• Indigenization, Decolonization, Reconciliation

    Talks With Relations

    Jamie Sams, author of, The 13 Original Clan Mothers, leaves with us a wealth of knowledge that was passed down to her by her grandmothers, Cisi Laughing Crow, and Berta Broken Arrow. Sams was of mixed descent, her heritage included French, Cherokee, Seneca, Choctaw, and Mohawk (Brussat & Brussat, 2006). While the teachings are centered around women, the lessons and values are both universal and versatile. Sams explains that the clan mothers’ teachings, passed down through medicine lodges, are acknowledged with gratitude to grandmothers, Cisi Laughing Crow, and Berta Broken Arrow. However, she continues to remind us that these teaching also belong to, “all of the Children of Earth” (Sams,…

  • 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…

  • Academic Integrity,  Assessment and Evaluation,  Generative AI

    Determining Levels of Acceptable GenAI Use

    Many instructors are contemplating what level of GenAI (e.g., ChatGPT) use is acceptable for students when completing their assessments.  Instructors who have tried the tools have seen how well they can generate text in response to a prompt or request. It concerns them that they will not be able to tell when a student has completed an assessment with or without this kind of assistance and the validity of assessment will become uncertain. If you’re new to GenAI, read these posts: Need to learn more about ChatGPT New! USask Enterprise GenAI New module added to academic integrity tutorial   Students are gaining more experience with these tools and looking for…

  • Experiential Learning,  Instructional Strategies

    Gamifying Learning Experiences

    Summary: Discover how gamification can transform your teaching! Learn strategies to engage students and enhance learning through game-like experiences in our latest article. Date of publishing: December 13, 2023 In this blog post, we’ll explore helpful tips on how to incorporate gamification into your own university courses. Dr. Martin Gaal, a Political Studies faculty member, has successfully incorporated gamification into two of his courses, POLS 261 Global Politics and POLS 201 Global Citizenship Cultures and Coexistance. While POLS 261 and POLS 201 are not prerequisites for each other, Dr. Gaal does see value in students taking POLS 261 before 201. This sequential progression aligns with the staircase model of applied…

  • Experiential Learning,  Sustainability

    Instructional Strategies for Climate Justice

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Environmental Solutions Initiative has developed the Climate Justice Instructional Toolkit to enhance climate justice education. Aimed primarily at educators in introductory undergraduate courses, the toolkit provides resources and programming to integrate climate justice content and instructional approaches across various disciplines. The toolkit is openly licensed and includes adaptable teaching modules (with downloadable pptx files), instructional guides, and student resources. The toolkit focuses on climate justice—addressing the unequal impacts of climate change on vulnerable groups and identifying solutions. The proposed instructional strategies align with the University of Saskatchewan’s teaching practices for sustainability competencies and types of experiential learning. The initiative also encourages feedback and collaboration for…

  • Generative AI

    New! USask’s Enterprise GenAI

    USask’s very own Generative AI solution for faculty and administrative staff goes live this week! The Microsoft AI tool — currently named “Bing Chat” but being rebranded as “Copilot” — utilises GPT4 and Dall-E 3, the most up-to-date version of the text and image generating models developed by OpenAI. Some significant features to note of our enterprise license, especially in comparison to ChatGPT: Users are each permitted 200 independent chats per day, with 30 exchanges per chat. In addition to text conversations, you can prompt the chat directly to generate images and even drop images into the chat field with queries! For the best experience, use either Microsoft Edge or…

  • Experiential Learning,  Undergraduate Research

    Embedding Research, Artistic, and Scholarly Skills: A Step-by-Step Guide for Classroom Success

    Summary: Elevate classroom success with this guide on embedding research, artistic, and scholarly skills. Gain practical steps to enhance student learning and engagement. Date of publishing: November 23, 2023 Whether you’re a seasoned educator or just beginning, this blogpost aims to empower you to align your course outcomes with research, artistic, and scholarly work (RSAW). Let’s explore a self-guided journey of instructional alignment using the 7-level research skills framework and the experiential learning cycle. To undertake this self-guided exploration, you may wish to have the following material handy: Sticky notes in two colours Paper Markers Pens A large piece of paper Step 1: A Day in the Life… Grab a…

  • Academic Integrity,  Assessment and Evaluation,  Generative AI

    Identifying Plagiarism

    Preventing academic misconduct is always better than policing it. But, sometimes you notice a problem and wonder if the work you are marking was really created by or fully authored by the student who submitted it. It is your responsibility, according to the academic misconduct regulations to follow up judiciously with your concerns. Educator judgment It is important to keep an educator’s mindset. As the instructor, you are the most likely to be able to identify academic misconduct. This is because you are most closely connected to: the student and the course, the purpose of the assessment, and the instructions given to students about acceptable and unacceptable processes. It is…

  • Academic Integrity,  Assessment and Evaluation,  Generative AI

    Identifying ChatGPT Text-based Plagiarism

    General plagiarism identification advice applies to ChatGPT text-based plagiarism, too. Read this post for more on possible plagiarism flags. You may have heard about detection tools but they are not reliable, recommended or approved for use. Read this post for more on current limits of these tools. Read this article about how ChatGPT can be prompted to beat the detection tools Read this post for more on how our academic misconduct regulations may apply. ChatGPT is less about accuracy and more about generating responses indistinguishable, linguistically, to what humans would produce.  This means much of what ChatGPT produces seems like work we would attribute to our students.  There are some…

  • Academic Integrity,  Assessment and Evaluation

    Things to Tell New USask Students about Final Exams

    There are many unstated or rarely stated norms and practices associated with the final exam setting. New students need to learn the ropes.  This is especially important for students who are: writing their first university exams because they are new to university study (like first year students), new to USask (like transfer students), new to Canadian higher education (like international students), and/or returning to USask after only a COVID-based experience of remote exams. It’s a good idea to reduce uncertainty and to avert distress during exams. What can you do? Tell students what to expect and explain what is expected of them in the conditions for the final exam. Double…