Last month, we asked for your direct input on the new directions of the BLC in the form of a survey. We are sincerely grateful to the close-to-50 people who generously gave of their time to share with us their ideas. Thank you!
We are still in the process of analyzing all the results, but, in the meantime, we’d like to share a few findings with you and how we’d like to incorporate them moving forward.
Unsurprisingly, schedules are hard! More specifically, finding consensus around days/times for BLC events is a challenge. Instructor survey participants indicated a range of availability for different week days (Image 1*) and times (Image 2).
A bit clearer, though, was that hybrid events cater to most instructor needs, bridging instructor participant preferences for both in person and online events (Image 3). These results also confirm the importance of our work to upgrade B-4 to accommodate these hybrid events.
Moving forward, we will vary the days and times of our programs outside of the traditional Fridays 3-5pm to try to accommodate as many instructors as we can. Moreover, we will continue to offer hybrid participation options as well as posting recordings of events on our website (specifically, our goal is to have these recordings available within a week of each event).
Types of Events
When it comes to the types of events that the BLC hosts, the survey suggests that, moving forward, a mix of “continuation” and “innovation” might work best.
The most preferred event types were Workshops and Lectures, which aligns with the traditional BLC Lecture Series as well as the more recent inclusion of workshops (e.g., this workshop on machine translation or this one on producing podcasts).
That said, instructor participants also indicated interest in additional event types, such as Discussion Forums and Reading Groups (Image 4), which opens up some space for exploring additional engagement opportunities for language instructors here at the BLC down the road. At the moment, we are looking into creating a Discussion Forum, as this would give instructors the flexibility to engage with each other on their own time around practical and pedagogical matters as they emerge.
The last portion of our survey asked participants to express interest in the general areas and specific topics they’d like to see covered in BLC events. These are participants’ top three choices for general areas (Image 5).
We also saw interest in a range of specific topics (Image 6), including heritage language instruction. This aligns well with our plans to focus at least one event per semester on this topic.
As we drill further down into these areas and topics through continued analysis, we look forward to selecting future event themes that fit the needs and interests of language instructors.
Moving forward, we also encourage everyone in the BLC community to connect with us about additional interests or needs.
*For all graphs: N=48, graphs represent percentage of responses