Topic: Teaching and learning

Student perspectives on good teaching: what history reveals

By Paul Axelrod

What constitutes effective and engaging university pedagogy, and have student impressions of this changed through the ages? My reading of memoirs, biographies, […]

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Educators must commit now to tackle grade inflation

Thousands of students received unsettling news this fall regarding the rigour of their high school grades. They learned that at least one university in Ontario — the University of Waterloo — assesses new engineering applicants partially on the basis of which high school they attended and not solely on their grades.

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Gender quotas and targets would speed up progress on gender equity in academia

Recently, the University of Adelaide used a special exemption under the Equal Opportunity Act to advertise eight academic positions in the faculty of engineering, computer and mathematical sciences for women only. This raises questions about why a university might take this approach. While Australia has had gender equality legislation for 30 years, there has been very slow progress towards addressing the gender equity issues plaguing the sector. To illustrate, women are still under-represented at senior levels. Only 27% of full professors (the main recruitment pool for top jobs) are women, and only 32% of Vice-Chancellors in public universities.

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Mentors play critical role in quality of university and college experience, new poll suggests

In order to have a rewarding college experience, students should build a constellation of mentors. This constellation should be a diverse set of faculty, staff and peers who will get students out of their comfort zones and challenge them to learn more – and more deeply – than they thought they could. Students should begin to build this network during their first year of college.

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When losing one’s research partner is like losing a part of oneself

“If you want to see Rich alive, now’s the time.” I sucked in air as I read the text from his wife. I knew this was coming. But, I had been hoping for a miracle. I met my friend Richard Thompson at a mental health grant-writing boot camp at Cornell Medical Center almost 20 years ago. We were both young psychologists hoping to learn how to secure federal funding for our own research. Senior scientists, mainly academic psychiatrists, were presenting seven days’ worth of tips and tutorials on what the National Institutes of Health wanted in a scientifically solid and innovative proposal.

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How playful design is transforming university education

A group of 25 interns sit at Baycrest Health Sciences, a research centre for aging in Canada, their eyes glued to their smart phones. They are playing SOS — an award-winning game that simulates real-world gerontology practice — where they compete with other students to earn virtual currency. Across town, a group of professors sit around a table at George Brown College, designing a role-playing game with a virtual hospital called The Grid, based on a Matrix-like theme of saving the world from ignorance, for an accredited program in health sciences. Yet another team of game programmers are hard at work at Humber College, building a virtual reality experience of a subway car after a bomb incident. Players wear goggles, moving from person to person, saving some and tagging others for care later on.

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PhD completion: an evidence-based guide for students, supervisors and universities

This discrepancy does not necessarily mean postgraduate research students “failed” their degree. Common reasons not completing a degree include changes of career goals, work-family conflicts, poor health or financial strain. Alternatively, some students remain enrolled in their degree for long periods without making significant progress.

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What happened to the issue of postsecondary education?

By André Turcotte and Heather Scott-Marshall

Postsecondary education is an issue that affects a majority of Ontarians, but it does not often feature prominently in provincial elections. How […]

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Navigating racism: Black graduate students need support

I have mixed feelings about my experiences in graduate school. As a Black, first-generation Canadian and the first in my family to become a doctoral student, I did not understand the culture of the academy. If I knew then what I know now as an Adjunct Professor teaching part time, I might have made different choices.

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Can we really teach ‘Indigenizing’ courses online?

On April 16, Canadians — and internet users around the world — have the opportunity to participate in “Indigenous Canada,” a Massive […]

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