Dear Educational Leadership stream faculty,
We hope you enjoyed the summer and are feeling enthusiastic about the beginning of the fall term! In this update, we are excited to share our new, improved, updated ELNet website, as well as other information about ELNet, what it can do for you, resources, newsletters, events and more.
- ELNet Announcements
- Message from ELNet Chair
- Message from ELNet Mentorship Program Coordinators
- New ELNet Website
- PD Resources and Opportunities
- CTLT/CTL Workshops
- Two New Communities of Practice (UBC-O) ELNet Event
- SoTL Seed Program
- New ELNet Website
- PD Resources and Opportunities
1. ELNet Announcements
Message from ELNet Chair
Welcome to the start of the 2023/2024 academic year. It is an exciting and busy time for all, and also a challenging time. We know UBCO, especially, will be facing some uncertainties with the summer fire events. This is why I am keen to start us off with enthusiasm! Enthusiasm is one of the key qualities of a leader. And as teachers, educational leaders, researchers, and/or support staff, etc., we are all leaders. Being enthusiastic about the start and content of our courses, meeting our students, tackling our role(s), and facing challenges makes a difference for our work enjoyment and productivity, and for our students in helping them feel engaged and that they belong here at UBC. I hope you will join me in this.
ELNet Chair & Mentorship Chair
- Sally Stewart (Associate Prof of Teaching & Director of Nutrition Education Program, Health and Exercise Sciences, UBC-O)
Communications and Membership Coordinators
- Kathryn Accurso (Assistant Prof of Teaching, Language and Literacy Education, UBC-V)
- Jonathan Graves (Assistant Professor of Teaching, Economics, UBC-V)
Educational Leadership Events and Professional Development Coordinators
- Zoë Soon (Associate Prof of Teaching, Biology, UBC-O)
- Ayaka Yoshimizu (Assistant Prof of Teaching, Asian Studies and UBC-Ritsumeikan Academic Exchange Program, UBC- V)
- Luisa Canuto (Associate Prof of Teaching & Italian Language Program Director, French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies, UBC-V)
- Robert Crawford (Associate Prof of Teaching, Political Science and Arts, UBC-V)
Members at Large
- Jannik Eikenaar (Associate Prof of Teaching & EDI Advisor, Engineering; Joint Faculties Representative, Okanagan Senate, UBC-O)
- Richard Plunkett (Associate Prof of Teaching & Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program Advisor,UBC-O)
Our plans for this year include:
- Informative newsletters in September, November, February, and May;
- An educational sharing event in late February 2024;
- Ongoing mentorship program;
- Ongoing website development;
- Continued advocacy for EL;
- And more!
To accomplish these goals, we are keen to add two more members to our Executive Team. Please view the website for more info about what ELNet is about and reach out to me if you are interested. Thank you for considering.
In addition, I welcome any input, ideas, suggestions, and/or concerns about this group and EL. Please connect with me and I am happy to discuss [firstname.lastname@example.org].
Message from ELNet Mentorship Program Coordinators
Over the past few years we have really enjoyed the growth of this program and the overall mentorship experience. We have close to 20 mentors across both campuses who have collectively mentored/currently mentoring over 40 faculty members. It is a lovely experience for both mentors and mentees. It connects our community and helps us work together for supportive classrooms and institutions. See the next paragraph if you may be interested in being mentored. The start of a new academic year is a great time to find a mentor to travel with you through your academic career.
ELNet facilitates mentorship for educational leadership faculty, including preparing your dossier for promotion and tenure, helping you prioritize and determine focus of EL activities, make connections with other EL faculty at UBC, and/or simply someone to listen, share ideas with to gain insight and feedback. If you are interested in being mentored, please send an email to email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com and we will find a wonderful mentor to match you with.
2. New ELNet Website
The new ELNet website can be found here:
Two main issues precipitated the new website:
- Our old website (which was hosted on UBC Blogs) was running out of space; and
- The UBC Blogs templates were restrictive and made the website difficult for ELNet volunteers to maintain.
The new website, designed by Jonathan Graves, addresses both of these issues and has a shiny new URL — please update your bookmarks accordingly! We kept all content from the old website, so nothing has gone missing, although the organization is a little different. Our new site will be easier to maintain and keep up to date, and we are planning regular additions — so check it out regularly!
If you have any suggestions or have resources you want to add, let us know! You can do this on the “Contact Us” section of the website.
3. PD Resources and Opportunities
30+30 Generative AI Series
These workshops include a thirty-minute interactive presentation each with their own focus (Enhancing Student Learning and GenAI, Approaches to Prompting, GenAI Issues and Challenges, etc.), followed by 30 minutes of discussions, questions, and answers. Browse workshops.
Inclusive Teaching Workshops
Online and In-person
Explore intentional approaches to curriculum, course design, teaching practice, and assessment that create a learning environment where all students have equitable access to learning and other educational opportunities. Browse workshops.
Celebrate SoTL Event
October 19 | In-person
Celebrate SoTL is an opportunity for UBC SoTL practitioners to share their stories from practice, engage in dialogue around teaching and learning topics, and network with colleagues across disciplines. Register and enjoy a catered lunch.
Two New Communities of Practice (UBC-O)
A Community of Practice for Educational Leadership and Teaching and another for Wellbeing in Teaching will begin in late October through CTL at UBC-O. Look to register for these in the September newsletter from CTL. Brief descriptions are provided below.
Educational Leadership and Teaching Community of Practice
This CoP aims to facilitate growth, success and innovation in the EL initiatives that faculty take on, and having a collaborative and social environment to do so provides a wonderful opportunity. This CoP will be beneficial for new and experienced EL faculty as teaching excellence is at the heart of it, and often where our EL inspirations come from.
Wellbeing in Teaching and Learning Community of Practice
This CoP focuses on student, faculty, and staff wellbeing, a stated priority in UBC’s most recent strategic plans and one linked to mandates in other institutional initiatives around EDI, ARIE, IAP, and Climate Action. There is strong evidence that student wellbeing is critically linked to learning, engagement, resiliency, and academic success. Wellbeing is a factor contributing to academic tenacity and helps students weather the challenges and demands of the transition into and while attending university. Classroom environments and professor approaches can greatly and positively influence student wellbeing.
Note: There is also a university-wide CoP for Teaching and Wellbeing that offers support and events throughout the year to faculty across both campuses. For questions, feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in joining the CoP, you can self-enrol via the Teaching and Wellbeing CoP website.
ELNet Event of the Year!
Each year we plan an interactive, supportive and educational event for EL faculty navigating EL projects, development, innovations, and of course, promotion. We will be hosting this year’s event in February 2024, so keep an eye in future newsletters for more information.
Plan Ahead: SoTL Seed Program Call for Proposals to open in October
The UBC Institute for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISoTL) and the Centre for Teaching, Learning, & Technology offer a support program for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). The SoTL Seed Program provides graduate research assistants, collegial support, and complementary funding for projects that seek to research and evaluate impactful pedagogies. Selected projects broaden our understanding of teaching and learning in higher education and show a potential for significant contributions to the UBC community and beyond.
Projects are strategically selected to reflect the breadth of work at UBC in terms of disciplines, scholarly approaches, and expertise.
The next call for proposals will open in October. Please see the
Program page for more information.
All the best for a great start to the new year,
Kathryn Accurso on behalf of the UBC Educational Leadership Network Executive Team (ELNet)