About this time every year I take some time to look back on the year and reflect on my work. Come along on this journey to get a glimpse of some of the things (I can only mention a few here and there!) I was up to each quarter.
January – March
The start of 2021 marked the official launch of my book, Design to Engage, after I had soft-launched it in the fall of 2020. In this quarter all the versions of the book became available, not only paperback, hardcover and e-book but an audio book version as well. Recording the audio book – with the fantastic help of Mary Chan of Organized Sound Productions – was a huge learning curve but also a lot of fun. It’s been wonderful to receive so much positive feedback this year from readers far and wide about how Design to Engage has been helpful to their facilitation practice.
An interesting project I was involved with starting from this quarter was supporting the BC Public Service Learning Centre through redesigning one of their in person courses in facilitation to a virtual offering. It was a boon to me to be able to work with a three-person design team and I think we can be really proud of the creative work we did to completely redesign the course and bring it to life for people in government learning about and practicing virtual facilitation skills.
This quarter also saw me continuing to do a lot of virtual facilitation, offering both public and private workshops to help people learn how to engage their participants in virtual meetings and learning events. Some of the sessions I held were called “An Element of Fun”, “Beyond the Ordinary” and “Creating Effective Virtual Learning Experiences”.
April – June
In April I facilitated the Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) Synchronous course through BCcampus with faculty member participants from around British Columbia. This three-week course helps people develop skills in virtual facilitation so was perfectly poised to help people during the pandemic. I’ve found that teaching faculty has been somewhat challenging during Covid since many of these folks have been incredibly busy learning how to teach online for the first time and don’t have a lot of time to take courses themselves as participants. It’s a tough situation to be in and I applaud people who have made undertaking their own professional development a priority this year.
These months also saw me beginning to design a course in Indigenous perspectives in climate change with Janis Brooks of Indigenuity Consulting Group and through the Resilience by Design Lab. This experience, along with another short consulting project I carried out with NIL TU,O Child and Family Services Society, gave me considerable opportunity for learning about Indigenous knowledge this year and I’m grateful for my involvement in both projects.
These months also saw me starting an e-learning course design project with BC Centre for Palliative Care on core competencies in palliative care (more on that later) as well as interesting mentoring work helping a client learn more about learning design through six 1:1 consulting sessions. This client’s specialty is magical girl animé, a field and genre I didn’t even know existed up until that point! It’s a great example of how I learn as much from my clients as they do from me as we work together.
July – September
Victoria Hospice has been a client of mine for many years and I was happy this year to work with them once again to create quite a few e-learning modules on palliative care-related topics. In this quarter, for example, we finished 12 modules on topics related to cultural safety and humility. Again, this topic was great learning for me as well as being very aligned with my values and beliefs.
Also in the realm of palliative care, in September I completed the pilot e-learning module for (as I mentioned above) a BC Centre for Palliative Care program to introduce non-palliative care healthcare professionals to the core competencies in palliative care. I led a team of five people throughout the rest of the fall to create the seven remaining modules for the program, and it was a fantastic experience in collaborating with subject matter experts, nursing student interns and a young interactive media developer to create engaging e-learning experiences that I think we can all be really proud of.
In this quarter I also started a second project for BC Centre for Palliative Care, to completely redesign their e-learning course on the topic of Culturally Safe Advance Care Planning. It was yet another example of receiving a “gift” when I get the chance to work with clients on an array of topics. (If you’re curious about how to undertake advance care planning for yourself or your loved ones visit their site.)
This summer and fall I also facilitated a number of half-day workshops for the BC Ministry of Health to introduce their staff to Liberating Structures. I feel like I talk about Liberating Structures a lot but if you still haven’t heard of them, skip on over to my shop and download my free Introduction to LS resource.
October – December
Work that has carried into the fall and will go into 2022 is a consulting project for the Local Government Management Association, which involves both consulting and learning design work. I was happy to work with the LGMA just before the pandemic hit on creating an e-learning course in ethics, and it was nice to be asked back to continue to do some work with them on other courses and projects related to virtual education.
Work on Victoria Hospice and BC CPC courses continued into this quarter, and I also had the pleasure of co-facilitating Facilitating Online with Liberating Structures course for Royal Roads University Professional & Continuing Studies with my friend and colleague Susana Guardado. We made changes to the course from the version we facilitated the year before, making it a mostly virtually-facilitated course, and it was very well received by participants. (We’re facilitating it again in April 2022 so follow the link above to grab your spot if you wish to join us.)
Lastly, it has been great to undertake a couple of consulting projects this past quarter, working with an instructional designer from a non-profit organization to help them learn Articulate Storyline (the content authoring platform I use a lot to develop e-learning modules), as well as support a BC-based health authority to develop a requirements list to look for a learning management system and also help them begin to scope out a large learning design project for next year.
I wish I could mention everything I’ve done and everyone I’ve worked with every year because I am always thrilled to be able to support great individuals and organizations, but it’s just not possible. If your name isn’t here, just know that I’ve treasured our time together and value the learning that you brought to me as much as I hope that you’ve valued what I’ve brought to you.
Lastly, I don’t want to end without giving a shout out to my regular team members who did such great work this year on various types of projects: Michelle, Karyn, Ryan and Val. THANK YOU! I’m always grateful for what you all do.
Have a wonderful holiday season everyone and wishing you all the best for the upcoming year.