Top Ten

March 19, 2021

UPEI professor designs “plagiarism-resistant” exams

A University of Prince Edward Island professor has designed a “plagiarism-resistant” method of administering online exams. Yingwei Wang, an associate professor of computer science at UPEI, found plagiarism to be a growing issue during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the switch to online learning. Wang designed the TSINC method (Time-pressed, Sequential, Individualized, Not searchable, Calibration) to keep students from cheating while taking online exams. Exams using this method are time-pressed so that students cannot spend time plagiarizing; sequential, so that students cannot revisit questions later in the exam; and individualized, with a unique question order for each student. They also use wording that is designed to not be searchable, and grades are “calibrated” after the exam to compensate for the extra difficulty of this testing method. CBC (PE)

ON announces Staffing Supply Accelerator Group

The Government of Ontario has announced the establishment of the Staffing Supply Accelerator Group, which will implement a health care recruitment and training program. The program will increase staffing supply for long-term care through expanding and accelerating PSW, RPN, and nursing education and training. The group will focus on four priorities: Building an “Earn-as-you-Learn” PSW pathway, bridging pathways to enable PSWs to become RPNs and RPNs to become RNs, increasing enrolment and accelerating program completion, and removing barriers for internationally trained professionals to be qualified to practice. “There is an urgent need to accelerate and expand the training and education of personal support workers, registered practical nurses, and registered nurses to meet the targets we set in the long-term care staffing plan,” said ON Minister of Long-Term Care Dr Merrilee Fullerton. ON (ON)

ULethbridge includes Indigenous course requirement in core business degree

The University of Lethbridge’s Dhillon School of Business has announced that it will be including an Indigenous course requirement for students completing its core business degree. The requirement was implemented in response to the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. It will also ensure that business students have adequate knowledge of Indigenous issues. “Business students used to be able to operate without knowledge of Indigenous history or governance, but this has changed,” said Don McIntyre, a Dhillon School of Business professor and researcher and a member of the Wolf Clan from Lake Timiskaming First Nation. “We’re now seeing instances where businesses are failing because they don’t have the subsequent knowledge of the people and land they’re trying to grow their business with and on.” ULethbridge (AB)

Sask Polytech, CMA sign MOU on military, law enforcement training

Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the Jamaican Defense Force’s (JDF) Caribbean Military Academy have signed a MOU that will allow them to partner on military and law enforcement training. The partnership will allow Sask Polytech and the JDF to collaborate to design training in areas such as Leadership Skills, Parts Management Technician, Warehouse Worker, and Master trainer’s instructor. Caribbean Military Academy students will be able to have their skills and knowledge recognized through course work and Prior Learning and Recognition credits at Sask Polytech. “This agreement paves the way for the knowledge, skills and abilities acquired through military experience to be applied as credit for placement towards a certificate, diploma or degree co-branded by the Caribbean Military Academy and Sask Polytech,” said Sask Polytech president Dr Larry Rosia. Sask Polytech (SK)

Institutionalizing mentorship through formal mentorship programs: Opinion

Postsecondary institutions should institutionalize mentorship by building formal mentorship programs, write Joya Misra, Ember Skye Kanelee, and Ethel L Mickey. The authors describe how creating mentorship programs can contribute to building an inclusive environment, and can bolster the career success of women or underrepresented faculty members. To develop a mentorship plan, the article suggests planning individual, team, and mutual mentorship opportunities; supporting faculty through regular meetings with chairs; and assessment-focused meetings with committees. The article also notes the importance of creating professional development opportunities for faculty through professionalization seminars, workshops, writing accountability groups, and opportunities to work with professional editors. The authors conclude by emphasizing the importance of recognizing excellent mentoring. Inside Higher Ed (National)

UoGuelph’s Lang School receives AACSB accreditation

The University of Guelph’s Gordon S Lang School of Business and Economics has gained international accreditation from Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB). To achieve the accreditation, the Lang School underwent a rigorous accreditation process to ensure that it possessed the necessary resources and commitment to provide students with future-focused business education. “Earning accreditation from AACSB is a significant step forward for the Lang School and reflects the dedication of our world-class faculty and professional staff,” said Lang School Dean Lysa Porth. “This accreditation will enhance opportunities for research partnerships, academic collaborations, and international networking and validates our extensive work in creating an engaging and transformational learning environment for our students.” UoGuelph (ON)

MHC launches humanities and social sciences diploma

Medicine Hat College is launching a humanities and social sciences diploma. The program will allow students to develop skills in areas such as communications, cultural foundations, and humanities while enhancing their critical thinking skills. Students in the program will participate in work-integrated learning experiences to gain connections and real-world insight. Courses from the two-year program can also be transferred to fulfil degree requirements at partner universities. “The diverse selection of courses in varied fields of study, in this exciting new offering, encourages students to explore education pathways tailored to their own interests and passions,” said Clayton Bos, interim Dean of Arts, Science, and Education. MHC (AB)

Genome Canada announces $8.6M for health, food supply research

Genome Canada recently announced $8.6M in funding for five research projects that will support healthier Canadians and a resilient food supply. The funds will be supplemented by an additional $17.8M in co-funding from provincial governments, businesses, and research partners. The projects, which are focused on research issues that range from atrial fibrillation to gill disease in salmon farms, will see researchers from the University of Ottawa, the University of Manitoba, the University of Prince Edward Island, and Université Laval collaborate with industry and health organizations. “Genomics has enormous potential to improve Canadians’ lives and to advance post-pandemic economic recovery,” said Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry François-Philippe Champagne. “Investments, like the one we are making today in genomics research, help keep Canadians healthy and help keep our industries productive, sustainable and competitive globally.” Genome Canada | UPEI (National)

UMoncton international students alleviate Acadian Peninsula labour shortage

International students from the University of Moncton’s Shippagan campus are helping to alleviate the labour shortage in New Brunswick’s Acadian Peninsula. CBC explains that the region is seeing its population age and decline, but that international students have provided a boost to the population and fill local labour needs while providing diversity. UMoncton’s Shippagan campus dean of studies Yves Bourgeois explained that there has been a constant increase in international students in the last few years due to efforts from UMoncton. “It required a lot of work from recruiting to admissions to enrolment to student experience,” said Bourgeois. “We’ve had to change mindsets and change culture and add programs.” CBC (NB)

Using OER to make PSE more affordable for students: Opinion

Postsecondary education can be made more affordable through the use of open education resources (OER), write Alberta university students Chaten Jessel, Jemma Forgie, and David Draper. The authors argue that instead of opting for expensive textbooks offered by corporations, OER textbook alternatives would be an affordable alternative that could be created in Alberta. “A $200 textbook on its own can be a huge hurdle, but when you’re taking five, maybe six, classes, the cost of textbooks gets ludicrous. For people who are already struggling, free alternatives like OER can make a real difference,” said University of Calgary student Connor Braun. In addition to decreasing cost for students, OER resources often involve students working alongside educators in a collaborative process, allowing students to gain employable skills in areas such as research, editing, publishing, and policy. Edmonton Journal (AB)