UBC Learning Exchange

About the organization

The Learning Exchange is a place of mind for thinking differently about social issues and how to build community. It believes that new ideas for change come about when people work together to achieve shared goals. Through the computer drop in programs, ESL conversation talking circles, and other programs, the Learning Exchange brings together people who would otherwise not meet - because there is power in a “learning exchange.” Read more about UBC Learning Exchange.

What you'll do

Peer-Led English Conversation Program [FULL]

The Peer-Led English Conversation program is a fun, friendly environment for people from all backgrounds. Through conversation classes with volunteer facilitators, learners in this program practice their English, make new social connections, and learn about their communities.

What are the benefits of volunteering in this program? UBC student Volunteers in the Peer-Led English Conversation Program can practice intercultural communications skills, learn about adult education and community development, and work with other volunteers who are passionate about giving back to their communities.

Volunteers assist in the following ways:

  • Facilitating English conversation sessions (depending on volunteers’ availability they may or may not be able to assist in conversation sessions as the sessions only run at certain times of the week)
  • Assist with special workshops like drama or singing for English learners (depending on volunteers’ availability they may or may not be able to assist in our special workshops as the sessions only run at certain times of the week)
  • Develop lesson plans
  • Research new conversation topics and relevant resources for English Learners

Drop-In Program (1 volunteer)

This program offers a low-barrier space for people from the Downtown Eastside community to socialize, access computers and internet resources, get help with technical issues, and learn about other Learning Exchange programming.

What are the benefits of volunteering in this program? This is a great opportunity for volunteers that are interested in learning more about the Downtown Eastside community. UBC students who volunteer in the Drop-In tell us that it is a fun dynamic space to meet interesting people, grow their communication skills, and practice problem solving.

Volunteers in our Drop-In may spend their time:

  • Chatting with Downtown Eastside community members
  • Assisting staff in maintaining a friendly welcoming environment
  • Helping people troubleshoot computer issues
  • Assisting with upcoming events or projects
  • Updating resources
  • Conducting basic research related to Drop-In programming

Connecting Through Computers (3 volunteers)

This program helps address the digital divide by teaching computer skills, providing access to computers and the internet, and troubleshooting technical problems with computers and mobile devices.

What are the benefits of volunteering in this program? Volunteers will gain experience facilitating in a learning environment, leading workshops, and tutoring people in basic computer and software skills. Volunteers will also meet new people and work in a fun, supportive team.

Availability:

Our Connecting through Computers Program is looking for volunteers for our computer classes. Any of the times below are available.

  • Computer Tutorials: Monday mornings from 9:30 – 11:30 AM (1 volunteer)
    • People access the tutorial time to practice their skills, work on resumes or personal projects, and get help from staff and volunteers.
    • Volunteers assist in Computer Tutorials by troubleshooting basic computer skills, answering questions about computer programs and digital devices, and maintaining a friendly, welcoming environment.
  • Basic Computer Skills: Tuesday mornings from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM (1 volunteer)
    • This class is designed for people with very little knowledge of computers. Topics include: navigating a computer’s start menu, practicing mouse handling skills, etc.
    • Volunteers assist in Basic Computer Skills by helping the staff set up the computers prior to the learners’ arrival, assisting individual learners with questions during the lessons, tidying up after the lesson, and assisting in facilitating the lesson material when required.
  • Advanced Computer Skills: Thursday Mornings from 9:00 am to 11:30 AM (1 volunteer)
    • This class covers basic software programs and social media platforms including email, Microsoft Office programs, and social media.
    • Volunteers assist in Advanced Computer Skills by helping the staff set up the computers prior to the learners’ arrival, assisting individual learners with questions during the lessons, tidying up after the lesson, and assisting in facilitating the lesson material when required.

Tech Cafes (3 volunteers)

The Learning Exchange runs a technology support outreach program called “Tech Café”. This program engages vulnerable people and empowers them to use digital technology to their advantage by learning how to use various devices they may have. In partnership with other community organizations the Tech Cafes operate out in the community at local parks and various community agencies. The ultimate goal of the project is to further strengthen community members’ abilities and skills to use a variety of digital technologies from smart phones and tablets to laptops and desktops, thus decreasing the digital divide.

Availability: Each of the shifts below occurs at a different location in the Downtown Eastside

Tuesdays: 10:15 AM – 12:45 PM (1 volunteer)

Thursdays: 4:15 PM – 6:45 PM (1 volunteer)

Thursdays: 1:15 PM – 3:45 PM (1 volunteer)

Fridays: 10:15 AM – 12:45 PM (1 volunteer)

Learning Lab Program (3 volunteers)

The Learning Lab program works with members of the Downtown Eastside community to develop and run programs that showcase their unique talents, abilities, or interests. The programming and workshops offered in the Learning Lab are constantly growing and changing but two main focuses include art, music, creativity, and with a special emphasis on the social experience in all activities.

What are the benefits of volunteering in this program? Volunteers in the Learning Lab will work in a creative dynamic environment, support community members to facilitate events or workshops, and learn first-hand about community development and event management.

Volunteers may be asked to:

  • Design promotional materials for various Learning Exchange events and programs
  • Assist staff and community members to facilitate events or programs
  • Spend time with people chatting or build rapport
  • Participate in workshops or events so that community members can take the lead facilitating
  • Maintain administrative databases and systems that support the Learning Lab including basic research tasks, filing, storage and event promotion in the community

Learning Exchange Administrative Support [FULL]

The Learning Exchange is a dynamic space where members of the UBC community and Downtown Eastside community come together to learn and build community. Volunteers assist our administrative staff to facilitate these important relationships by maintaining Learning Exchange spaces and procedures.

Volunteers assisting our administrative and leadership staff gain insight into the workings of community-based programs, gain real-life experience working in a fun supportive office environment, and practice skills that will be useful in many other academic or employment settings.

Administrative support tasks may include:

  • Document design and editing
  • Database management
  • Basic research support for Learning Exchange programs and projects
  • Basic facilities and IT support
  • Depending on the skills and interest the student brings there may be an opportunity to assist in database development.

Requirements

Peer-Led English Conversation Program (2 volunteers)

  • To be successful in this program volunteers should be comfortable engaging with people who are learning English and enjoy having conversations with new people.

  • Interest in adult education and developing lesson plans an asset but not required.

Drop-In Program

  • Volunteers in the Drop-In should be comfortable trying new things, be flexible, and willing to adjust to their surroundings

  • Basic computer and common software skills would help volunteers to be successful in this position

  • Interest in working with marginalized populations an asset

Connecting Through Computers

  • Basic knowledge of computers and common computer programs

  • Enjoy helping others learn and problem-solve

Tech Cafes

  • Must be comfortable with technology.

  • Proficiency with tablets, laptops, and cell phones including smartphones.

  • Ideally volunteers have knowledge of both android and apple products.

  • Able to engage with a marginalized population.

  • Ability to problem solve, active listening skills, ability to empathize, and patience are all assets. Cantonese or Mandarin language skills are an asset but not required.

Learning Lab Program

  • One volunteer on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons from 1:30 – 4:30 to assist with the weekly Mahjong Club, Chess Club and/or general admin tasks or other workshops as needed

    • Required skills and abilities: willingness to learn, and help /encourage others to get involved. (Mahjong or chess expertise not necessary - the participants are happy to teach you how to play!)

  • One volunteer on Wednesday afternoons from 1:30 - 4:30 to assist with the weekly sewing club and/or documentary screenings

    • Required skills and abilities: A willingness to learn, and help/encourage others to get involved. Patrons are allowed to sign out blocks of time on our two sewing machines to work on their own sewing projects. We also screen engaging documentaries (with free popcorn) for our patrons. Volunteers would help support and supervise one or both activities. (Sewing experience preferred, but not necessary!)

  • One volunteer on Friday afternoons from 1:30 – 4:30 to assist with the “Fun Fridays" - Arts programming, trivia games, and other low-barrier social activities for adult learners

    • Required skills and abilities: Background or interest iin visual art (drawing, sketching, painting, cartooning, etc. - only base level skills required, we provide the supplies), experience facilitating small to medium sized roups, ability to engage with patrons and encourage participation. Examples of past Fun Friday activities: Clay pot painting, origami, haiku poetry writing, watercolour painting, Jeopardy!-style trivia, and more. Flexible dependent on skills and interests of the volunteer.

Learning Exchange Administrative Support

  • Basic computer and common software skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Knowledge of Excel and Outlook would be an asset in this position

Scheduling

Peer-Led English Conversation Program [FULL]

The Peer-Led English conversation program is now full. Volunteers must be available for a weekly commitment (minimum 2 hours). It would be preferred if the student was available during class times so that they can facilitate their own class (see below). However, there may be flexibility to have a volunteer involved during other times.

  • Monday 9:00 AM – Noon, 
  • Tuesday 9:00 AM – Noon, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
  • Wednesday 10:00 AM – Noon, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
  • Thursday 10:00 AM – Noon

NOTE: The Learning Exchange is closed from 12-1:00 PM and so volunteer shifts must end before noon or begin after 1:00 PM

Drop-In Program

The Drop-In program is looking for 2 volunteers:

  • Must be available for a minimum of 2 hours on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday afternoons between 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM.

  • The Drop-In program is closed during the mornings and all day Mondays.

Connecting Through Computers

  • Computer Tutorials: Monday mornings from 9:30 – 11:30 AM (1 volunteer)

  • Basic Computer Skills: Tuesday mornings from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM (1 volunteer)

  • Advanced Computer Skills: Thursday Mornings from 9:00 am to 11:30 AM (1 volunteer)

Tech Cafes

Availability: Each of the shifts below occurs at a different location in the Downtown Eastside

  • Tuesdays: 10:15 AM – 12:45 PM (1 volunteer)
  • Thursdays: 4:15 PM – 6:45 PM (1 volunteer)
  • Thursdays: 1:15 PM – 3:45 PM (1 volunteer)
  • Fridays: 10:15 AM – 12:45 PM (1 volunteer)

Learning Lab Program  

  • One volunteer on Thursday afternoons between 1:30pm - 3:30pm to assist with the weekly Mahjong Club, Chess Club, and/or general admin tasks or other workshops as needed

  • One volunteer on Wednesday afternoons from 1:30 - 4:30 to assist with the weekly sewing club and/or documentary screenings

  • One volunteer on Friday afternoons from 1:30 - 4:30 to assist with "Fun Fridays" - Arts programming, trivia games, and other low-barrier social activities for adult learners

Learning Exchange Administrative Support [FULL]

  • Our administrative and leadership team is looking for three volunteers who are available for a minimum of two hours each week on Mondays (either between 10:00am - 12:00pm or sometime between 1:00pm - 5:00pm).

Location

UBC Learning Exchange

UBC Learning Exchange

612 Main St
Vancouver, BC V6A 2V3
Canada