Local Government students are working to solve pressing policy and administrative challenges with the City of Sarnia. Policies include cannabis control, updating the local noise bylaw, and a communications plan for telephone and internet voting; 17 graduate students in the London university’s Local Government Program are tackling how to make them work. Having another set of eyes is going to free up time for city staff, said Sarnia Deputy Clerk James Jenkins, and potentially give city officials different perspectives to consider. [Read More]
Dr. Jerald Sabin, SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellow in Political Science at Western, has co-authored a new paper with Dr. Andrea Olive in PS: Political Science & Politics 51 (1): 183-189, entitled "Slack: Adopting Social-Networking Platforms for Active Learning".
According to the abstract: "Online learning in postsecondary institutions has increased dramatically across the United States and Canada. Although research demonstrates the benefits of online learning for student success, instructors face challenges in facilitating communication, delivering course content, and navigating outdated and cumbersome technologies. The authors examine the use of a free third-party platform called Slack as a tool to facilitate better communication among students and faculty, enable the delivery of diverse and dynamic course content, and reach students in an online course that supports both independent and collaborative learning. The authors present a case study of Slack’s use in an online second-year environmental politics course taught at a large Canadian public university. There is a significant and growing literature on how to best engage students in online learning, including active and social learning models as promising approaches to digital teaching. The authors argue that using collaborative social technologies such as Slack—which both replicates and integrates the online and social-media environments that students already inhabit—can assist faculty in meeting their pedagogical goals online. The article documents the instructors’ experience in managing discussion and involving students in their online learning through active learning exercises. Best practices are examined." Download the paper here.
Professor Salim Mansur has written a new book titled The Qur'an Problem and Islamism: Reflections of a Dissident Muslim. This book is about religion and politics, about Muslims and Islam, and the internal debate within the world of Islam about Islamic reform and what it entails. Mansur discusses the difference between Islam, as a world religion within the Abrahamic tradition of monotheism, and Islamism, as a political ideology and a theology of jihad, and how historically Islam as a religion was turned into the ideology of Islamism, or political Islam. The sacred text of Islam is the Qur’an, and the challenge of any text lies in how it is read, understood, and practiced. [Read More]
Kenny Ie successfully completed his PhD, "Prime Ministers and Public Expectations: A Study of Institutional Change”, supervised by Professor Cris de Clercy. Congratulations Kenny!