Updated February 2023
The ISW Network Executive Team members continue to work towards sustainability of the ISW Network into the future. This initiative was precipitated by a number of factors including the steady growth of the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) program both across Canada and globally, and the recognition of the work involved to manage the communications and other activities associated with this growth.
The ISW Network has continued to expand since the Sustainability Plan was initiated in early 2020. This growth, which continues to be good news, necessitates additional steps to leverage the expertise of the many ISW Facilitators and FDW Trainers who are willing volunteers in furthering the goal of ISW sustainability. In this next phase, we want to encourage local ISW Teams to foster and strengthen regional collaboration. We believe that regionally hosted activities will not only foster cross-pollination of ideas but will serve to strengthen local ISW Teams across the global ISW Network in the years to come.
What comprises a region will vary across the type of activities offered as well as the geographical locations of the ISW Teams offering the activity. The identified region for initiating a specific activity might include some ISW Teams within a metropolitan area, or from a few smaller locations in relatively close proximity, or from across one or more provinces, territories, states or countries. Activities might be offered in-person, virtually, or in a blended model and might be only for those from the region or open for broader participation from across the Network. Those decisions would be made by the local ISW Teams offering the specific activity.
We also propose a greater focus on the role of Local Representatives (LRs) and FDW Trainers to build on the interest and commitment of existing or emerging local ISW Teams. Local ISW Teams may already be leading or participating in regional activities, or may be just starting to build capacity at their own institution or organization. Of course, local and regional ISW learning and community-building activities have been offered by ISW Facilitators and FDW Trainers over the 40 plus years of ISW history. However, these activities have not always occurred on a regular basis and not in every area where ISW is offered.
Local Representatives, FDW Trainers and ISW Sustainability
This next phase of the Sustainability Plan highlights the importance of Local Representatives (LRs) and FDW Trainers and includes several key elements:
- ISW Teams that have not already done so are asked to identify one or more LR(s) to serve in a communication and liaison role between their local ISW Team and others in the global ISW Network.
- LRs serve as the primary links with other local ISW Teams, the ISW Network Executive Team, and others working on occasional ISW Network projects. FDW Trainers are asked to occasionally connect with other Trainers in their region, and, as feasible, with Trainers beyond their respective regions.
- LRs in each region are asked to explore ways to support cross-team activities including, but not limited to, offerings of ISW, FDW, and TDW. LRs and FDW Trainers may take on coordinating, supporting, or participatory roles in these regional activities. Other local ISW Team members will also have key roles in cross-team activities.
- LRs are asked to ensure records are kept for those who successfully complete ISWs, FDWs, and TDWs offered locally and regionally. FDW Trainers are asked to provide information to the Executive Team about their offerings of FDWs and TDWs, including a list of successful FDW and TDW graduates. LRs and FDW Trainers are asked to encourage all local team members to complete the online ISW Registry, to subscribe to the ISW Network Newsletter, and to keep their contact information current with both services.
- It is anticipated that LRs and FDW Trainers will connect with others in the global ISW Network primarily through electronic communications. However, there will be opportunities for in-person participation in some of the activities offered regionally.
- LRs are asked to foster continuity and succession planning to support their local ISW Teams into the future. For example, we suggest that each local ISW Team strive to always have at least one or two FDW Trainers as active team members.
- LRs are asked to encourage those involved with new or specialized activities of likely interest to other ISW Teams to prepare and share brief documentation to assist others in the ISW Network who may be offering similar activities in the future.
Independent ISW Facilitators and FDW Trainers
We anticipate a number of independent ISW Facilitators and FDW Trainers will want to continue to participate in this sustainability initiative. Independent ISW Facilitators and FDW Trainers will have been members of an ISW Team, but are now:
- at an institution or organization that doesn’t offer ISWs;
- serving as independent consultants; and/or
- retired but still interested in the ISW Network.
Independent ISW Facilitators and FDW Trainers may wish to connect with local ISW Teams as well as with other independent ISW Facilitators and FDW Trainers. They may be willing to assist with the offering of ISW services and with coordinating learning and community-building activities. Over the years, many such individuals have provided valuable contributions to the global ISW Network. In some areas, independent ISW Facilitators and FDW Trainers may decide to form an informal group and possibly identify their own LRs to foster connections with other LRs in the Network.
Linking LRs, Facilitators and Trainers with ISW Network Support Services
LRs identified at the local level are asked to complete the online LR Registry form, available at https://www.iswnetwork.ca/practices-policies/local-representatives/.
LR information (name, location, and affiliation) is displayed on the LR web list at https://www.iswnetwork.ca/practices-policies/local-representatives/ LR emails will be available for others who are on the ISW Registry from within the password-protected area of the ISW website.
FDW Trainers are asked to provide information about each FDW or TDW offered (dates, location, and names of fellow FDW Trainers) along with the names of successful graduates upon completion of each FDW or TDW. Please use the Contact Us form on the website at https://www.iswnetwork.ca/contact/.
ISW Facilitators and FDW Trainers are asked to complete the ISW Registry Form(s), available at https://www.iswnetwork.ca/isw-facilitators-and-fdw-trainer-registry/. If permission is granted during registration, name, location and affiliation are included on the ISW Facilitator and FDW Trainer web lists in the Facilitator/Trainer section of the website (see the respective drop down lists at https://www.iswnetwork.ca/facilitators-and-trainers/).
ISW Facilitators and FDW Trainers on the ISW Registry are provided with access to the password-protected area of the ISW website and membership in theISW Listserv. For information or assistance with signing into your website account, once you have been notified it is activated, please see the FAQs section at https://www.iswnetwork.ca/faqs/.
ISW Facilitators and FDW Trainers on the ISW Registry are asked to subscribe to the ISW Network Newsletter at https://www.iswnetwork.ca/isw-network-newsletter/ . Past editions of the ISW Network News are posted in the password-protected area of the website.
ISW Facilitators and FDW Trainers are invited to participate in occasional virtual Zoom professional development events, some of which are designated for LRs and/or FDW Trainers (see https://www.iswnetwork.ca/events-2/).
Those on the ISW Registry (or designated ISW support personnel) may request that ISW, FDW, or other ISW-related events, if open to others beyond their institution, be posted on the Events section of the website. Registration contact information must be provided for each event posting. Use the Contact Us webform to submit this request at https://www.iswnetwork.ca/contact/.
The ISW Network Executive Team will continue to manage Network support mechanisms,such as the ISW website, the ISW Network Newsletter, the ISW Registry, Handbooks and other resources, various Network licenses and subscriptions, the ISW Listserv, and occasional virtual PD events.
Executive Team members will continue to develop and post resource materials, including Practice and Policy documents (see https://www.iswnetwork.ca/practices-policies/). The Executive Team members are also available to provide assistance with questions about the ISW program and Network.
To connect with ISW Network Executive Team members, please use the Contact Us Form on the ISW website at https://www.iswnetwork.ca/contact/. You can also contact Executive Team members directly at emails provided within the password-protected area of the website. Technical support for the ISW website, the ISW Registry, the ISW Listserv, Zoom, and virtual events is provided by contract support personnel. Please be aware there are only limited funds available for provision of their technical assistance. To request technical support, please use the Contact Us form on the ISW website at https://www.iswnetwork.ca/contact/. For support related to registration in virtual PD events, please contact the ISW event coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.