This is where we'll store the initial November emails from IDO-Ontario, chronologically.

Nov 23 2007, Peter Wolf (U of Guelph)

Let me start by apologizing for the cross-posting. Many of you will receive duplicates of this email. I am sending this email to both the IDO listserv and to all those in attendance at the Ryerson meeting last week to make sure that everyone is included. Perhaps we should continue the discussion that this email will start using the listserv only. So if you are not on the listserv, join up!

On to the point of the email...

At the meeting at Ryerson, I passed along an offer from OCAV to become an affiliate. There was some discussion and I compiled a list of questions to ask of OCAV related to becoming an affiliate. Below you will find the questions I asked and the responses from Neil Gold, representing OCAV. My text in black and responses in red [Trevor's note: I've italicized what used to be red]...

1) Can you give us a bit of background on the affiliate initiative. Why this approach and why now? Rick Van Loon a former chair of COU and President at Carleton has issued a couple of reports (three in all I believe) that have resulted in a major reorganization of COU. I think you can find all this on the web-site of COU though the last report (on OCGS and related issues including system led quality assurance) may not yet be posted. Under the new regime existing organizations whose members report to the Provost/VPA are OCAV affiliates (mirroring the reporting structure inside each U).

(NOTE: Neil refers to three reports prepared by Dr. Richard Van Loon in his response message - the first report by Dr. Van Loon was on the internal organizational study of COU which has no relevance on the affiliate re-organization under OCAV. The most important one is the second report, which is attached. The section on OCAV and its broadened responsibilities will be of particular interest to us. And the third report, a review of the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, has not yet gone "public")

2) Specifically, what is an affiliate? What would be the associated expectations and responsibilities? Would a delegate from OCAV sit in on our meetings? Will we sit on a related OCAV committee? Affiliates would provide agendas and minutes of their meetings and might have a visit from OCAV periodically and vice-versa if desirable. OCAV will have a Quality Assurance and Teaching and Learning Committee of its own (QUALT). In addition OCAV will have the responsibility for the oversight of a new body tentatively called the Higher Education Quality Assurance Committee of Ontario (HEQACO). Your group's members are natural participants in such endeavours.

3) It arose at our meeting that there is a group of e-learning specialists also engaged in similar discussions. There is quite a bit of crossover between our groups, and possibly others as well. What is the structure of the affiliates? Would we be connected and, if so, what would the implications of that be? Hard to say now. We will seek to avoid duplication but there may be overlaps.

4) To this point, the educational developers group has been an informal one, with no formal structure. Would this be an issue? No, I don't think so. It's really a matter of working through this redevelopment of higher education support and development. The Educational Developers could play a key role. This may be "your time". There may be some formalizing of your group as this progresses.

We need to have some discussion around this opportunity. I think that perhaps we can mull this over on our own and together (using the listserv) and then, early in the new year, vote on this as an informal (or more formalized) group. I offer to keep track of the voting and any questions to go back and forth to OCAV as we deliberate.

Let the discussion begin...


Nov 26 2007, Trevor Holmes (U Waterloo)
Thank you Peter for this valuable information.

This is a crucial moment in our history and it would be great to see a bit of discussion about it.

My concerns:

a) this mailing list is not fully representative of the Ontario centres. Before much time elapses we need to populate it with someone from every Centre, so that our discussion leaves no one out, or surprised after action is taken. It's a little bit complicated to work this list compared to other list software.
b) the people from College system who are part of our group are neither governed nor affected by OCAV except (I assume) where degree-granting options are present.
c) some people in Toronto on Friday who volunteered to take the lead in matters constitutional or organizational need to know who each other might be and need to work closely with the existing OCAV-oriented leaders (i.e. you Peter, Judy, Joy, Ros, who else? is it a formal grouping of people?).
d) the e-learning people need to be involved, and I wonder also about learning commons professionals with whom some of our teaching centres are really closely affiliated or part of (UWO, UTSC, UG, etc.)

My solutions to my concerns, for discussion perhaps?

a) Peter or I email EDC list and STLHE list to ensure that people join IDO-Ontario to follow this important discussion
b) College members of our group work toward a similar relationship formalization process with the governing body pertinent to their institutions in parallel to the COU/OCAV initiative
c) Judy/Dalia send to me the names of the volunteers who wish to work on this (I remember Carole Dence saying yes) and I assist in coordinating this subcommittee
d) The subcommittee approaches the e-learning group to look for commonalities (some of you are on this listserv already and were at both meetings, for example)

Reality check and other musings:

From the email exchange below, it seems that we are at a great level of synergies and could establish ourselves as a subgroup of EDC while also being a body that has strong connections to the governance of the Provincial institutions in which we play our daily roles. An offshoot benefit of this is that we can start to establish our own review processes internally (i.e. a seven year review cycle of centres, just as OCGS does for grad programs for many decades since I think the 1950s? and UPRAC processes do for undergrad programs). This is very exciting on some level, and might seem a burdensome new layer of accountability -- but it needn't be the latter. One of my reality checks would be: are we ready to start down this road in terms of infrastructure (is the Lyris mailing list system ready, can people already committed to national and international bodies commit to a provincial initiative, etc.). An interesting model might be the Eastern consortium, in which the Academic VPs fund an annual teaching conference and seem quite closely linked to their teaching centres for this purpose. Joy is originally from UNB and might be able to enlighten us.

thoughts welcome


Nov 27 2007, Eric Kristensen (U Ottawa)
Hi Peter,

Thanks so much for this email, and the attached report. I think that this initiative provides an opening for educational developers in Ontario to have a place at the table for discussing larger organizational initiatives. The natural link with quality initiatives could be a sticky wicket unless we thread it carefully. I know that we could provide positive feedback on our roles of working within universities, and a perspective different enough that it can help the overall effort.

By the way, have you all seen the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes that Rick Reis published in a recent Tomorrow's Professor message? I thought it interesting reading in light of the OCAV guidelines....

Hoping others will join in at this busy time of year!


Nov 27 2007, Richard Pinet (U Ottawa)
Forwarded by request, in a circuitous kind of way -- please tell anyone at your offices to write to Patrick Lyons at Carleton to join the IDO-Ontario list, which has been around as long as the national one (STLHE-IDO) but normally hasn't been as high-traffic or as up-to-date. or

From: Richard Pinet <>
Date: Nov 27, 2007 7:18 AM
Subject: RE: [ido-ontario] OCAV Affiliate Status for Educational
Developers - Follow-up


I am not sure this email will reach the ido group as I am not aware if I
need be registered to (and if Peter has done so) the ido list. If not -
Aldo - may I ask you to forward this?

I would like to thank Peter - for his posting - Trevor for the insights
of his last message, and Aldo and Peter for keeping me in the loop.

With regards to the e-learning group - Would it be OK for me to forward
our members info posted in this list to keep them up to date on
developments on your end?

With regard to Trevors recommendation that:

"The subcommittee approaches the e-learning group to look for
commonalities (some of you are on this listserv already and were at
both meetings, for example)"

We would very much look forward to this contact. But I would just like
to say that it would be both the commonalities and "differences" between
our respective groups that would strengthen any possible affiliation we
might create for purposes of this overture from OCAV. It is my
understanding that the e-learning initiative that we are presently
embarked on in regards to OCAV / COU will likely be integrated into the
overture now being made to ido-Onatrio.

I am curious if any timelines as to when they would like to have a
response from your group has been mentioned?

Again - we look forward to establishing relations with ido-Ontario
sub-committee that Trevor recommends establishing. May I suggest that it
be made up of members who find themselves as both ido-Ontario and the
e-learning members?

I look forward to further discussions and curious as to what others