The Council of Europe (since the mid-1960s), the European Commission (since the late 1980s) and many European states and civil society organisations (in the aftermath of the Second World War) have long fostered programmes and strategies to enhance the mobility of young people.
The prevailing notion of such programmes is that the process of economic and political integration in Europe will indeed remain fragmentary and unstable without accompanying social and educational measures. Instead of a Europe with non-transparent
bureaucratic institutions, a “Europe of Citizens” was meant to develop wherein people would get to know each other,
appreciate their mutual cultural differences and, at the same time, form a European identity by saying “yes” to core European values. As such, mobility is considered important for the personal development of young people, contributing as it does to their employability and thus their social inclusion.
Background: Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young Canadians (10–19 years of age) — a disturbing trend that has shown little improvement in recent years. Our objective was to examine suicide trends among Canadian children and adolescents.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of standardized suicide rates using Statistics Canada mortality data for the period spanning from 1980 to 2008. We analyzed the data by sex and by suicide method over time for two age groups: 10–14 year olds (children) and 15–19 year olds (adolescents). We quantified annual trends by calculating the average annual percent change (AAPC).
Results: We found an average annual decrease of 1.0% (95% confidence interval [CI] –1.5 to –0.4) in the suicide rate for children and adolescents, but stratification by age and sex showed significant variation. We saw an increase in suicide by suffocation among female children (AAPC = 8.1%, 95% CI 6.0 to 10.4) and adolescents (AAPC = 8.0%, 95% CI 6.2 to 9.8). In addition, we noted a decrease in suicides involving poisoning and firearms during the study period.
Interpretation: Our results show that suicide rates in Canada are increasing among female children and adolescents and decreasing among male children and adolescents. Limiting access to lethal means has some potential to mitigate risk. However, suffocation, which has become the predominant method for committing suicide for these age groups, is not amenable to this type of primary prevention.
So much of what determines the overall success or failure of a course takes place well in advance of the first day of class. It’s the thoughtful contemplation of your vision for the course — from what you want your students to learn, to selecting the instructional activities, assignments, and materials that will fuel that learning, to determining how you will measure learning outcomes.
Course Design and Development Ideas That Work examines this multifaceted issue from a variety of fronts to bring you proven course design alternatives implemented in courses of varying sizes and disciplines. Featuring 12 articles pulled from the pages of The Teaching Professor, the report will inspire you to rethink some components of your course.
For example, in the article titled A Large Course with a Small Course Option, we learn about an innovative course design for a large 300-level course. Essentially, the instructor created two options: in one, students attend lectures and take four exams. In the second option, students are responsible for those same lectures and exams, but they also participate in small group discussions and complete a set of writing assignments. The second option was most valued by students who are not very good test-takers or who have a keen interest in the subject.
In the article The Placement of Those Steppingstones, the University of Richmond’s Joe Ben Hoyle compares the placement of steppingstones in a koi pond to the educational processes teachers use to help their students get from point A to point B. Hoyle theorizes that “education stumbles when either the learning points are not sequenced in a clearly logical order or they are not placed at a proper distance from each other.”
Other articles in Course Design and Development Ideas That Work include:
• A Course Redesign that Contributed to Student Success • Pairing vs. Small Groups: A Model for Analytical Collaboration • How Blended Learning Works
• Should Students Have a Role in Setting Course Goals?
• In-Class Writing: A Technique That Promotes Learning and Diagnoses Misconceptions
If you’re looking to update an existing course, this report will give you sound strategies to consider.
Survey fielded between August 16-28, 2013 among a nationally representative sample of American adults (N = 1,000) conducted via landline and cell phone. The margin of error for a sample of 1,000 is ±3.1%.
The national poll was supplemented by a survey of business hiring decision-makers (N = 263) fielded online during July 10-15, 2013. The business elite sample included hiring decision-makers and hiring executives from a cross-section of companies, ranging from small companies to larger businesses with a global presence.
Mathematics is an integral part of the curriculum in the Ontario community college system. Most students are required to take at least one, often several mathematics courses during their college studies. Almost all students enrolled in business and technology programs take several courses in mathematics. Most colleges administer some form of placement/diagnostic math test. At some colleges, the results of the test will help in the proper placement of first semester students into a developmental (remedial) math course or a first semester math course. For a variety of reasons, many of our students struggle with math. According to the College Mathematics Project report 2009,i 33 per cent of our students received a D or F or withdrew
from the course. College faculty who teach mathematics come from diverse backgrounds.
Education levels range from baccalaureates to PhDs with degrees in mathematics, business, engineering, and education to name a few. Many of our faculty members have had little formal training in education. An opportunity to share, discuss, and learn from one another about teaching and teaching practices can therefore benefit both faculty and students. The Ontario College MathematicsAssociation Math Knowledge Exchange Network (MathKEN) has created an environment in which Ontario college mathematics educators can share exemplary teaching practices and resources in business math, developmental math, technical math, and statistics. It is important that teaching methods be shared amongst faculty to help in identifying and disseminating exemplary teaching practices. These teaching methods or practices could be something that has been tried in the classroom and the teacher feels that it is promising and would like feedback from colleagues on whether they have experienced similar results. For example, students coming into the Ontario college system come with the expectation that their studies in college will prepare them with the skills to immediately be successful in their careers.
For many of our students, contextual learningii is very important, not only for how they learn, but also for making their studies relevant to their personal and professional lives.
Faculty have learned about ways to teach from their own education and professional training, from their own learning and teaching experiences, attending courses, workshops, and conferences. Many mathematics faculty in Ontario colleges have the opportunity to share teaching practices by attending meetings and conferences sponsored by the Ontario Colleges
Mathematics Association (OCMA). Unfortunately, there are also many who are not able to attend face-to-face meetings and so miss the opportunity to share resources. For those who do attend, the long periods between meetings can lead to stagnation and de-energized teaching. Many teach in isolation, without the benefit of input and feedback from others who share the same concerns, challenges, and successes.
Aging population resulting in lower labour force participation rates
Knowledge economy requiring a more educated work force
In response to what the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities has outlined as a need for increasing capacity, affordability, and access through collaboration, technology, and innovation, for new and flexible approaches to learning and teaching, and for a renewed focus on productivity and sustainability, each college and university has submitted a proposed strategic mandate agreement comprising a differentiated mandate statement, an institutional vision, and three priority objectives.
A great deal of research has been conducted and published on the topic of hybrid or “blended” learning in university settings, but relatively little has been conducted within the college environment. The purpose of this multi-method study was to identify the impact of hybrid course delivery methods on student success and course withdrawal rates, and to evaluate faculty and student experience of hybrid instruction from within the Canadian college environment.
Quantitative findings suggest that students achieved slightly lower final marks in hybrid courses as compared to the face-to-face control courses offered in the previous year, though the magnitude of this effect was very small, in the order of -1%. Further analysis revealed that students with high academic standing were successful regardless of course mode, while students with low GPAs performed slightly worse in hybrid classes. Course mode did not have an effect on withdrawal from the course, suggesting that the format does not impact course completion.
Overall both students and faculty responded positively to the hybrid format. Students enjoyed learning and engaging online, but did express concerns about reduced access to instructors and/or a sense that lectures were rushed. Open-ended survey responses and focus group feedback made clear that it is essential to provide well-defined direction and orientation to web-based tools for a hybrid course to be successful. Suggestions for improvement include providing additional technical support for students and faculty, mandatory tutorials introducing students to online tools, and hybrid course development training for faculty.
In analyses of higher education systems, many models and frameworks are based on governance, steering, or coordination models. Although much can be gained by such analyses, we argue that the language used in the present-day policy documents (knowledge economy, competitive position, etc.) calls for an analysis of higher education as an industry. In this paper, the university sector in Ontario’s higher education industry is analyzed by applying Michael Porter’s five forces framework defined by the following forces: the threat of new entrants, supplier power, buyer power, the threat of substitutes, and industry rivalry. Our assessment revealed that competition in Ontario’s higher education industry (university sector) is currently mixed. The findings suggest that policy-makers, the sector, and individual institutions will need to consider more seriously the impact of technology and globalization when seeking a competitive position for the Ontarian higher education system.
En termes d’analyse des systèmes d’enseignement supérieur, de nombreux modèles et cadres de référence sont fondés sur des modèles de gouvernance, de pilotage ou de coordination. Malgré la pertinence de ces analyses, nous soutenons que la langue utilisée dans les documents de politique actuels
(économie du savoir, position concurrentielle, etc.), notamment, incite à une analyse de l’enseignement supérieur en tant qu’industrie. L’article revoit le secteur universitaire de l’industrie de l’enseignement supérieur de l’Ontario en appliquant le modèle des cinq formes de Michael Porter, définies en fonction des forces suivantes : la menace d’entrants potentiels, le pouvoir de négociation des fournisseurs, le pouvoir de négociation des clients, la menace des produits de substitution et l’intensité de la concurrence intrasectorielle. Notre évaluation a révélé que la concurrence au sein de l’industrie de l’enseignement supérieur en Ontario (secteur universitaire) est présentement mixte. Les résultats suggèrent que les décideurs politiques, le secteur et les institutions individuelles devront prendre en compte plus sérieusement les répercussions de la technologie et de la mondialisation pour positionner de manière concurrentielle le système d’enseignement supérieur de l’Ontario.
The overall goal of the ARUCC PCCAT National Transcript Standards and Transfer Credit Nomenclature Project is to contribute to enhanced student mobility by creating standards and tools that facilitate the efforts of registrarial and pathway practitioners and policy developers at Canadian postsecondary institutions and allied organizations. A core component of Phase 2 is to further engage the national community in a discussion about what the future transcript standards and transfer credit nomenclature should look like. To quote the 2003 ARUCC Transcript Guide, the main transcript issues remain “’what information to record’ on the transcript and ‘how to record’ the needed information, so that the transcript accurately and equitably reflects educational achievements, and the information it conveys is clear and unambiguous for present and future users” (ARUCC, 2003, p. 10).1 For transfer credit nomenclature, the primary goal is to seek agreement on what terms and definitions to adopt in a database that are
reflective of common and promising practice.
Top performance in today’s sales environment requires a highly collaborative approach. Reps who have either grown up using tools like email, social networking platforms, and mobile devices (“digital natives”) or who are heavily engaged with such tools are in a much better position to become top performers and win more deals, faster. Accordingly, a collaborative team environment enabled by “social learning” capabilities represents revenue opportunities for forward-thinking sales leaders who want to train, manage, mentor, and coach winning teams.
Lead-Deadwood Elementary School in the Black Hills of Western South Dakota has a problem. Students need science.
Real science for real kids — the kind that sparks students’ imagination. Second grade teacher Carol Greco contacts the world’s largest underground laboratory, the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Lab (DUSEL). One mile under South Dakota, the lab is not accessible to students. But this doesn’t stop Dr. Warren Matthews, DUSEL’s cyber-infrastructure chief engineer. As a scientist, Warren knows engaging elementary students with science means finding a “hook.” That hook comes in the form of puppets — and not the brown paper bag variety.
Patty Petrey Dees, distance learning director for the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Ga., starts to work her digital magic and begins researching what scientific content the lab can use for Carol’s classroom. Patty envisions nanotechnology
dancing in virtual micro cities and students playing the role of engineers in a virtual mission control room as their astronaut puppets explore deep space. This is a far cry from the current most popular elementary school distance learning topics — the lifecycle of a butterfly and paleontology lessons from puppetized dinosaurs — at the Center for Puppetry Arts.
Watching first graders wiggle and giggle at the crystallization movements of crafted butterfly puppets is good, but watching them explore the world of dark matter through puppets is better.
This is extreme puppetry through technology with digital content that has supersized itself. For Carol, the ability to incorporate a sense of discovery and real-world problem solving into her classroom is critical. She wants to bring difficult science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) topics closer to home. Using every available technology in her classroom, from the electronic whiteboard to individual laptops, she sets the virtual puppet stage to bring STEM out of the physical text and into the virtual world. The infrastructure that seamlessly allows this to happen stays in the background, empowering Carol to teach, Warren to share his scientific expertise, and Patty to provide the instructional tools that link learning to laughing as the puppets play. This type of education really rocks. Teaching difficult STEM topics to elementary students does not immediately conjure up puppets and interactive video conferencing as critical tools, yet these technologies link the arts and science in a way that fully engages students’ imaginations.
Second graders cannot tour the remote South Dakota lab, but they can do the next best thing by inviting the lab to
come to them. Best of all, the lab is accessible through technology and content that they understand.
In recent months, national discussion on the need to reform Canada’s health care system has taken on new urgency as First Minister meetings have taken place and evidence of the medical, economic, and social effects of the current system mounts. The increasing costs of human care services and new technologies, combined with an aging population and changing roles of health care providers, are creating unprecedented pressures on our health care system.
In terms of human resources, the public has been focused on an acute shortage of physicians and nurses. In Ontario, efforts to improve supply through innovative projects such as Ontario’s International Medical Graduate program (IMG) and CARE bridging program for internationally trained nurses are meeting with some success.
A New Model for Effective Teaching
How might education change if classrooms become places of active learning, not just passive listening? Higher education students are already active learners, using e-books, Web content, and social media to explore and discover in their daily lives. But what happens when these students go to the classroom, especially for high-enrollment courses? They sometimes experience the curiosity-stifling thud of having to listen to and take notes on a lecture, with its mostly one-way communication format. And with limited opportunities for Q&A during the class session and no ability to review the lecture content later to study a difficult concept, it’s no wonder students may become discouraged and disengaged.
This traditional learning model won’t cut it with students who are accustomed to active learning, either on their own or in small groups of classmates. Students increasingly expect a classroom experience that helps them develop knowledge for themselves, not just passively receive one-dimensional information. Students want to do something meaningful with content instead of just listening to a lecture. They also expect to meet with discussion groups and project teams and
do much of their assigned work during class time instead of meeting separately.
Another factor that is playing a role in student perceptions: the value gained from education in a tough economy. Instructors need to make education worth a student’s investment of time and money by ensuring the classroom experience is productive and meaningful. These expectations are leading higher education toward “flipped” classrooms and a learning model that blends online and in-class learning. Respondents to the Center for Digital Education’s 2011 Community Colleges Survey indicated the majority of their students enroll in online or blended courses and that more than two-thirds of online courses used some type of online collaboration tools to promote learning.
This research uses the Youth in Transition Survey, Reading Cohort (“YITS-A”) to compare participation in postsecondary education (PSE) in Ontario to other Canadian regions. We begin by presenting access rates by region, which reveals some substantial differences. University participation rates in Ontario are in about the middle of the pack, while college rates are relatively high. We then undertake an econometric analysis, which reveals that the effects of parental income are quite strong in the Atlantic provinces but much weaker elsewhere, including within Ontario. We also find that the relationship between high school grades and Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test scores (measures of academic “performance” and ability”) differ by region and are generally strongest in Ontario. From this perspective, Ontario would appear to have a relatively “meritocratic” system, where those who are more qualified are more likely to go to university and where attendance rates are less affected by family income. Interestingly, the effects of parental education, which are generally much stronger than those of family income, are similar across regions. Understanding the reasons underlying these patterns might warrant further investigation.
How many Ontario high school students applied to the province’s colleges and universities during the last decade? How many enrolled? How many graduated? Find the answers to these and other good
questions in Quick Facts, a compendium of current and authoritative data on Ontario’s postsecondary
This guide outlines a framework for addressing student mental health in post-secondary institutions. It is the result of a commitment undertaken by the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS) and the Canadian
Mental Health Association (CMHA) to strengthen student mental health. Another product of that commitment, Mental health and well being in postsecondary education settings: A literature and environmental scan to support planning and action in Canada (MacKean, 2011) outlines the current status of post-secondary student mental health and recommends a more system wide approach that extends the focus from “treating individuals... to promoting positive mental health at a population level...” (page 10). The framework presented in this guide continues this work by outlining a systemic approach that focuses on the creation of campus communities that foster mental well-being and learning.
One in five Canadians will experience a mental health [glossary] problem this year1 and the onset of the symptoms of mental ill health often occur between the ages of 15 and 24.2 These numbers tell us that many students in post-secondary education will experience mental health problems while they are attending college or university.
Ontario post-secondary institutions report a large increase in the number of students with mental health disabilities registered with their Offices for Students with Disabilities (OSD) [glossary]. Some students come to university or college with a diagnosed mental health condition such as depression or anxiety. Other students develop symptoms of mental ill health gradually while they are at school and may not realize that they need professional help.
If you are reading this Guide, you may be a student who has already been diagnosed with a mental health disability, be in the process of being diagnosed, or perhaps you are a parent/guardian of a student. Our goal is to help simplify the post-secondary experience for students with mental health disabilities by providing “need-to-know” information that is accessible and relevant. The Guide is written in a question-and-answer format and is addressed directly to students with mental health disabilities – so we use “you” throughout the text.
While competency-based education is growing, standardized tools for evaluating the unique characteristics of course design in this domain are still under development. This preliminary research study evaluated the effectiveness of a rubric developed for assessing course design of competency-based courses in an undergraduate Information Technology and Administrative Management program. The rubric, which consisted of twenty-six individual measures, was used to evaluate twelve new courses. Additionally, the final assessment scores of nine students who completed nine courses in the program were evaluated to
determine if a correlation exists between student success and specific indicators of quality in the course design. The results indicate a correlation exists between measures that rated high and low on the evaluation rubric and final assessment scores of students completing courses in the program. Recommendations from this study suggest that quality competency-based courses need to evaluate the importance and relevance of resources for active student learning, provide increased support and
ongoing feedback from mentors, and offer opportunities for students to practice what they have learned.
It is often the case that research questions in education involve units of analysis that can be naturally grouped or placed within hierarchical or multilevel configurations. This type of grouping is referred to as nesting. It results in the exposure of the lowest-level units of analysis to common environments that are likely to impact their behaviors, outcomes, or levels of performance. These lowest-level units are commonly referred to as level-1 units. Typical examples of these units are students nested within classrooms. Classrooms are the nesting structure, constituting a second-level unit or level-2 unit. Following this rationale, researchers could further model level-3 units consisting of classrooms (comprised of students) nested within schools. Notably, this logic can be further expanded to higher order levels. The successful identification of units situated at different levels prompted the development of techniques designed to model this phenomenon. These techniques are known as multilevel modeling.