Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, UBC faculty, students and staff have navigated newfound challenges while incorporating online and hybrid modes of teaching and learning. To aid us in identifying key lessons learned and areas for priority action, the Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic (VPAO) has initiated Learning and Teaching Beyond COVID.
The report is a summary of a collaborative enterprise over the summer of 2021, engaging nearly 100 faculty, staff and students across both campuses in the first phase. The report aims to evaluate which elements of learning worked well during this period and how we can improve moving forward to support and enhance learning and teaching, as well as mental health, wellbeing, and inclusion, for all faculty, students and staff.
Through the development process, four principal themes emerged: inclusion and wellbeing, innovation and flexibility, technology and support for faculty and student success, and processes and policies. To expand on these themes and maximize the report's functionality, VPAO conducted consultations with a wide range of UBC communities across both campuses. These consultations resulted in the creation of specific recommendations, with concrete actions to implement these recommendations across early, mid- and longer-term timeframes.
As detailed above, we began a conversation in May 2021 with faculty, students and staff across both campuses to understand what lessons we might carry forward from our experiences of teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of this process, six working groups were convened to consider a range of areas from flexibility in course, program and assessment design through to technology improvements and aspects of inclusion and wellbeing for all on our campus. From these working groups a set of recommendations were put forward, which have been grouped under four thematic areas that emerged during subsequent discussions. These thematic areas include innovation and flexibility; inclusion and wellbeing; technology and support for faculty and student success; and processes and policies.
A number of the original working group recommendations intersected – wellbeing for all working, learning and teaching in our community; the need to sustain enhanced support in the teaching environment; and attention and focus on the types of technological tools deployed to support teaching and learning.
Read the full report here.
The 'Beyond COVID' project began in Summer 2021, drawing together faculty, staff and students to consider what we learned during the two years of significant disruption and challenge to the traditional model of teaching and learning, and how that experience may influence and shape the evolving future of teaching and learning beyond the most significant restrictions imposed by the global pandemic. In September 2022, at the start of the 2022/23 academic session, the University and its community is still in a period of 'rebalancing' after more than two years of near-constant and significant change, challenges and stress. As such, we have initiated a series of priority actions across the original report's thematic areas.
Read the action update here.
Throughout the development of the Beyond COVID report, the VPAO carried out consultations with over 20 campus groups and organizations to receive feedback on the accuracy and effectiveness of the report and recommendations. These groups included:
- Associate Deans
- Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology
- Cross-Faculty Heads and Directors
- Elected Student Leadership (AMS and GSS)
- Indigenous Strategic Plan Implementation Committee
- Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
- Learning Technology Advisory Group
- Senate Committee – Teaching & Learning
- Student Senate Caucus
- Academic Integrity
- Centre for Teaching and Learning
- Senate Committee – Learning & Research
- Student Academic Success Committee
- Teaching and Learning Advisory Committee
- Anti-Racism Task Force
- Digital UBC Strategy
- Equity & Inclusion Office
- Ombuds Office
- UBC Health
- UBC Wellbeing
- Vice President, Students
The consultation phase sought input and feedback on the themes and recommendations, with a goal of refining, developing and prioritizing the recommendations into clear actions. Learning and Teaching Looking Forward Actions for each theme, with mid- and longer-term timeframes have been developed, to guide implementation across the community.