Recap: 2024 Spring Institute

The 2024 CTLT Spring Institute ran from June 3rd to 6th at UBC’s the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, bringing together members of the teaching and learning community from across UBCV and UBCO campuses.

Throughout the week, over 200 attendees participated in seventeen sessions, hosted by 50 presenters and facilitators. With a focus on purposeful innovation in educational research, student services, and learning technology, the Spring Institute acts as a space for collaboration, inciting the exchange of knowledge and opportunities for growth. 

“In a world characterized by complex societal challenges and heightened public expectations, broad-based innovation is imperative.”

– UBC Strategic Plan, Shaping UBC’s Next Century (p. 32)

Reducing Ableism One PowerPoint at a Time, facilitated by Erika Fundelius, Assistant Professor, Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education, guided attendees through the process of making presentations that were inclusive of all learners, recognizing different needs and how to accommodate them. By introducing the basics of an accessible PowerPoint, the workshop prompted its audience to consider additional ways educators can combat academic ableism. 

The Spring Institute sessions held an underlying theme of community and wellbeing, and explored how one can redesign learning environments to better support the students, faculty, and community members who occupy them. The Spring Institute compelled educators to explore ways in which they can navigate evolving teaching contexts and better support students.

Disrupting Time and Space: Considerations in Community-Centred Evaluation, facilitated by Samantha Nock and Paulina Semenec of the CTLT Indigenous Initiatives team, guided participants through the ways in which timelines impact community-centred evaluation processes. Embracing questions and group participation, the session welcomed lively discussion that prompted thought processes that were likely to linger even after everyone dispersed.

As with many of the workshops offered in the Spring Institute, Samantha and Paulina introduced a framework for their audience, hoping they may choose to expand upon their understanding of the topic and incorporate more perspectives.

Several sessions were conducted online, including Navigating Responsible Use of GenAI in Teaching & Learning – Developing UBC-Wide Principles and Guidelines, a cross-campus panel featuring instructors, students and staff discussing the incorporation of Generative AI in educational settings. Moderated by Christina Hendricks, Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Teaching and Learning pro tem, this session highlighted the developing guidelines around the use of AI at UBC. The panelists also addressed questions and concerns regarding education enhancement and ethical considerations.

Exploring innovative teaching practices and community-centered evaluation, the 2024 Spring Institute inspired attendees to reimagine learning environments. As these contexts continue to evolve, the teaching and learning community will continue to find innovative ways to adapt.

Resources from the sessions are available to access on the UBC Wiki page, including slides from presentations and select recordings.