ePortfolios in the Curriculum



It’s expected that Ryerson’s Fashion and Architecture students use ePortfolios in their programs, but this tool is possibly also relevant in our courses. Some of you likely know about the use of ePortfolios in higher education, but if not, here is a brief explanation from University of Waterloo’s Centre for Teaching Excellence.

The following links are just two recent publications on the subject:

  1. Essays in a  special issue of ACCU’s Peer Review
  2. Abstracts of chapters of a book on the cross-disciplinary use of ePortfolios in higher education

I’m curious to know what you think about the applicability in our service courses.  Comments are welcome.

The United States of Reddit


                                    Status ENGAGE


This is an adaptation of Christian Rudder’s Dataclysm published as an essay in Slate.  Rudder’s argument is that social media is/are redrawing our borders.  Like so many studies on “new” media, the data are already in the rearview mirror–the book was published in 2014–though the observations continue to be relevant.

Sometimes Great Conferences are Close to Home



Lake Nipissing South Shore (Northern Ontario Travel)

© Catherine Jenkins 2016

I enjoy travelling for conferences, but last July, I decided to stick closer to home. I submitted a proposal to the inaugural conference of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Collaboration in the Arts and Sciences (CICAS—pronounced kick-ass) on The Future of Human(ity) at Nipissing University in North Bay. It was an inexpensive conference to attend. I booked a Porter flight on sale, and stayed in a very comfortable and secure university residence for $40 a night. I explored downtown North Bay the first afternoon: not much to write home about. I did, however, enjoy a Lake Nipissing cruise and explored two handmade carousels near the waterfront.

Not meaning to sound judgemental, but I wasn’t expecting much of this conference. I was, however, pleasantly surprised at the calibre of papers and the international presence (yes, in North Bay). As well as plentiful papers from U Nipissing, other Canadian universities were represented by U of T, York, Waterloo, the Royal Military College, and, of course, Ryerson. A few folks came up from the States, from Georgetown and U of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. What was more surprising was representation from Istanbul University, Delhi University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Jilin University, China. One of the keynotes was Canadian, but others hailed from RMIT University of Australia (in Canada for two whole days!), and two presented virtually, one from CUNY, and the other from U of Amsterdam. One delegate, originally from Ghana, had travelled from his university in China, to North Bay for the conference; he experienced a certain culture shock. The conference supported the kind of rich cultural diversity one sometimes sees at European conferences, but not necessarily Canadian ones, and certainly not what I anticipated in a small northern Ontario town.

Papers for this far-reaching interdisciplinary conference ranged from the coalescence of virtual with non-virtual realities, post-humanism in everything from the arts to the military, death tourism, apocalyptic futures, ecology, and big history. In terms of interdisciplinarity and ideas stretching academic conventions, it was one of the richest conferences I’ve attended. The point is that exciting and illuminating conferences can happen anywhere, even close to home, and even in a backwater like North Bay. One doesn’t have to travel, or spend a lot of money, to connect with people doing fascinating work; it can happen in one’s own backyard.

(See post below for abstract of the paper Catherine presented at this conference)


Procom CUPE Conference Presentations


We know some of our members are engaged in interesting research, but we don’t always have a good sense of the specific work they’re doing.  See the links below for sample abstracts of conference presentations given by Rob and Catherine this summer. Congratulations to both of you!

Rob Badjko, “The Design and Implementation of Game-Based Learning Systems in Higher Education and Health Professions Education”

Catherine Jenkins, “Human versus Cyborg Life: Quality versus Quantity”