Welcome to the September 2022 issue of ‘Innovatus’

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Welcome back to campus! 

It’s a pleasure to be able say those words as we kick off the 2022-23 academic year with our first issue of “Innovatus,” a special issue of YFile. The theme of this issue of our monthly teaching and learning newsletter is The Future of Teaching and Learning.  

Will Gage
Will Gage

As many of us have been, I’m reflecting on how rapidly the world of teaching and learning changed with the onset of the pandemic. It pushed a lot of us into a space that was uncomfortable, but we adapted remarkably well to remote instruction. We may still be uncomfortable as we return to that “old, but new again” experience of being in the lecture hall. We should all keep in mind, too, that our students may be uncomfortable. It’s not surprising to realize that many of them have never attended York University in person – their introduction to the university classroom has been virtual until now. Now, it’s time to see how we’ll move forward, keeping the best of both the in-person and online experiences to continue improving the quality of our teaching and our students’ learning experience.  

In collaboration with partners across the University, we’re trying some new things, including hyflex, to bring an equitable learning experience to students who are either in the lecture hall or elsewhere. Meanwhile, colleagues in a variety of fields are experimenting in other ways, such as new ways to think about assessment. It will be fascinating to see where the world of higher education goes over the next decade or so, and that’s the whole experience of research in teaching and learning. Change is a constant and we’re using the new foundation we created during the pandemic to build something better for all of us. 

In this issue, six of our colleagues from different faculties and campuses speculate on the future of teaching and learning, relating it to how their own practices are evolving. We hope their ideas offer you not only food for thought, but the incentive to approach the future with creativity and curiosity. 


Will Gage 
Associate Vice-President, Teaching and Learning 

Faculty, course directors and staff are invited to share their 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.

In this issue:

Teaching, not tools, is key to education, says Glendon course director
Valerie Florentin, a course director in the School of Translation at Glendon Campus, always liked to help people understand things and was interested in teaching “as far back as I can remember.” Today, with a PhD under her belt, she teaches translation and also works as a freelance translator.

AMPD professor loves teaching, the classroom, virtual or not
Ian Garrett, a theatre professor in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design (AMPD), considers the impact of technology and its role in driving positive change in post-secondary education.

Professor looks toward the future of teaching and learning in post-pandemic world
The pandemic lockdown has brought new opportunities in teaching and learning and the student experience, including how technology can be used to enhance learning, and questions about who governs the data. Assistant Professor Sarah Rotz from the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change ponders the pros and cons of technology.

An augmented/virtual reality revolution is just beginning, says Faculty of Science professor
Chemistry Professor Kyle Belozerov uses virtual reality in his classroom. In this insightful Q-and-A, he considers the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in understanding the complexities of our modern world.

Can interconnected classrooms without walls shape the future of teaching and learning?
French Studies Associate Professor Dominique Scheffel-Dunand has written an insightful essay that explores the future of teaching and learning from a variety of perspectives and offers a futuristic view of the university in 2040.

Technology opens new doors, says humanities professor
Donald Ipperciel, a philosophy professor and former principal of Glendon Campus, has 26 years of experience in the classroom. He is also fascinated by the changing technology available to educators, including the benefits to teaching that are associated with artificial intelligence and virtual reality.