Monthly Archives: November 2016

Blog 4: Farewell- a moment of significance


As we get closer to end of the term, our CBEL project is also approaching completion. After working together with many inspiring and talented individuals for three months, it’s not easy to say goodbye but we have worked hard and it is time to move on. In this last blog post, we will be sharing a brief process of our project and reflecting on one of our many moments of significance.

Reflection of Trailing the map


Moments of significant change can occur at any time, whether during positive events or negative obstacles that arise from unpredictable results. Like we mentioned in Blog 2, our group had a slow start since we were unfamiliar with each other’s style of work and did not know how to collaborate in the most efficient and considerate way. However, as the project progressed, our style of collaboration became clearer. We discussed and all agreed on that our moments of significance occurred last week when we conducted map trailing of the VFAM.

So what?

We started by dividing all potential community partners in UBC with the other tutorial group that was also trialing on campus. In order to work most efficiently, we decided to break the group into pairs and trial at three different locations; AMS food bank, Agora Cafe, and Sprouts Cafe. Surprisingly, things did not progress as smoothly as we assumed. Each pair met different obstacles which reflected a moment of a significance. However, as discussed in lecture and explained in a reading by Shulman L. S., uncertainty contributes to a higher learning, and that was exactly what happened as we surveyed for feedback on the map (Shulman, 2005).

One location’s participants suggested that an offline version would be beneficial. This seemed very relevant since we assumed that individuals who will use this tool have access to the internet. Another possible barrier is the fact that not everyone has literacy skills; images would be a good solution for this feedback. With these existing barriers to the tool illuminated, individuals who are homeless or very low-income may still unable to access and use this tool. Moreover, another location reported that many people are unaware of the available resources in their community, they were surprised to see the variety of food assets and had no idea they existed. We then realized how significant it is to educate people about their local resources by spreading the knowledge in public. After surveying community members, we think suggestions such as the addition of a rating system to the map might be a useful feature to offer users a brief understanding about the food asset, and help with determination whether it is appropriate for them to visit. A significant result of the map trialling process was our deepened understanding of the multiple underlying issues that prevent access to food assets in the city.

Now what?

Ultimately, we hope that the feedback we collected during the map trialling will contribute to meaningful updates of the VFAM tool, and give insight to our partners and map-creators on the opinions of members within the community. The value and potential benefits of the VFAM became apparent once we had participated in helping people learn how to use it. Therefore, in order to make it easier for Vancouver community partners to view and utilize community food assets strategically, the combined efforts between our group, community members, and the expert guidance of the public health dietitians at Vancouver Coastal Health are needed.


Shulman, L. S. (2005). Pedagogies of uncertainty. Liberal Education, 91(2), 18–25. Retrieved from

Blog Posting #3: Strategies for a Graceful Dismount

As the semester becomes increasingly busy and overwhelming, it is important to take a step back and reflect on the accomplishments we’ve made, and to set goals that will guide as as we move forward. Listed below are our most pertinent weekly accomplishments as well as some goals for the upcoming weeks.


  • Reached out to all assets to ask for permission and confirm information
  • Established which community partners at UBC we will contact to set up trialling of the map
  • Established what we collectively want to take away from the CBEL project in the moment of significant change workshop


  • Contact UBC community partners to coordinate map trial
  • Assign map trialling date
  • Complete excel spreadsheet
  • Delegate portions of the report to pairs of students

A Moment of Significant Change


A graph of each group member’s skills and knowledge, with dotted lines representing skills, and solid lines representing knowledge.


A graph of each group member’s emotions throughout the course of the semester and progression of the CBEL project.

At the close of our 9th week into the semester, our group had the opportunity to check in on our progress with our community project, and to re-assess the scope of our work in comparison to our initial proposal.  Following an in-class activity where we constructed graphs of the progress of our skills and knowledge over time (pictured above), we were able to visualize the gains and losses, so to speak, over the semester.  Where some of us had experienced a gain in skills, such as increased confidence in communicating with assets in the community, others experienced a loss and were discouraged by a high non-response rate.  This trend of ups and downs was evident for each group member, and we discussed how we had each experienced these at different times over the last 2 months.  These results can be related to the model of uncertainty and resolution introduced in class.  Feelings of uncertainty surrounded us when we were first assigned the Vancouver Food Asset Map (VFAM) project, however this was quickly cleared up by an informative introduction by our community partners, the Vancouver Coastal Health public health dietitians.  After this first stage of uncertainty and resolution, we experienced a second round after we began contacting our assigned assets to update their information and obtain permission.  As quoted by Schulman (2005), “In the presence of uncertainty, one is obligated to learn from experience”, the commonality amongst group members in this session was a feeling of skills gained.  In this current stage of resolution, we have had to come to terms with our moment of significant change in regards to how we understand the scope of our project.  

Although we are fortunate that the scope of our project in regards to data collection and purpose has not changed, we feel that we have had to adjust the expectations of our own contribution.  Initially elated that we could directly contribute to the VFAM, the group felt that we would be able to complete the information of 80 food assets across the city without too much difficulty.  However, the complexity of this task unfolded as we encountered issues in finding the correct contact information for assets, a low response rate, and even withdrawal of consent.  Much like Dan Barber in the “Latin Liver” podcast, who had to acknowledge the fact that there are always hidden complexities in nature, such was the case for our own project.  In Dan Barber’s case, he attempted to recreate the harmonious habitat that Eduardo Sousa had accomplished for his humane foie gras geese (This American Life, 2011).  For us, we experienced unforeseen challenges in updating the contact information of our food assets for our community partners — despite the fact that much of the information was already provided.  As a result, the scope of our own contribution had to be modified.  It was less of a moment of significant change as it was a moment of feeling insignificant.  Now that we had invested our own time completing just a small portion of these assets, we began to appreciate the amount of time and energy that was required to create this extensive list.  In the scope of a systemic, global issue such as food security, our contribution is infinitesimally small.  Moving forward towards the completion of our project, we are gaining an appreciation of the volume of assets that are available in Vancouver.  Although we may not be able to make a large impact in this project, and indeed in city food security for that matter, we can appreciate the amount of support that is currently available to Vancouverites.  Our scope change has helped us to focus on the local impact of this tool, and the importance of increasing accessibility to food in each community across the city.

The Graceful Dismount

Now that the community-engagement part of the project has been completed, we are invested in finalizing the details of our report, and preparing to present our work to the world. We hope that our contributions to the VFAM project will have a meaningful influence on community members at all levels.  It is also our hope that our work  will reflect the changes in perception, knowledge, and appreciation we’ve seen in ourselves over the course of its completion.

Finishing well includes making sure loose ends (such as extraneous communication and paperwork) have been tied up, all goals set before and during the project have been met or addressed in some way, all participating parties are satisfied with the progress which has been completed, and the impact of the project has been evident through evaluation. As we approach the end of our project, it will be important to keep communication lines open, as talking with other participants and sharing the individual experiences/thoughts/feelings during the progress are an integral part of finishing well.  We will draw on the support and expertise of our community partners to address any issues that may arise during this semi-final stage of our work.


Shulman, L. S. (2005). Pedagogies of uncertainty. Liberal Education, 91(2), 18–25. Retrieved from

This American Life (December 2, 2011).  Ira Glass on Poultry slam 2011: Act 3: Latin liver with Dan Barber. Retrieved from