VIULEARNS: Enhancing Student Learning Event 

2016 PAST DATES: Monday, September 26 – Thursday, September 29, 2016: For VIU Campus Community

About Event: The event combined the former student-focused CRANK it up! Student Learning Conference with a wider opportunity to highlight, profile and promote supports, programs, courses and initiatives that stimulate learning.

As a follow up to the Successful Student Learning @ VIU Initiative, the event included workshops, a learning fair, the screening of a documentary film and a graffiti poster activity. This campus-wide event took place over four days with variations at Cowichan and Powell River Campuses. 

A. Learning Fair

Nearly 30 groups (Faculties, Support Service Departments, Programs, Areas) showcased their offerings and opportunities for students to learn and grow at VIU. They displayed materials, handouts and resources, but also provided opportunities for asking questions and learning more details.

Booklet of Participants and Support Offerings: PDFviulearns_student_learning_fair_participants_2016_v03.pdf

B. Documentary Film: Most Likely to Succeed 

VIU took part in Most Likely to Succeed’s worldwide campaign to re-imagine education. The acclaimed film, Most Likely to Succeedoffered an inspiring look at what students and teachers are capable of—if we have the vision and courage to transform our schools. Directed by acclaimed documentarian Greg Whiteley, the film has been an official selection of two dozen of the world’s top film festivals, including Sundance, Tribeca, and AFI DOCS.

In the past year, more than 1,500 communities have booked a screening of Most Likely to Succeed. The purpose of this event was to foster meaningful discussion among educators, administrators, parents, and students about how current obstacles can be overcome and steps towards change can be taken on a local level. Born out of these conversations is a community-wide commitment to moving forward; transformational initiatives are undertaken and real change is ignited. This event was open to the public.

Please visit Website for more information about the film and movement.

Film Synopsis:The feature-length (90 minute) documentary Most Likely to Succeed examines the history of education, revealing the growing shortcomings of conventional education methods in today’s innovative world. The film explores compelling new approaches that aim to transform learning as we know it. Over a century ago, education underwent a dramatic transformation as the iconic one-room schoolhouse evolved into an effective system that produced an unmatched workforce tailored for the 20th Century. As the world economy shifts and traditional white-collar jobs begin to disappear, that same system remains intact, producing potentially chronic levels of unemployment among graduates in the 21st Century. The film follows students into the classrooms of High Tech High, an innovative new school in San Diego. There, over the course of a school year, two groups of ninth graders take on ambitious, project-based challenges that promote critical skills rather than rote memorization. Most Likely to Succeed points to a transformation in learning that may hold the key to success for millions of our youth – and our nation – as we grapple with the ramifications of rapid advances in technology, automation and growing levels of income inequality.

C. Workshops

Capacity to Connect: Supporting Students in Distress | Counselling Department 

 Description: Student life is a period of unique change filled with many challenges. As a member of the VIU community you have the opportunity to support students who may be struggling with issues that affect their academic performance and well-being. Have you ever noticed signs of distress in students and wondered what to do? In this workshop you will learn to recognize signs of distress, respond effectively and refer students to appropriate resources. Come learn how you are a part of VIU’s web of well-being. Please note these workshops are designed to give participants the skills to assist students and are not therapy.

Igniting the Flame: Inspiring a Love of Parasitology through Experiential Learning | Tim Goater 

Description: Join Tim Goater (Biology Department), 2015 recipient of a Provost Award for Teaching Excellence, as he discusses the ways he introduces students to the fascinating world of parasites.

Tim’s discussion will focus on the teaching approaches he uses in lectures, as well as the fun and exciting, hands-on experiences used in laboratories and on field trips to convey his passion for the ecology and evolution of parasitic animals.


Encouraging Student Engagement and Integrating Applied Learning | Pam Shaw and Ken Hammer 
Description: Join Provost Award for Teaching Excellence recipients Pam Shaw and Ken Hammer as they guide both faculty and students in discussion framed around two themes: Theme 1: How as faculty can we encourage student engagement ?

As students, how are we best engaged? Theme 2: How can we integrate applied learning experiences as a method of engagement? What applied experiences work from a student perspective?


Learning to Learn: Effective Study Strategies for Success! | Liesel Knaack 

Description: Come learn about new strategies for studying better – whether you are a student, staff or faculty member! Strategies to help make learning stick and make recall and application of learning much easier!

Based on the science of learning, you will leave with a collection of effective strategies for being a successful learner at university. 


Research Hacks: Tips for Doing Better Research in Half the Time | Luke McLeod 

Description: Not sure where to search? Having trouble finding what you’re looking for?

Come learn strategies that will help you find what you need quickly and easily.


D. Graffiti Poster Activity

VIU's portrait of student learning graphic (and associated six themes) was enlarged to six large posters/banners (per each theme) with questions posted for responses from the campus community.

Different questions were on each of the four posters across all campuses (Powell River, Cowichan, Lower Cafe/Nanaimo and Upper Cafe/Nanaimo).