In order to bring closure to our 2015-2018 EDU strategic plan, the EDU came together in December 2017 to reflect on our individual and collective accomplishments. The end goals of this retreat were to reflect on our learning and growth, and to determine how we will continue to reflect on, document and communicate our work. Our strategic planning committee facilitated a world-cafe to engage our colleagues in meaningful conversations around the following topics and guiding questions:
Round 1: Bold initiatives, accomplishments & successes
- What personal accomplishment(s) are you proudest of?
- What colleagues’ accomplishment(s) are you proudest of?
- What EDU accomplishment(s) are you proudest of?
- What bold initiatives or successes best demonstrate the progress we have made?
- What have we learned from our bold initiatives, accomplishments and successes?
Round 2: Risks, Shifts, and Failures
- What risks did we take? What worked? What didn’t?
- Where did we fall short?
- What factors contributed to these gaps?
- How did our priorities shift or change?
- How did your/our experience of failure or change foster further innovation or collaboration?
- What did we learn from our risks, shifts and failures?
Round 3: Process, Reflection, Moving forward
- What did we find most surprising, perplexing or interesting?
- How has this process supported our individual or collective growth?
- What should we change or do differently in our individual and collective work?
- How should we move forward? How can we continue to reflect on, document, and communicate our work?
- What have we learned through our strategic process(es) as a whole?
Following each round we discussed the following questions as a large group:
- What stood out for you?
- What themes emerged?
- Is there anything you want to add?
- What did you learn?
What we learned?
Round 1: Key successes
- We have seen dramatic growth and expansion in our networks, capacity and programming.
- We have implemented many innovative practices, tools, and approaches including the Teaching Challenge, badges.ucalgary.ca, eportfolio.ucalgary.ca and ucalgaryblogs.ca. Autonomy and flexibility enables exploration that fosters innovation.
- Accountability and evaluation have become an increased focus and ethos to our practice through ongoing program evaluation, research, reflection, annual reporting, and documenting our practice through our EDU ePortfolio
- Team development and a supportive work environment enable strong interdisciplinary collaborations across and within groups.
- Meaningful and scholarly approaches ground our everyday practices.
- Collaborations across campus, nationally, and internationally have helped to broaden and expand our networks and strengthened our capacity to build teaching expertise.
- We have shifted our work from a service model to an institute. Our work has been recognized nationally and internationally and our leadership has expanded across campus.
Round 2: Risks and Failures
- With the shift to the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning our work has continued to expand. Our teams acknowledge we have taken on too much and our current pace of work is unsustainable.
- We have recognized the time and effort required to engage in meaningful, reflective, innovative, and scholarly work, and build a strong teaching and learning community.
- We have felt the pressure from so much change and an increased profile. In combination with workload it was difficult to take risks because of fear of failure and our perceptions of high expectations. There was an acknowledgement that we need to learn to have difficult conversations about prioritization together.
Round 3: Moving Forward
- There is a lot of heart, care and compassion in the work that we do and the people we are, and we want to maintain that.
- There is a need to continue to align and streamline our priorities within the TI. Our goals should remain flexible so that they can continue to evolve within realistic timelines.
- We need to leave room for creativity and innovation in our everyday practices.
- There is much potential for collaboration across units in the TI.
- We need to focus on meaningful evaluation beyond quantitive metrics, further telling the stories and narratives of our work.
- We recognized that there is a stronger culture of teaching and learning on campus yet there are many opportunities to build a more robust teaching and learning community. This is especially true as it relates to building teaching and learning leadership to influence change within departments and faculties.
What are we doing now?
With the launch of the new Academic Plan, the EDU will collaborate on the creation of a new strategic plan as part of the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning.