VIU’s Council on Learning and Teaching Excellence: Takes on Institutional Challenges

VIU’s Council on Learning and Teaching Excellence is Taking on Institutional Challenges: Seeking New Members for 2017-2018!

Handout (PDF): Summary Handout

2016-2017 Council Members

For the 2017-2018 year, faculty members will explore solutions, resources and activities to support these two institutional challenges. Identified by the 2016-2017 Council, faculty members will explore how they can contribute to these teaching and learning challenges facing VIU.

  • Challenge 1: Developing Innovation-Enabled Graduates – What does it look like at VIU to design learning experiences, courses and programs that give learners experiences and challenges to prepare them to be enabled for innovation, by innovation and through innovative thinking? Innovation-Enabled could mean:
    • Enabled for innovation through growth of specific knowledge, skills and mindsets as experienced in interdisciplinary curriculum to build concepts and contexts of innovation
    • Enabled by innovation embedded in programs, courses and learning activities that serve as models to foster innovation mindsets
    • Enabled through employing innovative thinking (design-thinking, out-of-box thinking, problem-based thinking, maker-space thinking etc.)
  • Challenge 2: Integrating VIU’s Graduate Attributes across Institution – VIU’s three “pillars” form a solid foundation of citizenship (Literacies – the acquisition of knowledge; Intellectual and Practical Skills – understanding the application of gained knowledge and Civic Engagement – appreciating that knowledge exists in context).
    • How can the Council assist in the dissemination, awareness and knowledge about VIU’s graduate attributes?
    • How do the attributes help inform the growth of a student?
    • What forms might they take in demonstrating their connections to courses and programs?
    • How can faculty members integrate them into their practices and assist students in connecting their learning experiences?


Ideally the Council would have 1-3 faculty members from each of the 9 Faculties (hopefully including representation from Powell River and Cowichan campuses) – each member serving for at least a year up to three years. The membership might turn over each year with about half being new members. Faculty members who wish to serve on the Council will be those keen on developing teaching and learning leadership capabilities to contribute to the institution by helping move forward a challenge VIU currently faces. Members are self-starters and collegial team members who will work collaboratively to build a project plan and undertake components over the course of a year.

DEADLINE FOR MEMBERSHIP FROM FACULTIES FOR 2017-2018 year: Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Process for Becoming Member

Deans will be notified March each year of returning members and/or openings needing to be filled for new members. Deans will undertake their own Faculty process for selection.


Member Duties and Responsibilities

The Council will function as a group of dedicated faculty members working together to contribute to resolving a challenge (or two challenges) that VIU currently faces.

Faculty will mostly self-direct, self-design and self-assess their actions and activities with the support of a few members of the Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning.

The intent of the Council is to build leadership, project planning and communication skills amongst all members as they become responsible for contributing to an institutional challenge that will involve engaging/working with other campus community members and groups as required.

  • Undertake actions and activities to help advance (contribute to resolving, providing supports and actions to assist) an ‘institutional challenge’
  • Develop own leadership processes and directions, build plans and project components
  • Self-monitor and self-assess successes and accomplishments, report back to appropriate groups
  • Contribute to existing committees and action groups as resources for activity and direction


Time Commitment

The Council members are required to attend five mandatory retreat days along with two share out sessions (one in Fall and one in Spring). An optional celebration dinner and gathering will be held in mid-April. The retreats are meant for concentrated/dedicated time for the sub-groups and the full Council group to come together to learn from each other, create plans and report on updates. Beyond these required times, the committee members would decide amongst themselves the additional meeting times and engagements required to fulfill their task and aid in resolving the challenge.

The required dates for 2017-2018 year are:

  1. RETREAT: Wednesday, May 3 (8:30 – 4:00 pm) – Nanaimo Golf Club (Kick Starter Intensive)
  2. RETREAT: Thursday, May 4 (8:30 – 2:30 pm) – Nanaimo Golf Club (Kick Starter Intensive)
  3. RETREAT: Monday, August 28 (1:00 – 4:00 pm) – Vancouver Island University (First day of last week of August before Labour Day weekend) – Reconnection Meeting
  4. SHARE OUT: Fall (One time – Early November TBD) – One Hour Session Sharing Work/Activity with VIU Campus Community
  5. RETREAT: Thursday, December 7 (8:30 – 3:00 pm) – Vancouver Island University (Day 2 of Study Days for Exams) – Retreat to Reflect on Fall and Plan for Spring Activities
  6. RETREAT: Tuesday, February 27 (8:30 – 3:00 pm) – Vancouver Island University (Study Week 2018) – Retreat to Reflect on Spring and Plan for last two months
  7. SHARE OUT: Spring (One time – early March TBD) – One Hour Session Sharing Work/Activity with VIU Campus Community

OPTIONAL: Council Celebration Dinner (mid April – TBD)

Faculty members can expect to work approximately 2-3 hours/month on Council work.


Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning Support

The role of the Centre is to guide Council members in tackling an institutional challenge(s). Liesel Knaack (Director), Maxwell Stevenson (Associate Director), Tine Reimers and Kathleen Bortolin (Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Specialists) will be the core supports for the Council for 2017-2018. They will function as facilitators and resources.