Learning Charter

  • Instructional / Course Design,  Learning Charter,  Sustainability

    SDG 2 Zero Hunger – Embedding the Sustainable Development Goals in Learning

    This blog post is part of a series around the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each post will dive into one of the goals and how we as educators can strive to embed these into our own courses. It is in the author’s opinion that any course or class can connect with one of the 17 goals or 169 sub-targets. By providing this blog post series, we hope to elicit some ideas of how you might also integrate a global goal into your teaching. Please refer to the USask SDG Teaching & Learning Workbook, review the USask Sustainability in the Curricula website, or scroll down for more information about the…

  • Instructional / Course Design,  Learning Charter,  Sustainability

    SDG 1 No Poverty – Embedding the Sustainable Development Goals in Learning

    This blog post is part of a series around the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each post will dive into one of the goals and how we as educators can strive to embed these into our own courses. It is in the author’s opinion that any course or class can connect with one of the 17 goals or 169 sub-targets. By providing this blog post series, we hope to elicit some ideas of how you might also integrate a global goal into your teaching. Please refer to the USask SDG Teaching & Learning Workbook, review the USask Sustainability in the Curricula website, or scroll down for more information about the…

  • Academic Integrity,  Assessment and Evaluation,  Learning Charter,  Remote Teaching

    Ready to Talk to Students About Suspected Academic Misconduct?

    When you suspect academic misconduct in your course, it’s common to feel frustrated.  Some educators feel insulted or angry.  Some blame themselves.   Some people have a mix of all of this.   Regardless, if you suspect a student has engaged in academic misconduct it is important to talk to them about it. The points below are offered to help you think through your approach, so that you can feel confident and clear about how you will facilitate that conversation. Key things to think about First, get grounded.  Return to your own commitment to what ethical teaching and learning looks like in your course, in your subject/disciplinary area.  Ask yourself: What am…

  • Canvas,  Educational Technology,  Instructional / Course Design,  Learning Charter

    What are Learning Technology Ecosystem Principles and why are they important?

    Technology and education go together like strawberries and cream, or peanut butter and jelly, and in this time of remote instruction, teaching and learning are both enabled by and reliant on technology.   In order for us to be successful in an online teaching and learning environment, there are eight principles that USask instructors should consider important when using technologies for teaching and learning.  The eight principles, shown in the graphic below are research supported characteristics of effective digital learning spaces that prepare students for work and life, and are aligned to the University of Saskatchewan’s Learning Charter. Following this post will be posts delving into what each principle means and why it matters, so stay tuned.

  • Assessment and Evaluation,  Learning Charter

    Feeding Learning: Mark better work, in less time

    In the last two decades we’ve learned a lot about feedback.  We know Our Learning Charter tells us that as educators, we’ve agreed to “Provide prompt and constructive feedback for students on their learning progress at regular intervals throughout the course.” What does that actually mean, and why does it matter? What do we know about prompt feedback? The most useful feedback occurs early on in the learning process (formative), not at the end (summative), because feedback is most useful when students do not yet have mastery. In both cases, feedback closer to when the task is completed is usually more useful. When students have clear criteria or examples to…

  • Assessment and Evaluation,  Learning Charter

    Transparent assessment

    Assessment practice is shifting away from comparing students to each other, or grade derived professor’s experiences and preferences.  Increasing, it is focused on comparing students to a clear learning outcome or goal for the assessment that everyone in the class knows in advance. The process of clearly articulating that goal and what we consider good evidence of it is called “Transparent Assessment.” The goal of all transparent assessment is to ensure students understand what they are trying to achieve or learn, so they can be more effective partners in that learning. Our Learning Charter has three learning charter educator commitments related our assessment: Provide a clear indication of what is…

  • Instructional / Course Design,  Instructional Strategies,  Learning Charter

    All aligned – Instruction

    In higher education, we have our students do all the hardest learning by themselves.  As academics, our greatest strength is expertise, but we routinely select passive instructional strategies that have our students mostly listening to lectures in our classes and doing their learning later.  Choosing passive listening robs us of the opportunity to provide the nuance and clarification that learners need while they learn. This post focuses on selecting the right type of instructional approaches to have our students actively learning the most important and challenging things they will need. Relationship to our Learning Charter:There are two learning charter educator commitments related our instructional approaches to learning tasks: Be aware…

  • Instructional / Course Design,  Learning Charter

    All Aligned – Outcomes

    This post is one of a 3 part series on the concept of alignment of what you want students to learn, how you plan to teach them, and what you will assess them on.  Sometimes called constructive alignment, it has three parts: Your learning outcomes Your instructional approach or learning strategies Your assessments This post focuses on the need for clear learning outcomes for your students, and the next two posts in October and November focus on instruction and assessment respectively. Why outcomes Outcomes are statements that describe what our teaching is designed to help students know, do, or be. They start with a verb, then connect that to the…

  • Learning Charter,  Undergraduate Research

    Practice Your Research Skills Early and Often

    by Merle Massie, Coordinator, Undergraduate Research Initiative We tend to think of university as a place to soak up knowledge, to learn stuff, to end up with a ‘brain full of smartness,’ as one twelve-year old boy once explained. Yet the new University of Saskatchewan Learning Charter promises, and expects, more. While content knowledge is important, the Charter sets out skills and practices that students, faculty and staff are expected to pursue.Three of those skills and practices are specific to research. USask wants students, faculty and staff to: be able to locate, understand, evaluate and use information effectively, ethically, legally and with cultural appropriateness develop and apply appropriate skills of…

  • Educational Theory,  Instructional Strategies,  Learning Charter

    High quality, respectful classroom dialogue

    This post is the third post in a series of the “Charter Chats” related to our new charter.  The others are linked on the bottom of this page. The chats are informal introductions to a charter educator commitment or commitments.  They explain what that commitment means for educators, and suggests one or two implications for teaching in a higher ed setting. High quality, respectful classroom dialogue is essential in helping student learning.  When students are engaged in actively thinking about their own learning and discussing it with others, they are more likely to understand deeply. If students are just listening to an expert talking without the interaction, they are less likely…