Top Ten

January 13, 2021

UWinnipeg launching new educational Ojibwe radio drama

The University of Winnipeg is launching a new Ojibwe radio drama called Aakoziiwigamig: An Ojibwe Radio Drama. The drama was developed after community classes at UWinnipeg’s Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre and Indigenous Languages of Manitoba were cancelled in light of COVID-19. “I was concerned that students who were taking Indigenous language classes at the university now had nowhere to go and practise in the community speaking the language,” said UWinnipeg Indigenous Academic Lead Lorena Fontaine. The new, biweekly series will premier today on NCI radio, and the episodes will be available on the university’s Indigenous engagement website. CBC | UWinnipeg (MB)

Grande Bibliothèque provides 75 student study spaces

Montreal’s Grande Bibliothèque is offering students a place to study and access high-speed internet. Students of all ages – from elementary to university – will be able to take advantage of 75 study spaces located on the third floor of the library. The spaces will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Students will be required to wear a mask and to show their student ID cards to get access to the spaces. They will only be allowed to borrow books that have been reserved in advance. “It is a nice sign of recognition from the government of the essential role that public libraries play,” said Martin Dubois, general director of the Grande Bibliothèque. Journal de Montréal | Montreal Gazette (QC)

UVic students fined during 100-person “bush party”

Two UVic students have each received a $230 fine for failing to comply with an officer’s request to disperse during a 100-person “bush party” near the University of Victoria’s campus. Times Colonist reports that students had congregated in the bushes on a nearby road and that many were not wearing face coverings. After the police ordered them to disperse, many students congregated again in smaller groups. “So, we had to deal with some of them on multiple occasions as we tried to disperse that group and encourage them to go away,” said Oak Bay Deputy Chief Const. Mark Fisher. Times Colonist | Global News (BC)

UWindsor Law faculty releases steps to address anti-Black racism

The University of Windsor’s Law faculty has released a list of planned steps to address anti-Black racism. CBC reports that steps include an “independent review” of anti-Black racism at UWindsor, more scholarships for Black and other racialized communities, and expanding staff training in anti-Black racism. “This is an iterative process, it’s sort of an ongoing communication, dialogue,” explained Christopher Waters, dean of UWindsor’s Law faculty. “There’s no moment of saying, ‘we’re finished with combating anti-Black racism.’” The article says that some community members have indicated that they would like to see the steps go farther. “There’s always room for more and I’m especially concerned, and RAACES is also, to [not] see Black leadership at the top,” said UWindsor Professor and RAACES member Dr Richard Douglass-Chin. “And so that’s an area where I think there’s room for a lot of improvement across the board.” CBC (ON)

Students launch community initiatives to support those in need

As the pandemic continues, several students at institutions across Canada have launched new initiatives to serve their community. Northern Alberta Institute of Technology student Paul Harford was inspired by a course on sustainability in society to develop a community pantry to share necessities with those in need. University of Guelph student Kartikay Pabbi is a founding member of the Toronto chapter of Hygiene for the Homeless who helped to deliver over 300 hygiene kits to youth shelters across the GTA. The chapter is planning more initiatives in the future. University of British Columbia medical student Sukhmeet Singh Sachal developed a way to communicate pandemic safety to his gurdwara community in a culturally relevant way. Sachal is now working with a team of 100 volunteers to expand the program to other gurdwaras across Canada. NAIT | UoGuelph | Daily Hive (National)

Managing time and goals for success: Opinion

Graduate students need to improve their time-management skills in order to meet the imprecise goals of their work, writes Victoria McGovern. The author discusses how students can develop work habits that allow them to make the most of their time. The article explains that rather than trying popular techniques to overcome procrastination and poor time management, students should research “productivity systems” and choose approaches and elements that will suit them. The author also explains how setting a small number of underlying goals in three categories can help students understand what drives their to-do lists. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Addressing increased cheating can penalize honest students: Opinion

Jade Marcil, President of the Union étudiante du Québec, describes how enforcing academic honesty can penalize honest students and create vicious cycles within evaluation without leading to changes in the system. The article explains that universities are seeing an increase in cheating and plagiarism during the pandemic. Marcil argues that attempts to remedy the problem can create a vicious cycle that punishes students who do not cheat. The article describes how a student who was not cheating found an assessment to be much more difficult because it was designed to counteract cheating students. Another student noted that though the pandemic should be a time to reform the education system, teachers continue to use assessment methods that are vulnerable to cheating. Journal de Montréal (QC)

Pitfalls of academic book reviews: Opinion

Academic book reviews, which are supposed to be utilitarian, have become bland and too “nice,” writes Paul Musgrave. In the article, Musgrave critiques the standard book review as a dull and unbeneficial activity. The author describes reading reviews in a journal and noting that almost every book was said to be exceptional in some way, while reviewers avoided any serious critique of the texts. Musgrave argues that book reviews that do not act as evaluation tools are problematic. Finally, the author suggests some ways journals can improve the quality of reviews through allowing longer review essays, allowing authors to engage with multiple books, and moving standard reviews to review websites. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (International)

QC postsecondary institutions encouraged, not required to offer online courses during winter semester

A report from the Montreal Gazette says that Quebec postsecondary institutions are being encouraged to hold courses online during the winter semester. However, institutions will still be allowed to offer in-person classes, and essential in-person activities such as lab work and research will be allowed on campus. Libraries will also remain open. The province’s currently enacted curfew will still apply to all postsecondary institutions. “Over the past few months, students and all staff in higher education have shown exceptional and exemplary resilience,” says Danielle McCann, QC Minister of Higher Education. Montreal Gazette (QC)

Returning NS students test positive for COVID-19

Students at universities in Nova Scotia have tested positive for COVID-19. One on-campus student at Acadia University who was not experiencing any symptoms has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now in self-isolation. A Dalhousie University off-campus student has tested positive and is self-isolating. St Francis Xavier University has announced two cases of COVID-19 this year. The first case involves a student who was returning to campus; the second case involves a returning student who is now isolating in residence. The two cases are not believed to be related. CBC (Dal, Acadia) | CBC (StFx) (NS)