• Open

    2024 Funding to Address Priorities Using Open Educational Practices

    In a recent survey of approximately 2,500 University of Saskatchewan (USask) students,  respondents indicated that an investment in open educational resources (OER) rated in the top five either “important” or “very important” areas USask should invest in. Similar results came from the 2022 survey. Over the past eight years, USask educators have increased the integration of open educational practices (OEP) at USask, including OER and open pedagogy, thus saving students more than $1.7 million during the 2023-2024 academic year. In addition to these savings, students have created or contributed to Open Educational Resources (OER) in the form of open textbooks and learning materials for various community and campus organizations, generating…

  • General

    New Season and New Name for GMCTL Podcast

    The third season of the podcast from the Gwenna Moss Centre will go live in the next few weeks. Just as in the first two seasons, we’ll be speaking with instructors from across the institution about their teaching and how they connect with learners. One significant change to the podcast as of this season is the name. Formerly known as the Mastering Teaching Podcast, the podcast is now Power of Teaching. You don’t need to change your bookmarks, as the address will not change. You can still find it on your favourite podcast platform or at https://www.spreaker.com/show/mastering-teaching Be sure to share the podcast with your colleagues at USask and beyond,…

  • Syllabus Generator Banner
    Instructional / Course Design

    Syllabus Generator Offers Ease and Support When Creating Your Syllabi

    A course syllabus provides students with a guide to what they should be able to do by the end of the course and a plan for how they will get there. This includes requirements and expectations but also signals the type of course it will be through information on assessments, learning strategies, required resources, and even the instructor profile. While the University of Saskatchewan has had a recommended syllabus template for several years, it was an MS Word document that allowed instructors to fill in information but provided little guidance around effective wording to provide students with clarity and instructors with the ability to set the tone they were hoping…

  • Assessment and Evaluation

    From Grit to Pearl: Understanding our SLEQs

    Guest Post by Roslyn M. Compton, Sithokozile Maposa, Sheryl Mills, Schroder Sattar This past year we decided to approach our SLEQs differently. Because we planned and taught NURS 306 as a team, we decided to review our SLEQs as a team. In this post, we share the step-by-step process we used to shift from a solitary, dreaded, anxiety-provoking endeavor to a collegial, objective and reflective learning opportunity.  We moved from a place of isolation, self-doubt, insecurity, and defensiveness to openness, curiosity, puzzling, surprise, and reaffirmed confidence. Rather than gritting our teeth, we polished our pearls by looking at our SLEQ, wearing our researcher hats and analyzing our SLEQ data.  …

  • Instructional / Course Design,  Sustainability

    USask Sustainability Fellows Leading the Way

    For the past few months, I’ve had the pleasure of co-facilitating the first of the two years of the Sustainability Faculty Fellowship sessions with Aditi Garg. There are six Faculty Fellows, each bringing different experiences, ideas, and perspectives to the group. The Faculty Fellows are: Tate Cao from Engineering Kate Congreves from Agriculture and Bioresources (Plant Sciences) Shannon Forrester from Kinesiology Brooke Klassen from Edwards School of Business Eric Micheels from Agriculture and Bioresources (Agriculture and Resource Economics) Ulrich Teucher from Arts and Science Year One We began with a meet-and-greet breakfast in mid-May and followed that with seven two-hour sessions over four weeks during which we discussed aspects of…

  • General,  Instructional / Course Design

    USask Releases New Syllabus Template and Guide

    Before starting work on your syllabus for the Fall term, be sure to look through the new syllabus template and guide. While you’re departments, colleges, or schools may have their own syllabus template, the guide will provide you with a clear explanation of what is required to be in your syllabus under the Academic Courses Policy, as well as examples of language that may help convey the tone you want to set for the course. In the following example showing the section of the guide on Participation, you can see That Participation is a required section in your syllabus under the Academic Courses Policy Two examples of language you might…

  • Assessment and Evaluation,  Educational Technology,  Instructional Strategies

    Using Poll Everywhere to Integrate Formative Assessment in Courses

    The university recently announced that Poll Everywhere will be the new integrated polling tool at USask. As you begin planning for the fall term, you may be considering how you will make use of formative assessment in your courses, including the use of Poll Everywhere. For Learners Formative assessments allow students to obtain feedback on how well they’ve grasped concepts and improve through practice prior to assessments that are higher stakes (exams, major projects, etc.). For example, if you have been teaching about concept A during a particular class meeting (ten-minute chunks are ideal) you can create a poll in Poll Everywhere and have students answer the question individually or…

  • Assessment and Evaluation,  Educational Technology,  Instructional Strategies

    USask Moving to Poll Everywhere for Student Response System

    Beginning this month the University of Saskatchewan will be transitioning to Poll Everywhere as the integrated polling tool at USask, replacing Top Hat. This decision was made after extended consideration and demonstrations from vendors. Instructors will be able to use Poll Everywhere to: • Gather information from formative assessments, such as polling questions or open-ended responses, from their classes • Embed polls in PowerPoint presentations, including shared ones • Ask questions of an audience in a regular conference presentation • Gather information about student preference Poll Everywhere allows for: – Results to be updated live as more answers come in – A variety of types of poll questions including multiple-choice,…

  • Assessment and Evaluation,  General,  Wellness

    Helping Students Build Resilience

    The COVID-19 pandemic has increased stress and mental health challenges for many people, including instructors, staff, and students. To help our students, and each other, to build or rebuild resilience we need to take a multi-pronged approach. While the university offers a variety of resources, there are things instructors can do within their classes to help students build resilience. A new resource created with funding from the Government of Ontario and eCampus Ontario offers information and methods on how to increase resilience for students and educators in the areas of Community Resilience, Personal Resilience, Academic Resilience, and Career Resilience. The Thriving in the Classroom is a “toolkit [that] shares the…

  • Canvas,  Instructional Strategies

    Assigning Students to Act as Discussion Moderators

    During in-class discussions, the entire class and the instructor may be part of the same discussion, but sometimes instructors put students into smaller groups, with multiple discussions happening around the room. While the instructor may be able to walk around the room and listen in on what the students are saying, they can’t catch everything that is said throughout the room. In such cases, instructors need to rely on students to facilitate the group discussions on their own. The instructor may then ask a representative from each group to share the key points of what was said. Online discussions in Canvas can work the same way. If the class is…