Creating Awareness and Facilitating Uptake of Rock the Boat at UBC

Project TitleCreating awareness and facilitating uptake of Rock the Boat at UBC
Principal InvestigatorSusan Cox
Co-ApplicantsMichael Lee, Associate Professor of Teaching & Associate Head of Educational Affairs, Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine
Matthew Smithdeal, PhD Candidate, Philosophy, Faculty of Arts
Funding Year2021
Project Summary
The graduate supervisory relationship is a powerful form of pedagogy and a uniquely influential learning relationship. Supervisory relationships are also central to graduate student wellbeing. Many faculty and staff are, however, under-equipped to navigate the complex relational, communication, and cross-cultural challenges arising in these relationships. Likewise, graduate students often experience some trepidation in broaching sensitive topics such as expectations for co-authorship or requesting a leave of absence. Responding to this situation, we created Rock the Boat (RTB), an open educational resource using Research-based Theatre to engage graduate students, faculty and staff in difficult discussions about supervisory relationships, wellbeing, and diversity. Through viewing a dramatized scene together, participants are able to discuss sensitive issues raised by characters without needing to disclose their own personal stories. This reduces the psychological toll of difficult discussions. Our open resource, RTB, includes four professionally acted scenes focusing on challenges in supervisory relationships, plus a facilitator’s guide and supplementary resources. Our online piloting process supports the effectiveness of this resource in generating dialogue about supervisory relationships and enhancing perspective-taking, empathy, and reflective practice amongst faculty, staff and graduate students. The facilitator’s guide also enables use in a variety of potential settings and with mixed or homogeneous groups of graduate students, faculty and staff. This project will build on our success in creating and piloting RTB to enhance awareness and facilitate uptake of this new resource at UBC and within the BC Campus community. We recently presented a sneak preview of two scenes from RTB to a meeting of the Western Deans and based on the response, we are confident that this resource will be enthusiastically received. Over the summer months, we will complete licensing through Creative Commons and finalize the presentation of the materials in Pressbooks, our chosen platform for delivering RTB. We will then create and distribute promotional materials, including an e-brochure and a short video trailer (now being edited by UBC Studios), to relevant UBC offices, groups and persons, along with an offer to assist in planning and offering online or in person (as appropriate) workshops using RTB. For example, we envision the resource could be used as part of a departmental retreat, staff professional development session or graduate student orientation. This project will support initiatives to enhance the quality and effectiveness of graduate supervision spearheaded by the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies and to strengthen respectful, inclusive and healthy research environments.
Grant type OER Rapid Innovation
Funded Amount $2,000
Link to ResourceRock the Boat: Using Theatre to Reimagine Graduate Supervision