Seven Trent University initiatives aimed at expanding access to high quality post-secondary education through world-class digital content will soon become a reality thanks to a $900,000 funding boost as part of the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities’ Virtual Learning Strategy.
“Trent University is renowned for its interplay between innovative research, excellence in teaching, and experiential learning,” says Dr. Michael Khan, provost and vice-president academic at Trent University. “Our flexible approach to learning has allowed us to be responsive to changes within the sector this past year. This funding will allow our researchers and faculty to develop new programming and to engage in research collaboration aimed at enhancing the interactive digital learning environment.”
The funding for Trent is part of the Province’s Virtual Learning Strategy, a $50 million investment in virtual learning and educational technologies aimed at creating digital content, capacity, fluency and delivery within the province’s post-secondary sector. The aim is to grow and advance virtual learning by expanding the possibilities of traditional and life-long learning through both online and hybrid learning.
At Trent, the funding will support the following projects:
- Targeted Supports: Trent University Information Technology and Trent Online ($287,959)
- Ontario Extend for Students: Creating Liberated Learners, Trent Online ($199,500)
- Knowledge Management and Communication: An Ontario research collaboration, Dr. Cathy Bruce, vice president of Research and Innovation ($165,000)
- Homelessness in Canada: Proposal for a Co-Designed Open and Inclusive Online Course, Dr. Kristy Buccieri, associate professor of Sociology ($89,965)
- Leadership for Nurses in Clinical Settings, Dr. Kirsten Woodend, dean of the Trent/Fleming School of Nursing ($89,568)
- Career and Workforce Readiness, Careerspace ($60,000)
- Forensic Toxicology: from crime scene to the virtual lab, Dr. Sanela Martic, assistant professor of Forensic Science ($25,000)
“These projects will build on and advance the skills and capacity of students and faculty at Trent through multi-media channels, such as virtual lab sessions, career development, and knowledge communication skills,” says Dr. Cathy Bruce, vice president of Research and Innovation at Trent. “The projects that are being led at Trent University contribute to the training of knowledgeable and highly qualified personnel that will in turn support post-pandemic economy recovery.”
The Virtual Learning Strategy is being implemented by eCampusOntario, a centre of excellence in online and technology-enabled learning governed by Ontario’s publicly-assisted postsecondary institutions, and projects will be implemented over the next 12 months. Details on each Trent project below:
Targeted Supports: Trent Information Technology and Trent Online
While the sudden shift to remote learning due to COVID-19 has been a sometimes stressful and difficult shift for institutions, faculty and students, it has also provided a window on the possibilities for enhancing and advancing online learning. The Targeted Supports Project will allow Trent to build on its online learning expertise through more sophisticated and multimedia units that promote accessibility. The project will also bolster support for learning management system use.
Ontario Extend for Students: Creating Liberated Learners, Trent Online
The Liberated Learner framework will build on the successes of Ontario Extend for Educators framework, and will strengthen the digital fluency of students to create a deeper learning experiences. This project, led by Trent University, will be implemented in collaboration with Seneca College, Cambrian College, University of Windsor, McMaster University, Brock University, and Nipissing University, with student co-creation prioritized during every phase.
Knowledge Management and Communication: An Ontario research collaboration, Dr. Cathy Bruce, Vice President of Research and Innovation
Researchers across the sciences, humanities and social sciences in Ontario are rapidly generating important findings and new knowledge as leaders in Canada and internationally. But what are we doing to protect and manage the knowledge generated? The Knowledge Management and Communication research collaboration, led by Trent’s Dr. Cathy Bruce, will involve six higher education institutions working together to generate a series of learning modules that can be bundled for a professional development program and/or micro-credential for students and early career researchers.
Homelessness in Canada: Proposal for a Co-Designed Open and Inclusive Online Course, Dr. Kristy Buccieri, Sociology
In the five years that Trent University has offered an undergraduate course on homelessness, enrolment has risen by 200% – an indication of the relevance of this topic to students as they prepare to enter the workforce. Dr. Buccieri will collaborate with partners at York University to develop a fully asynchronous and experiential online course on homelessness that can be widely adopted by faculty across universities and disciplines.
Leadership for Nurses in Clinical Settings, Trent/Fleming School of Nursing
Nurses working in clinical settings, especially in small communities, are often placed in leadership positions without the benefit of post-basic education. The Leadership for Nurses in Clinical Settings course, developed by the Trent/Fleming School of Nursing, in partnership with Ontario Tech, will equip future nurses with the leadership skills they need.
Career and Workforce Readiness: Careerspace
The Career and Workforce Readiness Project will see the development of an online series of not-for-credit modules available to students seeking work-integrated learning opportunities or post-graduation work opportunities, as well as other individuals seeking support in re-entering the job our market changing careers.
Forensic Toxicology: From crime scene to the virtual lab, Dr. Sanela Martic, Forensic Science
The new Forensic Toxicology: From Crime Scene to the Virtual Lab course proposed by Dr. Martic will make use of content slides and podcasts to illustrate the intricate link between chemical toxicity and testing in relation to crime scenes and cases. Lab videos, data sets and worksheets will mimic a physical forensic toxicology lab setting, and the teaching products generated will be of interest and benefit to students across majors and institutions, as well as professionals interested in enhancing their career in this field.
About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.
For more information contact:
Cara Walsh, Communications & Media Relations Officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6240 or firstname.lastname@example.org