Top Ten

September 15, 2020

Canada invests $9.4M in tidal power industry 

The Government of Canada has invested $9.4M into four tidal power projects that involve the University of Manitoba, Acadia University, Dalhousie University, and other organizations. These tidal energy projects will contribute to emissions reduction and clean technology development, and will help improve air quality while reducing dependence on fossil fuels. “Investing in new kinds of energy production, like tidal energy, creates jobs in Nova Scotia and across Canada,” said Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O’Regan. “Investing in tidal energy helps get us to zero emissions by 2050.”   Newswire   (National)

Western, Carleton students test positive for COVID-19

The Middlesex-London Health Unit has declared a community outbreak in London, Ontario as five Western University students tested positive for COVID-19. The students who tested positive live in the community and have not attended on-campus classes or activities, but the Sudbury Star reports that the students have had interactions downtown and with students in neighbouring units. In Ottawa, Carleton University has stated that a student in its residence has tested positive for COVID-19. Carleton COVID-19 lead Suzanne Blanchard explained that the case is not an instance of community transfer and the individual is self isolating.  Western  | Sudbury Star  | CTV News (ON)

UQAT Centre in Mont-Laurier expands to accommodate growing student body, programming

Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue will receive $9.5M from the Government of Quebec to restructure and expand its infrastructure in Mont-Laurier. UQAT states that it has seen a constant increase in enrolment over the years and has added several new programming areas in the region. The funding will be used to both optimize the space that is currently shared with the Center collegial de Mont-Laurier and to add 1,800 square meters of new classrooms, offices, and common areas. The inauguration of the new space is scheduled for 2022.   UQAT  (QC)

StFX uses bracelets to identify students who have completed quarantine

Students at St Francis Xavier University who have finished quarantine or are from the Atlantic bubble are required to wear neon green bracelets that identify them as having followed all COVID-19 protocols. Students are required to wear the bracelets until the end of September in order to move around campus. StFX Vice President, Students Elizabeth Yeo explained that the bracelets allowed the institution another way to ensure the community was safe. “We just really wanted to be able to ensure both our internal community at St. FX and the wider community within Antigonish that our students have actually satisfied the commitments that we were asking them to make,” Yeo said.  CBC  (NS)

UBC to offer sign language course

The University of British Columbia will be offering an accredited American Sign Language (ASL) course to its students this fall. CBC states that the course is the first accredited class of its kind. The course will be led by Nigel Howard, an ASL interpreter known locally for his role in British Columbia’s COVID-19 updates. In addition to learning the language, students will also learn about ASL’s connection to Deaf culture. While ASL is often perceived as simply a tool for those who cannot hear, Howard explained that ASL “is a language in its own right. This fall, it will be taught as any other language is.”   CBC  (BC)

OCAD U partners with IMFTO in COVID-19 recovery design program

OCAD University has partnered with It’s My Future Toronto (IMFTO) to train BIPOC youth in how to share their ideas about COVID-19 recovery with the City of Toronto through advertising, media, and policy. Professionals from various industries will lead students through “how-to” videos and online workshops that will teach them how to share their ideas and give them the opportunity to share their own stories. “I wanted to show how OCAD University’s design thinking and strategic approaches can bring the voices of the vulnerable to the development of policy recommendations,” explained OCAD U Faculty of Design Dean Dori Tunstall, who is also a member of IMFTO’s advisory committee, “especially as we face the impacts of COVID-19.”  OCAD U  (ON)

Using oral exams to stimulate student learning: Opinion

Oral exams can be a helpful teaching tool in undergraduate classes, especially when teaching online courses during COVID-19, writes Della Dumbaugh. Dumbaugh describes how implementing oral exams has helped students learn more effectively. The author adds that since students can find solutions to problems easily online, oral exams help instructors accurately evaluate student knowledge and help students to “improve their communication, conquer anxiety, solve problems quickly and think creatively.” She gives specific strategies to those who are interested in implementing oral exams in their classrooms and describes how both students and faculty benefit from oral exams. “Looking forward, I will certainly make more extensive use of oral exams in my classes this fall,” Dumbaugh said.  Inside Higher Ed  (International)

Vancouver Island postsecondary institutions experience drop in enrolment

Vancouver Island postsecondary institutions are expecting a drop in enrolment this year, reports the Times Colonist. The University of Victoria is experiencing slightly lower enrolment for both domestic and international students. Royal Roads University has experienced a 20% decline in international student enrolment, but only an overall decrease of 6% due to increased domestic enrolment. Camosun College has experienced a 19% drop in international student enrolment while maintaining its domestic enrolments. Vancouver Island University has experienced a 31% drop in international enrolment and a 9% drop in domestic enrolment.  Times Colonist  (BC)

Canadian instructors revise courses for new online environment

Several Canadian instructors have been exploring new online learning methods for the fall term. At Dalhousie University, Professor Dana Kabat-Farr revised her Organizational Behaviour course to include searchable, pre-recorded lectures; use current events to illustrate course concepts; and use simple tools to avoid any “surprises” during the course. At the University of Toronto, Assistant Professor Angela Mashford-Pringle developed a remote version of her land-based learning course that included holistic, community-building discussions and an emphasis on each students’ relationship with the land they live on.   Dal  | U of T   (NS | ON)

Dawson theatre instructor leaves college following allegations

A theatre instructor at Dawson College has reportedly left the institution following a resurfacing of allegations of harassment and bullying. CBC news reports that nearly a dozen former students have come forward over the past three years. In a statement, Dawson's director general Richard Filion explained that “the allegations were deemed extremely serious, which led the college to launch an investigation.” The college has announced an investigation, the results of which will be shared publicly once the investigation is complete. The statement indicates that the instructor has not taught at the college since August 31, 2020.   Dawson  | CBC  (QC)