Welcome to the January 2021 issue of ‘Innovatus’

Innovatus featured image

The innovatus special issue headerWelcome to the January 2021 issue of ‘Innovatus,’ a special issue of YFile that is devoted to teaching and learning innovation at York University.

Happy New Year!

Will Gage
Will Gage

This issue of ‘Innovatus’ focuses on the unique approach that the Glendon Campus takes to experiential education and enriching the student experience in a bilingual environment. There are days as I write this note to you, where I wish I could turn back time. Imagine learning about Indigenous languages, ceremonies and culture through a video game offered in a university course! It is an exciting and innovative project underway at Glendon and it is led by Professor Maya Chacaby.

As well, as we are into another province-wide lockdown due to the pandemic, the work by Glendon staff and faculty to engage students online and in their homes is remarkable and heroic. You can read about the many innovative approaches taken by Glendon to build meaningful connections between students, complex subjects and the community in this issue.

Thank you again for the many wonderful comments about our 2020 issues. I would like to take the opportunity to wish each one of you a happy and healthy 2021. Please continue to reach out to me with your comments as I value each of your responses.

Featured in the January 2021 issue of ‘Innovatus’

Principal’s letter: Glendon’s commitment to language diversity is embedded in our campus’ DNA
In his introductory letter to the January 2021 issue of ‘Innovatus,’ Glendon Principal Marco Fiola writes about his pride in Glendon’s bilingual status, its work to advance teaching, learning and the student experience and its unique approach to foster cutting-edge pedagogy.

Gaming offers deeper understanding of Anishinaabe language and culture
Protecting Indigenous language and culture is at the heart of a new instructional video game developed for students by Glendon Assistant Professor of Sociology Maya Chacaby. The game “Biskaabiiyaang: the Quest for the Language” is a massively multi-player online role-playing game.

Glendon students turn their backyards into labs
Biology students need to learn fieldwork techniques, pandemic, or no pandemic, so Laura McKinnon, an associate professor in Glendon’s bilingual biology program decided to send them out into their backyards to practise and the results of this unique experiential education initiative were outstanding.

Exploring the European Union through a Dutch Lens
The Netherlands and Europeanization course offered by Glendon Professor Willem Maas gives students a good understanding of the Netherlands and the European Union (EU). Maas, who is a Jean Monnet Chair, pivoted the course to an online format that offered students an opportunity to interact with an impressive list of speakers with real-world experience in the EU.

Glendon’s community-based initiatives improve language skills while breaking isolation
To lessen the social isolation caused by the pandemic, faculty and staff at the Glendon Campus have sought ways to build connections among students and the community. Three programs have decreased social isolation, fostered a strong sense of community, while giving students a chance to practise their non-dominant official language (English or French) in unique experiential education settings.

‘Innovatus’ is produced by the Office of the Associate Vice-President Teaching & Learning in partnership with Communications & Public Affairs.

I extend a personal invitation to you to share your experiences in teaching, learning, internationalization and the student experience through the ‘Innovatus’ story form, which is available at tl.apps01.yorku.ca/machform/view.php?id=16573.

Will Gage
Associate Vice-President, Teaching & Learning