blueprint for how the class believes social and
learning experiences should unfold in their
class. Professors can use software, such as
Survey Monkey, to post more closed-ended
questions, collate and analyze the answers,
then share them with the class. Those using
clickers can do this type of survey live in the
classroom. In fact, it can be a nice way to start
My experience is that merely offering students the opportunity to discuss the type of
learning relationship they wish to create in
their classrooms is likely to reduce confrontations and facilitate discussions related to classroom disagreements, thereby minimizing
Dr. Marini is a professor of child and youth studies and a 3M National
Teaching Fellow at Brock University.
Academics and sports
in the report “SFU becomes full member of
U.S. sports body NCAA,” (November 2012), you
note that Simon Fraser University applied for
accreditation with a U.S. accrediting body
when it “started the transition process to the
[National Collegiate Athletics Association]
three years ago.” But you don’t mention that
this application for accreditation, which your
article associates with SFU’s desire to play in
the NCAA, will have significant consequences
for our campus.
At a time of severe fiscal restraint, the uni-
versity has begun a process with no clear vision
of its costs. It is also unclear what the conse-
quences of accreditation will be for faculty
workload and academic freedom. It is, however,
quite clear that athletic policy is essentially
guiding academic policy, for we will now be
required to submit to certain requirements –
academic requirements – imposed by the
accrediting body so that our athletes might now
be “closer to their ultimate goal of winning an
NCAA national championship.”
I won’t comment on what it might mean for
a Canadian school to pursue an American
national championship, but I will say that many
of us here are very concerned that what should
be the main goal of our university, to provide
excellent academic instruction in a climate of
academic freedom, is being subordinated to
athletic pursuits. I wish University Affairs had
reported on this aspect of the situation.
Dr. Pavsek is associate professor of film in the school for the contemporary arts at Simon Fraser University.
Keep your op-eds short and simple, too
last month’s career advice column (“Keep your
talk short and simple”) has very practical, useful
advice, the principles of which are applicable
beyond the job talk to communicating with audiences outside your speciality. Stories are always useful when explaining aspects of your research and
why it’s important, and interaction is a critical
means of ensuring that your audience is engaged.
The suggestions offered in this article are
equally relevant to the strategies that scholars can
employ when writing commentary for blogs or
newspapers, or providing analysis about current
issues to the media.
Ms. Graydon is founder of Informed Opinions, an Ottawa-based con-sultancy that supports experts in making their ideas and knowledge
more accessible to print, broadcast and online media.
in 1988, i moved from Vancouver to take up a
teaching position at Université Sainte-Anne,
Nova Scotia’s French Acadian university.
Sainte-Anne, although it is a French university, offers a BA major in English, which shows,
I think, the depth of our university’s commitment to offering genuine cultural literacy to
In my years here in the Maritimes, I have
learned to love the deep culture of these coastlines and inland lakes and rivers, enriched by
the histories of the First Nations, the Africadi-ans, the French, English, Scots and so many others. Heather Sparling is right (“The powerful
arts,” December): we in Atlantic Canada are so
well placed to champion the arts, and everyone
Dr. Knutson teaches English literature and drama at Université
More on MOOCs
“all about moocs” (December issue) is a wonderful article. Some things to keep in mind are
that online education must have economies of
scale. Only the top schools can attract millions
of students. Therefore, online education must be
offered by schools such as MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Princeton and Caltech.
MOOCs present two potential models for
development. In one, the online universities will
offer credits and degrees for a small fee, but this
will take time, possibly as long as five years for
a single university to develop a complete degree
program. In the other model, students enrolled
at a college or university will take some of their
courses online from MOOCs, and their institution will award credits and eventually degrees
to these students. This model is more imminent:
Antioch University has already done this.
The cost of delivering a MOOC online course
is less than $1 per student, so MOOCs should not
have to charge more than $10 a course. College
tuition would drop by 50 percent if students took
half their courses as MOOCs. Other benefits
include more space opening up for on-campus
students, growing by as much as 100 percent,
and an improvement in the quality of university
education, with all students taking some courses
from elite universities.
I am hopeful that the second model, already
adopted by Antioch, will be followed by other
Mr. Gozaydin is an engineer who helped to introduce computerized
education in Turkey for the K- 12 system. He now works to promote
the edX online consortium and the Antioch model around the world.
l’article «L’expérience des cours en ligne ouverts
à tous», dans l’edition de décembre, présente un
tour d’horizon intéressant. Je constate avec grand
plaisir que la traductrice a rendu “massive open
online courses” par “cours en ligne ouverts à tous”.
Je trouve vraiment déplorable la traduction fau-tive “cours en ligne ouverts et massifs” qui s’est
répandue comme une traînée de poudre et qui ne
correspond à rien. Comment un cours pourrait-il
être massif? Chapeau et merci!
Mme Saint-Jacques, titulaire d’un doctorat en technologie éducative,
est également traductrice agréée, à Halifax.