For my course at VCC PIDP 3100 I interviewed Chantale Hutchinson from Okanagan College. Here is a recording of our conversation:
Here are some of the trends Chantale mentioned:
WIL Work Integrated Learning
WIL stands for Work Integrated Learning and gives students the opportunity to demonstrate the learning in a real life setting.
JEDI Justice Equity Diversity Inclusion
In Okanagan College’s efforts to create a new strategic plan, this topic is at the forefront.
We need to acknowledge the diversity of our student and instructor community and also the communities we serve. This acknowledgement is the first step in bridging gaps that still exist.
OC also recognizes the contributions that diverse students bring into the classroom. By focusing on a learner centered approach we can create richer experiences for our students.
In the center of all of this is the desire to become more inclusive to all students, regardless of their sexual or gender identity, their physical abilities and their cultural identity.
With the experience made during the pandemic, it become clear that we need to provide more ways for our students to access content. There is a big push for providing material in a choice of audio, video and text formats.
Alongside this, students are encouraged to demonstrate their learning in their preferred form. Some examples are creating a podcast, a blog or a video.
Okanagan College realizes that we have to make stronger efforts in indigenization with our learners.
We need to educate ourselves about how our indigenous communities want to be involved. We need to learn and listen and then take action accordingly.
In curriculum development we have to ask ourselves: “who is telling the story” and “is it our story to tell”?
Then we need to ask “What are we teaching?” and “Who are we teaching?”
In all of this we have to work closely with the indigenous communities.
The pandemic created an enormous push to adopt technology quickly. The college had the capability for digital course delivery before, but tools like Moodle were mostly used as a repository for course material. The delivery of courses was focused on in-person teaching. The synchronization was minimal. It took enormous efforts by all involved to pivot to online course delivery in a very short time.
The pandemic also raise issues about accessibility. It became clear that some students were left out, because they did not have the means of participating by technological means. At the same time, students that have a longer commute, or that often run into child care or scheduling conflicts, were able to take courses in a style that suited them better.
While the college needs to address the inequality, we are working on developing ways to offer more hybrid forms of course delivery with students being able to choose if they want to come to class in person, or virtually.
As in many of the areas of post-pandemic life, all of these developments are fluid. I will find it very interesting to see the full impact on adult education in the future.
I am very grateful for Chantale’s insightful comments!