Posts made by Sylvia Currie


Thanks for signing up for the 'Design with Liberating Structures' FLO MicroCourse! 

Your facilitators, Beth Cougler Blom and Leva Lee, will be rolling out the welcome mat bright and early Monday morning (PT).

Meanwhile, if you're feeling ambitious...

  • Poke around the course to see what's ahead.
  • Get started on your introductory post or ask any burning questions in the Open Forum.

We aim to keep these MicroCourses trim and practical. The anticipated time commitment is 5 hours over 5 days.  However, we recognize that this might be your first online course, or first time using Moodle. If you're spending too much time getting oriented, send a me quick email  ( I'm happy to help! 

And we're off!


Derek, if I have my way you will have access to this course forever! Of course the facilitators will bow out after this week but you are welcome to come back to revisit at any time. We will turn off the ability to post in a week or so just to prevent potential spam since it's an open course. 


Congratulations for getting many steps closer to creating an explainer video! Thank you, Jamie, for designing and facilitating this adventure!

I'm grateful for Jamie's advice to take this process as far as you can but not to stress about getting all the way to the production phase. Even if you're leaving this course with ideas still in your head and not on paper, that's A-O-K! That's what I like about MicroCourses -- they're all about doing but not about polished finished products.

This course will remain available to you (forever if I have my way) so feel free to come back to revisit anytime.

Before you leave...

If you haven't done so already, please let us know about your MicroCourse experiences by completing the evaluation (sent out via email).

Sign up for the upcoming MicroCourses: 

  1. May 13-17, 2019: Acknowledging Traditional Indigenous Lands, with Dianne Biin and Donna Desbiens
  2. June 3-7, 2019: Design with Liberating Structures, with Beth Cougler Blom and Leva Lee

Are you interested in adopting/facilitating FLO courses? Register for FLO Facilitator Development, a 2-week course to review FLO and plan for your first FLO facilitation experience. May 22 - June 5, 2019.

Check the BCcampus events calendar and subscribe to the newsletter to stay in the loop.

Until next time!


I decided on a story model, thought about my characters and got a start on a script. I'm sharing a few lines to give the gist of where I'm heading.


The recent report tracking online and distance education in Canada showed that in British Columbia 76% of the institutions consider online learning strategically important for their future.  

Nation-wide, institutions reported that the most significant barrier to the adoption of online learning was the additional faculty effort required to develop or deliver online courses. This was considered important or very important by 85% of responding institutions. This was followed closely by inadequate training/pedagogical knowledge available for faculty in online learning. 

Dr. Lauren Phillips highlighted these areas of the report and set out to learn what her college had in place to support faculty in the transition to teaching online. She discovered the Teaching & Learning centre had scheduled something called a MicroCourse during the reading break. It would be online and open to faculty across disciplines at the college. Lauren popped into the centre to learn more and found the instructional designers and faculty development instructors around a table having a planning meeting.

Lauren: That’s wonderful to hear that you are developing these courses! We need our faculty to really experience an online course before they can be expected to teach online. Do you have plans for more?

Jan: Oh, we’re not developing them. They’re available from BCcampus. We just uploaded the course and plan to tweak it a bit for our offering. 

Lauren: Really? You make it sound so easy! Did you need to take a course to learn how to do all this?

Jan: We’ve been taking all the FLO Family courses. I think we’re prepared for anything now!

Lauren: What are family courses?

Jan: Haha FLO stands for Facilitating Learning Online. The courses are affectionately referred to as a “family” because we all learn together and support each other. 

... to be continued :)   


Some of you probably know Leva Lee the past coordinator for the BC Educational Technology Users Group (ETUG). We worked together on a website to support ETUG along with Hilda Anggraeni, a very talented co-op student from SFU. Here's an explainer video Hilda created and Leva narrated to help ETUG members get going with the website. The quality of the audio is a little wonky! Somewhere I have photographs of the process but essentially we used still shots and video of hand-drawn images, including moving these items around on a table.

This was a collaborative project and it strikes me that is the best way to approach explainer videos! In order to communicate and refine our ideas we needed ways of holding the work in common view. We used a wiki to prepare the script together, and Hilda sketched out the storyboard (attached). 

I have lots of notes from the project but some that I found interesting were related to our transition to a more informal and personable approach:

  • Use of personas 
  • Instead of "members do this and that" use actual names
  • Rehearse the script - does it sound like something you would actually say? We started off with this sentence "The Educational Technology Users Group (ETUG) is a community of BC post-secondary educational practitioners focused on the ways in which learning and teaching can be enhanced through technology" but realized very quickly no, that's not how we speak!
  • Keep it informal. For example,
    "We've been around since 1994 (flash to timeline), probably before you even had a web browser..." instead of "ETUG has been in existence since 1994..."
    "Look, here's what people are blogging about" instead of "This area displays individual member blogs"...
  • Focus on what people can DO, rather than what everything is

Anyway, I thought I'd share some tidbits from that project. We sure had fun doing it!