TLI Plenary Panel Sessions 2023

TLI 2023 Conference Banner - May 17-18, 2023 - Registration is now Open


Plenary Panel Session Descriptions & Panelist Bios 

To access panel session recordings, please use the following links: Panel Session 1, Panel Session 2, Panel Session 3

Panel Session 1: The Future is Now! Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education 
May 17th, 8:45 AM -10:00 AM
Peter Clark Hall Centre

Moderated by Martin Williams, Director, The Office of Teaching and Learning

In this panel session, we will explore how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming higher education. Panelists will discuss a range of perspectives informed by their experiences and areas of expertise in response to prompts and audience questions. The panelists will discuss the implications of AI's use, including various ways it can affect teaching and learning, its potential, its limitations, ethical implications, and associated risks. We will discuss possible future directions of AI in higher education.


A photograph of Jacob Claessens

Jacob Claessens

Jacob Claessens is a systems and computing engineering graduate, and he's currently finalizing his thesis in the Masters of Science program on artificial intelligence from the University of Guelph. His research focuses on embodied AI. He has worked with industry partners on first-person perspective vision and control systems that leverage machine learning, primarily looking at the use case of robots intelligently navigating a home and finding objects. Both the research of novel learning architectures and applications have interested him through his master's. Jacob also founded an artificial intelligence company named Oriole AI, and launched a phone application that can turn text into speech using the camera. Artificial intelligence enables people to listen to their documents with podcast-level voice quality. The company plans to leverage Artificial Intelligence further to power new natural user interfaces for people.

A photograph of Kevin Matsui

Kevin Matsui

Kevin Matsui (MBA, P.Eng.) is the Managing Director of the Centre for Advancing Responsible and Ethical Artificial Intelligence (CARE-AI) at the University of Guelph. He leads efforts to grow the Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Deep Learning and Data Science community on campus at U of G and ensuring that it is well connected and respected externally. Kevin has over 30 years experience in High Performance Computing (HPC) and the software industry. 
CARE-AI helps focus research and training in AI at U of G. It uniquely combines ethics, governance, and social responsibility with technical leadership. CARE-AI supports academic programs and training programs that embed AI ethics and the responsible usage of AI in addition to technology. Beyond post-secondary students, CARE-AI is extending its reach to high school students, mid-career workers, entrepreneurs and even seniors through novel AI training programs and delivery methods.

A photograph of Christa Morrison

Christa Morrison

Christa Morrison (M.Phil - Science and Technology Journalism) has a background in higher education teaching, educator development, and digital competence & confidence building. 

She joined McMaster University 6 years ago as Digital Pedagogy Specialist at the Paul. R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching. There she focused on Technology Enhanced Teaching and Digital Learning. After being named McMaster Women in Tech Changemaker in May 2020, she filled the role of Business Systems Specialist in the central information technology department (UTS). In this role she supports faculty, researchers, students, and staff with the adoption and use of collaboration and productivity cloud technologies. Christa is part of various global panels (2023 Educause Teaching and Learning Horizon Report), research projects (News Futures 2035), non-profit initiatives (Technovation), and online forums (Gartner, Cuccio, DigiLearn) focused on the impact of emerging technologies and trends on education, and public interest journalism.  She is a sought-after judge and evaluator of innovation projects in technology, education, and journalism.

This year she is co-moderator of Microsoft Canada's EdTech Series where faculty and higher education leaders will share strategies and tactics to thrive as learning organizations in the AI era.

A photograph of Graham Taylor

Dr. Graham Taylor

Graham Taylor (PhD) is a Canada Research Chair and Professor of Engineering at the University of Guelph. He co-directs the University of Guelph Centre for Advancing Responsible and Ethical AI and is the Research Director of the Vector Institute for AI. He has co-organized the annual CIFAR Deep Learning Summer School, and trained more than 80 students and researchers on AI-related projects. In 2016 he was named as one of 18 inaugural CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars. In 2018 he was honoured as one of Canada's Top 40 under 40. In 2019 he was named a Canada CIFAR AI Chair. He spent 2018-2019 as a Visiting Faculty member at Google Brain, Montreal.

Graham co-founded Kindred, which was featured at number 29 on MIT Technology Review's 2017 list of smartest companies in the world. He is the Academic Director of NextAI, a non-profit accelerator for AI-focused entrepreneurs.


Panel Session 2: Now What? Artificial Intelligence and Assessments
May 17th, 1:30-2:45pm
Peter Clark Hall Centre

Moderated by Christie Stewart, Educational Developer, Office of Teaching and Learning

Join us for a dynamic and engaging panel session on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its implications for assessments in higher education. Our panelists will explore the potentials and pitfalls of using AI as part of assessments, and impacts on academic integrity. They will share their unique and broad perspectives, as students and educators, about the intersection of AI and assessment from practical and philosophical lenses. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in a discussion about the potential of AI in assessment.


A photograph of Kelsy Ervin

Kelsy Ervin

Kelsy (she/her) is a PhD candidate in Neuroscience and has worked as a writing consultant TA for the Library’s Writing Services for the past four years. In her capacity as a writing TA, she is familiar with many types of writing across the disciplines and, more importantly, is familiar with the aspects of writing that students struggle with the most. She is interested in the impact ChatGPT and other AI language tools will have for undergraduate students on the types of assignments they receive and how their writing is assessed. For academic professionals, she is interested in the implications AI writing tools have for academic publishing, especially in the sciences. There is great potential for AI language tools to act as assistive technologies and support equity, diversity and inclusion in higher education. However, the introduction of this technology should prompt undergraduate course instructors should consider both the purpose and assessment of written assignments and should be carefully considered in the context of academic publishing.

A photograph of Carson Johnston - photo taken by Naeco Studio 1

Carson Johnston

Carson Johnston is a fifth-year Bachelor of Arts Honours student majoring in philosophy and minoring in marketing and will be starting a PhD in Philosophy this fall. She has held numerous leadership positions during her time at the University of Guelph, including but not limited to her role as the president of the Society of Undergraduate Philosophers and journal manager/creator of Flora Undergraduate Philosophy Journal. Carson frequently presents at undergraduate and professional conferences in Canada and the United States and has published research in two undergraduate philosophy journals. 
Carson’s philosophical interests include second-personal ethics, the ethics of artificial intelligence (AI), social epistemology, and the philosophy of science. Presently, Carson is developing research on the ethical implications of information technologies and machine learning algorithms. Particularly, the moral consequences of opaque and unexplainable AI systems, especially relating to an individual’s epistemic and moral agency. Carson additionally explores the influence of technology and education on epistemic and moral agency within feminist philosophy of mathematics (with emphasis on public mathematics curricula) as well as broader considerations pertaining to acceptable and unacceptable uses of emerging technologies for students and the pedagogical implications that result. 

A photograph of Dr. Kerry Ritchie

Dr. Kerry Ritchie

Kerry Ritchie (PhD) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences and the director of the College of Biological Sciences Office of Educational Scholarship and Practice (COESP) at the University of Guelph. Dr. Ritchie holds a teaching intensive position, with an active research program in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Her research focuses on the prevalence and patterns of Authentic Assessment across the complete curriculum, with a particular interest in the potential to scale high impact educational practices to meet the current and emerging realities of large classrooms. Dr. Ritchie commonly adopts a students-as-partners approach to her teaching and scholarship activities and is interested in exploring practical strategies that instructors can use in their classroom to enhance evaluative judgement – a student’s ability to judge quality work - as a lifelong transferable skill.   

A photograph of Brandon Sabourin

Brandon Sabourin

Brandon Sabourin (he/him) is an Educational Developer in the Office of Teaching and Learning, where he focuses on curriculum review and development, primarily supporting the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) at the University of Guelph. Brandon works as part of a team assessing student learning experiences in relation to program learning outcomes and competencies. He facilitates data-driven curriculum improvement practices designed to advance the impact of OVC on veterinary medical education. Brandon also supports faculty members with course design and scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) research.
Prior to joining the Office of Teaching and Learning, Brandon was an Instructional Designer and Educational Developer at Red River College Polytechnic, where he supported curriculum development and flexible course delivery. Brandon is passionate about teaching and has taught several courses as a sessional instructor at the University of Windsor, St. Clair College, and RRC Polytech. He regularly teaches courses on teaching in higher education and educational technology.

Brandon’s research interests include deep and surface approaches to learning, SoTL, and effective feedback practices. His PhD research explored the educational development needs of sessional and contingent faculty informed by their approaches to teaching. Brandon holds BA (English Literature), BEd, and MEd (Curriculum Studies) degrees from the University of Windsor.

Panel Session 3: What Path Do We Take? The Future of Higher Education
May 18th, 2:45-4:00pm
MacNaughton 105 and Teams (hybrid session)

Moderated by Byron Sheldrick, Associate Vice-President (Academic)

What will the future of teaching and learning look like?   This panel discussion will explore the future of higher education, giving panelists the opportunity to share their thoughts and informed opinions from their area of expertise on the changing landscape of higher education, what they see as upcoming trends, as well as the challenges facing higher education and potential solutions to those challenges. The panelists' forward-looking perspectives will include expertise on digital and open learning, Indigenization and decolonization, equity, anti-racism, and quality assurance. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with the panelists to gain insight into their perspectives about higher education in the years to come.


A photograph of Dr. Jade Ferguson

Dr. Jade Ferguson

Dr. Jade Ferguson is the Associate Dean of Academic Equity and Anti-Racism. Ferguson has been awarded several grants and awards, including from the Learning Enhancement Fund and the EDI Enhancement Fund, to establish programs and initiatives that address the academic needs of underrepresented students. Most recently, she led the development of U of G’s new Black Canadian Studies minor program that will be launched this fall, working in collaboration with the Guelph Black Students Association. A core faculty member in the sexualities, genders, and social change program in the College of Arts and the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, she is known for creating inclusive learning environments with community-engaged components. She received the College of Arts Faculty Teaching Excellence Award in 2017 and 2021. 

Ferguson’s research focuses on Black Canadian literature and art, segregation narratives and the Civil Rights movement, and protest literature and art. She earned a PhD and a MA in English at Cornell University and a BA in English at the University of British Columbia.  

A photograph of Patricia Tersigni

Patricia Tersigni

Patricia Tersigni is currently the Director, Academic Programs and Policy in the Office of Quality Assurance at the University of Guelph where she engages with faculty, staff, students, and administrators to create new academic programs and support curriculum review and development. With over 20 years of progressive leadership and management experience, she is passionate about the power of higher education to transform lives and communities and strives to affect positive local and global change. Patricia is a two-time U of G graduate from the College of Arts and believes engagement is key to a healthy and thriving community. A long-time volunteer, she has served most recently as a member of the University's Arts Research Centre (ARC) Advisory Committee and as the Chair of the Guelph-Wellington-Dufferin United Way Campaign.  

A photograph of Dr. Mary Wilson

Dr. Mary Wilson

Dr. Mary Wilson is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada.  She holds a Doctorate of Education in Theory and Policy Studies from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT). Mary is an award-winning educator, researcher and administrator who has served as a senior leader in Ontario colleges and universities, most recently as the Vice Provost, Teaching and Learning at Laurier.  She is an alumni of the University of Guelph and previously worked as an Educational Developer at Guelph and as the founding Manager of the University’s Supported Learning Groups (SLGs) program.  Her research and practice interests focus on the study of postsecondary education and the intersections of system, institution, curriculum, faculty and student development efforts that function to enable and disable change.