Online learning, a game-changer
As a native Nova Scotian, I found the story “Crunch time
in Atlantic Canada” (May 2014 issue) of particular interest.
I was somewhat surprised to see no mention of online
learning or its potential for Nova Scotian universities.
I am a professor at Université Laval, where we have over
700 online courses. I personally teach weekly online
seminars with students attending from everywhere, from
Morocco to France to the United States. Online learning
is becoming a game-changer for many universities, and
not necessarily the large ones: indeed, smaller universities
are creating strategic alliances offering courses in areas
where they excel and outsourcing where faculty resources
Dr. Power is associate professor, educational technology, in the faculty of education at Université Laval.
Hold the fort
looking to increase enrolments? Then quit
concentrating on the younger demographic and
look at us older folks. I returned to university
at the University of the Fraser Valley in British
Columbia at age 61. I received a diploma in
library and information technology in 2011, at
age 64, and will be graduating with an adult education and workplace training certificate this
June at age 66! Wake up and smell the coffee,
folks. I am not the only one returning to university as a seasoned adult. Many others are looking
for new careers and new paths. The name of the
game is lifelong learning, remember?
Mr. Menger, formerly of Halifax, is a lifelong learner and student
at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, B.C.
Situation critique en Atlantique
à l’université de moncton, la stratégie est le
non-remplacement des postes vacants (« Situation critique en Atlantique », mai 2014). Je
pose alors la question, qui sera en place pour
développer des nouvelles approches et des
nouveaux contenus qui attireront les nouveaux
M. Baudouin est professeur titulaire à la faculté des sciences de
l’éducation à l’Université de Moncton.
A better way to assess published work?
what a wonderful summary! My only com-
plaint with “How we can energize scholarship
for the digital age” (May, 2014) is that the author,
Kevin Kee, restricts his comments to the human-
ities, when the sciences are experiencing most
of the same problems – and a few extras.
The central issue now is not access to information but assessment of credibility. Even
prestigious traditional journals publish more
information than anyone can absorb, and “open
access” journals are mostly vanity presses that
will publish anything the authors can afford to
pay for. Google does almost as good a job as the
citation index in selecting promising reading.
Counting tweets or Facebook “likes” gives us only
the crudest measure of popularity. We need a
better way to choose what to absorb.
Jess H. Brewer
Dr. Brewer is professor emeritus (physics and astronomy) with the
University of British Columbia. He has a website, http://oPeer.org,
that attempts to implement a "better way.”
Trent forensics lab is like TV’s CSI,
but for wildlife05 14
Des biologistes au service de la
justice pour les animaux sauvages
$4.50 / 4, 50