Academic Director’s April Update

Handling challenges with academic integrity and AI. UBCO Teaching Fellow awards deadline extended to April 14th and planning for the re-designed Honour Roll recognizing teaching excellence.

Technology is a powerful tool in education, and our students require fluency in the latest technologies, including AI and data analysis. However, the ongoing improvement of generative AI such as ChatGPT-4 fundamentally challenges how we assess students. There is no silver-bullet technology that resolves these issues. Rather, instructors must determine the effect on their assessments and possible changes given the ability of students to access AI-generated content. This is especially important as many major assessments, such as midterm and final exams, may now be delivered online or remotely. Recently, a CTL working group released some recommendations regarding computer exams, and improving the ability to offer these exams efficiently and effectively while ensuring academic integrity is a key goal. The CTLT at UBCV has released a resource related to assessments and AI. The CTL can help with reviewing and modifying assessments during future course planning. We are available to work with instructors to understand the challenges and how to mitigate issues.  

The deadline for the new UBC Okanagan Teaching Fellow program recognizing individuals that broadly contribute to our teaching and learning community and CTL initiatives is extended until April 14th. Ideally, there is a Teaching Fellow from every Faculty, so please apply or encourage your colleagues to apply. Teaching Fellows are recognized annually based on their current, ongoing, and planned work, and recipients receive $2000 to fund their teaching related activities. The evaluation committee requires two faculty members. Please email Ramon Lawrence,, if you are interested in helping. 

A Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) event will be held during Celebrate Learning Week on Friday, May 12th from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. This session will allow instructors to present and discuss their scholarship of teaching and learning research. It is open to all instructors with specific focus on instructors at UBC Okanagan and instructors at other institutions in the Okanagan region.  The call for submissions is open to SoTL research in all areas with specific focus on assessment techniques, innovative technologies and learning activities, Indigenous instruction, and accessibility. The format is short 5 minute presentations followed by Q+A and discussion. The goal is to build a community working on SoTL and be inspired by others with excellent ideas that instructors can use in their own pedagogy. If you are interested in presenting your work to the community, email Ramon Lawrence, or the CTL, 

The re-deployment of the Teaching Honour Roll is moving forward for this year. The evaluation process will be concurrent with the merit/PSA process. Each Faculty (and School/Department within a Faculty) will be allocated a number of Honour Roll awards to distribute based on the criteria and their own internal review process. We look forward to recognizing our excellent instructors. 

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