Ask most people who don't teach online about the likelihood of academic dishonesty in an online class and you will likely hear concerns about the many ways that students could misrepresent themselves online. In fact, this concern about student representation is so prevalent it made its way into the Higher Education Opportunities Act (HEOA). Passed into law in 2008, the act brought a few big changes to online education, including a new requirement to â€œensure that the student enrolled in an online class is the student doing the coursework Although there'ome disagreement as to whether distance education is more susceptible to academic dishonesty than other forms of instruction, what isn't up for debate is the fact that for as long as there's been exams, there's been cheating on exams. The online environment simply opens up a different set of challenges that aren't typically seen in traditional face-to-face courses.
Promoting Academic Integrity in Online Education was developed to help you understand the latest tools and techniques for mitigating cheating and other unethical behaviors in your online courses. The report features nine articles from Distance Education Report, including:â€¢ Combating Online Dishonesty with Communities of Integrity
. 91 Ways to Maintain Academic Integrity in Online Courses
. The New News about Cheating for Distance Educators
. A Problem of Core Values: Academic Integrity in Distance Learning
. Practical Tips for Preventing Cheating on Online Exams
Online education didn't invent cheating, but it does present unique challenges. This report provides proactive ways for meeting these challenges head on.
The PSE Outcomes Study was commissioned by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) to explore the pathways of applicants from postsecondary education (PSE) application to the Ontario labour market, and their employment experiences during and after PSE. This report provides statistically reliable Ontario data to supplement the findings of national studies such as the Youth in Transition Survey (YITS). It offers insights into the factors that contribute to postsecondary education participation and persistence, the barriers that impede access to higher learning, and the relationship between educational attainment and labour market outcomes. In particular, the analysis considers the experiences of four groups who are traditionally under-represented in PSE: Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, students whose parents did not complete PSE, and students who delayed their entry into PSE after secondary school.
The results are based on a sample of 45,000 Ontario applicants to college and university who had participated in Academica Groupâ€Ÿs University and College Applicant Surveyâ„¢ (UCASâ„¢) between 2005 and 2009, and had agreed to participate in future research. The 4,029 respondents to the PSE Outcomes survey (including 214 French language respondents) yield an overall survey response rate of 9% and a margin of error of +/- 1.55 at the 95% confidence level. Survey respondents were organized into five mutually exclusive postsecondary education pathways, based on the outcome of their initial PSE application:
â€œNot offeredâ€ respondents did not receive offers of admission following their application to PSE (n=273 or 7% of respondents). â€œOffered/declinedâ€ respondents were offered admission to PSE but declined the offer (n=317 or 8% or respondents). â€œStill attendingâ€ respondents (also referred to as â€œcurrent PSE studentsâ€) were offered admission to PSE and were attending the institution to which they had initially applied when they responded to the PSE Outcomes Survey (n=2,297 or 58% of respondents). â€œAttended/leftâ€ respondents (also referred to as â€œearly leaversâ€) were offered admission to PSE but left their postsecondary program prior to completion (n=279 or 7% of respondents). â€œAttended/completeâ€ respondents (also referred to as â€œPSE graduatesâ€) were offered admission to PSE and had completed the postsecondary program to which they applied (n=766 or 19% of respondents).
Overall, 85% of all respondents who received offers of admission accepted the offer, and about three-quarters had a specific occupation or career goal in mind at the time they applied.
PSE participation rates1 were highest among applicants who were younger than 20 when they applied to PSE, never married, with high household incomes, high grade averages, and interested in full-time study. Participation was lower among applicants who were older, from 4 â€“ From the Postsecondary Application to the Labour Market: The Pathways of Under-represented Groups lower household incomes, married or divorced, interested in part-time study, and with lower grade averages. University applicants were more likely than college applicants to accept offers of admission, while college applicants were twice as likely to decline. The overall rate of PSE participation for under-represented applicants (83%) was lower than the participation rate of applicants who did not fall into one of the four groups (88%).
Many immigrant youth view postsecondary education (PSE) as an important, even essential, means of economic mobility and social integration (Cheung, 2007). Gaining access to a PSE program builds on a record of academic engagement and achievement in high school. There is, however, mounting evidence of considerable variability in the preferences, performance, and eventual post-high school (PHS) pathways of immigrant students (Anisef et al., 2008; Thiessen, 2009). Many high school graduates enrol in a college or university while others either delay PSE entry or move directly to the labour market and a significant number leave before graduating. The PHS pathways of immigrant youth, then, can involve transitions to the
postsecondary system, the labour market, or both. The bases for these decisions are complex and include personal characteristics, family resources, and community support factors as well as the individualâ€™s school and classroom experiences (McAndrew et al., 2009).
Previous research on the high-school transitions of immigrant youth in Canada has several limitations (Boyd, 2008). First, studies on school achievement and educational aspirations of immigrants have compared 'immigrant' versus 'non-immigrant' groups. These studies have found few aggregate differences between those born in Canada and those born outside Canada. Such comparisons conceal significant variations among immigrant students that affect the likelihood of PSE participation. Second, PHS planning and preparation are made relatively early in adolescents' educational careers yet most studies have employed cross-sectional or retrospective designs that did not adequately consider the effects of important antecedents on students' PHS pathway choices. Third, previous comparative research has not considered differences in immigrant generational status. First generation immigrant youth1 are those born outside Canada while those considered to be second generation were born in Canada of immigrant parents. To the extent that the school experiences and PHS aspirations of each differ, it is important to distinguish first, second (and third) generations. This is especially the 1 Please note that this term should not be confused with ˜first generation students", which refers to those who are the first in their family to attend and/or complete PSE, regardless of immigration status.
2 â€“ Post-High School Pathways of Immigrant Youth case in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) where 42 per cent of students are foreignborn and 38 per cent are born in Canada of immigrant parents. Only 20 per cent of TDSB students have both parents born in Canada. These students comprise the third generation, sometimes referred to as the â€˜third plusâ€™ generation, and frequently employed as a reference group in comparative research. (Yau and Oâ€™Reilly, 2007).
In this paper we disaggregate the "˜immigrant" designation by source country (region-of-origin) and generational status to examine the PHS pathways of a cohort of TDSB youth who began high school (Grade 9) in September 2000 and were tracked through the high school system until Fall, 2006.
The specific purposes of the study were to:
1. Construct profiles of the various immigrant (and non-immigrant) groups comprising the 2000 TDSB cohort.
The elements of each profile include information on students, their school, and neighbourhood characteristics as well as the reported PHS pathways they followed between 2004 and 2006.
2. Predict PHS pathway choices based on this profile information.
The PHS pathway decisions predicted were defined by: (a) those respondents that confirmed university acceptance; (b) those that confirmed community college acceptance; (c) those that graduated high school but either did not apply to PSE or did not confirm an application; and (d) those that left high school early and did not apply toPSE.
The cultural and social composition of Ontario is undergoing dramatic change as a consequence of immigration. This is most obvious in its larger metropolitan areas, particularly Toronto. In many ways, Toronto is a precursor of the demographic change the rest of the province (and Canada) will experience within a few years as immigrant youth become the majority of the school-age population. Our aim in studying TDSB immigrant youth as they prepare for the transition from high school is to extend the literature on immigrant settlement and contribute to informed educational policy and practice.
For most educators, writing a philosophy of teaching statement is a daunting task. Sure they can motivate the most lackadaisical of students, juggle a seemingly endless list of responsibilities, make theory and applications of gas chromatography come alive for students, all the while finding time to offer a few words of encouragement to a homesick
freshman. But articulating their teaching philosophy? Itâ€™s enough to give even English professors
a case of writer's block.
Traditionally part of the teaching portfolio in the tenure review process, an increasing number of higher education institutions are now requiring a philosophy of teaching statement from job applicants as well. For beginning instructors, putting their philosophy into words is particularly challenging. For one thing they arenâ€™t even sure they have a philosophy yet. Then there's the added pressure of writing one thatâ€™s good enough to help them land their first teaching job.
This Faculty Focus special report is designed to take the mystery out of writing teaching philosophy statements, and includes both examples and how-to articles written by educators from various disciplines and at various stages of their professional careers.
Some of the articles you will find in the report include:
â€¢ How to Write a Philosophy of Teaching and Learning Statement
â€¢ A Teaching Philosophy Built on Knowledge, Critical Thinking and Curiosity
â€¢ My Teaching Philosophy: A Dynamic Interaction Between Pedagogy and Personality
â€¢ Writing the â€œSyllabus Versionâ€ of Your Philosophy of Teaching
â€¢ My Philosophy of Teaching: Make Learning Fun
As contributor Adam Chapnick writes, â€œThere is no style that suits everyone, but there is almost certainly one that will make you more comfortable. And while there is no measurable
way to know when you have got it â€˜right,â€™ in my experience, you will know it when you see it!â€
Over the last few decades there has been a great deal of ink spilled about the importance of postsecondary education (PSE) in Canada and globally. We are moving from a mid-20th century idea of postsecondary education as â€œeliteâ€ to a new understanding of â€œmassâ€ postsecondary education (Trow, 1974), and potentially to a newer view of postsecondary education as â€œuniversal.â€ The growing consensus is that postsecondary education is important to society, in providing the skills workers require in the labour market, in supporting the social and economic health of society, and in ensuring individuals have the necessary abilities to participate and contribute fully in that society and labour market. What once was accepted as the luxury of the upper and middle classes is now understood to be a prerequisite for full inclusion in the benefits and functioning of society.
As PSE in Ontario grows to â€œuniversalâ€ proportions and beyond, youth from low-income backgrounds stand to gain in terms of their socio-economic status. Nevertheless,potential students from low-income backgrounds continue to take up postsecondary education with less frequency than their middle- and high-income counterparts, particularly at the university level (Drolet ,2005; de Broucker, 2005; Berger, Motte and Parkin, 2009; HEQCO, 2010). Income is an important determinant of participation in PSE. Knowing this, the public policy response has long been a focus on keeping tuition relatively low and providing student assistance to students who demonstrate need. However, recent research has revealed that income alone is not as strong a determinant as academic achievement or parental education (Drolet, 2005; Frenette, 2008a; Finnie, Childs and Wismer, 2010).
Characteristics often associated with income make the barriers to postsecondary more complex and multi-faceted. Furthermore, it has also been shown that changes to student assistance and tuition levels over time have had very little effect on the participation of the lowest income quartile (Berger et al., 2009); meaning that other policy levers may be required to address the complexity of the barriers in a more sophisticated way.
This is the first in a series of @ Issue Papers that looks at the participation of traditionally under-represented cohorts in postsecondary education.1 The purpose of this @ Issue Paper is to summarize what is currently known about the participation of low-income students in PSE, with a particular emphasis on low-income students in Ontario. Where relevant data or research is not available for Ontario, the discussion will focus on the larger Canadian picture.
In a knowledge economy, it is almost certain that those without a base level of skills will be left behind. We are seeing that now. Martin Prosperity Institute, November 2008 Every developed country is racing to keep up with profound and fundamental changes in the 21st century. The new knowledge economy is creating unprecedented demands for higher levels of expertise and skills, while, at the same time, changing demographics will significantly reduce the numbers of qualified people available in the economy.
The cumulative impact presents great opportunities and great challenges to Ontario. The province has an opportunity to implement meaningful and transformational changes that exploit the potential for growth in the new economy and drive Ontarioâ€™s prosperity to unprecedented levels.
But the threats to Ontarioâ€™s future are just as great. Failing to move forward now with significant measures could leave Ontario unprepared for the challenges ahead, and strand thousands of people as permanently unemployable.
All developed countries face this challenge. And the jurisdictions that are best prepared to meet these challenges recognize the solution is in their people. A highly educated population that can develop new ideas, master new technologies, and continue to innovate will be the nucleus to new growth and greater prosperity for all.
Ontario is fortunate. There is a solid foundation in place and the province is well-served by its large number of universities and colleges. Ontario has one of the highest postsecondary attainment rates in the world.
The provinceâ€™s postsecondary system was also strengthened by the Ontario governmentâ€™s Reaching Higher plan, which was announced in 2005 and will end this fiscal year. The investments made through Reaching Higher, along with subsequent investments in capital improvements and expansions, have helped Ontarioâ€™s colleges and universities to better serve a greater number of students.
Indeed, enrolment at Ontarioâ€™s public colleges continues to increase and the success rates among Ontarioâ€™s college graduates continue to improve.
But Ontario cannot rest on its laurels. Other jurisdictions are making significant investments in higher education and present a serious challenge to surpass the achievements made in Ontario.
Developing countries now have 94 million postsecondary students, which represents 70 per cent of the worldâ€™s total. In 2007, Bloomberg News reported that India was planning to set up 30 universities and 6,000 model schools, and was considering ways to establish a college in each of its 340 districts.
In China, the number of graduates at all levels of higher education has approximately quadrupled in the last six years. The skilled labour supply in China equals about 40 per cent of all OECD Countries.
Why Join the Mobile Learning Movement? Mobile learning has clearly become a major new direction
for improving student education at all levels: in K-12 schools as well as in colleges and universities. Mobile learning
allows a working adult who is also a part-time college student to use a smartphone to view a video lecture on a lunch break. K-12 students can learn at home, on a trip or in school. A mobile device that is part of studentsâ€™ lifestyles combines many technologies to engage them and help them learn effectively. In these and many more ways, the power and flexibility of mobile technology are transforming both instruction and learning.
Definition of Mobile Learning
The term â€œmobile learningâ€ has different meanings for different communities. Although related to e-learning and distance education, it is distinct in its focus on learning across contexts, learning collaboratively and learning with mobile devices.
A new direction in mobile learning, or m-learning, enables mobility for the instructor, including creating learning materials on the spot and in the field using mobile devices with layered software such as as Mobl21, Go-Know or Blackboard Mobile Learn. Using web 2.0 and mobile tools become an important part of student engagement and higher achievement.
The Case for Mobile Learning
Why is it important for educational institutions to join the mobile learning movement? Consider these factors:
. Mobile devices are now fundamental to the way students communicate and engage in all aspects of their lives. The
Pew Internet Project found that 49 percent of Americans ages 18-24 own a smartphone, and that the majority of these young adults also own a laptop computer.
. Student expectations are changing, especially in higher education. Todayâ€™s students juggle a complex life of school, work, family and social time.
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.
Abstract: This article considers the evolution of e-learning and some of the factors that have shaped its implementation. It draws on research conducted in the UK from 2001 to 2008 by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) focusing on training and learning in corporate organisations rather than courses offered to students enrolled in educational institutions. The article argues that throughout this period there has been insufficient attention given to the way learning takes place in organisations. It considers the emerging wave of enthusiasm for Web 2.0, concluding that successful current applications of e-learning simply use a more diverse range of tools and approaches.
Keywords: corporate e-learning; learning technology; Web 2.0; social networking;
virtual worlds; Webinars; online support;
Ontario is Canada's largest provincial destination for immigrants. Language barriers, lack of recognition for foreign credentials and lack of work experience in Canada prevent many from gaining employment in their field of expertise. There is an urgent and growing need for occupation-specific language training in Ontario. Immigrants cannot apply their experience, skills and knowledge without the level of language proficiency needed in the workplace, but there are not enough language training opportunities to meet their needs. Shortages of skilled workers in many sectors will increasingly hinder Ontarioâ€™s economic prosperity. This report presents the results of a project undertaken by Colleges Ontario and funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to examine existing occupation-specific language training in Ontario colleges. It identifies gaps and opportunities for occupation-specific language training and provides input on guidelines for moving toward a province-wide framework for college delivery of occupation-specific language training.
Participants in college-delivered occupation-specific language training will have obtained language proficiency at Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) levels 6 to 8 and need to acquire occupation-specific language skills and knowledge. These may include individuals who are employed or unemployed, who are pursuing career or vocational training, or who need to acquire the language levels required for higher-level occupation-related language programs.
Ontarioâ€™s colleges are experienced in meeting the language needs of immigrants, and are developing increasing expertise in designing and delivering occupation-specific language training. Ontario colleges are a visible first point of entry for new Canadians seeking information on pathways to employment, credential and skills assessment, language training in English and French, upgrading their skills and knowledge, and postsecondary education and training.
Ontarioâ€™s colleges currently serve many landed immigrants and refugees. The changing demographic of college enrolment has provided the impetus to examine the language needs of students who are newcomers. Colleges are actively engaged in immigrant-related initiatives, such as Colleges Integrating Immigrants to Employment (CIITE), that provide opportunities to
link with college-delivered language training.
Information for this report was collected from the 24 Ontario colleges through a comprehensive consultative process that included in-depth interviews, follow-up and a one-day workshop. Colleges Ontario worked closely with the Colleges of Ontario Network for Education and Training (CON*NECT) and CIITE. Supplementary information was gathered through online research into OSLT activity at other Canadian colleges and universities. Consultations were held with the Ontario Regional LINC Advisory Committee (ORLAC). A working group was convened to provide guidance to Colleges Ontario and helped shape the consultations and research. The college sector in Ontario is made up of 24 independent colleges. Colleges actively collaborate on a wide range of initiatives, but each college brings its unique perspective to the delivery of education and training in Ontario.
Writing assignments, particularly for first- and second-year college students, are probably one of those items in the syllabus that some professors dread almost as much as their students do. Yet despite the fact that essays, research papers, and other types of writing assignments are time consuming and, at times, frustrating to grade, they also are vital to furthering student learning. Of course part of the frustration comes when professors believe that students should arrive on campus knowing how to write research papers. Many do not. With as much content as professors have to cover, many feel they simply canâ€™t take time to teach the research skills required to write a quality, college-level term paper. But as teaching professors who support the writing across the curriculum movement would tell you, improving studentsâ€™ writing skills is everyoneâ€™s business, and carries with it many short- and long-term benefits for teachers and students alike. Further, many instructors are finding ways to add relevance to writing assignments by aligning them with the type of writing required in a specific profession as an alternative to the traditional, semester-long research paper. This special report was created to provide instructors with fresh perspectives and proven strategies for designing more effective writing assignments. It features 11 articles from The Teaching Professor, including:
. Revising the Freshman Research Assignment
. Writing an Analytical Paper in Chunks
. Designing Assignments to Minimize Cyber-Cheating
. Chapter Essays as a Teaching Tool
. Writing (Even a Little Bit) Facilitates Learning
. How to Conduct a â€˜Paper Slamâ€™
Mentoring novice teachers often features buddy support, technical advice, and classroom management tips to meet teacher-centered concerns of survival. Such mentoring aligns with conventional models of teacher development that describe the
novice concerned with self-image, materials and procedures, and management, and only after the initial years, able to focus on individual student learning. Drawing on the wisdom of practice of 37 experienced teacher induction leaders and case studies of mentor/new teacher pairs, this study found that mentors can interrupt that tendency among new teachers, focusing them on the learning of individual students, especially those underperforming. For this work, mentors tap knowledge of student and teacher learners, pedagogy for classrooms and for tutoring teachers, and especially multilayered knowledge and abilities in several domains of assessment. These include assessment of students, alignment of curriculum with standards, and formative
assessment of the new teacher. Skillful use of this knowledge can bring individual student learning into focus and help new teachers generate methods for shaping instruction to meet studentsâ€™ varied learning needs. These results challenge developmental models of teaching and conservative mentoring practices, calling for articulation of a knowledge base and relevant mentor development to focus new teachers early on individual student learning. Do students think Iâ€™m in charge? What materials should I use in this unit?
This study reviewed over 40 programs in Ontario colleges and universities that were designed to increase recruitment, participation and retention of Aboriginal students in postsecondary education (PSE). It involved a literature review, site visits to 6 postsecondary institutions and qualitative interviews with program administrators and coordinators at 28 institutions across the province. Qualitative interviews were also conducted with students at selected institutions. A summary of the research findings is presented below. Overall, researchers found that, relative to only five years ago, colleges and universities in
Ontario have made significant progress in developing support programs for Aboriginal students. In 2004, a pan-Canadian study (Malatest, p. 23) looked at best practices in Aboriginal support programs. At that time, Ontario was in the formative stages of developing programs, particularly when compared with Manitoba and other Western provinces. Virtually all colleges and
universities in Ontario now have some form of support program. Furthermore, many postsecondary institutions have taken a holistic approach and have implemented a number of programs, each targeting different underlying causes of the lower incidence of PSE success among Aboriginal students. Among the programs offered are the following:
â€¢ Aboriginal student services programs,
â€¢ Aboriginal access programs,
â€¢ Aboriginal studies and Aboriginal designated programs,
â€¢ health care programs, and
â€¢ Aboriginal teacher education programs.
It should be noted that the research compiled in this report is largely qualitative. There is widespread agreement among the stakeholders interviewed that these types of programs are valuable; however, there was a distinct lack of outcome data available to allow the researchers to state that the programs reviewed had a â€œmeasurableâ€ and positive impact on Aboriginal studentsâ€™ postsecondary success. Nevertheless, where student outcomes were measured, the results were promising.
Despite the lack of quantitative evidence to support the impact of the programs, the researchers were able to infer that progress has been made on a number of fronts. In addition to the large number of institutions offering one or more of the above programs, in other institutions, Aboriginal management bodies are in place to help inform the design and implementation of the
programs. Aboriginal Elders are being consulted and are playing a more active role on college and university campuses. The number of courses being offered in the native languages of Ontarioâ€™s First Nations Peoples has increased, and the number of Aboriginal teachers available to teach and serve as role models has also increased.
The hidden truth about literacy in Canada
Many people find it difficult to believe that Canadaâ€”one of the leaders among the G8 industrialized nationsâ€”has a literacy problem. However, statistics show that nearly half of all adults in Canada lack the kind of prose literacy skills that are required to cope in a modern society. The Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) first drew attention to this situation more than three years ago in the pages of its State of Learning in Canada: No Time for Complacency report. That report revealed that more than 48% of all Canadian adults (those over the age of 16) had low prose literacy skills, meaning that they have difficulty reading, understanding and functioning effectively with written material, according to the OECDâ€™s International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (IALSS).
In 2008 CCL went further, challenging the common belief that adult literacy rates in Canada were improving. Its
landmark report, Reading the Future: Planning to meet Canadaâ€™s future literacy needs, explained that as a result of a number of demographic trends (population growth, aging population and immigration rates) Canada will likely witness little to no overall progress in adult literacy rates over the next two decades.
According to the reportâ€™s projections, by 2031 about 47% of adults will have low prose literacy skills (below IALSS
Level 3) meaning that the face of low adult literacy in Canada will remain virtually unchanged for years to come.
The report also provided regional literacy projections as part of its interactive PALMM1 tool, a free online program that gives users the ability to calculate and compare future literacy rates for 10 provinces and three territories.
The main objective of this report is to learn about the state of knowledge regarding the role of
financial literacy as a complex barrier to postsecondary attendance.1 To achieve this goal, the
report contains a literature review of existing studies in the area, as well as an environmental scan of existing programs and initiatives. When possible, the focus of the report is on low-income high school students in the context of making decisions regarding postsecondary education. In this ideal setting, financial literacy will be defined as knowledge of all the costs, benefits, and available aid associated with postsecondary education. In reality, there are few studies and existing programs that fit this ideal profile. However, we have identified several studies that share these characteristics to a large extent. Specifically, we describe and discuss 21 related studies and 34 related programs. Although most studies and programs are Canadian, we also broaden the scope somewhat to include countries with similar postsecondary systems as Canada (e.g. the United States, the
United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand). Our literature review focuses on Canadian and American evidence, and has uncovered several important findings. First, the cost of a postsecondary education is vastly overestimated by the public at large and by low-income youth in particular. In contrast, the economic benefits to attending university are generally underestimated (equally for low- and high-income households). Whether knowing about the costs and benefits matters for pursuing a
postsecondary education is less clear given the lack of convincing evidence in this area.
While awareness of student financial aid is not necessarily an issue, it appears that knowledge of aid is limited. This may be related to the complexity of student financial aid, which is not only costly, but may also represent a barrier to some students.
A non-negligible portion of students are loan averse, which means that they will avoid grant opportunities when they are coupled with an optional student loan. This is the case even though the loans can be refused or invested at zero repayable interest.
Research also demonstrates that helping students complete their financial aid and postsecondary application forms has a large impact on application and admission rates. In contrast, offering information to students (without application assistance) is generally not sufficient to affect behaviour. Finally, once in university, the majority of undergraduates follow a budget and regularly pay off their credit card balance each month. This suggests a certain degree of awareness and control regarding their finances, which may help them repay their loans on time and avoid defaulting.
Ensuring students with special needs are receiving the best education is one of the greatest challenges facing school districts around the country. It is a challenge to organize, staff and operate successfully. It is a challenge to determine how best to provide the required curriculum and content but ensure that it is individualized to meet the instructional needs of the student with special needs. It is a challenge to determine how best to evaluate and assess progress. And it is a challenge for the bottom line â€” special education programs are expensive. Teachers must have better tools if they are to cost effectively engage and teach students who have special learning needs. The toolkit needs to be well stocked with a variety of capabilities to meet the needs of students across the disability spectrum. The breadth and depth of the toolkit allows for teachers to effectively differentiate instruction for students.
Recent advances in technology, and the accompanying curricula that utilize these advances, are rapidly filling that
toolkit with programs that can provide benefits to students with special needs.
Immigrants will represent nearly 100 per cent of net labour market growth in Canada by the year 2011.1 More than ever, employers recognize the need to effectively integrate immigrants into the workplace and they seek solutions to leverage the talents and contributions immigrants bring to the Canadian economy.
From January to March 2009, Colleges Ontario and 12 colleges consulted with employers, ethno-cultural business organizations, business associations and unions to find out their views on employing immigrants and how colleges can support the transition of immigrants to the provinceâ€™s workforce. Input was obtained through a variety of formats including facilitated round-table discussions, one-on-one dialogues, and an online questionnaire. The purpose of these consultations was to obtain advice from employers on how colleges can better address language needs for the workplace and support immigrant integration.
Colleges engaged in discussions with 218 organizations. These organizations represented a wide cross-section of large, medium and small businesses in five industry sectors that included health care, hospitality, science and technology, construction and manufacturing. Many of these organizations were interested in participating because they understand the valuable role of immigrants in helping companies respond to current labour and consumer market realities.
This report presents the findings from these consultations, offering a snapshot of the experiences of the participants, and outlining some suggestions on how colleges can play an even greater role in effectively integrating immigrants into the workplace.
CONSULTING WITH EMPLOYERS
As part of the Language Skills for the Workplace2 project funded by the federal government, colleges had an opportunity to hold discussions with employers on language needs and immigrant integration. Participants were asked about:
â€¢ their experiences in the recruitment, hiring, retention and promotion of immigrants
. training, education and development priorities in the workplace â€¢ occupation-specific and workplace-specific language needs
. ways that colleges can effectively help employers in the integration of immigrants
Colleges held discussions with their local employer community and Colleges Ontario contacted larger provincewide employers and associations. There were 218 unique organizations that participated: 198 employers, 17 associations and three unions (See Appendix for list of participants). Employers from a broad range of sectors were invited to participate. Approximately 60 per cent of participants were from small- and medium-sized businesses and 40 per cent were large employers (employers with more than 500 employees).
Love or hate it, group work can create powerful learning experiences for students. From understanding course content to developing problem solving, teamwork and communication skills, group work is an effective teaching strategy whose lessons may endure well beyond the end of a course. So why is it that so many students (and some faculty) hate it? Although the students may not state their objections verbally, the nonverbal reactions are truly eloquent. They just sit there; only with much urging do they look at those sitting nearby and move minimally in the direction of getting themselves seated as a group. This lack of enthusiasm is at some level a recognition that it is so much easier to sit there and take notes rather than work in a group and take ownership. The resistance also derives from past experiences in groups where not much happened, or where some members did nothing while other did more than their fair share of the work.
Often very little happens in groups because students donâ€™t tackle the tasks with much enthusiasm, but group ineffectiveness also may be the product of poorly designed and uninteresting group tasks. This special report features 10 insightful articles from The Teaching Professor that will help you create more effective group learning activities and grading strategies as well as tips for dealing with group members who are â€œhitchhikingâ€ (getting a free ride from the group) or â€œoverachievingâ€ (dominating the group effort). Hereâ€™s a sample of the articles in the report:
. Leaders with Incentives: Groups That Performed Better
. Dealing with Students Who Hate Working in Groups
. Group Work That Inspires Cooperation and Competition
. Better Understanding the Group Exam Experience
. Use the Power of Groups to Help You Teach
. Pairing vs. Small Groups: A Model for Analytical Collaboration
The postsecondary undergraduate educational experience takes place in an environment rife with expectation. Those â€œbright college years,â€ destined to be memorialized and celebrated, attract a cluster of sociocultural images and resonances, some realistic and some fanciful. Students see these years as a unique time of opportunity and unprecedented autonomy, a psycho-social moratorium where possibilities open up and they can grow into their own adult skins. And while matriculating students look forward to what awaits them, the other group intensely involved in the educational process â€” the faculty â€” looks back, projecting their own experience-derived expectations upon undergraduates who, in fact, may be
experiencing a generationally-different world. What should new students expect to find when they begin â€” and settle into â€” this new, but temporary, university life? And how will those expectations change as they are met, surpassed, or frustrated? What should faculty expect of students, and will they or should they measure up to faculty models? To what extent can faculty expectations serve as a control or calibrating influence on the subjective expectations and experiences of students?
These are questions that are of vital interest to those attempting to understand the link between student engagement and student success and, in this paper, these questions are explored through three surveysâ€”the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), the Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE), and the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE).
Technologyâ€™s potential to transform education has become a mantra of the 21st century. Much has been said about the tools and solutions that can provide opportunities for enhanced student learning. Frequent discussions have focused on the need for schools to have a robust infrastructure that supports continually evolving educational models. However, not as much has been written about the teacherâ€™s role in this dynamic environment and the fundamentally new and different functions teachers
may have. The days of teachers covering a defined number of pages in a textbook and assigning work at the end of a chapter are quickly disappearing. Instructors are leveraging technologies that give students access to interactive content from myriad sources. In this digital classroom, the teacher is more than a static oracle of information who delivers lectures. Instead, he or she is an active participant and facilitator in each studentâ€™s path of discovery and exploration.