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  • Who Wrote This? The Use of Artificial Intelligence in the Academy

    Kumar, Rahul; Mindzak, Michael; Racz, Rachel (2022-08-09)
    Artificial technology has improved in many spheres, including large language models (LLM). It seems that text generated by LLMs might be indistinguishable from the human-written text. This research study reports on how accurately participants can identify whether a text composition is written by a human being or by a computer. Implications for teachers, assessment scholars, policymakers, and administrators are discussed.
  • Foreword, Intersections of Open Educational Resources and Information Literacy

    Jhangiani, Rajiv Sunil (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2022)
  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on early career researcher activity, development, career, and well-being: the state of the art

    Lokhtina, Irina A.; Castelló, Montserrat; Lambrechts, Agata Agnieszka; Löfström, Erika; McGinn, Michelle K.; Skakni, Isabelle; van der Weijden, Inge (Emerald, 2022-06-01)
    DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH. This is a systematic literature review of English-language peer-reviewed studies published 2020–2021, which provided empirical evidence of the impact of the pandemic on early career researcher (ECR) activity and development. The search strategy involved (a) online databases (Scopus, Web of Science, and Overton); (b) well-established higher education journals (based on Scopus classification), and (c) references in the retained articles (snowballing). The final sample included 11 papers. PURPOSE. The aim of this paper is to identify the documented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on ECR activity, development, career prospects, and well-being. FINDINGS. The evidence shows that ECRs have been affected in terms of (a) research activity, (b) researcher development, (c) career prospects, and (d) well-being. Although many negative consequences were identified, some promising learning practices have arisen; however, these opportunities were not always fully realised. The results raise questions about differential effects across fields and possible long-term consequences where some fields and some scholars may be worse off due to priorities established as societies struggle to recover. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS. There is a need for revised institutional and national policies to ensure that sufficient measures are implemented to support ECRs' research work in a situation where new duties and chores were added during the pandemic. ORIGINALITY/VALUE. This paper provides insights into the impacts of the initial societal challenges of the pandemic on ECRs across disciplines that may have long-lasting effects on their academic development and well-being.
  • A shared cabin in the woods: The presence and presents of writing in residential academic writing retreats

    Ratković, Snežana; McGinn, Michelle K.; Martinovic, Dragana; McQuirter Scott, Ruth (Equinox Publishing, 2019-11-27)
    In this paper, we investigated a model of academic development based upon a recurring residential academic writing retreat combining individual writing times, workshops, work-in-progress groups and one-on-one consultations with shared meals and informal gatherings in a natural environment. Using a case study research approach, we analysed data accumulated from seven annual residential writing retreats for education scholars. Participants included 39 academics, administrative staff, senior doctoral students and community partners from multiple institutions. We found evidence that the retreats enhanced participants’ knowledge of writing and publishing processes, advanced their academic careers, built scholarly capacity at their institutions and strengthened writing pedagogy. The data indicated that the presence of writing and writers at the residential academic writing retreats generated presents (i.e., gifts) for the participants. The presence of writing time, writing goals and writing activities in the company of other writers were key to the retreat pedagogy. Participants appreciated gifts of time and physical space and described giving and receiving peer feedback and emotional support as forms of gift exchange within the community. The resulting writing strategies, competencies and identities provided the gift of sustainability. The analysis confirmed that this ongoing, immersive, cross-institutional, cross-rank, institutionally funded model of academic development was effective and responsive to the needs of individual scholars.
  • Fast Professors, Research Funding, and the Figured Worlds of Mid-Career Ontario Academics

    Acker, Sandra; McGinn, Michelle K. (Brock University, 2021-07-15)
    Heightened pressures to publish prolifically and secure external funding stand in stark contrast to the slow scholarship movement. This article explores ways in which research funding expectations permeate the “figured worlds” of 16 mid-career academics in education, social work, sociology, and geography in seven universities in Ontario, Canada. Participants demonstrated a steady record of research accomplishment and a commitment to social justice in their work. The analysis identified three themes related to the competing pressures these academics described in their day-to-day lives: funding, challenges, and the fast professor. Participants spoke about their research funding achievements and struggles. In some cases, they explained how their positioning, including gender and race, might have affected their research production, compared to colleagues positioned differently. Their social justice research is funded, but some suspect at a lower level than colleagues studying conventional topics. Challenges might be located in the backstage (personal and home lives) or the frontstage (university or funding agency policies or embedded in the research itself). In aiming for the impossible standards of a continuously successful research record, these individuals worked “all the time.” Advocates claim that slow scholarship is not really about going slower but rather about maintaining quality and caring in one’s work; yet, participants’ accounts suggest they perceive few options other than to perform as “fast professors.” At mid-career, they question whether and how they can keep up this aspect of their figured worlds for 20 or more years.
  • Remote doctoral supervision experiences: Challenges and affordances

    Wisker, Gina; McGinn, Michelle K.; Bengtsen, Søren S. E.; Lokhtina, Irina; He, Faye; Cornér, Solveig; Leshem, Shosh; Inouye, Kelsey; Löfström, Erika (Informa UK Limited, 2021-11-25)
    The global pandemic has forced academics to engage in remote doctoral supervision, and the need to understand this activity is greater than ever before. This contribution involved a cross-field review on remote supervision pertinent in the context of a global pandemic. We have utilised the results of an earlier study bringing a supervision model into a pandemic-perspective integrating studies published about and during the pandemic. We identified themes central to remote supervision along five theory-informed dimensions, namely intellectual/cognitive, instrumental, professional/technical, personal/emotional and ontological dimensions, and elaborate these in the light of the new reality of remote supervision.
  • Living in Two Cultures: Chinese Canadians’ Perspectives on Health

    Lu, Chunlei; McGinn, Michelle K.; Xu, Xiaojian; Sylvestre, John (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2016-03-21)
    OBJECTIVES: Chinese people have distinctive perspectives on health and illness that are largely unrecognized in Western society. The purpose of this descriptive study was to develop a profile of Chinese immigrants’ beliefs and practices related to diet, mental and social health, and sexual health. METHODS: A quantitative survey with descriptive and correlational analyses was employed to examine 100 first-generation Chinese immigrants living in four urban centres across Canada (Vancouver, Toronto, Halifax, and St. Catharines). RESULTS: Although most Chinese immigrants preferred a Chinese diet, where they resided affected the groceries they bought and the meals they ate. Almost all participants reported their mental health was important to them and most felt comfortable discussing mental health issues with others. However, only a third would see a psychiatrist if they believed they had a mental health problem. Most participants believed social relationships were important for their health. Only a small number of participants, however, preferred making friends with mainstream Caucasian Canadians. More men than women believed sexuality contributed to health and were comfortable talking about sexual health. CONCLUSION: Chinese immigrants should be encouraged to be more engaged in the larger community in order to fully integrate themselves into Canadian society while still being encouraged to retain their healthy practices. These findings may help educators and practitioners enhance their understandings of Chinese immigrants’ perspectives on health and develop culturally competent education and services in health care and health promotion.
  • Professors in Canada: Experiences of academic life—A special issue

    Karram Stephenson, Grace; McGinn, Michelle K (Brock University, 2021-07-15)
    This is an editorial introduction to a special issue of the journal, Brock Education. The article presents an overview of the current context for Canadian professors and the existing data about their work lives and practices. Short descriptions are provided for each of the six articles that comprise the special issue.
  • Critical thinking education and debiasing

    Kenyon, Tim; Beaulac, Guillaume (Informal Logic, 2014-10-12)
    Abstract: There are empirical grounds to doubt the effectiveness of a common and intuitive approach to teaching debiasing strategies in critical thinking courses. We summarize some of the grounds before suggesting a broader taxonomy of debiasing strategies. This four-level taxonomy enables a useful diagnosis of biasing factors and situations, and illuminates more strategies for more effective bias mitigation located in the shaping of situational factors and reasoning infrastructure—sometimes called “nudges” in the literature. The question, we contend, then becomes how best to teach the construction and use of such infrastructures. Résumé: Des données empiriques nous permettent de douter de l'efficacité d'une approche commune et intuitive pour enseigner des stratégies de correction de biais cognitifs dans les cours de pensée critique. Nous résumons certains de ces résultats empiriques avant de suggérer une taxonomie plus étendue de ces stratégies de correction de biais. Cette taxonomie à quatre niveaux permet un diagnostic utile de facteurs causant les biais et elle met en évidence davantage de stratégies permettant la correction plus efficace de biais, stratégies situées dans des mesures modifiant les infrastructures et les environnements cognitifs ("nudge" dans la littérature). Nous soutenons que la question porte dès lors sur les meilleures façons d'enseigner la construction et l'utilisation de ces infrastructures.
  • Critical thinking for engineers and engineering critical thinking

    Kenyon, Tim (IEEE, 2016)
    Design decisions for a critical thinking curriculum for Engineering students serves as a point of departure to briefly describe an under-appreciated reason to emphasize critical thinking in Engineering programs. An increasing focus on the role of context, environment and systems in shaping human judgement means that engineers should be especially aware of the propensity for designs and implementations to affect the reasoning of people for whom they function as lived experience. Preparing engineers to recognize and work responsibly around these issues is a secondary reason to teach critical thinking in those programs.
  • Enjeux d’éducation aux changements climatiques auprès des communautés

    Vasseur, Liette (2020)
    Bien que les acteurs locaux soient les premiers à subir les conséquences des changements climatiques, il ne leur est pas toujours facile de comprendre les phénomènes en cause et de faire des choix d’actions pertinents. En se basant sur des études menées au Canada et en Équateur, cet article montre à quel point il est important de connaître les besoins de formation des différentes communautés et d’adopter des approches et stratégies éducatives appropriées. Certaines approches permettent non seulement d’informer, mais aussi de favoriser l’apprentissage social, d’éclairer la prise de décision et de stimuler l’engagement. En particulier, nous proposons une approche d’adaptation aux changements climatiques basée sur les écosystèmes et la gouvernance écosystémique. Les stratégies éducatives que nous avons associées à une telle approche incluent la vulgarisation des connaissances scientifiques, la participation active des citoyens permettant le partage des savoirs locaux et le développement d’outil de visualisation sur le web.
  • Women and post-doctorates: life after graduation

    Baker, Jocelyn; Vasseur, Liette (Canadian Commission for UNESCO, 2021)
    The reasons for the underrepresentation of women in STEM is not the focus of this paper as there is a large and growing body of research dedicated to this field of research (Lincoln et al., 2012; Sugimoto et al., 2013; Aiston & Fo, 2020). The need for this reflection paper originated from round table discussions organized by the Canadian Commission for UNESCO with L'Oréal For Women in Science Award (2019) laureates and other organizations active in equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). Many of the L'Oréal laureates shared their perception that once they had obtained a PhD diploma, the only possible career path was academia. The aim was to examine the career trajectory of women after they obtain a PhD in a STEM field, and to explore opportunities and avenues of solutions to better support their career paths. Here, we focus only on those who have graduated from a PhD. While this paper is mainly targeted at women in STEM, many of the reflections can be applied to other groups (races, gender orientations, etc.) and disciplines (e.g., social sciences and humanities)
  • De nouvelles voies pour l’enseignement et l’apprentissage : l’approche posthumaniste

    Blaikie, Fiona; Daigle, Christine; Vasseur, Liette (Commission canadienne pour l’UNESCO, 2020)
    La pédagogie, c’est-à-dire la méthode et la pratique de l’enseignement, est relationnelle et complexe, et elle dépend des conditions du moment. Si l’enseignement à distance en ligne peut sembler judicieux, le fait d’y recourir de façon systématique pour remplacer l’enseignement indique une vision étroite de l’éducation que l’on considère, à tort, comme étant une simple transmission de contenu. Selon la logique à l’œuvre dans la crise actuelle, puisque le contenu ne peut être diffusé en classe, les enseignants et leurs élèves peuvent rapidement adopter d’autres outils technologiques pour assurer l’enseignement et l’apprentissage à distance. Cette approche exige des élèves qu’ils apprennent dans une sorte de vide, et leurs parents, tuteurs ou gardiens doivent assumer le rôle des éducateurs, souvent sans avoir accès au matériel nécessaire ni à l’Internet, ou sans avoir la capacité, le temps et l’intérêt nécessaires pour faciliter l’apprentissage (Cerna, 2020; ONU, 2020).
  • New pathways for teaching and learning: the posthumanist approach

    Blaikie, Fiona; Daigle, Christine; Vasseur, Liette (Canadian Commission for UNESCO, 2020)
    “How does one “posthuman” teach another? Applying a posthumanist approach to education involves rethinking pedagogy, knowledge production and dissemination. If there is a need to understand the world differently, we must “defamiliarize [our] mental habits” (Braidotti 2019, 77) by moving away from a humanist worldview. This worldview has not only shaped our thoughts, but also our institutions. Universities and education systems are structured around binaried teacher-learner relationships, as well as seeing disciplines and school subjects as discrete entitites with their own objects and methods of study and practices. What changes must we bring about so that we can imagine and understand the world and ourselves in new ways? A posthuman approach can change the way we value ourselves, other species, the planet, and beyond. It requires thinking about the system as a whole instead of each agent as a perfect independent entity; it requires valuing all agents and their relationality.”
  • Canadian UNESCO Chairs : reflections on the futures of education

    Canadian Commission for UNESCO (Canadian Commission for UNESCO, 2020)
    'UNESCO's Futures of Education is a global initiative to reimagine and rethink education by 2050. Through an open consultation process involving youth, educators, civil society, governments, businesses, and other stakeholders, it will gather ideas that will shape our future. A publication on how knowledge, education and learning will look like by 2050 will be presented during the next UNESCO General Conference in November 2021. A first issue called Humanistic Futures of Learning: Perspectives from UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks has been published in January 2020. This is the first collection bringing together the perspectives of a UNESCO flagship network that holds a privileged place in the research ecosystem. Indeed, the UNESCO Chairs are uniquely positioned contribute to the global debate on the futures of education. The call for contributions generated enormous interest; UNESCO received 178 submissions by more than 400 authors. Of these, a selection of 48 reflection papers by over 100 authors from 65 institutions were selected. The main findings were presented in January 2020 at the first meeting of the International Commission on the Futures of Education. We are particularly pleased that the contributions of six of our Canadian UNESCO Chairs have been selected to contribute to the global reflection'
  • Imagining the Future of Knowledge Mobilization : Perspectives from UNESCO Chairs

    Hewitt, Ted (Canadian Commission for UNESCO, 2021)
    These themes weave through a new portfolio of thought leadership papers reflecting on the subject of Knowledge Mobilization (KMb): the process described by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) as “encompassing a wide range of activities relating to the production and use of research results, including knowledge synthesis, dissemination, transfer, exchange, and co-creation or co-production by researchers and knowledge users.”1 Such activities, and others referenced in the papers written by seven members (six Canadian and one German) of the UNESCO Chairs network, aim to bridge the sometimes-deep divide between the creation of new knowledge and its application for social benefit. As several of these papers note, the KMb enterprise has assumed heightened importance in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and other grand challenges confronting humanity. But interest in KMb is not new, and a body of experience lies ready to inform efforts to learn and improve.
  • Raising the Achievement of Immigrant Students: Towards a Multi-Layered Framework for Enhanced Student Outcomes

    Volante, Louis; Klinger, Don A.; Siegel, Melissa; Yahia, Leena (Sage, 2019-03-22)
    Results of international achievement surveys such as the Programme in International Student Assessment have consistently reported an achievement gap between immigrant and non-immigrant student populations around the world. This paper unpacks this persistent achievement gap by examining key characteristics that influence the performance of first- and second-generation immigrant students as well as the policies and practices that are associated with enhanced educational outcomes. A multi-layered framework is proposed to help policymakers juxtapose key characteristics of their immigrant students’ achievement against individual, family, school, community, and host society characteristics and policies. The discussion also underscores the importance of connecting this multi-layered framework with other important sectors within governments such as those responsible for the economy, health, social protection, and immigration. This paper also examines limitations with current large-scale data sets and the implications for research and policy analysis.
  • Dear SSHRC, What Do You Want? An Epistolary Narrative of Expertise, Identity, and Time in Grant Writing

    McGinn, Michelle K.; Acker, Sandra; Vander Kloet, Marie; Wagner, Anne (Institut für Qualitative Forschung, 2019)
    The current research climate has heightened expectations for social science researchers to secure research grant funding at the same time that such funding appears to be more competitive than ever. As a result, researchers experience anxiety, confusion, loss of confidence, second guessing, and a lack of trust in the system and themselves. This autoethnographic study provides an insider perspective on the intellectual, emotional, and physical experience of grant writing. A team of scholars document the production of a research grant for their major national funding agency, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The story is presented through epistolary narrative in the form of a series of unsent letters addressed to the funding agency. The letters foreground themes of expertise, identity, and time as they were shaped through the grant-writing process. The analysis draws attention to unnecessary complexities and challenges that could and should be eliminated from granting processes if the intention is to foster quality research and strengthen research capacity. Implications may prove instructive for other grant applicants, resource personnel employed to support applicants, and potential funders.