Welcome to the January 2023 issue of ‘Innovatus’

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Happy New Year! Welcome to the January 2023 issue of “Innovatus,” a special issue of YFile dedicated to teaching and learning innovation at York University.

This month, we offer an overview of the Academic Innovation Fund, a unique experiential learning initiative coming out of the Glendon campus, two unique forms of professional development and ChatGPT.

Will Gage
Will Gage

This issue offers a digest of sorts in that it does not have a specific Faculty in the spotlight. Instead, we opted to provide a wide array of interesting stories. The lead story focuses on the Academic Innovation Fund. The deadline for submissions is approaching and we thought you would find an overview of some of the past projects that received funding. It is interesting to see how the innovations arising out of the projects are now part of the fabric of the teaching and learning tapestry at York University.

There are also two interesting stories on professional development. One focuses on a reading group and the other on how a development tool known as Sandbox is inspiring new forms of professional development.

As well, Glendon, through its work with the Toronto French School, is deepening the experiential education for students who are studying French language with a view of a possible teaching career.

And finally, ChatGPT, a new artificial intelligence platform, has dominated the news of late. This story explores how York University is harnessing the power and potential of this new technology.

I hope the ideas presented in this issue are both informative and inspiring.


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:

AIF funds a wide range of teaching and learning projects
Over the years, York University’s Academic Innovation Fund (AIF) has promoted an inspired shift in teaching, learning, the student experience and internationalization of the curriculum.

Glendon’s partnership with Toronto French School is an EE success
The partnership offers a win-win for students at Glendon and the Toronto French School. The collaboration between the two institutions has led to a full-year experiential education opportunity in the form of a professional work placement course.

Reading for teaching offers new perspectives and connections
The new Reading for Teaching program offers an informal, collegial space to engage with colleagues from across York University and it is the result of an inspired collaboration between an educational developer and a teaching and learning librarian.

Coming soon: Innovative professional development online
Although she realizes that faculty members across Ontario may never binge-watch professional development videos focused on learning innovations, Michelle Sengara hopes the learning modules being created will still be a hit with dedicated teachers.

How will AI tools such as ChatGPT shape teaching and learning? 
ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that has dominated the headlines of late, has been labelled as a transformational force in academia. How are York faculty harnessing this powerful tool?