, Jonny Morris.

This year I submitted a proposal very close to the deadline and right before taking off for the Christmas holidays -- not enough time to round up collaborators. I still plan to do that!

UPDATE: Ross McKerlich from Okanagan College will be co-facilitating the session. So happy to share this news!

Here is the session description:

The Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) – Fundamentals workshop has been implemented through BCcampus since 2013. During this time three new FLO workshops were developed, one of which is designed to prepare upcoming FLO facilitators, and each offering of FLO workshops provides an opportunity for these individuals to practice alongside experienced facilitators. In addition, all participants provide input into design and content revisions, a process that has been successfully managed because of the small scale of the project.

Ultimately, the goal of designing and hosting FLO workshops at BCcampus and preparing future facilitators is so others can successfully implement a high-quality experience for faculty and staff. All FLO workshops are openly licensed and available for institutions to implement in-house. Several B.C. institutions and non-profit organizations are actively exploring options for FLO adoption.

Typically support for the adoption of open educational resources (OER) centres around evaluation, and mechanics of using the resources – how to check for relevance and quality, how to integrate into a course environment, and so on. The focus is on the receiving end of the resources.

However, those involved in FLO facilitation and implementation, affectionately called FLO Enthusiasts, agree that there are specific elements that make FLO flow, so to speak. In other words, adoption goes beyond handing over the content. The success of these workshops requires an ongoing effort to advance the use of these OERs as a collaborative effort.

In this session, we will explore the Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) family of workshops as a case for establishing a “handle with care” model for open educational resources (OER) adoption that both engages and serves a community of adopters. We will draw on experiences and expertise from session participants to sketch out a model that is functional and realistic.

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