I thought I would start this discussion thread by providing a brief overview of the Teaching & Learning Centre (TLC) at the University of Calgary and outline a major challenge that we are currently encountering.
Our TLC was "officially" opened in Sept 1998 as the Learning Commons - an amalgmation of two existing units - the Distance Learning and New Media Centres. A fair bit of private sector support was provided from Shaw Cable, the Royal Bank of Canada, SMED International and Pepsi Cola to establish the "physical presence" of the Learning Commons on the 5th floor of the BioSciences Building. Dr Randy Garrison became the Director of the TLC in 2002 and created three inter-linked units within the Centre - Teaching Development & Leadership, Blended & Online Learing Support and Media & Technology Development.
The Teaching Development & Leadership group facilitate Instructional Skills Workshops (ISWs), a University Teaching Certificate program for graduate students and a Faculty Teaching Certificate. All of these programs were initially funded by the Undergraduate and Graduate Students Associations and a recent challenge has been to find ongoing, sustained (base budgeted) funding from the University of Calgary itself.
The Blended & Online Learning Support group have facilitated the Inquiry through Blended Learning - course redesign program for the past three years. This program was originally funded through the Provost's Office but this source of funding has not been renewed.
The Media & Technology Development group are involved in a series of on and off campus development projects. A number of these projects are operated on a cost-recovery basis as this group must generate a significant portion of their own revenue.
Thus, the biggest challenge currently facing our TLC is the amount of funding we receive from the University of Calgary to sustain and grow our programs.
Is this an issue encountered by other teaching & learning centres?
Looking forward to our discussion!!