Top Ten

April 22, 2021

Queen’s School of Medicine launches Elentra

Queen’s University has announced that its School of Medicine has launched Elentra, which is the first corporation owned by Queen’s. The health sciences learning platform, which serves over 30 Canadian and international institutions. Elentra offers users a variety of features that are specifically tailored to the needs of medical education, and has capacity for curriculum mapping, assessment and evaluation, and online exam delivery. “Transitioning to an independent corporation will allow Elentra to become more agile and responsive,” said Elentra President Andrew Dos-Santos. “We are excited to continue to help drive innovation within the Elentra platform.” Global News | Queen’s | y (ON)

Canadian universities rank among the top 100 in THE Impact Rankings 2021

Times Higher Education has released the results of the Impact Rankings 2021, which evaluates institutions using metrics based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Canada joined Australia and the UK in a “golden triangle of nations that perform well across the board,” reports THE. Several Canadian institutions placed within the top 100 institutions, such as Queen’s University (#5), the University of British Columbia (#13), McMaster University(#14), University of Toronto (#34), and the Université de Montréal (tied for #39). Queen’s was the number one institution for SDG 1 – No Poverty and SDG 16 – Piece, Justice, and Strong Institutions; UBC and U of T were two of the four institutions tied for first place for SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure. THE (Account Required) | THE (Rankings) (International)

MtA joins Luminary partnership to increase collaboration with Indigenous organizations

Mount Allison University has announced that it has joined Luminary partnership, an initiative organized by Indigenous Works with 140 members across Canada. Luminary partners will be starting a planning initiative that will aim to increase cooperation and collaboration between postsecondary institutions and Indigenous businesses and communities. “This important initiative will grow the Indigenous innovation eco-system to address significant socio-economic gaps and economic priorities and opportunities,” says MtA President Dr Jean-Paul Boudreau. “Economic reconciliation and inclusion are important steps toward societal equity but cannot be achieved without meaningful direction from Indigenous communities and agencies in New Brunswick. Mount Allison is pleased to be part of this growing network towards change.” MtA (NB)

Carleton announces innovation space at Kanata North’s Hub350

Carleton University has announced that it will be opening an innovation space at Kanata North’s Hub350. The centre will include spaces such as meeting rooms, a café, a garden terrace, and collaboration space; and will provide the tech community with open enrolment professional development executive education programs. “Carleton will work with Kanata North businesses to develop new talent pipelines and opportunity for cross-disciplinary, work-integrated learning, and our student entrepreneurs will more easily connect with Kanata North businesses,” says Dana Brown, dean of Carleton’s Sprott School of Business. Construction for the space will start in June. Carleton (ON)

VIU, Nanaimo City Council strengthen relationship through MOU

Vancouver Island University has signed an MOU with Nanaimo City Council in order to continue to enhance their “positive culture of exchange, engagement, communication, and partnership.” Through the MOU, VIU and the city will establish a framework for collaboration, adopt a collaborative approach, pursue areas of mutual strategic interest, participate in joint initiatives, and identify and address areas of concern. They will also establish an Executive Committee consisting of the City and VIU’s senior leadership teams. "I’m excited to expand on the already strong relationship VIU has with the City of Nanaimo,” said VIU President Dr Deborah Saucier. “I look forward to broadening the number of initiatives we collaborate on to address the social, economic and environmental challenges of our region.” VIU (BC)

An argument in favour of continuing online conferences: Opinion

Postsecondary institutions should embrace virtual conferences as a way to reduce the environmental impact of conference-related travel, write the University of Alberta’s Chelsea Miya, Oliver Rossier, and Geoffrey Rockwell. The authors explain that though there have been downsides to holding econferences during COVID-19, the benefits warrant the continuation of online conferences once travel restrictions are lifted. The article explains that holding conferences virtually can reduce barriers to participation, ensure diverse voices are heard, and produce a much smaller carbon footprint than in-person conferences. The authors call for the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences to commit to having at minimum 25% of Congress 2022’s speakers and attendees participating virtually. “Adopting a hybrid virtual/in-person format in future years would not only save carbon emissions, it would be a monumental step towards building a more inclusive, diverse and eco-conscious research community,” write the authors. Ideas-Idees (National)

RRU launches A Vision in Bloom campaign, unveils reconstructed waterwheel

Royal Roads University has launched the A Vision in Bloom campaign to restore Hatley Castle’s Japanese Garden by unveiling a waterwheel. The waterwheel, which is a replica of the original wheel installed sometime between 1915 and 1930, was reconstructed from treated accoya wood and made using modern tools and old world skills. A Vision in Bloom will also support the renewal of the garden through initiatives such as growing produce in the garden and orchard, creating a community garden, expanding RRU’s apiary, and restoring the Glass House for use as a teaching and research hub. “It’s important to highlight the beauty of the gardens, the importance to us to maintain the gardens the way they are, and even to improve them,” said RRU’s director of operations Ron Granados. RRU | Times Colonist | Saanich News (BC)

LINKS Institute established in MB, offers mental health focused course

LINKS Institute, a mental-health-focused private vocational school, has been established in Brandon, Manitoba. LINKS has been designed as an online-only school to ensure stability and accessibility for students. The school is offering a six-month Community Support Worker program, and plans to expand in the future with a “suite of relevant mental health and related services.” “There may be people who are unemployed who are looking to get back into work, but they don’t necessarily have the time or commitment to devote to a university degree or college diploma,” said LINKS president John Jackson. “It’s a win-win for them, and so for myself, there’s the satisfaction of providing solutions to a problem, and I’m really interested in enhancing workforce development.” Brandon Sun (MB)

Queen’s, Fanshawe, Lethbridge offer free courses

Fanshawe College, Queen’s University, and Lethbridge College are offering a variety of free courses. Fanshawe will be offering the Supportive Care Assistant program, a micro-credential that will teach students skills they will need to provide support to long-term and home care staff. Students will complete six weeks of training online and a paid four-month work placement. Queen’s will be offering two free online interest courses through the Ever Scholar program: Introduction to Health Studies and First Nations, Metis and Inuit Studies. Lethbridge College will be offering the Journeywoman Start program through Women Building Futures, which will provide introductory hands-on skills to participants with the aim of propelling them to pursue careers in the trades. Fanshawe | NationTalk (Queen’s) | Nation Talk (Lethbridge) (National)

How to manage a class Discord: Opinion

With the move to online classes, students have moved to using unsanctioned platforms such as Discord to connect with each other, writes Megan McNamara. McNamara explains that instructors should not panic if they find their class has an associated Discord. Instead the instructor may ask if there is a class Discord, and if so, ask who the moderators are and if they would be welcome in the class Discord. Finally, McNamara says that instructors should encourage their students to speak up about nefarious Discord activities, such as coordinated cheating attempts or harassment. Inside Higher Ed (International)