Overview of Professional Development

Since arriving at TRU, my most significant professional development undertaking from a technological perspective was first learning, and then mastering, our learning management system, Moodle. I had never used Moodle before my arrival, but quickly mastered its intricacies enough so that by the time of the campus shutdown in March 2020, I was able to be primarily responsible for our Moodle Support response throughout the pivot.

Learning Moodle was critical to my ability to survive in the role, but I have thrived by quickly adapting to new tools and technologies: creating H5P objects, designing and making accessible WordPress templates, creating screencasts and editing and captioning videos in Kaltura, and much more. I am grateful that our team keeps space for playing with and learning about new technologies, no mater how busy our core workload.

I regularly attend the major conferences that relate to educational technologies: OpenEd and Open Education Global (both international); Open/Technology in Education, Scholarship and Society, the Canadian Society for Studies in Higher Education, and the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (all three national); and BCcampus Festival of Learning and the Educational Technology Users Group (both regional). A list of my presentations at these conferences is included in the Overview of Professional Role Duties [D.2] and in my CV [B.1].

In my spare time, I keep well-informed about trends in technology and education, and I use my relatively robust and active Twitter presence to speak out about these issues and help inform other colleagues. I am particularly engaged in spaces discussing surveillance and privacy.

I have attended and participated in the following professional development activities since my arrival at TRU. Please see the Leadership in the Professional Role and Scholarship in the Professional Role sections of my Overview of Professional Role Duties [D.3] for professional development opportunities where I took a more central role.

  1. New Faculty Orientation (19-20 August 2019): I attended all of New Faculty Orientation except the sections focused on classroom teaching policies.
  2. Kaltura Training (12 September; 29 October 2019): I participated in two of the Kaltura-provided training sessions to help develop my understanding of the current iteration of this tool (I had used a previous version at my last job). These sessions were only useful as a very basic introduction, but they gave me a place to start with my own learning.
  3. Lumen Hackathon (19 September 2019): This Hackathon event paired some basic H5P training (focused on the Course Presentation tool) with the goal of improving existing Lumen OER. This half-day session was very useful for accelerating my mastery of H5P, and I think the skills I developed directly contributed to my successful application for a BCcampus OER H5P Development Grant.
  4. Faculty Book Club (Fall and Winter 2020-21 Sessions, three meetings / term): I participated in CELT’s book club in both semesters, though I confess I was much more active in the Fall term. The books we read were Bandwidth Recovery and Teaching Across Cultural Strengths.
  5. New Researcher Breakfast (1 October 2019): This session, held to offer advice to new faculty or faculty newly stepping in to a research role, was a helpful session for me to learn about the research culture at TRU.
  6. Tenure and Promotion in OER Webinar (21 November 2019): I attended this webinar to find out more about international institutional approaches to recognizing open in tenure and promotion, given my overarching research interest in openness and tenure. The session was primarily focused on how to “get credit” for OER work.
  7. TRU Connections Mentoring Program (16 January – 8 July 2020): I applied for the mentor program at TRU as soon as I was hired, because I am quite nervous about the tenure and promotion process and my role within the university. I liked many aspects of the program, especially one session in May that focused on how to be an effective helper. Meetings with my mentor were helpful, but the program was derailed for me by the workload demands of the Covid transition.
  8. Digital Inequalities Webinar (29 May 2020): I attended this webinar to help inform how I talk to faculty about access issues regarding course with lots of large file downloads and requirements for significant synchronous video connections. For the most part, the information presented (based on research gathered at Langara) echoed the findings of our own survey and the information BCcampus had informally disbursed: that as many as 15% of students struggle for access to any device at all, that access to appropriate bandwidth is an even bigger concern, and that some students are postponing their studies because of these issues.
  9. Advice from Students: Post-Secondary in the Age of Covid-19 (30 July 2020): This SFU-organized session gave me the opportunity to hear directly from BC students about their pandemic experiences. The stories they told paralleled much of what we were uncovering in our survey data around the same time, so having a similar data point was useful.
  10. BCcampus’s Pulling Together: Fall Indigenous Series (1 October – 5 November 2020): This six-week workshop series offered an Indigenization and decolonization strategy guide for academic leaders or those who aspire to academic leadership. We were invited to craft during our sessions – to sew a medicine bag – and this led me to some new conclusions about how I learn and how knowledge is embodied.
  11. Performance Review Training with CELT (4 November 2020): This session gave a good overview of the performance review process at TRU.
  12. CELT Book Club, Radical Hope (Fall 2020): I attended the book club for the last month, and read along with the group throughout the term.
  13. Indigenous Approaches to Academic Integrity with UCalgary (13 November 2020): I have been looking to learn more about how to deal with systems of oppression in the context of indigenization; this talk dismantled the assumptions I had about a carceral-style approach to academic integrity.
  14. Roberts Rules of Order with CELT (16 December 2020): I attended this session in the hopes of improving my meeting running skills, particularly given my role as Chair of ACTAC.
  15. Trauma-Aware Teaching Workshop with Karen Ray Costa (14 January 2021): This session helped to contextualize much of my thinking about pandemic teaching and learning and the complexities of trauma in our classrooms.
  16. Manu Sharma’s Book Launch (26 April 2021): I attended this session to learn more about Manu’s research on field schools, which is a personal interest of mine.
  17. LT&I Book Club, 25 Years of EdTech (Summer 2021): Matthew Stranach organized this book club, and I have attended most meetings and led the discussion one week. This book has been useful in helping me position my work within a larger history, and it was exciting to talk to the group about the podcast project that had emerged from Weller’s monograph and that I was lucky enough to participate in.
  18. Feeling Safe and Engaged: Returning to the Workplace (22 July 2021): This was internal HR training on managing the return to campus; I attended primarily so that I could align our programming messaging with HR’s.
  19. TeamDynamix Training (22 July 2021; 8 December 2021): These sessions were to first support the transition to and then to learn the new ticketing software we use for Moodle Support.
  20. AnnotatED Workshop at OLC Accelerate with Rajiv Jhangiani (17 September 2021): This was a session about the intersection of social annotation and open educational resources. It was helpful to see a live annotation session draw a number of diverse viewpoints.
  21. Beyond the Classroom: How an Incident of Academic Dishonestly Kept Someone out of Prison (20 October 2021): This session explored restorative justice models of dealing with academic integrity “violations.” Overall, it was useful in exploring alternative responses (though I am not sure the precipitating event really was a violation, which helped me think through what academic integrity means).
  22. Hindenburg (audio editing) Training Session for Amplify (14 January 2022): I am learning to better use audio editing software in my work for the SSHRC-PDG on which I am a co-investigator; this was a very useful session in transitioning me to the project-preferred Hindenburg software.
  23. Potential of Open Research in 2022 (18 January 2022): This session, led by Martin Weller, was a useful discussion of where Open Research sits at this moment, and led to some questions about the limits of openness that would inform my keynote at O/TESSA a few months later.
  24. Interior Connect [CoP for OER Creators in the Interior] (20 January 2022): I was invited by some colleagues at BCcampus to join this association of OER practitioners in order to discuss common concerns for institutions in the Interior.
  25. IDs of BC [CoP for Learning Designers in BC] (25 January 2022): I was invited by some colleagues at BCcampus to join this association of learning designers in order to discuss common concerns for institutions accross the province
  26. OEGlobal Annotation Session (2 February 2022): This social annotation session with Alan Levine gave attendees a chance to annotate the terms of service for a variety of edtech companies. This helped me to think a little bit differently about opportunities for activism in my work and the tools to accomplish it.
  27. Podcasting Retreat with Amplify (27 May 2022): This day-long podcasting retreat was focused on setting up templates for audio editing, and having dedicated time with our project manager really accelerated my project progress.
  28. Survey Monkey Training (1 June 2022): I attended this internal training session to get a better sense of how to effectively export data from Survey Monkey.

Before coming to TRU, I worked hard to improve my practice at Douglas; indeed, the closure of the teaching and learning centre there at the end of my first year drove me to develop programming off the side of my own desk and helped me discover a passion and a competency for faculty development. My teaching innovations at Douglas were celebrated on the College blog and in the College’s 2013 View Book, and I have included sample syllabi in this dossier [D.4.1].