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 (1 volunteer)

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. 

  • Facilitate 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 (2 volunteers)

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. 

  • Chat with Downtown Eastside community members
  • Assist staff in maintaining a friendly welcoming environment
  • Help people troubleshoot computer issues
  • Assist with upcoming events or projects
  • Update resources
  • Conduct basic research related to Drop-In programming

Connecting Through Computers (2 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. 

  • Computer Tutorials: Monday mornings from 9:30 – 11:30 AM 
    • 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
    • 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
    • This class covers basic software programs and social media platforms including email, Microsoft Office programs, and Facebook.
    • 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.

Learning Lab Program (1 volunteer)

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, and creativity; and socializing and giving back to the community.

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. 

  • 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 (3 volunteers)

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.

  • Document design and editing
  • Database management
  • Basic research support for Learning Exchange programs and projects
  • Basic facilities and IT support

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

Learning Lab Program

  • One volunteer on Tuesday afternoons from 2:00 – 4:30 to assist with the Mahjong Club or general admin tasks or other workshops

    • Required skills and abilities: willingness to learn, and help others get involved. Mahjong expertise not necessary.

  • One volunteer on Wednesday afternoons for a minimum of two hours between 1 – 5 PM to assist with administrative tasks, event support or workshops (one volunteer)

    • Required skills and abilities: Experience with Microsoft Excel an asset.

  • One volunteer on Friday afternoons from 1:00 – 4:00 to assist with the “Artastic!” art workshop

    • Required skills and abilities: interest in exploring art and being with other people. Experience teaching art an asset.

Learning Exchange Administrative Support

  • Basic computer and common software skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Video editing and document design skills an asset but not required. 

Scheduling

Peer-Led English Conversation Program

Volunteers must be available for a weekly commitment (minimum 2 hours). Thursdays are preferred, however there is flexibility within these times:

  • Monday 9:00 AM – Noon, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 9:00 AM – Noon, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 9:00 AM – Noon, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 10:00 AM – Noon, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

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

Drop-In Program

  • 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 

  • Basic Computer Skills: Tuesday mornings from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM

  • Advanced Computer Skills: Thursday Mornings from 9:00 am to 11:30 AM

Learning Lab Program  

  • One volunteer on Thursday afternoons between 1:30pm - 3:30pm to assist with general admin tasks, Mahjong Club, or other workshops. 

Learning Exchange Administrative Support

  • Must be available for a minimum of two hours each week on Monday between 10:00am - 12:00pm or 1:00pm - 5:00pm 

Location

UBC Learning Exchange

UBC Learning Exchange

612 Main Street
Vancouver, BC V6A 2V3
Canada