Top Ten

July 2, 2019

Carleton creates Canadian Accessibility Network to support "groundbreaking" new legislation

Carleton University has announced the launch of the Canadian Accessibility Network, which the school claims is the first entity of its kind in the country. Through the Network, Carleton says that it will work with partners to promote a more accessible and inclusive Canada and build on the goals of the Accessible Canada Act, a new piece of legislation that sets ground-breaking accessibility standards to ensure that public spaces, workplaces, employment, programs, services, and information are accessible to everyone. "As a campus community that has been dedicated to supporting people with disabilities since our inception, we are excited to see the Accessible Canada Act bring accessibility to the top of our national agenda," says Carleton President Benoit-Antoine Bacon. Carleton (ON)

Concordia launches Master in Engineering Management Program

Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business and Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science have jointly launched a Master in Engineering Management Program. A release from Concordia explains that the program will feature 20 credits in engineering, as well as a management courses and two work term placements at the end of the program. Amir Asif, Dean of the Gina Cody School, stated that the program "prepares modern decision makers by providing interdisciplinary knowledge in traditionally distinct academic fields of data analytics, optimization, logistics, decision making, quality project management, and lean engineering." Concordia (QC)

Students say it's their choice to use technology in class, but find others' use distracting: Survey

A recent study out of the University of Waterloo examined how students and instructors perceive the use of technology in the classroom and whom they feel should be responsible for reducing off-task technology use in class. While the perspectives of both groups were complex, both indicated that off-task technology use was distracting. Many students felt that using technology in class was their decision, yet also believed that instructors were responsible for ensuring that other students did do not make inappropriate use of technology in class. "Some students said that instructors need to be more entertaining to keep students engaged in the classroom, but this a big ask, given that we are not employed in the entertainment industry," said the survey’s co-author, Elena Neiterman. UWaterloo Report (ON)

UoGuelph Receives $1M for food lab

The University of Guelph has received $1M from real estate developer and philanthropist Michael Eric Fournelle for a new food lab. The lab, which will be named after UoGuelph food laureate Anita Stewart, will enable hospitality and nutrition students to learn innovative practices in food preparation, production, safety, and food science. "U of G is Canada’s food university, so it seemed natural to support renovating the food laboratory and naming it in honour of Anita Stewart, who has done so much to advance Canada’s cuisine and food culture on the world stage," said Fournelle. UoGuelph (ON)

Portage, UAlberta ATEP program partner to increase access to Indigenous-focused BEd program

A partnership between Portage College and the University of Alberta’s Aboriginal Teacher Education Program will allow students to earn a Bachelor of Education without leaving their home communities. The ATEP curriculum maintains the rigorous requirements of an Elementary Education Degree while bringing in a strong focus on Aboriginal histories, worldview, perspectives and culture. "We are thrilled with our partnership with Portage College," said Angela Wolfe, Associate Director of ATEP. "The impact of offering ATEP in the communities that Portage serves will have long standing positive outcomes for students and community." Nation Talk (AB)

Wu reflects on the value of reading books by faculty colleagues in other fields

Cynthia Wu describes her experience with a personal reading program she called the "Colleague Curriculum," in which she set out to read one book a week over 16 weeks by faculty members outside her field. In addition to engaging with topics she would not have otherwise known about, Wu remarks that the experience afforded her the opportunity to spark conversations with colleagues she otherwise would not have encountered. Although she did not produce her typical volume of research output over the semester, Wu concludes that the experience was valuable for both her scholarship and as an opportunity to expand her professional network. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Trent, Fleming establish degree pathways in environmental and natural resource studies

Trent University and Fleming Colege have established two new pathways that will open up the opportunity for Fleming graduates to earn a BSc from Trent. The pathways will specifically allow graduates of Fleming’s Urban Forestry Technician and Forestry Technician diploma programs to earn 7.0 credits towards a BSc degree in Environmental and Resource Science studies at Trent. "We are very pleased to build on Fleming’s longstanding partnership with Trent University to continue to provide more of our students the opportunity to combine applied, hands-on learning with the theoretical learning available at Trent," said Fleming School of Environmental and Natural Resources Science Dean Brett Goodwin. Fleming (ON)

Tribunal rejects claim of essential workers, USask workers in position for possible strike

The move to declare 250 University of Saskatchewan workers as essential has been rejected by the Essential Services Tribunal, clearing the way for a possible strike. "We've always agreed with keeping genuinely 'essential' workers to maintain safety and security on campus," stated CUPE 1975 President Craig Hannah. "But the fact is, the university's position was unreasonable. We're glad the tribunal agreed." A USask statement reported that the institution "continues to be engaged in contingency planning and will ensure that all essential services on campus are supported." CBC states that 2,000 workers, including a wide range of support and infrastructure workers, who are under CUPE Local 1975 have been without a contract for four years. CBC (SK)

PS

Union, USASK reach tentative agreement

USask has reached a tentative agreement with the union. According to CBC, the agreement includes pay increases and a pension with a guaranteed level of income when workers retire. The union said members will vote to ratify the new agreement next week. CBC

Academics must help students recognise transferable skills

In order to help students find value in course-based activities, academics need to make it clear what broad skills are learned by completing them and how these skills develop, writes Brock University Professor Tanya Martini. The author reflects on several initiatives and assignments that she tested in response to an article arguing that students find little value in coursework assignments. The author found that students "didn’t seem to spontaneously see the potential for course-based assignments to further their transferable skills," even though assignments are often designed with skill development in mind. She concludes that "fostering an appreciation of deep structure and transfer" helps students to see how their skillset will be useful in other areas of their lives, even if these seem to be unrelated at a surface level. Times Higher Ed (International)

Niagara introduces experiential learning toolkit

Niagara College has introduced a toolkit designed to help businesses, organizations, and schools design, implement, and evaluate effective educational programs that give students real-world experience. A release explains that Niagara worked with Brock University and Georgian College to develop the toolkit. "We know that external partners want to give students a quality, hands-on work-based learning experience, but they’re not always sure how to go about doing that," said Educational Developer Jenn Martin. "The toolkit aims to help those partners, as well as the student’s educational institution, work together to design effective, valuable on-the-job work and learning experiences." Niagara (ON)