McGill students weren’t the only ones learning remotely this past semester; parents also did a great deal of virtual learning when the McGill Effective Parenting Series moved from an in-person to an online format. Launched in 2018 by the Faculty of Education’s Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology (ECP), the Effective parenting series was held annually in the spring for an audience of 80 to 100 subscribers who attended a weekly seminar for four weeks. The in-person series would cost $80 per participant and was an excellent outreach initiative to showcase our Education experts and help our local community.
With the theme of “Parenting in the Digital Age”, the April 2020 Effective Parenting Series was all set to go when COVID struck. Months later, the series, under the new leadership of Dr. Adam Dubé, was reformatted as three weekly masterclasses over Zoom starting in late October and focusing on the themes learning digitally, living digitally, and playing digitally. The virtual series was made free to the public to promote accessibility in these challenging times.
Publicity efforts began locally through the Faculty’s efforts and McGill’s University Advancement but soon went viral through school and parenting online groups and got significant media attention through Montreal Families Magazine, CTV News, The Gazette, CJAD, and others. The series, which was anticipated to have an audience of 100 people ended up having 921 registrants and subsequently more than 800 YouTube viewers, confirming that our researchers filled a public need during COVID.
This popularity did not stop there as two new corporate sponsors, Addenda Capital and la Caisse Desjardins de l’Éducation, became financial supporters of two masterclasses and individual donors made their own contributions to the Educational and Counselling Psychology department.
At a time when many families are navigating how to gage healthy screen use, ECP’s articulate experts were there to illustrate the research and answer questions. If you missed these talks and Q & A sessions, you can watch them here.