St Michael’s College at the University of Toronto will be offering a new experimental course that is taught with artificial intelligence (AI) tools such as ChatGPT. St Michael’s College Associate Professor Paolo Granata will teach students to develop critical analyses of AI, engage students with questions about what role professors play in the learning experience, and consider how AI can support learning and proactive thought. The course will use a customized version of ChatGPT. “By experimenting with AI tools in the classroom, we hope to provide our students with a unique and enriching learning experience that will prepare them for the challenges of the 21st century, where AI literacy is key,” said Granata.
Simon Fraser University alumni, athletes, and stakeholders have expressed shock and disappointment over the recent termination of the school’s varsity football program. SFU President Joy Johnson recently stated that the program was cancelled after the Lone Star Conference decided not to renew its affiliate agreement with the university. In response, the SFU Football Alumni Society has taken steps to reverse the cancellation, including launching an online petition and taking legal action to halt these proceedings. Members of the Canadian football community, including the commissioner of the Canadian Football League, have expressed their support for this petition and are calling on the leadership of U Sports and the Canada West Conference to “find a new home for the team.”
Mediation talks between the University of Prince Edward Island and the UPEI Faculty Association (UPEI FA) broke down on Monday. Mediator Michelle Flaherty ended the mediation process after UPEI FA did not accept a time-limited final offer from UPEI. The rejected offers included a general cumulative wage increase of 10.4% over four years, wage increases for sessional instructors, and 12 additional tenure/permanent-track postings. UPEI issued a statement indicating that UPEI FA is still on strike and that the mediator will recommend interest arbitration.
The University of Victoria Pacific Regional Institute for Marine Energy Discovery’s (PRIMED’s) Blind Channel Test Centre will receive $2M from the Government of British Columbia to support its research activities. UVic PRIMED is ramping up development, testing, and deployment of tidal turbines in West Thurlow with the goal of providing a proof of concept for remote coastal communities. “British Columbia has one of the longest and most beautiful coastlines in the world, but more than 50 coastal communities still depend on polluting fossil fuels for heat, light, transportation and industry,” said BC Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Josie Osborne. “I’m so pleased to see this partnership and how it’s helping communities reduce their carbon footprint and protect our oceans for future generations.”
In a recent article for Times Higher Ed, Nick Jennings discusses how AI can benefit research and education. Jennings argues that AI will be transformative, and that AI can support innovative academic activities and personalize students’ learning experiences. The author writes that though AI can be used to create high quality work, students should learn how to use it on tasks such as generating ideas, summarizing bodies of work, and critiquing initial drafts. AI can be used by instructors for tasks that such as aggregating course feedback. Leadership can also use it to automate routine administrative tasks and improve how they operate in areas such as HR, finance, and marketing. Jennings writes that AI and humans should work in partnership to overcome hurdles and support these opportunities.
Trent University and the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish new student learning pathways in the field of holistic healthcare. The five-year agreement will see the two institutions collaborating on innovative research opportunities and learning experiences for students wishing to study naturopathic medicine. “This new collaboration expands our scope and breadth of learning, growing options for Trent graduates to more seamlessly transition to CCNM programs on their way to successful professional careers in the field of naturopathic medicine,” said Trent Provost and VP Academic Dr Michael Khan.
Nursing students are speaking out in opposition after the Government of British Columbia announced that Okanagan College’s nursing program would be consolidated into the University of British Columbia’s nursing program for September 2023. 27 first-year students from Okanagan penned a letter to the college’s leadership outlining why students and staff need more time to prepare for this transition. They contended that the timing of this decision allows little time for current students to register for classes at UBC Okanagan, find housing, and apply for appropriate student loans. They have formally requested that the complete consolidation be delayed one year to allow current students the opportunity to graduate from their chosen academic institution.
When preparing medical school applications, many prospective students are encouraged to ensure they have clinical experiences such as physician shadowing, overseas health placements, or work experience as medical scribes. However, in an article for The Conversation, Janelle S Taylor (University of Toronto) and Claire Wendland (University of Wisconsin-Madison) explain that many of these clinical experiences can exacerbate inequalities. After conducting a study of medical school admissions processes, the authors found a variety of issues with these experiences: Physician shadowing opportunities are more regularly offered to privileged students; global health experiences can reinforce problematic narratives; and low-paying medical scribe positions can “contribute to exploiting a vulnerable labour force.” The writers conclude by calling on institutions to re-evaluate medical-school application processes and the emphasis placed on clinical experiences.
Lambton College in Mississauga and Cégep Garneau are both celebrating the completion of major campus updates and renovations. Lambton’s Mississauga location, which is licensed through Queen’s College, has unveiled renovations that include new open-concept study spaces, an expanded library, a new cafeteria, locations for students to socialize, and rooms for one-on-one student support. The campus is also working on a new Exercise Centre and Wellness Rooms. Garneau has inaugurated new dental hygiene facilities that will be used by dental hygienist students. The state-of-the-art facilities are equipped with the latest equipment in dentistry, including 3D printers, simulators with mannequins, and digital radiology devices.
As Ramadan continues, several student groups and postsecondary institutions are offering special supports and meals to their Muslim students. At the University of Waterloo, the Muslim Students Association has organized a space for free or potluck style Iftar meals and daily congregational prayers. UWaterloo Muslim Students Association VP Labibah Salim said that hosting prayers on campus gives students the opportunity to stay on campus, rather than travelling to the mosque at night. Wilfrid Laurier University’s Muslim chaplaincy and Muslim Students Association have organized free Iftar dinners on campus for those who are on limited incomes. Queen’s University’s Hospitality Services recently consulted with the Muslim Student Association for supports and meal arrangements for Ramadan. The University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law hosted its first-ever Ramadan Iftar meal, which brought together community members and members of the Muslim Bar Association.