Symposium 2017: “Fast Facts & Learning Takeaways”

Posted:11 October 2017

Author: Pat Halewich, Community Learning Network

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On behalf of the Community Learning Network, I would like to thank you for attending the Literacy & Learning Symposium 2017!

Our annual Symposium is such a wonderful opportunity to gather for professional development and training as a CALP community and to share and learn from our presenters and from each other!

To recap Symposium 2017, I have included some fast facts as well as some learning takeaways. Hope you enjoy reflecting back on the week as much as I did and please add your thoughts in the comments section below.

Fast Facts…


  • 292 participants attended Symposium 2017 (Flashback – There were 296 attendees in 2016, 257 in 2015, 255 in 2014, 283 in 2013 and 305 in 2012.)
  • 87% of CALP Programs across Alberta attended Symposium 2017
  • Attendees were CALP staff, Board Members, Facilitators/Instructors, Volunteer Tutors, Other Volunteers, CCI Representatives, First Nations College Staff, Library Staff and Government Representatives

Overall Survey Results

Rated as very good or good by respondents

  • Day, time and length of event: 97%
  • Valuable opportunity to share info and network:100%
  • Quality of training/session content: 98%
  • Relevance of training/session content: 98%
  • Symposium Program/Presenters: 98%
  • Keynote speakers: 89%
  • Overall organization of the event: 97%

Top 5 Learning Takeaways Identified by Attendees…

1) “Practical everyday information” and “with varied learning opportunities”.

  • The addition of more half-day, one-day and two-day training was valued and appreciated.

2) “Positive networking opportunities.”

  • Wednesday was dedicated to communities of practice conversations by role in your organization, by region and by theme and the value of sharing and learning from each other was acknowledged.

3) “Generous sharing of information and resources.”

  • The varied sessions met people’s expectations and the presenters were knowledgeable and informative.

4) “Brings together various individuals passionate about adult learning.”

  • Coming together as a CALP community to learn and share in professional development and training helps inspire our work.

5) “Reinforced need for relationships and connections.”

Phil McRae – Keynote Presentation: Learning in Complex Times: Building Resilience and Enhancing Relationships

Building Resilience:

  • “The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.” (Robert Jordan)

Enhancing Relationships:

  • We need to be mindful of the “Internet of Things - There are more things connected to the internet than there are people on the planet.”
  • “Relationships will always be the killer app for learning!” No matter how complex our digital world is, relationships are key to learning! Relationships, relationships, RELATIONSHIPS with our learners and with each other as a community of CALPs!

Hope to see you at the Literacy & Learning Symposium 2018 during the week of September 24 – 28th in Edmonton!

Pat Halewich
CLN Events Specialist


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