In the knowledge-based economy (KBE), a strong education system should produce a
citizenry that is equipped with the tools for success: skills,ompetencies, and knowledge. The role of higher education in the development of the KBE is crucial because institutions are the "creators of, and venues for, cultural and social activity” (OECD, 2007: 39). Around the world, governments are aiming to provide higher education equitably and en masse while ensuring it is both of high quality and of relevance to the labour market. This is a challenge that Ontario, too, faces as it prepares its strategies to enhance the knowledge and skills of its citizens. This research note is the second of a three-part series that examines international trends in strategies for developing knowledge-based economies1. It examines issues pertainingto the development of skills, competencies, and knowledge — areas of focused government attention — and the labour market issues faced by skilled graduates. It draws heavily on the experiences of the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the United States and examines particular fields of government interest in addition to the issues of labour market demand, of skills-matching, and of employer needs. An understanding of these international activities and trends should be of help when Ontario is developing a comprehensive and informed strategy for ensuring students are prepared for the KBE labour market. This research note is structured in three sections, each covering a major theme in the literature. In the first section, debates on the role of higher education within the knowledge based economy are addressed. The role of government in determining future skills needs is discussed, and international trends toward developing a demand-led rather than a supply-led system are addressed. The second section provides an overview of trends in such government activities designed to produce
graduates with specific skill sets and qualifications in Science, Technology, Engineering,and Mathematics (STEM), Creative Competencies, and Middle Skills which many governments consider priority areas. The third section examines skills-matching in the labour market and deals specifically with skills-matching and valued graduate characteristics by examining Ontario data on skills training.
Ontarians want excellent public services from their government. The Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services understands and supports this desire. We see no reason why Ontario cannot have the best public services in the world — with the proviso that they must come at a cost Ontarians can afford. With such a goal, we face three overarching tasks.
First, we must understand Ontario’s economic challenges and address them directly. Second, we must firmly establish a balanced fiscal position that can be sustained over the long term. And third, we must sharpen the efficiency of literally everything the government does so Ontarians get the greatest value for money from the taxes they pay. This report addresses
these issues and offers a road map to a day when Ontarians can count on public services that are both excellent and affordable — the public services Ontarians want and deserve.
The Need for Strong Fiscal Action
Ontario faces more severe economic and fiscal challenges than most Ontarians realize. We can no longer assume a resumption of Ontario’s traditional strong economic growth and the continued prosperity on which the province has built its public services. Nor can we count on steady, dependable revenue growth to finance government programs. Unless policy-makers act swiftly and boldly to prevent such an outcome, Ontario faces a series of deficits that would undermine the province’s economic and social future. Much of this task can be accomplished through reforms to the delivery of public services that not only contribute to deficit elimination, but are also desirable in their own right. Affordability and excellence are not incompatible; they can be reconciled by greater efficiency, which serves both the fiscal imperative and Ontarians’ desire for better-run programs. Balancing the budget, however, will also require tough decisions that will entail reduced benefits for some. Given that many of these benefit programs are not sustainable in their current form, the government will need to decide how best to target benefits to those who need them most. The treatment may bedifficult, but it is worth the effort.
Ontario’s $14 billion deficit in 2010–11 was equivalent to 2.3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), the largest deficit relative to GDP of any province. Net debt came to $214.5 billion, 35 per cent of GDP. The 2011 Ontario Budget set 2017–18 as the target year to balance the books — at least three years behind any other province. The government asked this Commission to help meet and, if possible, accelerate the deficit-elimination plan.
Ten months after it was first announced, the Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services has finally published its report. The Commission, chaired by former bank vice-president Don Drummond, has made 362 separate recommendations. If implemented, Drummond’s plans would permanently change not only our public services, but our province itself. With very few exceptions, the changes Drummond suggests would not be for the better. This paper is called “Out of Step With Ontario” because that is what Drummond’s report is. In December 2011, the Angus Reid polling company conducted a survey of 2,000 Ontarians. What the survey found was that 71 per cent of Ontarians want to see spending on public services either stay the same or go up; 81 per cent support higher income taxes on corporations; 82 per cent support higher income taxes on individuals earning over $300,000 a year; and a whopping 87 per cent chose “job creation” as their preferred method of paying down the provincial deficit. In contrast, Don Drummond wants to take an axe to public services, cutting spending more deeply and for more years than the Mike Harris government did in the 1990s. He wants more privatization, which would drive down wages for workers and increase profits for investors but not provide better services or lower costs to the public. With very few exceptions, Drummond ignores options for generating revenue to pay for public services.
Lastly, Drummond forecasts a weak economy for years to come but proposes no ideas to make that economy stronger. Indeed, his “austerity” measures will slow down our economy, thereby cutting jobs and making the provincial budget deficit worse.
Drummond’s plan won’t work.
This document is a first look at what Drummond has in mind. It is not a comprehensive analysis. Instead, it provides a quick overview that looks at Drummond’s proposals from the perspective of OPSEU members. Some key points have, without a doubt, been overlooked; if so, they will be added to future editions of this document, available on the OPSEU web site.
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.
One of the primary functions of many Ontario universities and colleges is to provide students with a high quality teaching and learning experience. However, as resources are stretched and postsecondary institutions focus more on research, funding into teaching development and support has been put at risk. A number of additional challenges – including rising student/faculty ratios and class sizes, an aging faculty population, outdated methods of instruction and curriculum design, and uneven access to teaching development for new instructors – are making it even more difficult to develop and maintain quality teaching. Many
student associations, faculty and administrators, the general public, as well as provincial government officials have agreed that the quality of the teaching and learning experience available to students at Ontario’s colleges and universities is increasingly at risk.
Just as the roles and goals of postsecondary institutions have changed over the past few decades, so have the operations and priorities of their teaching and learning centres. These centres first emerged in Canada during the late 1960s and early 1970s, accompanying the rise of student activism and the demand for higher quality teaching. Through teaching and learning centres, institutions hoped to consolidate, expand, and promote professional development programs for college and university faculty, and increasingly for graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants. Most Ontario universities and colleges now have teaching and learning centres; in fact, during the past year alone, five universities and several colleges joined the growing list of Ontario postsecondary institutions that have launched, enhanced, or reorganized their teaching and learning centres and services (Miles & Polovina-Vukovic, forthcoming).
On March 30, 2011, the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) hosted a one day workshop attended by several dozen invited experts from Ontario postsecondary institutions to explore the continuing evolution of – and the challenges and opportunities facing – college and university teaching and learning centres.
This paper is intended for members of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) community, college and university faculty and administrators, government officials, students, and concerned parents, along with other postsecondary stakeholders. The objective is to summarize and expand upon the presentations and discussions that took place at HEQCO’s workshop in order to provide a background and context for the evolving role and impact of teaching and learning centres within Ontario postsecondary institutions, and to suggest options and opportunities for future practice. This report is divided into five sections: following this brief introduction, the first section provides a background portrait of the context for teaching and learning centres and educational development in Ontario’s postsecondary sector. The following three sections reflect the discussions that took place at the HEQCO workshop, and are divided into the same three broad themes that animated the discussions there:
1. Responsibilities, Pressures, and Strategies
2. Assessing Impact
3. New Ideas
The concluding section provides some suggestions and recommendations in regards to what needs to be done “Going Forward” when it comes to Ontario’s expanding network of college and university teaching and learning centres, and the growing emphasis on teaching and learning quality in the province’s postsecondary sector.
@ Issue Paper No. 12 – Teaching and Learning Centres: Their Evolving Role Within Ontario Colleges and Universities
It’s a new year and a new semester, with new courses and different students—along with perhaps a few favorite
courses and students you get to spend time with all over again, and maybe a couple of each you won’t miss at all. In other words, it’s a new beginning. As we begin again, I thought this characterization of “The Ideal Professor” might be of interest. It’s offered by students who were asked to compare their Ideal professors with their Typical ones. This cohort of juniors and seniors rated professorial characteristics in three areas: personal, course design, and policies and behaviors. The
items were selected for the survey based on research in each of these three areas. Perhaps a bit surprising is the lack of strong distinctions between Ideal and Typical professors. “We found that preferred qualities and behaviors were not wholly absent in the Typical professor—they simply appeared less pronounced than in the Ideal professor.” (p. 182) Despite overall similarities, the research team does describe some of the differences between the two as “striking” and eight of these are listed below. The numbers reflect the percentage of students who endorsed this characteristic for their Ideal professors and the percentage who said they characterized the Typical professor.
Before the emergence of Internet-based technologies, the classroom was still a room. It featured a teacher at the front delivering learning content to a group of students. Much of today’s teaching and learning is stillconducted within the four walls of the classroom. However, the ubiquity of the Internet, mobile devices, wireless networks and other technologies has torn down the walls of the classroom, enabling a variety of unconventional, location-independent learning environments. By allowing students fl exible learning options, schools can provide more individualized instruction. If implemented properly, online and hybrid learning engage students of all ages, ensure equal access to underserved areas, provide learning opportunities for students with family and job responsibilities, and give older learners a second chance at a college degree. This Special Report will focus on the evolution of learning settings from traditional, instructor-led classrooms to completely virtual, student-centric classes and schools. We will describe and illustrate myriad K-12, college and university learning environments, give examples of how evolving classroom models impact students and teachers, and highlight the technologies that make it possible.
Today’s students use technology to make decisions, manage information and engage socially. They require new ways of learning, communicating, thinking, finding information and problem-solving. To continue to keep students engaged in learning in an environment of ever changing technology, the classroom — be it a familiar on-campus environment or a student’s home or even acoffee shop — must evolve.
Over the past decade, the Ontario postsecondary sector has experienced pressure from a number of societal forces (Clark, Moran, Skolnik & Trick, 2009). The demand for increased access to postsecondary education (PSE), which is moving higher education from an elite model to one of near universal participation, has resulted in undergraduate enrolment increases
of close to 50 per cent over the past decade1. These increases are taking place in an environment where demands in other areas are also being made on institutions and faculty.Demands for increased accountability, demonstrated quality assurance and increased research and development responsibilities have placed higher burdens on institutions and faculty, which are intensified by tight budgets and limited resources. Institutions have responded to these pressures in part, by increasing average class sizes. In 2009, about two thirds of Ontario universities reported that 30 per cent or more of first year courses had more than 100 students.
The average number of FTE students per full time faculty has increased from 17 in 1987 to 25 in 2007 (Clark, Moran, Skolnik & Trick, 2009, page 99). The consequences of this and other adjustments on educational quality are unknown. Undoubtedly, these pressures will continue and intensify in coming years given projections of demand for PSE in Ontario, particularly for undergraduate degrees. As a result, there is a need for the higher education sector in Ontario to identify the challenges and opportunities that are unique to large class teaching environments, as well as strategies to approach these issues, in
order to maintain the quality of student learning in the face of rising class sizes.
A major problem in identifying trends with large classes is in defining what constitutes a large class. This will differ according to the discipline, the level and nature of the class (such as introductory or upper year, lecture, tutorial or laboratory), and the perceptions of lecturers and individual students. For the purposes of this study, a large class is defined as one in which a change in traditional teaching methods is deemed appropriate or necessary, so it may include an introductory class of 700 students or an upper year seminar with fifty.
The education of students with Special Needs (SN) has been well researched at the school level (K-12) and a growing number of studies have been conducted at the postsecondary education (PSE) level. However, there is little research on transitions of SN students between the two systems. Inclusive policies at both the school and postsecondary level are designed to encourage students with SN to continue with their education. However, relatively few do so. Some students with SN fail to complete their schooling and drop. Others graduate from high school but decide against enrolling in a college or university program. While some of these students may prefer direct entry to the labour market others have postsecondary aspirations for which they are not adequately prepared or supported. The social goal of inclusive education is to accommodate the aspirations of all students, including those designated as SN. The existing research on college and university access suggests that students with SN who aspire to PSE face significant barriers. How effectively they meet these challenges requires a better understanding of the basis for their post-high school pathway choices. Socio-demographic factors like gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic status have long been recognized as influencing access to PSE, whether or not the individual is a student with special needs. Whatever their background, high school students who aspire to PSE must meet the academic entrance requirements of the institution (college or university) and, at the same time, develop the self-confidence and dispositions to study that are needed to succeed in a
postsecondary program. Acquiring the necessary capabilities can be especially challenging forat-risk students – those with low levels of achievement and those with special needs. Many, nevertheless, display the resilience needed to plan for, invest in, and realize their PSE aspirations. Schools play a key role in developing these resilient qualities in adolescents. Inclusive policies that emphasize students’ “strengths” rather than “deficits” have led to greater integration into mainstream classrooms. Learning in integrated settings is assumed to enhance opportunities for school engagement that complement and contribute to key student beliefs and behaviours – specifically, their sense of personal competence, dependability, and capacity for self-regulation.
The community college is one of many providers of postsecondary and adult education in Canada. In making decisions about how the community college should allocate its efforts among various possible programs and activities, it is important to understand its relationship to other providers of postsecondary and adult education. This article describes and analyzes the relationship between Canada's community colleges and other providers of postsecondary and adult education in Canada. It attempts to identify the comparative strengths and weaknesses of community colleges relative to other providers with respect to particular types of activity, and from that analysis it offers suggestions regarding the emphases that colleges might place on certain of their activities.
Le collège communautaire est un des nombreux fournisseurs d’enseignement supérieur et d’éducation aux adultes au Canada. En prenant des décisions concernant la manière dont les collèges communautaires devraient allouer leurs efforts parmi différents programmes et activités, il est important de comprendre leurs relations avec d’autres fournisseurs d’enseignement supérieur et d’éducation aux adultes. Cet article décrit et analyse la relation entre les collèges communautaires du Canada et les autres fournisseurs d’enseignement supérieur et d’éducation aux adultes au Canada. Il tente d’identifier les forces et faiblesses des collèges communautaires comparativement à d’autres fournisseurs relativement à certains types d’activités, et à partir de cette analyse, il offre des suggestions concernant l’importance que les collèges peuvent accorder à certaines de leurs activités.
When teachers think the best, most important way to improve their teaching is by developing their content knowledge, they end up with sophisticated levels of knowledge, but they have only simplistic instructional methods to convey that material. To imagine that content matters more than process is to imagine that the car is more important than the road. Both are essential. What we teach and how we teach it are inextricably linked and very much dependent on one another.
This special report features 11 articles pulled from the pages of The Teaching Professor to help you discover new ways to build connections between what you teach and how you teach it. The report offers tips on how to engage students, give feedback, create a climate for learning, and more. It also provides fresh perspectives on how faculty should approach their development as teachers.
It’s been said that few things can enhance student learning more than an instructor’s commitment to ongoing professional development. Here’s a sample of the articles you will find in Effective Strategies for Improving College Teaching and Learning:
• Faculty Self-Disclosures in the College Classroom
• A Tree Falling in the Forest: Helping Students ‘Hear’ and Use Your Comments
• Understanding What You See Happening in Class
• Can Training Make You a Better Teacher?
• Striving for Academic Excellence
Although there is no single best teaching method, approach, or style, this special report will give you a variety of strategies to try. Those that work effectively with your students
you should make your own.
Student parents are a significant minority population on Canadian post-secondary campuses. As research exploring this population has been extremely limited to date, this study provides the first national profile of Canadian student parents. We explore student parent enrolment patterns over time and examine current demographic characteristics. The data for this study were drawn from two datasets collected by Statistics Canada: the Labour Force Survey 1976–2005 and the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics 2004 cross-sectional data file. Student parents accounted for between 11% and 16% of all post-secondary enrolment between 1976 and 2005. Further analyses explore participation patterns based on type of institution college/university), study status (full-/part-time study), age, gender, and marital status. Future research directions and implications for policies and institutional practice are discussed.
Les étudiants qui sont aussi parents représentent une population minoritaire d’importance sur les campus postsecondaires canadiens. Puisque la recherche portant sur cette population demeure extrêmement limitée à ce jour, l’étude qui suit constitue le premier profil national d’étudiants canadiens qui sont aussi parents. On y explore les modèles d’inscription de ces étudiants au fil du temps et on y examine les caractéristiques démographiques actuelles. Les données de cette étude ont été prises de deux sources recueillies par Statistique Canada : la « Labour Force Survey 1976-2005 » et la « Enquête sur la dynamique du travail et du revenu, 2004 [Canada]: Fichier d’enquête transversale principale ». Les étudiants qui sont aussi parents représentent entre 11 % et 16 % de toutes les inscriptions postsecondaires entre 1976 et 2005. D’autres
CJHE / RCES Volume 41, No. 3, 2011
analyses explorent les modèles de participation fondés sur le type d’institution (collège ou université), le statut de l’étudiant (temps plein ou temps partiel), l’âge, le sexe et le statut familial. On y discute également de la direction des recherches futures, ainsi que des implications pour la rédaction de politiques et pour la pratique en milieu institutionnel.
The BYOD Concept
The days of students carrying heavy, book-laden backpacks to school are numbered. Increasingly, students at all
levels expect to access learning materials electronically. And students expect their school to support access to the Internet from anywhere, not just from a classroom computer with a wired connection.
The push for mobile learning options isn’t just coming from students. Teachers also have high opinions of the educational value of these new tools. A PBS/Grunwald survey in 2010 reported that teachers view laptops, tablets and e-readers as having the highest educational potential of all portable technologies. The movement to mobile and digital learning reflects the exploding popularity of mobile devices among consumers and the parallel growth in wireless network services to support them. Instead of using shared or enterprise-owned computers at work, school or libraries, people now want to use their personally owned mobile devices everywhere, a trend called bring your own device (BYOD). In fact, personal computing devices are fast becoming not just a luxury in both primary and secondary education, but a necessity. The growth of more virtual, personalized learning experiences throughout the educational spectrum is engaging students like never before.
The 2010 ”Speak Up” education survey conducted by Project Tomorrow found that more than one quarter of middle school students and 35 percent of high school students use online textbooks or other online curricula as a part of their regular schoolwork. The survey also found that nearly two-thirds of parents of school-aged children see digital curriculum as a key component of the ”ideal” classroom for their student, making access to computing devices a key part of today’s educational experience.²
This trend is creating tremendous new demand levels for wireless networks. For example, one market research firm reports growth of 40 percent in enterprise wireless local area networks (WLANs) in Q2 2011, attributable in part to the BYOD trend and the tremendous popularity of the Apple iPad.³ Gartner Research supports this notion as well, concluding that without adequate preparation, iPads alone will increase enterprise WiFi demands by 300 percent.⁴
Support for this trend is also found in Center for Digital Education (CDE) interviews with K-12 district IT staff. A notable 27 percent of school IT decision-makers interviewed expressed an intent to pursue a BYOD policy.
While the percentage of higher education students with their own devices is significantly higher than at the elementary level, CDE’s Digital Community Colleges Survey reveals that they grapple with many similar technology challenges. A full 92 percent of community colleges report expanded distance learning offerings for online, hybrid and Web-assisted courses, providing ample support for their No. 1 identified technology priority: mobility. The growing popularity of mobile devices isn’t the only factor straining the capacity of educational networks today. Video, interactive learning games and other media-rich content are being
watched, created and shared by students and teachers to foster learning of both skills and subject matter. These media not only gobble up bandwidth — they may also require priority over other network traffic in order to deliver acceptable performance for in-class use. From a technical perspective, the challenge for educational institutions is supporting BYOD for students and staff with secure wireless and remote access network capabilities. Yet the movement to mobile learning isn’t just about supporting new technologies. It’s also about shifting to new ways of teaching and learning.
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.
Online Student Engagement Tools and Strategies
Most online students, even those who are successful, will tell you it takes an extra dose of motivation to stay on top of their assignments compared to the traditional classroom. In fact, the anytime/anywhere convenience of online learning sometimes makes it too convenient … to procrastinate, forget about, and become otherwise disengaged. No wonder online courses have an attrition rate that’s 10 – 20 percent higher than their face-to-face counterparts.
For faculty teaching in the online classroom, this reality underscores the importance of having activities that build student engagement and help create a sense of community among their geographically dispersed students.
Online Student Engagement Tools and Strategies features 11 articles pulled from the pages of Online Classroom and provides practical advice from online instructors who recognize the value of engagement and its role in student retention and success.
Here are just a few of the articles you will find in this report:
• Engaging Students with Synchronous Methods in Online Courses
• Indicators of Engagement in the Online Classroom
• Teaching Online With Errol: A Tried and True Mini-Guide to Engaging Online Students
• Engage Online Learners with Technology: A Free Tool Kit
• Promoting Student Participation and Involvement in Online Instruction: Suggestions from the Front
In short, this special report explains how adjustments in tone, technology, teaching presence and organization can bring positive changes to student learning.
One of the many lessons learned from the early years of distance education is the fact that you cannot simply pluck an instructor out of the classroom, plug him into an online course, and expect him to be effective in this new and challenging medium. Some learned this lesson the hard way, while others took a proactive approach to faculty training. All of us continue to refine our approach and discover our own best practices. Today, it’s possible to learn much from the mistakes and successes of those who blazed the trail before us. Faculty development for distance educators is a critical component of all successful distance education programs. Well thought-out faculty development weaves together needed training, available resources, and ongoing support, and carries with it the same expectations for quality teaching that institutions of higher education have for their face-toface classes. This special report, Faculty Development in Distance Education: Issues, Trends and Tips, features 12 articles pulled from the pages of Distance Education Report, including:
• Faculty Development: Best Practices from World Campus
• Developing Faculty Competency in Online Pedagogy
• A Learner-Centered, Emotionally Engaging Approach to Online Learning
• How to Get the Best Out of Online Adjuncts
• Workload, Promotion, and Tenure Implications of Teaching Online
• Four Steps to Just-in-Time Faculty Training
This report is loaded with practical strategies that can help you build a comprehensive faculty development program, helping ensure that instructors stay current in both online pedagogy and practical technical know-how. No matter what the particular character of your program is, I think you’ll find many ideas you can use in here.
Increasingly, students are seeking transfer from college to university educational programs. This challenges universities to assess the effectiveness of transfer policies and also challenges colleges to prepare students for continued education. This paper reviews the various transfer procedures used by Canadian universities, barriers experienced by students seeking
transfer, and strategies for improving the transfer process. The authors propose the use of learning outcomes, which identify student knowledge and skills following an educational experience, to develop block transfer strategies that ease student transfer between educational programs.
Les étudiants cherchent de plus en plus à transférer leurs projets d’études collégiales vers un programme universitaire. Les universités doivent donc relever le défi d’évaluer l’efficacité de leurs politiques de transfert, tandis que les collèges doivent réfléchir sur la façon de mieux préparer leurs étudiants aux programmes de formation continue. Le présent article passe en revue les diverses procédures utilisées par les universités canadiennes, les obstacles que doivent surmonter les étudiants cherchant à effectuer un transfert et les stratégies d’amélioration du processus de transfert. Les auteurs proposent l’utilisation de résultats d’apprentissage, qui identifient les connaissances et les compétences acquises par les étudiants d’un
programme donné, afin d’élaborer des stratégies générales qui faciliteront le transfert d’étudiants entre programmes éducatifs.
The significance of literacy for postsecondary success has been demonstrated in numerous
research reports showing that attrition and underachievement are strongly linked to low levels of language proficiency (Jennings and Hunn, 2002; Perin, 2004). It has also been shown that Canadian adults with lower literacy levels have significantly lower employment rates and incomes, higher rates of unemployment, and are less likely to be engaged in their community than Canadian adults with higher literacy levels (Statistics Canada, 2005). On a national scale, literacy is a key factor in economic growth, productivity and innovation (Coulombe, Tremblay and Marchand, 2004).
Graduating over 71,000 students per year (MTCU, 2011), colleges play a central role in preparing Ontario adults with varying literacy levels for the labour force. A recent review of literacy-related practices at Ontario’s colleges demonstrated that there is currently a wide range and diversity of activities and models being used to address the language needs of students (Fisher and Hoth 2010). Without the appropriate supports, literacy and language challenges are barriers that prevent students from achieving success in their chosen program of study and subsequent career. All post-secondary institutions struggle with finding workable models to support these students, yet there has been little rigorous research evaluating the effectiveness of various remediation approaches (Levin and Calcagno 2008).
In fall of 2008, George Brown College piloted an innovative remedial approach in the Practical Nursing program that targets reading, writing, speaking and listening skills while integratingcontent from select core courses, termed the Communications Adjunct Model (CAM). The goal of this research project was to assess the impact of CAM on adult learners with diverse remedial
English language needs in order to provide important lessons for post-secondary institutions. To assess the program’s effectiveness, the academic performance of students placed in CAM was examined in relation to two comparison groups. The first comparison group consisted of students in the same cohort as the CAM group (2008/2009) who were not placed in CAM. The second comparison group included students from two academic years prior to the introduction of CAM (2005/2006 and 2006/2007) who fell below the entrance score cut-offs for selection into the adjunct program.
The analysis undertaken suggests that CAM did not have a strong effect on overall grade performance (GPA). While two out of the four evaluations of the effectiveness of the program showed that CAM had a positive effect on students’ GPA, the results were weak and did not prove to be reliable across comparison groups. It is important to remember, however, that the analysis assessed the impact of CAM solely on GPA performance. CAM has a number of additional objectives, such as general language skill development, that would require additional data collection and analysis to better determine the effectiveness of the program. Nonetheless, there are many important learnings that can be gleaned from the project based on George Brown
College’s experience of developing and administering CAM.
David Cooperrider, the originator of a relatively new approach to organizational or institutional change called Appreciative Inquiry, tells the story of a conversation he had with the father of modern management, Peter Drucker, before his recent death. He asked Drucker, then 93, to distill the essence of what he knew about leadership. Drucker told Cooperrider, “The task of leadership is to create an alignment of strengths, making our weaknesses irrelevant.” Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a way of helping organizations discover their strengths so they can create an alignment of those strengths, making their weaknesses and problems irrelevant. Since the mid-1980s, thousands of organizations in more than 100 countries – corporations, businesses, nonprofits, churches, educational and governmental organizations – have used this strengths-based approach to
organizational or institutional change and development.
Academic dishonesty is a persistent problem in institutions of higher education, with numerous short- and long-term implications. This study examines undergraduate students’ self-reported engagement in acts of academic dishonesty using data from a sample of 321 participants attending a public university in a western Canadian city during the fall of 2007. Various factors were assessed for their influence on students’ extent of academic dishonesty. More than one-half of respondents engaged in at least one of three types of dishonest behaviours surveyed during their tenure in university. Faculty of enrolment, strategies for learning, perceptions of peers’ cheating and their requests for help, and perceptions and evaluations of academic dishonesty made unique contributions to the prediction of academic dishonesty. High self-efficacy acted as a protective factor that interacted with instrumental motives to study to reduce students’ propensity to engage in dishonest academic behaviours. Implications of these findings for institutional interventions are briefly discussed.
Le comportement académique malhonnête persiste dans les institutions d’enseignement supérieur, et ses implications à court et à long terme sont nombreuses. La présente étude examine l’adoption d’un comportement académique malhonnête par des étudiants de premier cycle, grâce aux données d’un échantillon de 321 participants qui fréquentaient une université publique dans une ville de l’ouest canadien à l’automne 2007. Différents facteurs ont été évalués en fonction de leur influence sur l’étendue du comportement académique malhonnête des étudiants. Plus de la moitié des étudiants échantillonnés ont adopté au moins l’un des trois types de comportements malhonnêtes au cours de leur passage à l’université. La faculté à s’inscrire, les stratégies d’apprentissage, la perception quant au comportement tricheur des pairs et quant à leurs demandes d’aide, et les perceptions et évaluations de la malhonnêteté académique constituent des indices uniques pour ce qui est de prédire le comportement académique malhonnête. Un degré élevé d’auto-efficacité, de même que certains motifs essentiels, avaient un effet protecteur dans la réduction de la propension des étudiants à s’engager dans des comportements académiques malhonnêtes. L’article aborde brièvement les conséquences de ces résultats au cours d’interventions en institution d’enseignement.