McGill University has unveiled a new podcast focused on providing insight to the postsecondary teaching community: “Teach.Learn.Share.” This podcast is available to the public via online podcasting platforms; its first miniseries will focus on assessment and well-being. Over the course of five episodes, “Teach.Learn.Share” will profile different members of the university community, showcasing their thoughts on how learning and student well-being are connected. It will also discuss how instructors can build an inclusive culture of learning through their assessment practices, identify common misconceptions and obstacles surrounding assessment processes, and provide concrete strategies for instructors.
The University of Calgary recently made two announcements regarding new offerings in the fields of cybersecurity and quantum computing. The university opened the Cyber Assessment, Training and Experimentation (CATE) Centre earlier this week, which will support research and training to defend against cybercrimes. “The CATE Centre is a state-of-the-art facility undertaking novel research and development while training the next generation of cybersecurity and privacy experts that are critical to the safety of Albertans and to Alberta’s economy,” said UCalgary Professor Dr Ken Barker. UCalgary also announced a new partnership with the quantum computing company Xanadu. Through this partnership, Xanadu will provide educational materials and support for UCalgary’s upcoming Professional Master of Quantum Computing program, which begins in January 2024.
Seneca Polytechnic and St George’s University in Grenada are partnering to offer a new pathway for students interested in a career in medicine. Under this pathway agreement, qualified Seneca students will be offered fast-track entry into either the five- or six-year MD program at St George’s School of Medicine. “We are excited to offer this direct pathway to MD programs,” said Seneca VP, Academic & Students Marianne Marando. “This new partnership will provide our students with an outstanding opportunity to pursue further studies in medicine.”
Gemma Conroy contemplates the future of AI tools like ChatGPT in the scientific publishing industry. Conroy writes that while these tools could take on much of the work of summarizing experimental results, supporting non-native English speakers in paper development, and editing drafts of content, the “spectre of inaccuracies and falsehoods,” as well as ethical concerns threatens this potential. A recent study conducted by found that many researchers see beneficial impacts for research when it comes to editing and translation for researchers without English as a first language, coding, and summarizing existing research. Conroy concludes by noting the ways in which AI tools could fundamentally transform research publication and dissemination processes in the future, such as by facilitating the creation of dynamic “paper on demand” publications that drill into the most relevant aspects of a study for a reader.
The University of New Brunswick’s Pond-Deshpande Centre (PDC)–alongside a group of like-minded organizations across Canada–has launched a new network to empower women and non-binary entrepreneurs. The Women and Nonbinary Impact Network for Venture Capital (WIN-VC) helps women and non-binary entrepreneurs access venture capital funding and supports investors of all genders who are interested in gender-lens investing, systems change, and inclusivity. “By supporting women and non-binary entrepreneurs to access capital, we are contributing to shifting an unequal economic system,” said PDC Executive Director Katie Davey. “We look forward to working with investors to build a more inclusive and equitable capital landscape in our region.”
Students in online, asynchronous study programs want to feel connected to their peers and professors, writes Ashley Mowreader, but facilitating this connection is difficult. Mowreader highlights two ways that professors can foster connections for online students: By sharing a token; and by creating a dedicated social channel. The author explains how encouraging students to share a token such as a pet, a souvenir from a holiday, or a favourite food item over a video-call helps students to break the ice and get to know one another. As for a dedicated social channel, Mowreader writes that a messaging platform or other digital community space can offer learners a secure, welcoming place to share anything from homework help to encouraging notes.
The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology has partnered with Rogers Communications Inc to provide two fully operational 5G-enabled testing grounds for innovators. The first of the two networks is NAIT’s Productivity and Innovation Centre, which provides a space for industry partners to develop and test 5G technologies before bringing them to the market. The second is a portable 5G testing environment. “The 5G hub at NAIT enhances our polytechnic capacity to equip students and industry for the digital economy,” said NAIT President Laura Jo Gunter. The installation of these networks is supported by a combined $3.8M from the Government of Canada and Government of Alberta.
Labour negotiations and work stoppages at several institutions have surfaced in the news throughout the last week. At the Université du Québec à Rimouski, faculty have voted 93.5% in favour of an unlimited general strike. At NOSM University, the NOSM U Faculty and Staff Association, OPSEU Local 677 has reportedly voted 100% in favour of a strike mandate and has requested a no-board report, alleging that the administration “continues to stonewall proposals.” At College of New Caledonia, the Faculty Association of CNC issued a 72-hour strike notice last Saturday as negotiations continued. Simon Fraser University’s Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU) recently received a $10K donation from the Toronto Raptors and a visit from Raptors Player Garrett Temple, who spoke in favour of the union’s strike. TSSU has been on strike since late September.
Saskatchewan Polytechnic has received $1.6M from the Government of Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Education to provide students in its Early Childhood Education (ECE) diploma program with bursaries. These bursaries will cover enrolment costs such as tuition, books, fees, and other living expenses or emergency costs. Three bursaries are available, including a tuition bursary, a practicum bursary, and an emergency bursary. “These bursaries will remove barriers and reduce financial burdens for our students allowing them to focus on their studies, successfully complete the program and secure employment in childcare,” said Sask Polytech Acting Academic Chair for the School of Human Services Su Polley.
Dalhousie University has announced that it will supply free menstrual pads and tampons in its campus washrooms in order to improve student access to menstruation products. Starting this fall, menstruation products will be installed in 106 washrooms, including men’s, women’s, and gender-neutral washrooms across Dal’s four campuses. The university will display signs below the washroom’s gender symbols to indicate which washrooms contain the products. While this is a pilot project, Dal Assistant VP, Human Resources Chris Hattie said that the university expects it will become a long-term initiative. He added that Dal is also looking into developing an interactive map to help students find the available products on campus.