2,829 research outputs found

    Perspectives on Improving Teaching in Canadian Universities

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    As a result of increasing concerns about the quality of higher education in Canada, many universities have implemented programs and policies aimed at improving teaching. This study examines the perceptions of those individuals who are primarily responsible for teaching improvement activities at fifty-one Canadian degree-granting institutions. Respondents indicated the potential of each of thirty-six practices to improve teaching at their respective institutions. The findings reveal a widespread belief that the greatest teaching improvement potential lies in the provision of incentives to faculty in the form of employment rewards (appointment, tenure, promotion). The role of department heads, deans, and senior administrators in creating an institutional culture which encourages effective instruction is also seen as an important component of a teaching-improvement strategy. Other areas considered include activities and support structures which provide opportunities for faculty to develop their teaching abilities. Practices which seek to evaluate instruction for the purposes of making personnel decisions were seen as having the least potential to improve teaching.Afin de rĂ©pondre aux lacunes perçues quant Ă  la qualitĂ© de l'Ă©ducation post-secondaire au Canada, un nombre grandissant d'universitĂ©s sont implantĂ© des programmes et des politiques visant Ă  l'amĂ©lioration de l'enseignement. La prĂ©sente Ă©tude relève la perception des responsables de la pĂ©dagogie universitaire dans cinquante-et-une institutions qui dĂ©cernent des diplĂ´mes universitaires. Les rĂ©pondants ont estimĂ© le potentiel de chacune des trente-six pratiques ayant pour but d'amĂ©liorer la pĂ©dagogie dans leurs institutions respectives. Les rĂ©sultats rĂ©vèlent la croyance rĂ©pandue que le potentiel le plus important concernant l'amĂ©lioration  de l'enseignement  rĂ©side dans la stimulation  du corps professoral  sous la forme de  compensations  professionnelles (nomination, permanence d'emploi et promotion). Le rĂ´le critique des directeurs de dĂ©partment, des doyens, et des cadres supĂ©rieurs dans la crĂ©ation d'une culture institutionnelle qui favoriserait une pĂ©dagogie efficace est Ă©galement perçu comment faisant partie intĂ©grale d'une politique globale d'amĂ©lioration de l'enseignement. L'Ă©tude Ă©value Ă©galement l'importance des activitĂ©s et les structures d'encadrement facilitant le dĂ©veloppement  des  compĂ©tences pĂ©dagogiques des professeurs. Les pratiques ayant pour objectif d'Ă©valuer l'enseignement Ă  des fins de permanence d'emploi et de promotion ont, selon les rĂ©pondants, le moins d'impact sur la qualitĂ© de l'enseignement

    Teaching Improvement Practices: New Perspectives

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    The movement to improve the quality of teaching and learning in higher education has gained increasing importance over the last several years. Policies and programs aimed at enhancing instruction are becoming commonplace as post-secondary institutions strive to provide a high quality educational experience for students. The impact of different teaching improvement practices varies, and decision-makers in universities and colleges need to know where best to place their efforts and resources. The experienced judgement of teaching improvement practitioners can assist others in making these decisions

    How is helicity (and twist) partitioned in magnetohydrodynamic simulations of reconnecting magnetic flux tubes?

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    Funding: STFC through the Consolidated grant, ST/N000609/1, to the University of St Andrews.Magnetic helicity conservation provides a convenient way to analyze specific properties (namely, the linkage and twist) of reconnecting flux tubes and yield additional insight into the pre- and post-reconnection states of magnetic structures in the solar atmosphere. A previous study considered two flux tubes with footpoints anchored in two parallel planes. They showed that reconnection would add self-helicity equivalent to a half turn of twist to each flux tube. We address a related and fundamental question here: if two flux tubes anchored in a single plane reconnect, what are the resulting twists imparted to each of the reconnected tubes? Are they equal and do they have a simple exact value independent of footpoint location? To do this, we employ a new (computationally efficient) method which subdivides each flux tube into distinct elements and calculates the mutual helicity of many elemental pairs, the sum of which determines the self-helicity of the overall flux tube. Having tested the method using a simple analytical model, we apply the technique to a magnetohydrodynamic simulation where initially untwisted magnetic flux tubes are sheared and allowed to reconnect (based on a previous reconnection model). We recover values of self-helicity and twist in the final end state of the simulations which show excellent agreement with theoretical predictions.Publisher PDFPeer reviewe

    Leading the Leaders: Embedded Educational Leadership Initiatives at the University of Windsor

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    This project explored the impact and scope of embedded educational leadership initiatives (EELIs) at the University of Windsor. EELIs are programs through which individual members of the campus community autonomously and often collaboratively develop and pursue educational improvement projects within their own contexts. Such initiatives are quite common at Canadian universities, and can include, for example, small grants schemes, teaching chairs, and peer observation of teaching networks. They serve many needs at universities, and are widely believed to be an effective approach to improving teaching and learning, driving innovation, building leadership capacity, and communicating the value institutions place on quality teaching. There has been comparatively little empirical research on the outcomes of these programs, and infrastructure for their evaluation for improvement of productivity or strategic alignment tends to be limited. Moreover, despite their strong potential, without a coordinated approach, it is hard to capitalize on the expertise created over time, to bring groups together to address joint concerns through collaborative initiatives, or to establish mechanisms to identify and further support projects whose expansion or duplication would be of benefit to other units on campus.https://scholar.uwindsor.ca/ctlreports/1002/thumbnail.jp

    Method and apparatus for a multibeam beacon laser assembly for optical communications

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    An optical beacon is comprised of a telescope having a primary focal plane or Coud? focal plane, a plurality of fiber coupled laser sources for generating a plurality of beams, a collimator for collimating the plurality of beams, and optics for combining and focusing the plurality of collimated beams onto the primary or Coud? focal plane of the telescope. The telescope propagates the optical beacon, which is arranged into a ring of incoherent plurality of collimated beams. The apparatus further comprises fiber splitters coupled to each laser source to provide at least eight beams from at least four laser sources. The optics comprises a prism assembly, a combiner lens, a focusing lens and a field lens for focusing the plurality of collimated beams onto the primary focal plane or Coud? focal plane of the telescope

    The Ontario Universities’ Teaching Evaluation Toolkit: Feasibility Study

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    This feasibility study (the first of three phases) sought to develop a framework for improvement-oriented formative and summative assessment of teaching in Ontario. It is intended to inform future developments in teaching evaluation in the Province, and to offer a well-contextualized understanding of what the goals of teaching evaluation ought to be, what the challenges are, and the kinds of initiatives and infrastructure that would best promote the evolution of a data- informed and inquiry-inspiring approach to evaluating and improving teaching. Our institutionally-based project teams identified and examined leading teaching evaluation practices in use internationally, compared to those in use in the Ontario context, and identified a range of aggregate data and technical tool elements to be considered when moving forward.https://scholar.uwindsor.ca/ctlreports/1003/thumbnail.jp

    Alamo Lumber and Texas Usury Law: Playing with Fire in the Usury Forest.

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    The effect of Alamo Lumber Co. v. Gold, and later cases interpreting third party assumption of debt as interest can be perilous to lenders. Lenders are in the business of offering loans to make money. Lenders achieve profit maximization by charging as much interest as possible in the market. Although economic and market factors are always considerations in a lender’s business, in Texas, lenders must also consider harsh usury laws that restrain the maximum amount of chargeable loan interest. Texas defines interest broadly. Statutes define interest as the receipt of compensation for the detention, forbearance or use of money. The expansive definition of interest often results in usury problems when lenders charge separate fees, other than and in addition to interest, and a court considers these fees to be interest. Additionally, facts surrounding the issuance of loans may result in a courting finding usurious interest, even if interest amounts are not excessive. The Texas Supreme court held in Alamo Lumber that when a lender requires a borrower to accept a third party debt to secure a loan, the debt obligation of the third party is a portion of the borrower’s interest making the loan usurious. While the scenario appears to be straight forward, there are several situations where a court could potentially apply Alamo Lumber in holding a loan usurious. Party’s relationship to the debt, financial analysis, independent consideration, defining debt of another, collateral pledge, contingent obligations, savings clauses, and federal regulations may all affect a courts final ruling interpreting loan conditions as interest. Usury penalties in Texas are severe. Penalty may include three times the usurious interest in addition to potentially forfeiting principal. Lenders must be diligent in reviewing the conditions of their loans to ensure avoidance of usurious claims

    Intrinsic noise and discrete-time processes

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    A general formalism is developed to construct a Markov chain model that converges to a one-dimensional map in the infinite population limit. Stochastic fluctuations are therefore internal to the system and not externally specified. For finite populations an approximate Gaussian scheme is devised to describe the stochastic fluctuations in the non-chaotic regime. More generally, the stochastic dynamics can be captured using a stochastic difference equation, derived through an approximation to the Markov chain. The scheme is demonstrated using the logistic map as a case study.Comment: Modified version accepted for publication in Phys. Rev. E Rapid Communications. New figures adde

    Shared Modular Course Development: A Feasibility Study

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    This project evaluated the viability of shared course development (SCD) and identified the necessary baseline mechanisms, principles, policies, and procedures for future joint course development collaborations. Although collaborative course design is still relatively new in Ontario, our institutionally-based project teams identified and researched a number of successful examples from Australia, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These successful models demonstrated the transformative possibilities of blended learning, expanded course variety, maintained or enhanced the breadth of course offerings, and reduced institution-specific development costs while maintaining delivery autonomy. They also focused on enhancing student learning and produced momentum for instructional improvement and course re-design among collaborating institutions. This report concludes that there is considerable value to the development of collaborative institutional cultures in and of itself, and that collaborative capacity will become an increasingly important core competency in the more differentiated and change-oriented university sector that is emerginghttps://scholar.uwindsor.ca/ctlreports/1000/thumbnail.jp
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