Click here to read the entire 2012/2013 UBC Learning Circle Year-End Report!
The Learning Circle project has been in existence for more than six years. It has evolved over time to expand from the UBC Learning Circle (UBCLC) to include the UBC Aboriginal Youth Learning Circle (YLC). Both circles support communities and individuals to participate and learn in their home communities, schools, or offices. Our work aims to improve health and reduce health inequities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in BC. Within the past six months we have expanded to include computer webinar technology as an option for participation, which has increased accessibility of the UBC Learning Circle and Youth Circle.
The three overarching themes for the UBC Learning and Youth Circles are Skills Enhancement, Community Conversations, and Research Dialogues. In each of these areas we attempt to provide health promotion programs which address health and social needs that are defined by communities. We aim to incorporate community knowledge keepers into our planning process to promote the cultural safety of our programming.
The number of sessions increased considerably as the year progressed due to factors such as the development of new partnerships with school districts, the First Nations Health Authority, First Nations Inuit Health and other post-secondary educational institutions. In the 2012/2013 season, we hosted more than 20 Learning Circles and engaged more than 1,000 participants.
In addition to the growth in the number of Learning Circles, 2012/2013 was a year of change for our organization. Both primary staff positions were hired in the fall of 2012, and faced steep learning curves with the introduction of new technology and developing connections with communities.
The UBCLC team works closely together to ensure program deliverables are met in all aspects related to planning, organizing, advertising, creating partnerships and delivering effective, community-driven programming to First Nations communities. Our videoconference technology support is provided by First Nations Inuit Health.
The UBCLC and YLC each present varying degrees of challenge and barriers to successful program delivery. As will be discussed in this report, these challenges fall into the broad areas of technical issues (e.g. internet and equipment), human resources (workload), and barriers to participation (videoconference booking conflicts and time zone differences).
The future of the UBC Learning Circle will focus upon partnership maintenance and development, online learning, and research activities to establish a framework for future programming and evaluation endeavours.
For more information, comments, or questions about our year-end evaluation, please contact us.