Top Ten

February 24, 2021

FPPSE combines storytelling, filmmaking for inclusive learning for Indigenous students

A new initiative called the First Peoples Post-secondary Storytelling Exchange is combining different forms of storytelling and filmmaking in order to create a more responsive postsecondary education for Indigenous students in Quebec. Researchers contacted more than 100 people from over 20 First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities who shared their stories about education and learning. FPPSE Principal Investigator Michelle Smith explained that the research team has noticed themes in the stories, such as differences in education outcomes for Indigenous students, systemic barriers, a lack of visibility and presence of Indigenous experiences in colleges. “Students who are going into post-secondary education should not have to choose between engaging with Western knowledge systems whilst pursuing post-secondary, and learning their own culture and knowledge,” said Smith. FPPSE | The Link Newspaper (National)

ON’s PSW training plans critiqued by unions as inadequate

The Government of Ontario’s plans to invest $4M in personal support worker training are “woefully inadequate,” according to the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). OHC and CUPE are arguing that Ontario needs to invest in training 20,000 PSWs; Ontario’s plan only supports the training of 373 PSWs. “Their lethargy is profound ... delaying training and recruitment,” said Candace Rennick, secretary-treasurer at CUPE Ontario. “Ontario must roll out a robust training strategy at every public college across the province. Tuition should be waived and people should be offered some compensation to take the training.” CBC | The Sudbury Star (ON)

Concordia launches unique minor in science journalism for BSc students

Concordia University has announced that it will be offering a minor in science journalism to all students in Bachelor of Science programs. The minor will help science students hone their communication skills while they learn how to engage with public discussions about science. Students taking the minor will have access to hands-on reporting opportunities, multimedia courses, and courses in science journalism. “We are the only place in Canada with a clear focus on the future of science journalism,” said David Secko, professor and chair of the Department of Journalism. “We want to help students innovate to address the issues of scientific misinformation and hype.” Concordia (QC)

How AI could innovate postsecondary online classes: Opinion

Artificial intelligence could help postsecondary institutions take online classes from resembling “bad TV” to meeting student needs, writes David Shrier. The author discusses some of the common pitfalls of online courses, such instructors simply filming and uploading lectures. Shrier explains that the use of AI could make online classes more effective than in-person classes by fostering collaboration, allowing instructors to interact with students in breakout room discussions, and promoting student engagement. “Realising this promise requires new ways of thinking about learning and a willingness to try new technology,” writes Shrier, “but the payoff is tangible, immediate and urgently needed.” Times Higher Ed (International)

Northlands opens Eli Fleury Cultural Centre

Northlands College has officially opened the Eli Fleury Cultural Centre, which is named after Northland’s Elder-in-Residence. The centre is equipped with a dedicated smudging and prayer room and comfortable areas for student use. The Cultural Centre will host activities and events on a variety of different topics, including survival, garment making, traditional ceremonies, and sharing circles. “I am very pleased that our organization has created this very special space for our students and staff with the intent of embracing culture in the context of education,” said Northland President Guy Penney. “I am also pleased that our Board of Directors saw it fitting to name this space after a lifelong educator who has dedicated his life to education and who is very committed to working with students.” Northlands | Northlands | La Ronge Now (SK)

UWindsor launches 2 + 2 Degree Completion Pathway program

The University of Windsor has announced the launch of a 2 + 2 Degree Completion Pathway, which allows students who have completed select two-year college programs to put their credits toward UWindsor’s Bachelor of Science degree. Students from Ontario Police Foundations college programs, environment-related programs, and computer science or business-related programs can use the 2 + 2 Degree Completion Pathway to pursue a four-year degree in forensics, environmental science, or economics. “Joining the 2 + 2 Degree Completion Pathway is a unique chance to combine your hard-earned college diploma with unrivalled hands-on training opportunities, as well as learning from experts in the field, placing you at the forefront of a competitive field,” says Chris Houser, Dean of Science. UWindsor (ON)

Canada provides $1.2M in funding for prison COVID-19 antibody studies

The Government of Canada is investing $1.2M through the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (CITF) to study the presence of COVID-19 antibodies in federal and provincial correctional facilities. Research will be conducted in three provinces: Saskatchewan, Quebec, and British Columbia. The studies will collect data about COVID-19 antibodies in incarcerated individuals or workers with the aim of reducing spread and preventing the introduction of COVID-19 into correctional facilities. The SK study will be led by Dr. Alexander Wong of the University of Saskatchewan, the QC study will be led by Dr. Nadine Kronfli of McGill University and MUHC, and the BC study will be led by Sofia Bartlett from the BC Centre for Disease Control. Journal de Montréal | Global News Wire (National)

SMU announces integrated learning environment

Saint Mary’s University has announced that it has partnered with D2L and Ellucian to build an integrated learning environment. The learning environment will bring virtual and in-person learning together for all SMU courses, programs, and certificates. It will include student information such as data records, credentialing, and academic and financial services. “The digital transformation will be a game-changer for our students, removing barriers to higher education related to scheduling, learning style and preferences, finance, accommodation, and location,” sad SMU President Dr Robert Summerby-Murray. “Saint Mary’s students will be able to learn and engage fully with their professors, fellow students, and research partners in the classroom, from their home and from anywhere in the world.” SMU (NS)

Cambrian launches video game design program

Cambrian College has announced the launch of a game design program that will prepare students for careers in the video game industry. Students in the program will learn about animation, media communication, and mobile app development while learning how to develop video games. “There is such demand for keen and qualified programmers and creators in this industry,” said Cambrian president Bill Best. “At Cambrian we offer the programming that students want and just as importantly, that industry is seeking. There are jobs all over the continent in this field and we’ll be helping fill those spots with amazing Cambrian grads.” Cambrian will launch the program in September. The Sudbury Star (ON)

ULethbridge, Aurora College, STU announce plans for fall semester

The University of Lethbridge, Aurora College, and St Thomas University have released new information about their plans for the Fall 2021 semester. ULethbridge plans to shift toward returning to campus safely with more in-person learning experiences, social activities, and services while continuing to offer some courses online. Aurora College has announced that it will offer most courses and programs in person while ensuring that all public health requirements are met. STU has released a timeline for planning for the next academic year and has noted that students can expect information about the Fall semester between May and June. CBC (ULethbridge) | STU | Aurora College (National)