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Jessica Rizk and Jennifer Han — Improving the Accessibility of Higher Education with Universal Design for Learning: An Example from One Ontario College

In September 2020, HEQCO released a report aimed at improving the accessibility of remote learning in higher education. At that point, we were six months into the COVID-19 pandemic in North America and dealing with the onset of a new academic year. Among the lessons we learned from postsecondary students, faculty and staff, as well […]

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Victoria Barclay and Ken Chatoor – First-generation students are vulnerable to the loss of student-to-student connections amidst a remote learning environment

There has been much discussion of how the abrupt shift to online learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected postsecondary course delivery and exam administration, but perhaps less discussed is how this shift affects the informal but important ways in which students exchange knowledge. Student-to-student connection allows incoming postsecondary students to acquire knowledge […]

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Jeffrey Napierala and Shakira Leslie: On International Women’s Day let’s not forget the ever-present gender wage gap

International Women’s Day is a good time to once again take stock of gender inequality in earnings. This is unfortunately not a new issue. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Canadian women continue to earn less than men. In 2019, women earned, on average, 18% less than men. The wage gap […]

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Ken Chatoor — No Excuses: Addressing the desperate need for data on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression in postsecondary education

Data is important, both as a tool of research and as a tool of policy that can affect funding, government priorities and program development. In Ontario, as in other jurisdictions, there are major gaps in data collection for certain groups. We need to expand the pool of available data, but we must also pay careful […]

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Ken Chatoor — More research needed on Ontario’s Apprentices

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on people all over the world and Ontario is no exception. While some were able to shift to working from home, many people lost their jobs; the province’s unemployment rate more than doubled from 5.5% in February to 13.6% in May. As we continue to navigate life […]

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Amy Kaufman and Angela McAllister – In the digital environment of the COVID-era, cyber-security skills are essential

Researchers at HEQCO spend a lot of time thinking about the types of skills Canadians need and that postsecondary education should teach. We know that skills like literacy, numeracy, communication and critical thinking are necessary for success in work and life, and we have focused much of our work on understanding not only how to teach and assess these […]

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Jessica Rizk and Amy Kaufman – Lessons from COVID: What the PSE sector can learn from the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced postsecondary institutions, faculty, staff and students to adapt quickly and without an instruction manual. From the emergency shift from face-to-face to remote learning, to the financial vulnerability of some institutions, to concerns about mental and physical health in the face of prolonged physical distancing, this is a moment in history unlike anything we’ve seen […]

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Jeffrey Napierala – Caught in the middle: Many postsecondary students are struggling financially

While postsecondary students have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in numerous ways, they have been hit particularly hard in their ability to find work and earn wages over the summer. Roughly two-thirds report that their income will be disrupted by the pandemic compared to just one-third of other adults in Canada. While several federal aid programs have […]

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Jessica Rizk and Amy Kaufman – Revisiting the research: What does good online learning look like?

Faculty and staff at Ontario’s postsecondary institutions demonstrated Herculean dedication and diligence when they transitioned their face-to-face courses to online and remote delivery in only a matter of days this past March. Despite an impressive collective effort, the virtual learning experienced by many students did not reflect the best-case scenario of planned, intentional, universally designed […]