The Canada-Quebec Entente: Mid-term IT Assessment
As we approach the midpoint of our 2009-2013 phase of the Entente, the 2010-11 academic year has brought many new developments:
- More direct contact with teachers has taken place through attending college-wide program coordinators' meetings. Being on the "front line", they tend to be in the best position to make direct use of the CQE's products and services.
- Two Montreal Anglophone private colleges opened their doors and organized staff/faculty meetings with us.
- The influx of new blood in key management positions within the Anglophone colleges has never been greater than this year. Three have new Academic Deans effective 2010-11.
- The MELS personnel managing the CQE are new, meaning that Bruno Geslain and I are now the memory to help guide the present and future for the college sector.
- A new Guide de programme has been developed that describes the CQE and the funding process. The guide and all of the relevant forms are available on the MELS website.
- A new volet (funding category) dealing with infrastructure appears in the guide, and a few immobilisation projects are already taking place this semester from this additional funding source.
The Canada-Quebec Entente
Perhaps the biggest impact of these firsts is the growing number of college faculty and staff who are experimenting with new tools and resources and finding innovative ways to enrich their work. Kudos to Centennial College which has been very active (a) submitting projects to CCDMD; (b) preparing an AQPC presentation for this June; (c) submitting and receiving the green light for developing a science bridge program to allow new students, who lack prerequisites and high grades, the ability to pursue science studies; and of course (d) contributing to Profweb!
Another new project of potential interest to math teachers makes use of the WebWork system for delivering individualized homework problems over the web. Students interact with WebWork on their individual schedule, get immediate feedback on their answers and can keep trying until they get the right answer. Copying is discouraged because the problems are individualized. Instructors have access to real-time statistics and can therefore customize lesson plans to better serve students. Malcolm Harper of Champlain St. Lambert will be working to provide support to cegep teachers and develop cegep level problems for this resource targeting calculus or linear algebra classes.
There are two other new projects Humanities and ESL teachers might watch out for. Vanier College's Stephen Block has developed a multi-media pedagogical model to improve students' media literacy in core Humanities courses. The instructional design incorporates e-portfolios as part of students' research to better understand complex texts and information from conventional media. For ESL faculty teaching the English in Business course, CVM's Norm Spatz is working on a virtual course to address the challenges of teaching to varied competency levels when class sizes in a single college do not allow multiple groups.
If you're feeling inspired (or confused!), Bruno and I are available to revisit your college for a CQE primer. Just as Profweb is your gateway to integrating IT, the CQE can be your gateway to a wealth of services and products to enrich your college teaching.