We've got some big Canadian labour news, folks, but it's a little bit sweet and sour. The sweet is that college faculty
in Ontario are currently leading the charge in Canada to secure a less precarious workplace for sessional
instructors. The sour is that it means they're out on the picket line at the height of the fall semester, and they look
likely to be there for some time.
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).
In a recent blog post in Inside Higher Ed, Joshua Kim explored the value of telecommuting, rightly suggesting that
the proven success of online education means that one need not be physically present to do a job well. “What we’ve
learned from online education,” he wrote, “is that with a combination of thought, investment and a willingness to
make data-driven continuous improvements, distance is not a barrier to quality.” And he closed by asking, “Should
the champions of online learning also be advocating for telecommuting?”
It is absolutely the case that teaching remotely and doing it well is possible, particularly if professors accept that
teaching online requires the mastery of new skills, an awareness of online pedagogies and best practices, a
commitment to valuing those in digital spaces as much as we value those physically in front of us, and, in some
cases, more time. And Kim is right to imagine that using the “methods and tools” of online education can help us
improve productivity in workplaces that accommodate telecommuters. Certainly, tools like Slack and the Google
suite have enabled synchronous collaboration among remotely situated parties.
Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) welcomes the opportunity to provide the Standing Committee on Finance with its recommendations for Budget 2018. This budget is an important opportunity to build on Budget 2017’s measures aimed at increasing access to skills upgrading and post-secondary education and strengthening innovation in Canada.
Canada’s colleges, institutes, cégeps and polytechnics stimulate innovation, drive productivity, and strengthen the middle class. They offer a vast array of post-secondary programs designed to meet the needs of the labour market, equip graduates with skills that make them resilient in periods of economic uncertainty and disruption, and provide retraining for adults facing job dislocation and unemployment. As the main providers of post-secondary education and skills development for Indigenous peoples, colleges and institutes also play an important role in fostering reconciliation.
Technology moves at lightning speed, Facebook’s algorithm has new rules daily and marketing strategies are ever evolving as the audiences we all seek to reach become increasingly fragmented. And yet, some of us find ourselves
in workplaces where the prevailing sentiment is don’t rock the boat—if it worked in the past, let’s not make any
If the culture at your college is all about not fixing what’s not broken, you may have a challenge ahead of you as you
try to suggest and implement some needed change. Turn that challenge into an opportunity with these tips for
shaking things up in a change-averse environment:
Universities Canada members voted to uphold seven “inclusive excellence” principles and to undertake an action
plan from 2017 to 2022.
At Universities Canada’s fall membership meeting, university presidents endorsed a set of principles to advance
diversity, equity and inclusion on their campuses, and committed to a five-year action plan to measure their progress
“It’s the coming together of a number of things that have led us on this path,” said Mike Mahon, the president and
vice-chancellor of the University of Lethbridge, who was voted in as the new board chair of Universities Canada at
the meeting on Oct. 25. On top of the many conversations over the years in the university community around
creating inclusion, “there is this landscape around us – the commitment of the federal government to be as
inclusive, diverse and equitable as possible,” he said, and that includes efforts to increase equity and diversity in the Canada Research Chairs program.
A March article in The New York Times, "Want to Fix Schools? Go to the Principal’s Office," piqued our interest. We
wondered: If we could "fix" the problems we see going on in academe, particularly at universities, at whom would we
aim attention and money?
That’s not a simple question. Universities are complex creatures. Systems have been built upon systems. Decades,
if not centuries, of calcified processes and cultural norms can be traced back to the German model of the research
university and the teaching and hierarchical models of 11th-century Bologna.
Outcomes‐based education (OBE), namely the emphasis in education systems on learning outcomes and their assessment, has had one of the largest and most significant impacts on postsecondary education (PSE) in recent decades. Not only does OBE present clear statements to describe students’ skills and abilities, it also provides the vehicle by which postsecondary institutions can assess and improve the quality of their programs and demonstrate the value of these programs to both employers and the general public.
In writing, there’s an adage that says, "Show don’t tell." The millennial students in my creative-writing classes are
immersed in a world that constantly tells them things, and then tells them those things are important. When I walk
into our classroom, I am just another voice telling them things.
It’s hard to differentiate my voice from the thousands of others talking at them — the 24-hour news cycle, the spam
emails, or the Twitter feed of a world leader or a pop star. Faced with such an incomprehensible volume of data, it
can be overwhelming to try separating the truly important from the things falsely labelled "important." Detachment
becomes a survival strategy.
If all required learning materials, including textbooks, were provided to all students on or before the first day of class, the average price per student of learning materials would drop and students would be more successful.
Several years ago, I served as the acting dean of Michigan State University’s College of Arts and Letters -- one of
our institution’s three core colleges with 20 departments, programs and centers, 250 faculty members, and a mix of
graduate and undergraduate offerings. It was a wonderful opportunity to get to know another part of the university
and experiment with running a college with a very different structure. At the same time, knowing the appointment
was for just a single year made me approach it rather differently than my usual (and concurrent) gig as the dean of
Lyman Briggs College, a residential undergraduate science college with 2,000 students and no formal sub-units.
At a recent academic conference, I attended a plenary session on active learning. While spouting the virtues of
student engagement, the presenter seemed to be admonishing cellphone use in class, labelling it as a sign of
distracted and bored learners.
I was feeling uncomfortable in the second row from the front because I was using my phone to take pictures, livetweet the lecture and engage with other conference attendees on social media. I wondered, “Is he talking about
me?” However, not only was I paying attention, but I was also completely engaged in and interacting with his
content in a self-directed way. If that’s not active learning, I don’t know what is.
In my own classes, I do not have a cell phone policy, and I generally encourage free use of devices of any kind.
However, many of my colleagues do not feel the same way and, in fact, discourage the use of phones in class. They
view them as a distraction rather than a supplement. It confuses me that these faculty members want their students
to be independent learners who engage with their content, yet they don’t want them to use devices (i.e., research
tools) during class. When do they expect students to engage with the content and research independently? After
class when they don’t have valuable access to the instructor?
How do successful academics write, and how do they learn to write? What are their daily routines, their formative
experiences, their habits of mind? What emotions do they associate with their academic writing? And where do they
find the “air and light and time and space”, as the poet Charles Bukowski put it, to get their writing done? These
were among the questions that I asked as part of a research project that eventually took me to 45 universities in 15
Feedback from more than 1,300 academics, PhD students and other researchers from across the disciplines
revealed that successful writing is built on a complex and varied set of attitudes and attributes, including behavioural habits of discipline and persistence, artisanal habits of craftsmanship and care, social habits of collegiality and collaboration and emotional habits of positivity and pleasure.
Considerable research attention has been devoted to understanding the importance of knowledge creation in organisations over the last decade. Research suggests that leadership plays an important role in knowledge creation processes. Nonetheless, there is an important omission in knowledge creation research; namely, what are the underlying processes that underpin the implications of leadership for knowledge creation? This article aims to develop a theoretical model of leadership and knowledge creation by drawing on two contrasting leadership perspectives; that is transformational leadership and leader-member exchange (LMX), and the research on open-mindedness norms. Specifically, we argue why transformational leadership is related to knowledge creation, and also theorise how openmindedness norms and LMX quality serve as underlying mechanisms to underpin the effect of transformational leadership on knowledge creation. We conclude with a discussion of implications of the model for theory and practice, and also suggest potential avenues for future research.
At least one university has explicitly restricted students’ use of editors for their assignments.
Over the last several years, staff members at the Centre for Academic Communication at the University of Victoria
reported to administrators some curious conversations taking place around editing. The centre offers free services
to students to assist them with reading comprehension and writing, but staff members are instructed not to correct
students’ work, only pose questions. Students, however, had different expectations and complained when centre
staff wouldn’t “fix up” their papers.
Professors, too, misunderstood the role of the centre; some sent students there because they wanted staff to
improve their students’ work. What’s more, the centre received calls from parents asking how much editing they
could do on their children’s papers without it being considered cheating.
In the wake of student suicides, universities are reflecting on how to respond, and on their approaches to dealing
with mental health.
It can sometimes feel like the final days of a semester can’t come soon enough. Compounding that feeling, because
of where the Easter long weekend fell on the calendar this past academic year, the final exam period at the
University of Guelph ended on a Monday instead of the Friday before. Across the undergraduate residences,
advisers made extra efforts to check in with students to see how they were doing.
The focus of the article is to provide recommendations for how to design learning environments to foster
greater creativity. I bring together art education research, creativity research, and learning sciences research to provide recommendations for how to design learning environments to foster creative learning outcomes.
Where once a college degree was considered the ticket to a good job, the pathway from campus to career is no longer as straightforward or as certain as it was for previous generations. The world and the job market are changing dramatically, and parents, students, institutions, and employers are all deeply concerned with the question of whether college is preparing graduates for careers—a question that is itself intertwined with the larger question of the ultimate purpose of a college degree. Tuition is an investment—of time as well as money, often a lot of money—and informed consumers want to know that they’re going to see a return on that investment, usually in the form of a good-paying job that leads to a satisfying and lucrative career. Hiring and training new employees is also an investment, and companies want assurances that they are bringing on competent, capable staff with the smarts to succeed and become an asset.
The cost of learning materials has risen drastically—82 percent over the past 10 years. How can institutions address this burden on students?
One way is through carefully enacted inclusive access: Affordable eTextbooks are delivered to all students by the institution’s LMS on or before the first day of classes. This ensures all students, including those who would have delayed or forgone purchasing their course materials on their own due to high costs, have access to the required materials necessary to succeed in their classes.
Workshops on how to encourage class participation are a staple of teaching and learning centres across the
country. However, little of that advice is geared to the needs on an oft-neglected subset of introverted university
students: the ones who aren’t shy.
Even though Susan Cain’s book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, was a
bestseller, and her TED Talk has been viewed more than 10 million times, I’m not sure that our postsecondary
teaching and learning community has fully appreciated its implications.
If we want to encourage all of our students to participate in class, we have to accept that shy students are not
necessarily introverted. And introverts are not necessarily shy.