Focus of Study: This study aimed at examining teacher needs specific to data-related professional learning through a lens informed by knowledgebased organizational learning. We were guided by two broad questions: (a) What knowledge and skills do teachers need in order to engage in datainformed practice? (b) How do professional learning supports address these needs?
Many countries strive to make postsecondary education maximally accessible to their citizens under the assumption that educated citizens boost innovation and leadership, resulting in social and economic benefits. However, attempts to increase access, especially in contexts of stagnant or diminishing financial support, can result in ever-increasing class sizes. Two aspects of large classes are extremely worrisome. First, economic and logistical constraints have led many such classes to devolve into settings characterized by lectures, readings and multiple-choice tests, thereby denying students experience and exercise with important transferable skills (e.g., critical thought, creative thought, self-reflective thought, expressive and receptive communication). Second, such classes are depicted as cold and impersonal, with little sense of community among students.
There was no substantial deterioration in the earnings and employment patterns of young postsecondary graduates between 2005 and 2012—a period that included the economic recession of 2008 and 2009. A new study found that this outcome held even when graduates from specific fields of study were examined. Using linked data from the 2006 Census, the 2011 National Household Survey, and tax data from 2005 to 2012, the study examined Canadian-born 25- to-34-year-old men and women with a high school diploma, college certificate or bachelor's degree. Annual wages and salaries as well as full-year, full-time employment rates were compared before and after the recession of 2008 and 2009. Full-year, full-time employment involves at least 49 weeks worked per year, mainly for 30 hours or more per week. The dollar figures are expressed in 2012 constant dollars to account for inflation.
According to Statistics Canada, 25% of Canadian college students drop out of post-secondary training. Many instructors comment that college students are increasingly hard-pressed to keep up with assignments and readings. Would improving student performance through Essential Skills (ES) training enable students to become more effective, and therefore less likely to drop out? In January 2012, Douglas College recruited students into the National Framework for Essential Skills Research Project. In total, 143 students were tested using the Test of Workplace Essential Skills (TOWES) and Canadian Literacy Evaluation (CLE). Of these, almost two-thirds tested below the minimum Level 3 recommended for success in work, learning, and life. Since only those that scored a Level 2 in Document Use were eligible to participate in the project, 66 students were invited to take part in weekly study sessions. Of these, 37 students chose to participate. Following 10 weeks of study sessions, students were tested again. The results indicate that almost all the students moved positively within Level 2 and 75% moved from Level 2 to Level 3 or Level 2(3).
The provincial government has established policies that obligate universities to produce skilled graduates and cutting-edge research that will contribute to Ontario’s economic development. This “strategy for prosperity” seems innocuous. However, these market-based higher education policies and targeted research funding programs are narrowing the scope and function of our universities, and perpetuating the business model of higher education.
The Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) is an internationally recognized, peer-based, educational development program involving 24 hours of structured intensive instruction designed to strengthen instructors’ skills in planning, teaching, feedback and critical reflection through a student-focussed process. For over 30 years, the ISW has been offered at more than 100 institutions worldwide as a method of facilitating the development of student-centred, reflective instructors (Day, 2004). Although based on best pedagogical principles for teaching adult learners (Day, 2005), little empirical research has been performed to assess the impact on faculty of participating in the ISW (Macpherson, 2011). Research performed to
date has typically shown that individuals who participate in this workshop report that it is transformative to their teaching in the classroom (Macpherson, 2011). The present study sought to extend these findings by conducting a pre-post analysis of ISW and non-ISW participants. The goal of this research was to investigate the influence of the ISW on developing a student-centred approach to teaching in university and college faculty.
For the past 18 years, I have worked at the same university. I see some distinct advantages in that — most notably, that I haven’t had to look for another job in all that time. There is also something to be said for avoiding the pains of relocating. And staying put has allowed me to establish really rewarding ties with the surrounding community.
But there are also serious problems for any academic who pursues a faculty career in one place. As my Twitter friend John Warner recently noted, perhaps the most common way for professors to get a raise is to apply for a job elsewhere. Then, if you get a job offer, you take it to administrators at your current campus and try to get them to match the salary and benefits you would receive if you changed jobs.
Here’s a reality many business leaders confront at some point: corporate cultures can eat innovation strategies for breakfast.
The inertia and siloing that can settle into any workplace can be antithetical to the boldness and flexibility required to drive innovation. So, what realistically can be accomplished?
Large organizations typically try to be more innovative by setting up initiatives outside the “mothership,” with mixed results. (Many large teaching hospitals, for example, have adopted this approach). By spurring innovation outside the organization, companies might be able to create incremental change and innovation, but they could have difficulty leveraging these wins in the larger company culture. General Mills, Nestle and Pepsi recently went through experiments with outside incubators, with mixed results. Despite the uncertain evidence, we’re at a tipping point
where if you’re not linked to an incubator, your business is seen as falling behind.
My first boss, the chairman of my department when I was a young lecturer, was Wilfrid Harrison. Even though there was approximately 40 years’ difference between our ages, I would have described Wilfrid as a friend.
He was a distinguished and influential figure in many ways: the first person to be appointed a teaching fellow in politics alone at an Oxford college, a former editor of Political Studies and a founding member of the Political Studies Association – which still awards a major prize honouring his name. He was also the founding professor of the department, at the University of Warwick, in which I spent 35 years.
When Wilfrid retired, properly and traditionally at the age of 65, he sold all his books, severed all substantive contact with universities and devoted himself to his wife, his daughters, his dogs and his cooking (my memories of the latter are centred on the observation that whisky and cream seemed to feature in all his dishes).
Work-integrated learning (WIL) has been identified as a key strategy for supporting Canada’s postsecondary education (PSE) system in responding to an increasingly dynamic, globalized, knowledge-based economy. Ontario in particular has been described as a “hot bed” of co-operative education (Ipsos Reid, 2010). However, while there is a common belief that WIL improves employment outcomes (see Gault, Redington & Schlager, 2000; Kramer & Usher, 2010), research on this topic has generally been specific to certain programs and types of WIL (Sattler, 2011).
Post secondary education continues to face major challenges in Ontario. Despite an injection of much needed funding in 2005, Ontario universities remain chronically under funded. Inadequate support threatens the global competitiveness of Ontario
universities and the provincial economy.
A new course teaches undergraduates in the humanities how to market themselves for the new economic normal
What if, rather than offer platitudes about the value of the liberal arts to students who are justifiably anxious about their economic future, we actually taught them to market themselves and their degrees with integrity? What if, alongside teaching our disciplines, we taught students to identify and articulate the usefulness of their educational choices?
The plight of Concordia professor Homa Hoodfar in Iran has once again brought up the question of what universities can do to protect scholars detained abroad.
Barely a day had passed since Alexander Sodiqov had been jailed in Central Asia and his colleague Edward Schatz was already mulling a public campaign to bring Mr. Sodiqov home. “Right away, one of the things we wanted to do was start a petition,” said Dr. Schatz, an associate professor of political science at the University of Toronto. Mr. Sodiqov, a doctoral student working with Dr. Schatz, was detained in Tajikistan for nearly three months in 2014.
The purpose of this study was to determine the extent of agreement among experts on the impact of e-learning technology in Canadian higher education learning experiences. Fourteen participants who are experts in e-learning in higher education agreed there are contentions about e-learning technologies in the following areas: (1) a platform for ideal speech; (2) greater opportunities for interactions; (3) the extent to which communities of learners can be created; (4) provision of a new kind of learning environment; (5) a platform for discussions; (6) demand for e-learning by students; (7) the degree to which the
environment is equal and equitable; and (8) the quality of the learning experience. The fi ndings of this study indicate that the value of e-learning requires further research before higher education leaders andteacher-practitioners are willing to incorporate them in teaching practices and policy documents.
Over the past few years, Canadian universities have been at the forefront of institutional changes that identify Aboriginal people, internationalization, and pedagogical change as key areas for revision. Most universities’ strategic planning documents cite, at least to varying degrees, these three goals. Institutions have facilitated these changes by supporting new programs, teaching centres, and course redevelopment. While much attention has been given to those goals individually, it is rarely considered how these commitments converge in particular course offerings. This article considers the connections among Indigenous, global, and pedagogical goals by examining undergraduate comparative Indigenous studies courses, some pedagogical challenges that arise in those courses, and some strategies I have developed in meeting those challenges. Based in auto-pedagogy and a critical analysis of existing and emerging pedagogical frameworks, this article uses key concepts from
Indigenous epistemologies, knowledge translation, and Sue Crowley’s (1997) levels of analysis to propose “knowledge liaisons” as a teaching model that addresses these challenges.
In an effort to measure the effectiveness of faculty development courses promoting student engagement, the faculty development unit of Penn State’s Online Campus conducted a pilot study within a large online Bachelor of Science in Business (BSB) program. In all, 2,296 students were surveyed in the spring and summer semesters of 2014 in order to seek their perspectives on (1) the extent of their engagement in the courses and (2) the degree to which their instructors promoted their engagement. The survey comprised three sub-scales: the first and third sub-scales addressed instructional design aspects of the course, and the second sub-scale addressed attitudes and behaviors whereby the instructors promoted student engagement. The results showed a significant difference on the second sub-scale (sig = 0.003) at the .05 level, indicating that students rated instructors with professional development higher on instructor behaviors that engaged them in their courses than those instructors who received no professional development. There were no significant differences found for the first and third sub-scales indicating that the instructional design aspects of the courses under investigation were not influenced by instructors’ professional development. Qualitative data showed that three quarters of the students who had instructors whose background included professional development geared to encouraging student engagement felt that their courses had engaged them. Future research will focus on increasing the response rate and exploring in more depth both the instructional design and qualitative aspects of student engagement.
Since 1981 the Canadian Federation of Students has been the progressive and democratic voice of Canada’s college and university students. Today the Federation comprises over 400,000 graduate, undergraduate and college students from over 60 students’ unions from Newfoundland and Labrador to British Columbia.
The provincial government is taking steps to address the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's (TRC) Calls to Action regarding education and training, including introducing mandatory Indigenous cultural competency and anti-racism training for every employee in the Ontario Public Service (OPS) and implementing mandatory learning expectations in Ontario's public education system curriculum.
Even if the adjunct movement for better working conditions succeeds, most adjuncts will lose. That’s one bold claim
of a recent paper on the costs associated with a number of the movement’s goals, such as better pay and benefits.
While activists and scholars have been quick to criticize what they call the paper’s inherently flawed logic, the
study’s authors say it is a first step in a more critical dialogue on the adjunct “dilemma.”
Residents of Southwestern Ontario are most likely to identify “jobs/unemployment/wages” as the most important issue currently facing the Ontario government.