The Langara library and technology buildings at dusk.

What’s new with the Langara Student Success Course?

The Langara Student Success Course (LSSC) team is proud to announce that we now have an instructor-focused page on the TCDC website. Our page was inspired by the liquid syllabus format, which allows for dynamic content delivery through multimedia. Take two minutes to watch our promo video and keep scrolling to know more about the support we offer to faculty and instructional staff, the impact the course has had on instructors and students, and how to access the LSSC employee preview on Brightspace. To view our liquid syllabus, visit our new Langara Student Success Course (LSSC) page.

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Cover of the book Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. TCDC Summer Book Club. Tuesdays 4:00 pm to 5:15 pm from May 24th to June 21st in Room C203.

TCDC Summer Book Club: Braiding Sweetgrass

Tuesdays from May 24 – June 21

Join our in-person book club on Tuesdays from 4:00pm–5:15pm to discuss Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. This is a beautiful book that explores the relationship between biology and Indigenous teachings, and will engage anyone who is passionate about being an educator and is open to learning more about Indigenous worldviews, the natural environment, and each other.

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Headshot of Jennifer Ward smiling at the camera. She has pink hair and is wearing a black shirt.

Remembering Jennifer Ward

It is with heavy hearts that the team at TCDC share the news of the recent passing of our dear colleague, Jennifer Ward. Jen joined TCDC in September 2021 as Curriculum Consultant, Indigenization Specialist, and although she was with the college for only a short time, she made a deep and lasting impact on those who were fortunate to have worked with her.

We were so honoured that she could bring her extensive experience and gentle yet bold approach to helping faculty at snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ to Indigenize and decolonize their curriculum.

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Illustrated characters sitting on oversized books. There is a computer screen in the centre that features a person teaching.

Teaching online beyond COVID: TCDC’s Course Design for Online and Blended Learning mini-course

If you lived through the pandemic education experience, you most certainly would have come across TCDC’s five-day mini-course in Online Course Design and Delivery (OCDD). Over two years, hundreds of Langara instructors have participated in synchronous Zoom sessions and asynchronous activities on outcomes-based teaching and learning and online course design. The course has also provided a unique opportunity to experience learning online from a student’s perspective. 

Sign-up! 

Now called Course Design for Online and Blended Learning, this updated version of the original course is set to run May 9 to 27 with three synchronous sessions scheduled on May 11, 17 and 26. Learn more and sign-up on the TCDC/EdTech calendar if you haven’t participated yet or would like to refresh your skills. 

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Three people standing around a table working on a project. On the table are papers with brightly coloured post-its on them.

What is active learning? The benefits (and challenges). Part 2

Implementing active learning strategies in our classrooms   

In my last article, I outlined the benefits and challenges to active learning strategies. Hopefully, I’ve convinced you and you’re ready to try these out in your classroom. You don’t need to create a whole new curriculum. Try easing into active learning by changing one thing at a time. That way you can see what works for you and your students, and adjust as you go.  

  • Start by identifying things that students can do rather than be told. Instead of delivering information, you could put them in groups to find, assess and present a recommended resource, then have the class vote on the best resource.  
  • Before an assignment, have students grade three sample assignments using the same rubric (grading criteria) you’ll use to grade theirs. Sharing their results in class often leads to wonderful discussions. This activity helps students understand how to use rubrics and typically results in better grades. 
  • After a presentation or team project, ask students to reflect on their performance. What did they do well, what would they do differently next time, what did they learn? 
  • Ask students to identify their goals for preparation and participation for this course, then create a plan to achieve those goals, and (at the end of term or periodically throughout) evaluate the plan and their progress.  

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Three people sitting together and smiling while looking at a laptop screen.

What is active learning? The benefits (and challenges). Part 1

Active learning is when learners take an active role in their learning instead of passively receiving and memorizing content. In active learning environments learners explore, analyze, assess, apply and evaluate. The instructor’s job is to assemble resources, create learning activities, and guide students as they synthesize and implement what they’re learning. 

Active learning supports today’s learners because knowledge and competencies have changed. In this post-internet world information is abundant, dynamic and often unregulated, making memorization less important than being able to find, analyze and use new information. Active learning empowers learners to develop these lifelong learning skills. 

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Comparison between the home page of the previous TCDC website to the updated look.

Announcing our new website: join our virtual scavenger hunt for a chance to win prizes! 

We are excited to announce the launch of our new website! 

The goal of the updated site is to provide our visitors with easier access to TCDC’s resources and information about the services we offer. Our homepage looks quite different (note the before/after image above). No longer a blog, our new homepage welcomes visitors to learn about who we are and what we do at TCDC. You’ll still be able to find links to our workshops, events, and blog posts on the homepage sidebar. Read More

A paddle dipping into a lake. In the background there are forest-covered mountains and the open sky.

Reflections on Pulling Together and upcoming spring sessions 

In fall 2021, I had the chance to co-facilitate a series of workshops framed on Pulling Together: A Guide for Curriculum Developers with my wonderful colleague, Jen Ward, one of TCDC’s Indigenization Specialists. Published by BCcampus, the guide is one of a series of open-source resources meant to support Indigenization, decolonization and reconciliation efforts within post-secondary institutions.   Read More

Graphic including a photo of a chair in an empty classroom with a medical mask draped over the back. The title is Trauma-Informed Teaching, online workshop, March 8th, 2022, 10:30am until 12:20pm pacific time. Langara logo appears at the bottom.

New workshop: practical tools for trauma-informed teaching 

In March, TCDC will be offering a new two-hour, trauma-informed teaching workshop to build knowledge on trauma and strategies for creating a learning environment where students and educators can both thrive. 

The challenges of transitioning to new ways of learning and teaching, the ongoing global waves of COVID-19 and the psychological burden of social isolation from our support networks are just a few of the struggles that have impacted our mental and physical health. The disruptions to our daily lives and findings from previous epidemics suggest an increase in anxiety, depression, and the emergence of many other trauma related symptoms in our communities.   Read More