Dijana Praskac, J. de Sousa-Hitzler and E. Lam, Ryerson University, The Chang School of Continuing Education
Success Factors in Designing Accessibility Programming – Reflections from Ryerson University
This presentation will provide an overview of the accessibility programming and success strategies for enabling marginalized adult learners to pursue and persist in higher education programs. With a focus on the experience from The Chang School at Ryerson University, we will discuss the success factors in designing access programming in the view of needs and challenges of marginalized groups. Specifically, we will include learners who face socio-economic barriers, first generation university students and aboriginal groups, thus incorporating different perspectives, with a goal to optimize traditional support systems. We will discuss the ways that formal and non-formal education work together to support students through coursework, workshops on study skills, mentoring, and support services. There will be some emphasis on adult education policies and practices that support these programs as well as the outcomes of accessibility programs on student success and social returns. Several models of access programs, including Spanning the Gaps from Ryerson University will be analyzed with a focus on long term sustainability. Intended audience: individuals managing or teaching access programs, senior management and administrators responsible for institutional policies and strategic planning, academics and professionals working with students in access programs.
Christie Schultz and Michael Splinter, University of Alberta
Emergent Inclusivity: Assessing the Impact of Historical and Explicit Diversity and Inclusivity Initiatives in Continuing and Professional Education
Since 1912, the Faculty of Extension at the University of Alberta has been engaged in the task of bringing the University to the people,” imagining the University learner more broadly than the model of the undergraduate or graduate student. The diversity of our learners and their subjects has long been part of our history, a history shared with many university-based continuing education providers across Canada. As we begin our second century, we’ve also been able to build our diversity models into strategy, both explicit and emergent. In doing so, we acknowledge and recognize our diversity models as, in part, “emergent inclusivity,” following the Henry Mintzberg concept of “emergent strategy.” It’s in the reflection upon this emergent inclusivity (beyond diversity) that we better understand how diversity and inclusivity impact future planning. In this presentation, we discuss a) the explicit and emergent inclusivity of our current student population and programs; b) the challenges associated with inclusivity models; and c) the impact of these models on planning our program portfolios and on revenue resilience and sustainability. Target audience: Those who are interested in, involved in, or leading continuing and professional education (CPE) programming initiatives will be interested in this session. Attendees will gain insight into: reasons that diversity and inclusivity of student populations and programs is a strength of CPE programming for both the CPE unit and the University; challenges associated with deliberately developing programs with inclusivity in mind; and characteristics of one model of a successful, sustainable suite of diverse program initiatives.
Cheikh Ould Moulaye, University of Manitoba
Online Assessment: Balancing accessibility, students privacy and integrity of online courses
Despite some disagreement as to whether online courses are more susceptible to academic dishonesty than their face to face counterparts, we all agree that online education, while increasing access to post-secondary educational opportunities, brings with it different challenges that face-to-face settings are not facing. At the University of Manitoba, one of our goals is to improve access to education by ensuring our students benefit from the convenience and flexibility of online courses without sacrificing the academic integrity necessary to maintain quality courses. Currently, students enrolled in online courses and leaving outside of Winnipeg must write their final exams in exam centres established by the University or, in specific situations, find their own invigilators. This situation might prevent some students from taking online courses which are, in many cases, the only way they can access quality post-secondary education. In a pilot project, where we used an online proctoring system to overcome such physical barriers, we discovered another parameter that appears to be important to consider: students privacy. In this presentation we will discuss how we are trying to balance the following needs and concerns: academic integrity, accessibility, and students privacy. The lessons learned and future plans to overcome other challenges will also be presented. The session will give an example of how can innovation increase access to education.
Darrel Lawlor, University of Regina
We don’t know what we think we know, you know? An examination of online student feedback.
In this session we will examine the results of a recent electronic survey of 456 students taking online course(s) at the University of Regina with an eye for revealing discrepancies between researchers assumptions about student practices, desires and opinions and the reality of those practices, desires and opinions. Do we really know what we think we know? Educators often think they know what is best for their students; however, when we hear from students themselves, what we think can be at odds with reality. What motivates students to learn? Are students motivated by grades or something else? Who are our online students? What do they have to say about their online learning experiences? Are there areas of contradiction between our practices as educators and student habits as learners? Are there identifiable themes that we can use to improve student learning and retention? Are there things that we, as educators, should, or could, we be doing differently?
Katrin Becker, Mount Royal University
Implementing Reigeluths Post-Industrial Paradigm from the Inside Out
In his landmark paper describing what the new post-industrial paradigm of instruction should look like, C.M.Reigeluth outlines 8 core ideas: 1. Learning-focused vs. sorting focused. 2. Learner-centered vs. teacher-centered instruction. 3. Learning by doing vs. teacher presenting. 4. Attainment-based vs. time-based progress. 5. Customized vs. standardized instruction. 6. Criterion-referenced vs. norm-referenced testing. 7. Collaborative vs. individual. 8. Enjoyable vs. unpleasant. (Reigeluth, 2012) Most of us can agree that people learn at different rates and have different learning needs, but most of our courses continue to enforce a lock-step progression of topics and assignments that is much better suited to sorting students than to helping them learn. Reigeluths new paradigm calls for radical transformation and while that may well be justified, it is unlikely to happen, at least not in the near future. What then can we do in the meantime? This presentation will examine Reigluths core ideas through the lenses of their effect on creating access and embracing diversity. The author will include case studies from over 35 years of experience teaching in higher ed. This presentation is targeted at all educators in higher education with a particular focus on the STEM fields. Reigeluth, C. M. (2012). Instructional Theory and Technology for the New Paradigm of Education. Revista de Educacin a Distancia, 11(32).
Practical Considerations for Mobile Learning in Extended Education: Case Study from a Management Course.
It is predicted that by the end of 2015 fixed PCs will comprise only a small percentage of the devices connected to the Internet (Blodget & Cocatas, 2012). In recognition of this phenomenon Instructional Designers in Distance Education and Program Managers of Continuing Education (CE) at the University of Manitoba began to explore how we could capitalize on the affordances of mobile devices to improve the accessibility of CE courses. Using the UTAUT2 model as an instrument to measure students acceptance the research team sought to investigate various determinants of mobile learning (m-learning) use and acceptance by adult learners in a Human Resource Management course, including performance and expectancies, social influence, and other facilitating conditions. We sought to answer the questions: a) what are students expectations of how mobile devices will be used for learning before, during and after an m-learning course; b) to what degree does participation in an m-learning course require more student effort when compared to traditional e-learning (as related to the user interface and learning the course content); c) to what degree does social influence impact users trust and acceptance of the mobile platform for learning; and, d) what features (facilitating conditions) of the interface and instructional design positively influence students acceptance of the course? This presentation describes the initial findings of our research and the lessons learned during the design and delivery of the course, and offers key considerations to inform the practice of CE units interested in developing and delivering a course via m-learning.
Diedre Desmarais and Adrienne Carriere, University of Manitoba
A Modern Metis Identity: Who Gets to Choose?
This session will present an understanding of the complexities of a modern Metis identity by exploring the political, cultural and personal definitions. Identity regulation has been an effective tool in the colonization of Indigenous Peoples throughout the history of Canada. The remnants of these colonial practices continue to create challenges for dialogue within Canadian post-secondary campuses today. Demographics expose that the Metis population has increased significantly in the last ten years. In a post-secondary setting where scant resources and seats available for Indigenous students become more competitive, education administrators struggle to find a viable solution to the selection of students. Who are eligible for these limited resources that assure an accurate reflection of Metis identity? How do we choose the Metis candidates? Do we base it on the strength of cultural identity , political affiliation and acceptance or self-identification? This discussion will expose the ongoing complexities on Indigenous identities and the impact for Indigenous students; specifically the Metis. There will be a focus on i) an overview of Metis identity; ii) a review of the resources available; and iii) critical factors to consider in selection.
Robert Lawson, University of Manitoba
Balancing Western and Aboriginal educational approaches
As the title of my paper indicates, I will demonstrate how Western and select Aboriginal educational approaches can be blended to provide a rich educational experience for all learners. My topic accords nicely with the conference theme because the point of the paper is to demonstrate how one can take a more inclusive approach to learning in the post-secondary context. In the first part of my paper I would like to discuss how North American educational institutions have often failed Aboriginal students by neglecting to offer culturally sensitive educational programming. In the second half of my paper, I will demonstrate some possible solutions to this problem by showing how one can achieve a balance between Western and select Aboriginal educational approaches with particular reference to the pedagogy of the Dene Tha, the Neheyiwak or Cree and the Blackfoot of Alberta. Regardless of background, all learners can benefit from a student-centred learning environment that embraces certain Aboriginal values and employs the latest advances in educational technology, such as mobile learning. In fact, the student-centred approach to learning, the foundation of learning theories such as constructivism, is becoming the foundation for many online and blended courses. I will also discuss why it is necessary to include more Aboriginal stories in the post-secondary curriculum, particularly in history courses, and how doing so can benefit both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students.
Joenita Paulrajan, University of British Columbia
Building Diversity and Inclusion Champions
The UBC Continuing Studies Centre for Intercultural Communication (UBC CS CIC), over the past 30 years, has supported indigenous and non-indigenous adult learners develop the skills to engage productively across differences and build inclusive organizations and communities. The challenges and opportunities that our learners face in their work and community contexts drive us to constantly push the borders of diversity and inclusion education. This presentation explores three real-world scenarios that highlight the importance of integrating inclusion into every tier of an organization. Drawn from the perspectives of three of our learners, a university/continuing studies educator, an HR professional and a medical practitioner, these examples reflect a diversity and inclusion related dilemma and the steps taken to resolve it. They raise key questions including: (i) what are some challenges that professionals face when generating inclusive solutions to everyday challenges? (ii) How can we successfully integrate diverse cultural practices in our organizations? (iii) How can a university or continuing education embrace inclusion on all levels of curriculum design, content, teaching tools, among other things? Our goal at UBC CS CIC is to build diversity and inclusion champions. We hope that these scenarios illuminate what it means to be a diversity and inclusion “champion” in diverse contexts and how we can continue to build capacity to foster inclusion.
Judy Smith and Deanna Reder, Simon Fraser University
Aboriginal Bridge Programs: Beyond Tokenism
SFUs Aboriginal Bridge Programs, uniquely positioned in Continuing Studies, go beyond tokenistic efforts to embrace diversity and inclusion. In this session we will share our approaches for navigating the challenging terrain of academia to develop Indigenous programs that are gaining university recognition, and influencing dialogue about inclusivity and the value of Indigenous curricula. Our best practices and stories of success are the result of passion, fortuitous circumstances, enduring partnerships, and leveraging the opportunities presented by being situated within Continuing Studies. The session will begin with an overview of the Aboriginal Pre-Health and Aboriginal University Prep Bridge programs. As official Aboriginal Bridge programs they provide pathways to SFU degree studies. Aboriginal (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) students take undergraduate credit courses that count towards a degree, while learning in a cohort-based community of learning where cultural and traditional knowledge is both integrated and affirmed. Upon successful completion, students are offered conditional acceptance to SFU or can transfer their credits to another post-secondary. The session will feature our newest and best example of a genuinely Indigenous and inclusive course that applies the program’s philosophy and best practices. We will showcase the process of designing an undergraduate course called Explorations in the Arts and Social Sciences, and share student feedback and what we have learned. We will also welcome session participants’ insights. A short activity will give participants an appreciation for the far-reaching value of Indigenous curriculum. The session will engage people who are working toward developing genuinely inclusive Indigenous programs and institutions.
Michael Drabowski, Athabasca University
Breaking down access to education through truly open on-line educational models
We are starting to take the first steps in subverting the traditional educational model of the classroom and the textbook by delving into Open Educational Resources as instructional tools. This is opening a new sphere of pedagogical approaches to education, but academic institutions are far behind in encouraging and recognizing the academic merit and importance of OER work being done by academics in Canada. Administrative changes need to follow in the wake of changes in delivery methods or the innovative momentum that is building will subside and we will fall back into the traditional ways of doing things that we are comfortable with, but mostly for which we are recognized. We will explore the future of truly collaborative work where institutional partners that don’t see themselves as competitors in the new capitalistic university model, but rather see themselves as partners in the delivery and dissemination of knowledge on a global scale, can create sweeping changes that overcome physical, financial, social, and psychological obstacles to an educated humanity. Experiences will be shared from the Athabasca University Spanish OER initiative. Target Audience: Anyone interested in course development, inter-institutional collaboration, open educational resources, educational administrators.
Gordon Davies, University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
Inclusivity: from Personal Identity to Academic Programming
The first part of this general presentation will review the courses and programs at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies from the perspective of inclusivity. In Business, Arts, Languages and Creative Writing, all our courses are non-degree and non-credit, open to all adults. Over 45% of our students were born abroad. They come to Business & Professional Studies to improve their career prospects, to gain a Canadian credential in order to enter the job market, or to learn Canadian workplace culture and communication. Online courses in Business and in Translation into six languages attract students from 38 countries. Our Credential Evaluation Service for immigrants is one of the three largest in Canada. This year, we offer 90 courses in Arts & Science to people who want to remain intellectually curious at every stage of their lives from their 20s to their 90s. Their average age is 53. Expanding access is one of our key strategic priorities. For example, we have a presence in Regent’s Park, a low-income neighbourhood. And one of our top funding-raising priorities is a growing bursary program. The second part of my presentation will draw on my experience working in six countries and four languages. I will reflect on the cross-cultural adaptations I had to make, and on the interpretive lens on Canadian culture given to me by my identity as a gay man. I will offer some conclusions about the continuing challenge of inclusivity in my work as a teacher and academic administrator.
Maia Korotkina, McGill University School of Continuing Studies
Embracing Inclusivity through Newcomers-Centered Career Advising & Transition Services
As in many university continuing education units today, almost half of McGill’s School of Continuing Studies’s (SCS) 12,000-14,000 annual student population is composed of newcomers to Canada. They take advantage of the School’s multitude of language and professional programs in order to upgrade their skills, increase their confidence level and optimize their transition into the local labour market. As a hub for thousands of these internationally-trained professionals, McGill SCS thus carries the great potential, promise and arguably even responsibility to facilitate this transition through career support services that emphasize the transferable skills and particular needs of this large segment of its clientele. Over the past two years, our growing Career Advising and Transition Services have sought to make McGill and the larger Quebec community in which it is rooted synonymous with a warm community of professionals. Students now benefit from a clearer, streamlined, more effective, and more connected roadmap to successful employment through 1) our new training, individual advising and networking offerings that are integrated into their academic pursuits, and 2) our strategic outreach and alliance approach that builds partnerships with other institutions throughout the city, including complementary immigrant support services through the provincial government, Board of Trade and non-profit organizations. This presentation will seek to introduce this SCS project, engaging in the national conversation on the promising role that University Continuing Education units can play in fostering a culture of inclusion for New Canadians and aspiring residents in academic, professional, and larger-scale community circles in their host country.
Bettina Brockerhoff-Macdonald and Moira Morrison, Laurentian University
Evaluation schemes and inclusivity in online distance education courses
This session will report on a research study undertaken in early 2015 which asks both students who have completed online distance education courses and faculty members who have supervised online distance education courses to reflect on the evaluation scheme of their respective courses (formative and summative assessments) and to provide us with their thoughts and opinions on the following questions: a) was the amount of work submitted for grading appropriate for the course b) did the assessments fairly assess the skills and knowledge acquired by taking this course as per the learning outcomes of the course c) did the assessments allow you to demonstrate your learning in an effective way (e.g., using your-learning preferences, appropriate forms of expression/communication, available technologies etc.) d) do you have any ideas for improving the assessments to better evaluate students The results of this study is reflective of the conference theme of inclusivity as it strives to ascertain whether our current evaluation scheme practices are really inclusive of differing teaching and learning styles and cultural sensitivities. We are hoping that we can ensure that the current emphasis on learning outcomes is reflected in the way we evaluate students. We also want to explore new ways of using technologies which allow all students to demonstrate their learning effectively and in ways that will be useful to them in their lives and careers. The target audience would be instructional designers and faculty teaching online.
Melissa Jakubec, Kelly Warnock and Michelle Harrison, Thompson Rivers University
Beyond Conversation: Reflections on a Collaborative Design Process
As instructional designers, for several years we have informally reviewed each others’ curriculum development projects. This has taken many forms, from simple editing to suggestions for media pieces to reorganizing content and even problem solving on larger issues we were facing separately. Because we valued and benefited from this collegial process, we decided to undertake a more deliberate collaborative instructional design process by pairing instructional designers on projects, including courses and program planning within the health and education areas. This presentation will be a case study of our collaborative processes from our initial planning meetings through the blueprint and development phases. We will reflect on the challenges and rewards of including multiple viewpoints in the course and program development process. We will also address the effects of this intentional collaboration on these processes, as well as the viability of this model for future projects. Our presentation relates to the theme of creating access as we experiment with and reflect on a process for deliberately including additional perspectives in the curriculum development process. It also relates to increasing accessibility as we are expanding the offerings of TRU Open Learning. Target Audience: Instructional Designers, Educators
SFU NOW: Nights or Weekends is a degree completion program that is tailored to the life demands and needs of working students. The program was designed with flexibility in mind, but has attracted a student clientele far beyond our expectations. These students—who are diverse in their life circumstances and experience, their academic histories, and their interest in post-secondary study—are supported through the SFU NOW program, which explicitly acknowledges their and meets their varied needs and situations in unique ways. In this session we present several in-depth profiles of our students that showcase the diversity of the student group. We then provide details about the services and events we offer that support adult students’ academic and scheduling needs; about how we work within, build upon, and advocate for change to SFU’s policies that are often focused on the traditional 18 to 22 year demographic; and about how we communicate with students in a personalized and tailored way. Finally, we explain how we have developed and are currently championing a proposal to provide a “quick admit” option for adult students whose former academic records are no longer indicative of their current capabilities as students. One of the underlying principles of SFU’s strategic vision is inclusivity. By creating access for students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to pursue university studies and through our services and our approach SFU NOW exemplifies that principle.
Salman Kureishy, University of Toronto School of Continuing Education
Creating Access and Removing Barriers through Partnerships
The University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies (The School) is committed to improving access, supporting inclusivity and removing barriers to education in a variety of innovative ways. The School launched a pilot project in 2012 for new Canadian engineering professionals. Funded by Ontario Government’s Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, it is a unique partnership between The University’s degree credit and non-credit granting units, the Professional Engineers Ontario, and Bombardier. As the pilot project comes to an end, we have learned important lessons that touch upon issues of access, cultural transition, pedagogical methodologies, and partnerships. Diverse learning styles based on demographics or cultural differences require differentiated teaching methodologies. These are more difficult to manage in degree credit programs than in continuing studies not-for-credit courses. Acculturation is best achieved through interactive, experiential learning activities, including a variety of mentoring relationships. Willingness of employers to try flexible, inclusive approaches in recruitment for internships or employment, play a critical role in helping transition new Canadians into employment. Improved access through online and blended learning requires demonstration of effectiveness of these learning approaches, specially to professional associations and employers. Sustainability of such pilot projects through special bursaries and other means of financial support is critical. Target audience for this includes academicians, employers, and professional associations.
Leonora Zefi, Clare Chua, Ted Rogers Business School, Ryerson University
Purposeful design and delivery strategies in large online classes as tools to increase access and improve student and faculty satisfaction.
Many works in the literature of online learning state that online course enrolments should be limited to 12-25 students per course, but many institutions currently exceed those numbers, often by a big margin. Drivers of large class sizes include the need to ensure access for students and to uphold institutional fiscal models. This issue has drawn attention to the importance of developing methods for teaching large online classes. Instructors who teach high-enrollment online courses, especially in challenging subject areas, must have knowledge of strategies that can help curb student attrition or failure rates and balance student satisfaction and instructor workload. A faculty member from the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University and staff from the Digital Education Strategies Unit at The Chang School of Continuing Education started a partnership to investigate how the design and instructional strategies of a high-enrollment online course (typically above 50 students) might be revised to increase instructor and student satisfaction and improve learning outcomes while meeting the access needs for in-demand courses. In this presentation, we will share findings of an 18-month CAUCE sponsored research on how the newly implemented instructional strategies and content design of the course helped to improve course quality while balancing student satisfaction and instructor workload.
Raquel Collins and Lynn Fujino, University of British Columbia Continuing Studies
The Heart of Engagement
Creating online courses that are engaging and evoke a sense of community is a team effort. In this session, UBC Continuing Studies’ Professional Online Learning Office (POLO) will talk about how we use an agile project management approach to inspire our design and development teams from the start. Since we believe that learner engagement is the heart of our courses, we begin by facilitating that engagement in our teams using a collective and collaborative approach to design and development. From kick-off to go-live, we ask for – and get – continuous team participation. In this presentation, POLO will take you on a learning journey that focuses on how to get to the heart of student engagement in an online environment.
Sandra Kerr and David Chandross, G. Raymond Change School of Continuing Education, Ryerson University
Awakening from the Shadows; Seniors Higher Education in Long Term Care
There are over 350,000 seniors living in long term care (LTC) facilities in Canada. Within 30 years the majority of Canadians will be over the age of 65. This is a population with little access to higher education. There is data suggesting that regular courses for seniors promotes not only improved cognitive function, but a demonstrable increase in quality of life, self-esteem, comfort and personal hygiene. Our data shows that university continuing education creates a personal journey of discovery in a population usually perceived as passive recipients of care. Programs for 50+ in The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education has been providing a specialized university program at the Baycrest Health Sciences Center in Toronto for two years. The majority of subjects in this study had some form of either cognitive or physical disability, or some form of early or mid onset dementia. Baycrest is one of Canada’s premier care, teaching and research facilities in geriatric medicine. In the overall “health care goal” of improving brain health our project with Baycrest sets it apart from regular senior’s education currently popular amongst seniors. This session will report on our recent CAUCE Research Grant results and will be of interest to those who are looking at innovative ways to provide access to the elderly in particular in long term care homes.
Maureen Reed, Ryerson University
Promoting inclusivity through humour: The caring clown program; continuing education that makes a difference to older students.
Older students often feel they do not fit into higher education. These same students typically have clear education goals and seek meaningful education experiences. Twenty six older students (M=60.7) were trained in a Caring Clown Program (50 hours). The goal of the program was to provide training in clowning so students could participate as caring clowns in long-term care facilities. Here, we determined the characteristics of older students who attend this interactive program and the benefits this program has for the student. Students were surveyed about their life/program experiences and completed measures of life satisfaction, self-esteem, extraversion, resourcefulness, depression, life purpose, loneliness and resourcefulness prior to the program, during training, at the end of training and six months after program completion. We found that students who train to become clowns were typically highly educated females who had previous drama experience (professional and community based) and chose to participate in the caring clown program to ‘try something different’. Students who dropped out (>80% of drop outs) of the caring clown program were professional actors. For those who continued in the Caring Clown Program (N=19) mild increases in self-esteem (p=.02), and mild decreases in loneliness (p=.02) were found. In addition, the older students who clowned believed that their interactions with residents in long term care were meaningful and gave them an opportunity to understand the needs of others. They also self-reported that the clowning helped them to gain self-confidence and the program expanded their peer group. However, some challenges were also identified.
Pia Marks, Jennifer Costello and Aldo Caputo, Center for Extended Learning, University of Waterloo
Creating Accessible User Experiences in Waterloo Online Courses
Creating high-quality online learning experiences that meet the needs of a diverse student population is central to the work of the Centre for Extended Learning (CEL) at the University of Waterloo. Access is a theme that informs our entire course design and development process, rather than an afterthought that is tacked onto the end of it. For us, creating access is part of the bigger user experience (UX) picture, which involves ensuring good user experiences for all of our learners on a variety of devices. How do we create access at CEL? We take a three-pronged approach: 1. Start the conversation at the instructional design stage:• “User experience is instructional design” (Sean Yo, D2L): Find out how we use UX research (including usability testing) to inform instructional design decisions; 2. Create device-friendly courses: Find out how design approaches like responsive design and HTML5 can create access; 3. Strive to comply with provincial legislation: Join us on the journey we took to become acquainted with mandated provincial accessibility legislation (AODA), translate that legislation to our particular context, and create a new set of accessibility standards that forms part of our production standards. We’ll share both the process (how we got there) and the product (our new accessibility standards), which we apply to the development of all new courses. Creating access is an ongoing and evolving conversation for us at CEL – one we hope you will join.
Nada Savicevic, Ryerson University
Embracing Inclusivity and Enhancing Access to Education through the Application of Online Tools
Traditional lecture-based learning is shaped by a vision that fosters the understanding of subject-specific content and creates the potential for applied learning through face-to-face instruction, direct communication and interaction. When such learning is redesigned to strategically integrate technology, it allows for new educational possibilities, both in teaching and in learning, that extend beyond the walls of a traditional classroom, eliminating numerous access barriers to education for students. Online learning offers tremendous opportunities for advancement of teaching methodologies and knowledge acquisition through targeted application of a range of tools afforded by current technology. Such tools and strategies can be customized and seamlessly integrated into curricula to serve specific requirements of individual courses. The purpose of this session is to present design opportunities for transferring courses into online setting through examples of inventive practical solutions (such as Math Type software, making mathematical formulas and computer code accessible for students with visual impairment) implemented in courses at Ryerson University (Computer-enabled Problem Solving and Embedded Systems Hardware Architecture and Implementation). This session will not only examine the complexities and benefits of online course design and delivery but will also highlight the importance of collaboration between the Instructional Designer and Subject Matter Expert in designing accessible instruction. Participants attending this session will come away with practical tips and advice on formulating and implementing effective solutions for engaging learners and enhancing learning effectiveness through innovative online-specific methodologies and tools.
Claudius Soodeen, Terralyn McKee, Robert Lawson, Jeremy Haines, Chris Eccles and Kathy Snow, (MADLAT)
Panel Discussion on Facilitating Access for Indigenous Students through Technology in Manitoba
The Manitoba Association for Distributed Learning and Training is a collaboration of institutions and individuals dedicated to exploring the improvement of education in the province through the use of technology. In this panel discussion representatives from various members including representatives from the University College of the North, University of Winnipeg, University of Manitoba and Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Center will share their thoughts and research on issues around increasing access to education using technology for Indigenous students in Manitoba. This includes an examination of blended learning approaches, satellite design, mobile learning and distance learning from three perspectives, the student, the instructor and the administrator.
Members of the CAUCE Research and Information Committee: Lorraine Carter, Atlanta Sloane Seale, Heather McRae, Marc Imbeault, Nicole Tate-Hill, and Aileen Clark (CJUCE)
Knowledge creation and exchange: Tips and tricks for turning your presentation into a published paper.
The Canadian Journal of University Continuing Education (CJUCE) is a member driven and open source bilingual peer reviewed journal featuring scholarly research papers, forum and opinion pieces, reports of practice and reviews of books relating to university adult and continuing education. This session, presented by members of the CAUCE Research and Information committee, will outline the types of articles of interest to the membership, identify what reviewers are looking for and provide tips and tricks for turning your presentation into a manuscript. The session will also identify funding and mentoring support provided by the membership. Writing for CJUCE is a great way to continue and/or start your academic writing career or to be able to share your knowledge of exemplary programming with colleagues across the country in the field of university adult and continuing education. Conference Theme Fit: The OER initiative is working towards reducing many of the obstacles to educational access, but any move forward will require substantial institutional and societal backing to OER initiatives to enhance access and inclusivity for education.
Kari Kumar, University of Manitoba
Embracing diversity: Towards inclusive pedagogy.
Educational institutions have a moral obligation to accommodate learner diversity. Better still, we should embrace and celebrate the diversity of our learners, by recognizing the value that different perspectives contribute to the learning environment. To this end, inclusive pedagogy “that which is non-prescriptive and accommodating of valued learner diversity” is an important consideration. What might such pedagogy look like? To explore this question, several relevant areas of literature, ways of thinking and knowing, and pedagogical approaches will be introduced. For example, the universal design for learning (UDL) framework and the social model of disability advocate shifting the burden of adaptability from the learners to the learning environment. Like UDL, the self-regulated learning framework emphasizes the importance of nurturing student motivation and self-efficacy, variables that are not accommodated by prescriptive one-size-fits-all instructional approaches. Also recognizing the unpredictability of learning and its non-linear, emergent nature are complexity thinking and connectivism, which are aligned with Indigenous ways of thinking and knowing. Moreover, the role of relations/interactions and community in knowledge building are recognized by various frameworks and ways of thinking as important variables within learning contexts. How can these pedagogical goals be woven together and practically applied towards development of inclusive teaching approaches? To facilitate a discussion of this, a topic in Biology will be presented as an illustrative area of inquiry within which to apply these ideas. Traditional (prescriptive) teaching approaches will be contrasted with innovative inclusive approaches that embody these pedagogical goals. The intended audience is post-secondary educators.
Wenda Caswell and Bev Beattie, Nipissing University
Learning Inclusivity Through the Lens of Cultural Accessibility
In this presentation, we will examine definitions associated with learning inclusivity and cultural accessibility. The presenters will engage participants to reflect on personal perspectives on learning inclusivity and cultural accessibility, as well as explore strategies involving these concepts as they relate to curriculum design/development. The target audience for this presentation includes educators, instructional designers, program administrators and individuals involved in student accessibility and support services.
Sensoy, O., & DiAngelo, R. (2012). Is everyone really equal? An introduction to key concepts in social justice education. New York; Teachers College Press.
In recent years, the video game industry has been embroiled in in various issues of gender bias and minority representation, both in the games that are published and among those who work in the industry. The GamerGate controversy, which exploded on social networks in August 2014, was ostensibly about nepotism and a lack of reporting integrity in videogame journalism but very quickly descended into unprecedented harassment and threats that primarily targeted women in the game industry. This is an extreme example of the issues faced by many women and minorities in the STEM professions, and the barriers that these situations create. How does game education plan to dig itself out of the current quagmire and support students in these programs?
The International Game Developer’s Association (IGDA) is the largest non-profit membership organization in the world serving all individuals who create games. In 2008 it published a curriculum framework for game-related educational programs (http://gameprogramreview.com/files/igda2008cf.pdf). The IGDA is beginning a redesign of its curriculum framework and this provides a perfect opportunity to re-examine curricula in light of how it supports and encourages diversity and inclusivity.
This presentation by two of the leaders of the IGDA Curriculum Framework Redesign, will examine how social cultures affect decisions people make about whether or not to pursue a career in STEM, and how the design of a curriculum can help or hinder the diversity of the student population.
Kathy Snow, Cape Breton University
Challenges to Persistence: Students perspectives on Pre-Nursing Transitions program design
Scholarly research on the success of transition programs for non-traditional students frequently centers around institutional directives: retention, best practices and cost. The success of students within programs is typically measured by graduation and attrition rates. However, despite investment and research and over thirty years of post-secondary educational reform, the gap between Indigenous student’s graduation rates and those of their non-Indigenous counterparts remains considerable. A significant number of Indigenous students drop out of transitions programs within the first year (Statistics Canada, 2011). The goal of this exploratory case study is to determine what attributes of the design and structure of a hybrid learning environment within the first year of an Indigenous Pre-Nursing Transitions (PNT) program encourage positive persistence decisions. The study focuses on the student rather than the institutional perspective. I will explore the literature on persistence models, such as Tinto’s (1975) Student Integration Model, and analyze their applicability to Indigenous students, in particular to the four participating women in the case study. The results of this case study include a description of the key relationships formed by students within the institution and the role of conflicting values systems on student’s sense of community. Practical implications for course and program design are shared. The need for a re-evaluation of institutional measures of success for transitions programming will also be discussed. The target audience for this session includes: instructional designers, program coordinators, educational researchers.
Lorraine Carter and Mary Hanna, Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research, Laurentian University; Nipissing University
Examining the Impact of Distance Education Opportunities for Health Professionals in Rural, Remote, and Northern Communities and First Nations: An Inclusive 360 Degree Research Study
While the impact of e-enabled distance education is recognized, its specific impact in the health sector in rural, remote, and northern Ontario and First Nations has not yet been fully investigated. Further, studies grounded in a 360 degree perspective are required to assess the potential of e-learning in enabling continuing education for health professionals. Preliminary results of research carried out through the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research (CRaNHR) and funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Cares Health Systems Research Fund Program Award will be presented. Particular programs to be highlighted include an RPN to BScN Blended Learning Program; an interprofessional health leadership program; and an asthma and COPD program. The study is a subprogram of a three-year research program entitled Improving Health Equity for Northern Ontarians: Applied Health Research with Vulnerable Populations. Study objectives include the following:
Sandra Law, Athabasca University
Designing inclusive online learning experiences for post-secondary students with disabilities
Do you wonder about the kinds of challenges that students with disabilities face in post-secondary education, specifically in the online learning environment? Would you like some guidance on how best to support students with disabilities in that environment? Do you want to know more about what you can do as an educator to improve the experience of students with disabilities? Do you want to know more about the kinds of resources available to educators of students with disabilities? This session will explore the experience of students with disabilities by:
We invite attendees to bring their laptops, mobile phones and tablets to the session, as they will be asked to use these technologies to access content online and to directly experience some of the challenges facing students with disabilities.
Monique Kirouac and Mrs. Nassif-Gouin, Faculty of Continuing Education, University of Montreal
ACCES-FEP – Un programme innovant pour les adultes en retour aux études
Soucieuse de permettre à des étudiants aux profils scolaires variés de poursuivre des études universitaires, la Faculté de l’éducation permanente (FEP) de l’Université de Montréal a créé un programme dont la mission est de soutenir la réussite du projet d’études de ces étudiants. Au regard des données relatives au taux de littératie (tel que défini par Statistique Canada et l’OCDE), et de l’augmentation des demandes d’admission de la part de candidats n’ayant pas les préalables et surtout à la réalité des adultes en emploi ou en recherche d’emploi, la FEP a développé un programme fondé sur le développement de compétences et l’acquisition de connaissances de niveau universitaire. Les cheminements sont alors fonction des acquis de l’étudiant et des exigences du programme visé. Nous travaillons avec eux au développement de leur pensée critique. Les méthodologies retenues privilégient ce qu’ils ne retrouveront que très exceptionnellement dans les livres, et peut-être même jamais dans une salle de classe. Cet encadrement se veut flexible et adapté à chacun des étudiants. Pour ce faire, nous décortiquons avec les étudiants la structure de pensée universitaire, illustré à partir des exemples issus de leur champ d’intérêts et d’études. Nous avons construit le programme ACCES-FEP, dont la raison d’être est de faciliter l’accessibilité et l’inclusion. Cette séance intéressera toute personne qui souhaite favoriser la réussite universitaire des étudiants au parcours scolaire atypique.
ACCES-FEP – An Innovative Program for Dropped Out Mature Adults
Wishing to enable students with various academic profiles to pursue their university studies, the Faculty of Continuing Education (FEP) of the Université de Montréal has created a program whose mission is to support these students’ studies success. In light of the data relating to literacy rate (as defined by Statistics Canada and the OECD), of the increase in the requests for admission by candidates who do not have the prerequisites and especially to the reality of employed adults or those seeking employment, the FEP has developed a program based on the development of skills and the acquisition of university level knowledge. Therefore, the pathways are catered to students’ prior knowledge and the program’s aims and requirements. We are working with them in the development of their critical thinking. The methodologies used favour what would be unusually found in textbooks, and perhaps never even in a classroom. This framework is designed to be flexible and adapted to each student. To do this, we dissect with students the structure of academic thinking using illustrated examples from their field of interests and studies. We have built the program ACCES- FEP: its purpose is to facilitate accessibility and inclusion. This session will interest any person who wants to promote the academic success of students with atypical school career.
Mehdi Niknam, University of Manitoba
A new personalized learning path recommendation method with Ant Colony Optimization
It is our responsibility as higher education institutions to provide access to education for everyone. Likewise, it is equally important to provide access to appropriate education based on individual needs. This is where personalized learning would come into the picture. A personalized learning system can adapt itself when providing learning support to different learners to overcome the weakness of one size fits all approaches in technology-enabled learning systems. The goal is to have an intelligent learning system that can dynamically adapt itself based on learners characteristics and needs and provides personalized learning support. One important task of an adaptive learning system is content or curriculum planning for students. Content or curriculum planning refers to the process of selecting appropriate learning objects for a learner or guiding the learner to an appropriate learning path. In this presentation, I would explain the use of a nature inspired algorithm to recommend a learning path to a student based on his/her characteristics. The algorithm finds an appropriate learning path in the set of possible learning paths taken by previous students with the same characteristics. The characteristics are prior knowledge, learning preferences, learning styles and cognitive traits. An overview of the algorithm will be presented as well as the methods to obtain learners characteristics. The target audience is researchers in the area of e-learning.
Kari Rasmussen, University of Alberta
Recognizing Care in our Adult Learner Population: The potential for online learning
Online programming, in the post-secondary environment, grows each year. This growth is often institutionally driven in response to financial demands on the institution including increasing enrollment and therefore revenue without impacting the physical infrastructure. As enrollment for these online programs and courses grows the presence of the online learning in our post-secondary landscape grows larger each year as well; unfortunately tied to this growth is the recognition that persistence and success in these programs and courses is not as high as we would hope. This presentation will look at these three factors from the perspective of recognizing care in our adult learner population, that is the myriad of daily responsibilities an adult must balance, as a way to influence our strategies, design and development of online learning. Online learning does have the potential to increase access to the post-secondary academic environment if we can include the needs and requirements of the potential learner into the process. This session focuses on improving and increasing access to post-secondary environments through the use of online programs and courses. This session would be of interest to the senior decision makers around online learning, program and course design professionals and faculty who are looking at moving their course(s) online.
Heather McRae and Ratka Janjic, MacEwan University
Extreme Makeover: CE Edition
If you had a chance to develop a new CE unit today, what would you do? Would you fully embed CE within the larger institution, establish an autonomous unit or develop a hybrid organization blending institutional approaches with CE practices? The School of Continuing Education was established at MacEwan University in 2014 as the home of innovative education experiences and credentials that complement and enhance MacEwan’s diploma and degree programming and pedagogy.
Part of developing the new School included identifying questions such as: who is a student; what is the role of the University Registrar’s office with respect to CE; and what kinds of credentials are possible and needed for the future. One of the many challenges included thinking about strategies to ensure access for underrepresented learners in a climate of competition and fiscal restraint. This session will outline the key approaches used and decisions made relating to system integration, positioning CE students within the institution, the establishment of partnerships and the use of universal design methods in developing new programs and courses.
Larry White, Simon Fraser University
Supporting First Responders: Programming that Helps Save Lives
As they put their lives on the line in order to ensure our safety and security, the men and women of our emergency and military services see tragic events every day. They witness human suffering up close and it sometimes becomes very difficult to cope with the aftermath. The Tema Conter Memorial Trust estimates that approximately 8% of Canadians suffer with PTSD and that the incidence of PTSD within the emergency services sector is two to three times the national average. Tema believes this number to be low and not truly reflective of the breadth of the problem, mostly due to the stigma associated with seeking and accepting help. In this session, you will learn how a leading Canadian community advocacy and public awareness-building organization in support of first responders facing the challenges associated with mental illness and a university have partnered to create a unique program that fills a unique niche in support of a group that has long been marginalised and stigmatised, and whose challenges are now becoming painfully public as the media all too regularly reports on an epidemic of suicides within the first responder community. Come and learn the whys and hows behind SFU’s work to develop a national program that supports first responders, is unlike any other in the country, and that can be described as an overwhelming success if it simply saves one life from being lost unnecessarily.
Mollie O’Neill, Brigus Learning
Instructional design for self-directed courses that addresses five barriers to on-line education
This presentation demonstrates and explains a course design that addresses five access barriers to self-directed, online, non-synchronous modules or courses – language, hearing and sight impairments, technology, instructor presence. The design was developed for a target group that included learners for whom English was a Second Language, learners in different time zones, learners in rural areas and others in urban areas, learners with access to high bandwidth and others who rely on dial-up, learners who study at work and others at home, learners with sound cards in their computers and others without sound cards. The instructional, technical and graphical design had to include audio for those who were not proficient in reading English, while those without sound cards had to be able to access that text. The content had to be accessible for the visually impaired. Finally, the course had to be designed to be totally self-directed because there were no instructors or support staff available to help. This comprehensive design can be applied to online courses for continuing education programs, public service on-demand training and as a method to present background material in university courses. The course that will be demonstrated was developed in Lectora, though other authorware products can use the same design elements. Target audience: This presentation will be of interest to instructional designers, professors who would like to develop independent modules, and to continuing education administrators who are interested in discovering the essential elements of successful self-directed education offered on-line.
Monica Sanchez-Flores, Thompson Rivers University
Complex Identities and Compassion in Equity Training
Equity training refers to teaching about awareness of the different sources of privilege and disadvantage that mainstream culture perpetuates, peoples own complex social locations, and how to engage in a constant self-reflective effort to work towards equity in our everyday interactions amid diversity. Equity training aims at fostering inclusive communities and workplaces. An equity workshop designed under the principle of compassionate morality and an intersectional framework will be delivered for further investigation with workshop participants (to be held in February 2015 for data gathering and the analysis will be presented). This project will follow a qualitative research methodology because it seeks to examine meaning and perception of cultural contexts within which issues of equity, diversity, and inequality occur; the primary data gathering tools used will be a combination of open-ended questionnaire responses and semi-structured interviews with workshop participants and non-participants. In this research, I investigate if what I call a compassionate morality orientation in equity training combined with an intersectional framework on privilege and disadvantage can make participants more responsive and engaged with the ideas of equity and fairness; since mainstream approaches have generally espoused a simplistic and judgemental, guilt-based moral orientation that can turn participants emotionally away from equity issues.
Lori Wallace and Rob Lastra, University of Manitoba
The demographic profile and academic progression of Indigenous and first-generation university students
This session will present the results of the first phase of a research project designed to better understand the demographics and academic progression of self-identified Indigenous students, and Access Program students at the University of Manitoba from 2006 to 2014. Research questions include: What are the trends in these students demographics, academic choices, and academic progress? Which factors are associated with academic progression and success? Profiles and data to be presented will include variables such as age, sex, residence, high school or other academic preparation, admission status, faculty and program, courses and credit hours enrolled, course grades, sessional and cumulative GPAs, and graduation statistics (degrees earned, graduation rates, and years to degree completion). While Canadian universities have considerable experience supporting Indigenous and first-generation learners, there have been few published analyses of the demographic profiles and academic progression of these populations. The current study will add to the scholarship in adult, continuing and higher education by providing an analysis of trends, identification of factors associated with overcoming barriers and achieving academic success for these under-represented groups of students, and development of recommendations to enhance student support and success.
Aileen Clark Universitè de Saint-Boniface (Poster)
Favoriser l’accès à la formation linguistique en français pour les résidents permanents : un partenariat entre l’Université de Saint-Boniface et Citoyenneté et immigration
La Loi sur les langues officielles guide le gouvernement dans ses obligations envers les communautés de langue officielle en situation minoritaire (CLOSM). Grâce au financement continu du ministère de Citoyenneté et immigration, par l’entremise de la Division de l’éducation permanente, l’USB est le seul établissement au Manitoba qui offre avec succès cette formation en français aux immigrants des niveaux Débutant 1 jusqu’au niveau perfectionnement. L’offre de cours est possible grâce à une structure novatrice conçue en vue d’optimiser le nombre de niveaux de langue à la disposition des résidents permanents, et ce malgré un bassin d’apprenants relativement restreint dans la région. Le poster présenté à la CAUCE exposera cette structure d’intégration dans l’optique de partager une meilleure pratique associée à la formation linguistique en français pour les résidents permanents. Cette description présentera les modalités administratives de l’offre de cours ainsi que les retombées multiples qui découlent d’un tel projet, tant pour les résidents permanents que pour les membres de la CLOSM.
TITLE : Creating access to French language training for permanent residents in Canada : Université de Saint-Boniface’s partnership with Citizenship and Immigration Canada
ABSTRACT : The Government of Canada is guided by the Official Languages Act in its obligations toward official language minority communities (OLMCs). Thanks to Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s continued funding, Université de Saint-Boniface’s Continuing Education Division is the only institution in Manitoba to successfully offer French language training to immigrants, from Beginner 1 through to “Perfectionnement” levels (advanced courses for those who are already fluent in French). Course offerings are possible thanks to a unique structure designed to optimize the number of language levels available to permanent residents, this despite a relatively small pool of learners in the region. This poster presentation at the CAUCE conference will outline our current integration structure to illustrate best practices in language training. The poster will include an overview of USB’s administrative steps that have been put in place for language training as well as how permanent residents and members of the OLMC benefit from this type of project.