Vancouver Film School
The Vancouver Film School is a well-established institute preparing students for Hollywood North’s burgeoning film industry. But there were growing pains in the early days. In 1986, consultants from Calgary Academy were asked to undertake a Leadership Development and Professional Development project.
The Executive Director faced problems, including trouble building timetable structures, accountability mechanisms and overall leadership issues. Another issue is that instructors at VFS were film industry professionals, not teachers. Our team conducted a needs assessment to identify the true problem – variable feedback on instructor effectiveness. Our goal was to improve student feedback on the quality instruction they are receiving and advise on how to make non-teachers better instructors.
Our consultancy work with VFS included, helping the instructors with curricular development, lesson planning and delivery, and assessment techniques. We helped the industry professionals develop the essential capacities necessary to deliver the creative educational material.
Our consultancy began with an extensive needs assessment and observation period. We needed to learn where the instructors were failing to meet student expectations so we could generate the correct intervention. Ultimately, we developed a holistic instructional development framework for VFS. We helped the instructors learn how to structure a class, how to break the technical industry material into learning units, and how to build lesson plans. After that, we targeted teaching techniques, student assessment, classroom management, curriculum development and working to take the essential capacities necessary for delivering instruction and putting them into a useable professional development framework.
Over the course of the project, our qualitative observations indicated the instructors became much more comfortable delivering material and confident in the classroom. VFS also acted on our recommendation to implement a full-time instructional coach, whose role was to ensure their teachers succeeded.
Today, Vancouver Film School is a recognized world leader in entertainment arts education, now accredited by the Ministry of Advanced Education’s B.C. Private Training Institutions Branch and designated with the British Columbia Education Quality Assurance. Such recognitions require a consistent and quality delivery of instruction to students.