Top Ten

November 19, 2020

McGill decides on new name for varsity sports teams

McGill University has chosen a new varsity sports team name after dropping the name “Redmen” in April 2019. Men’s sports teams will now be called the McGill Redbirds, which pays homage to the McGill sports clubs, teams, and events that used the name historically. The name was chosen after an open call for submissions, a request for feedback from the community on the top choices, and extensive deliberation by the naming committee. “Our varsity teams are a vital part of the McGill community and experience, and I am confident this new name is one that we can all be proud of,” said alumni Hubert T Lacroix, co-chair of the Men’s Varsity Teams Naming Committee. McGill | Times Colonist (QC)

Northern Lakes, Drayton Valley partner to increase access to postsecondary education

Northern Lakes College has partnered with the Town of Drayton Valley to ensure people living in the region can access postsecondary education. Starting in January 2021, students can choose to study from home or work, or can access their courses at Drayton Valley Clean Energy Technology Centre (CETC). The partnership allows those in Drayton Valley and the surrounding area to further their education or learn new skills to prepare themselves for the changing economy. “We are committed to providing accessible and community-based learning opportunities and to finding collaborative ways to support the provincial goal of increased engagement in the post-secondary sector,” said Northern Lakes President Glenn Mitchell. Northern Lakes (AB)

AU, D2L, Ellucian partner to build new learning environment

Athabasca University has partnered with D2L and Ellucian to create a unique, integrated learning environment. The new learning environment will bring together every aspect of online learning to improve the learner experience through using D2L’s Brightspace platform and leading-edge technology. Learners will be able to access data records, academic and financial services, credentialing, and learner support through the new platform. Additionally, AU will be able to use the new technologies to personalize the postsecondary experience for learners. “We continue to build the education experience of the future in this integrated learning environment that will bring an incredible new experience to our learners,” said AU President Neil Fassina. “We’re looking forward to partnering with D2L and Ellucian as we continue to relentlessly transform learning into the future.” AU (AB)

UQAM announces new early childhood education certificate

The Université du Québec à Montréal’s faculté des sciences de l’éducation has announced that a new certificate program focused on diversity, inclusion, and equity will be available in 2021. The training aims to equip educators who work with children with disabilities, behavioural issues, or difficulty with adaptation. The program will additionally teach educators how to promote the integration of children from diverse backgrounds. UQAM Professor Manon Boily explained that the program can be combined with the university’s two other ECE programs for a bachelor’s degree. UQAM (QC)

George Brown, Erdiston Teachers’ Training College sign MOU

George Brown College has partnered with Erdiston Teachers’ Training College in Barbados to provide exchange opportunities for George Brown’s business and early childhood education students and faculty. The MOU allows for virtual and physical exchange opportunities, as well as joint research opportunities and business data analytics activities. “This MoU paves the way for our two institutions to engage in cutting-edge collaborative work that can be transformational,” said George Brown VP Academic Cory Ross. George Brown (ON)

Increasing postsecondary student engagement through K-12 teaching techniques: Opinion

Postsecondary instructors can increase student engagement by using K-12 teaching techniques within their classrooms, writes Janet Wood Varner, a veteran K-12 teacher and current postsecondary instructor. Varner found that students in the postsecondary classroom were used to instructors presenting information to students, rather than focusing on student engagement, and encourages postsecondary instructors to consider adopting teaching techniques from the K-12 classroom. These include total participation techniques, reflective activities, flexible student grouping, and exploratory activities, all of which can lead to increased student engagement and learning. “Research-based teaching should be practiced at all levels, joining a knowledge of content with effective teaching strategies and bridging pedagogy to andragogy,” writes Varner. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Durham’s Addictions and Mental Health graduate certificate accredited by CACCF

Durham College’s Addictions and Mental Health graduate certificate program has been officially accredited by the Canadian Addictions Counsellors Certification Federation (CACCF). This recognition allows those who graduate from Durham’s program to qualify as an Associate Addictions Counsellor through CACCF. The certification will give Durham students an edge as they join the workforce. Graduates will also be able to work toward other CACCF certifications, such as the Certified Canadian Addictions Counsellor certification. Durham (ON)

McGill-Queen’s University Press, Concordia Azrieli Institute partner on new publishing program

McGill-Queen’s University Press has partnered with Concordia University’s Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies to create a new publishing program, called the “McGill-Queen’s – Azrieli Institute Series in Israel Studies.” This new publishing program will reflect the disciplinary and methodological diversity characterizing the field. “Our new partnership with McGill-Queen's University Press reinforces the position of the Azrieli Institute as a leading academic center committed to the rigorous scholarly study of Israel in the spirit of academic excellence,” said Csaba Nikolenyi, Director, Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies. “I am very proud of this milestone that brings together two major Canadian institutions and look forward to shaping the next generation of Israel Studies scholarship.” Concordia (QC | ON)

U of T launches student diversity census

The University of Toronto is launching a diversity census that will identify barriers to student success within its community. The survey, which is open to undergraduate and graduate students at the three U of T campuses, will inform strategies to identify and address barriers of access and inclusion. U of T says that it will be especially helpful to identify barriers faced by students in academic programs. “In order to advance equity for our students, we hope to develop a framework and a process in which various offices can make a request to use the data in an appropriate way, while respecting the privacy and confidentiality of our students,” said Micah Stickel, acting vice-provost, students. U of T (ON)

E-book inaccessibility detrimental to institutions: Opinion

Academic librarians are becoming more and more frustrated with the prohibitive cost and/or accessibility of e-books, writes Caroline Ball. The article describes how e-books are often prohibitively expensive for libraries to acquire, as a single copy of an e-book for a library is often much more expensive than a copy purchased by an individual. The author says that publishers do not see library e-books as a source of profit and so will restrict library access to these resources, not offer new editions in electronic format, or offer limited user formats. However, Ball writes that the lack of access to e-books is detrimental to academics and institutions that must restrict access to physical books. Times Higher Education (International)