March 16 – Ideas generated from Session on Planning Future GRS Classes

GRS – Ideas generated from Session on Planning Future GRS Classes

Session date: Wednesday March 16, 2016


Brent was off-campus, and joined the class by Skype. In the first part of class, we went over GRS Survey results from Term 1. After the survey results were presented, students were given the option of continuing with the discussion on culture (inspired by the Ujjal Dosanjh blog posting/radio interview).

See here for the blog posting:

Also note that the blog posting was published as an article in the National Post on January 16, 2016:

See here for the radio interview:

About half the students went to Room 154 to continue the discussion on culture in smaller groups.

The remaining students generated (and discussed) ideas to help with the planning of future GRS classes. What follows is a recorded summary of the ideas that were generated and discussed. The order presented here is the order in which the ideas came up.



Watching documentaries ·      Selecting suitable and interesting documentaries to view in class

·      Allow for critical thought/discussion after the documentary

·      Students suggest documentaries to be played

·      Thumbs-up by all – general consensus that this is a good idea

Engaging the UBC community more – teaching of workshops ·      Students have a lot to offer and want to connect with the wider UBC community more

·      This could be in the form of teaching workshops

·      Emme recounted that in her undergrad there was an LFS workshop series run by students EG. How to save seeds, How to make beer, How to bake bread etc. Materials were provided, and LFS students ran the workshops in Agora at a low/free cost

·      For students that are interested in running this, it could be started at the beginning of the year. These projects could be planned throughout the year, and integrated into other GRS sessions, for example, used as a case for grant-writing. This could be a term/year-long project that students manage with a flexible schedule. Consistency and some commitment throughout would help with project success. There could be the option of getting funding, and implementing the project sometime in the year.

Connecting with social entrepreneurs – Social Enterprise Club and others interested and involved in social impact ·      Some students are connected to those interested in social entrepreneurship and social impact

·      This could be in the form of co-hosting panel discussions, or participating together in social events

GRS special report talks ·      Inspired by “TED” or Pecha Kucha style, or Show ‘n Tell

·      Short talks (5 minutes)

·      Everyone must do this at some point in the year

·      The purpose is to share with each other what you might be working on

·      It could be to showcase your internship/coop/field studies experience(s). It could be a local project of interest, volunteer work, or something that you’re particularly proud of. Anything of interest to the presenter.

·      This could help with building presentation/speaking skills, and also enables the sharing experience across the class

Small group discussions by resource (or by region, but with preference on resource) ·      These groupings would continue throughout the term/year to provide regularity in terms of the social grouping

·      The group could be a place for peer learning, ideas exchange, support for navigating the learning system, networking etc.)

Revisiting the old GRS website as a resource ·      The old GRS website had people’s favourite classes, sources for internships, recommendations etc. You could also see what a student had done in terms of classes and field studies/directed study/coop/internships, what resource/region they were focusing on, some of what they had learned and where they had travelled to.

·      There are some great sharing ideas from this old website – is it possible to resurrect some of these great ideas?

More info about coops, directed studies, field studies, internships etc. ·      This could be achieved through the special report talks

·      Students generally want more details on how to get internships, how to make the right connections, how to find opportunities

·      And then logistical details: how to get the credits, what options are available to them, matching desires with credit options etc.

·      Students need to know about options available to them early in the term

Making information about LFS courses more accessible ·      This would help incoming students. GRS students want to give info about the program and courses available to students outside of GRS

·      The current course listings are not up to date – can it be refreshed or revitalized?

·      This is an important resource for current students, and also new/incoming/potential students

Facebook group for current students ·      Not all students know about it

·      Maybe the resource groups can create their own groups as well?

·      There was discussion about how to accommodate current VS. graduated students. There is need for engaging with current students, but also a desire to maintain contact with alumni as well

·      Right now the Facebook group is partly current students, but partly graduated. Not all current students are in it

Linked-in group for GRS alumni ·      If I remember correctly, this group would be more suited to graduates/alumni – is that correct?

·      Maybe there could be a workshop where students learn to enhance their profiles. Emme knows that this workshop is offered to graduate students (via GSS events), but we could ask that person if they could also offer it to GRS class

Mentoring between GRS students ·      Similar to Tri-mentoring, but within GRS
GRS yearbook ·      Collection of people in GRS

·      Student populated – students provide information about themselves and their experiences

·      Available for GRS students to view

·      Contact information available to students can connect with each other to discuss experiences, and gain ideas

·      Would be good to connect this idea to the mentoring idea above

* To the students who were part of the session – I did my best to capture everything that was discussed in the table above. Also included is a picture of the notes that I took (see below). If I’ve forgotten or miscommunicated something, please let me know. I am available at

** To the students who were not in attendance – If you have an idea that you would like me to add to the table. Please get in touch with me. Same email as above.



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