AVPA SoTL Grant Summary 2023-2024

Integrating Career Preparation into the Academic Curriculum
at U of G


Don Bruce | Nicola Edwards | Sobia Iqbal - $10,000

A photograph of Don Bruce
A photograph of Don Bruce
A photograph of Sobia Iqbal

There is frequently a disconnect in university curricula: though students are exposed to transferable skills throughout their programs, they often do not always understand the transferability of skills and knowledge acquired in the classroom in relation to possible career pathways. After five iterations of the Arts and Science Career Conference in the Bachelor of Arts and Science Program (BAS), the integration of the online Conference has created considerable data provided by students on what they have learned. We will analyze data from our pilot project, conduct focus groups, produce a report, and use this along with three years of experience to propose to other programs an adaptable model which they can also use to bring career preparation directly into their curricula. This will also include creating a website to house the archived record sessions for access by the U of G community

A photograph of Kerry Ritchie
A photograph of Aron Fazekas

Instructor and student values of plain language writing competencies in the wake of generative A.I.


Kerry Ritchie | Aron Fazekas - $10,000

At the University of Guelph, ‘Communicating’ is identified as one of five Senate approved University-wide learning outcomes. An important skill within the domain of communication, particularly for STEM students, is the ability to take complex or technical publications from the primary literature or other sources and re-communicate an effective summary to the non-specialist. While instructors consistently place a high value on all communication skills, students may value various communication competencies differently, depending on their perceived skill in the competency, and the degree to which they think it may be important in the short and long term. With the recent sudden awareness of the use and potential impact of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), a significant disconnect between instructor's and student's perceptions and values of creating plain language summaries may result. This research will examine the ways students and instructors value skills that have formed a core component of university outcomes for decades but are now readily replicated by AI.