Click to read the entire UBC Learning Circle Year-End Report 2014 -2015
The UBC Learning Circle (UBCLC) has completed its eighth year as a videoconference and webinar initiative for health education and Indigenous wellness. We now host three types of circles: Learning Circles, Youth Circles, and Research Circles. This year-end report shares some of our successes, challenges, and highlights of an evolving health promotion initiative that happened during 2014/15.
This past year saw an increase of the average number of participants per session compared to any of our previous seasons. This increase is attributed to a shift in programming from delivering more sessions (i.e. a focus on quantity) to developing the educational content of workshops so they are aligned with Indigenous knowledge and perspectives (i.e. improving quality). Our Coordinator worked closely with presenters to develop new material that was frequently delivered for the first time, here, at the Learning Circle. This approach has enabled a variety of presenters from different fields to deepen their sense of confidence in their ability to teach and to uphold many presenters own traditional Indigenous knowledge.
The Learning Circle also partnered with the First Nations Health Authority’s Telehealth Expansion Program to create two training manuals based upon our experience in providing education by technology at a distance. The first was designed to support individuals in First Nations communities to use their new videoconference equipment, while the second is oriented towards health care practitioners who provide telehealth in rural and remote locations and provides technical information on using clinical videoconference equipment.
We also partnered with Vancouver Coastal Health’s Vancouver Home Hospice Palliative Care Services to deliver a series of workshops on palliative care that integrated both Indigenous and Western perspectives on health and care at the end of life. With at least 30 videoconference sites participating, it was the largest technological undertaking to date. The experience offered several valuable lessons on technology management and content development that will serve to strengthen how we work with Elders and knowledge keepers on future sessions that offer cross-cultural perspectives.
The future of the UBC Learning Circle will focus upon supporting the health and wellness priorities of the FNHA in addition to taking direction from communities themselves on health issues that are relevant in a local context. We look forward to building upon our current successes with the addition of continuing professional development courses/workshops, hands-on training in telehealth equipment (digital literacy), improving the educational and technical quality of our sessions, and further enhancing our online library of health resources.For more information, comments, or questions about our year-end evaluation, please contact us.