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Manitoba Post-Secondary News Roundup

A minimalist room featuring an open door with bright light pouring through the opening.

The University of Manitoba is offering a $10,000 grant to faculty, instructors, and librarians for the creation, adaptation, and adoption of open educational resources (OERs). These OERs have open-copyright licenses, allowing free sharing, customization, and use by instructors and students.

The “Advance Open Ed 2023-24” program aims to make university education more affordable and accessible by supporting the development and implementation of OERs. Additionally, an OER Lab will provide practical assistance to grant recipients, offering services such as map creation, copy-editing, curriculum development, and more.

The university will also fund attendance at OER conferences, and a speaker series will explore open educational practices. This initiative aligns with student priorities for affordable education and access to OERs.

Please note that although the application deadline was September 29, 2023, applications are being accepted until all funds are allocated.

Photo of internationally acclaimed Egyptian-Canadian novelist and journalist Omar El Akkad.

The University of Winnipeg is hosting the Jake MacDonald Writer in Residence, internationally acclaimed Egyptian-Canadian novelist and journalist Omar El Akkad, from September 18 to December 12, with the program taking place online.

In addition to his residency, El Akkad will be delivering a reading and Q&A session on October 12 at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom.

While El Akkad’s expertise may not directly involve educational pedagogy, his skills in writing, research, and storytelling can help inspire Manitoba authors in the development of OERs that are engaging, informative, and accessible for higher education students.

The Jake MacDonald Writer-in-Residence program offers a unique online mentorship opportunity for both students and the broader Manitoba literary community, fostering craft-based discussions and promoting Canadian writing internationally.

The program is made possible through the Jake MacDonald Writers’ Fund and Dr. Angus Reid’s founding gift.

A patient meets with a QDoc doctor virtually, via a laptop.

Manitoba-based startup QDoc has developed an online application that connects patients with doctors in real-time.

Launched in May 2022, the platform uses a custom algorithm to match patients with available doctors, allowing for encrypted online appointments. Currently, 90 doctors across various specialties are using the service, and it is expected to serve 50,000 patients in Manitoba in 2023.

QDoc has also addressed the healthcare needs of underserved communities, including First Nations communities and unsheltered individuals in Winnipeg. The startup collaborated with RRC Polytech students on software development projects, leveraging the ACE Project Space for experiments, including creating a scheduling assistant and integrating optical character recognition for patient health cards. This collaboration with students has proven beneficial for QDoc’s growth and development.

The co-founders plan to expand their services in Manitoba in the coming years. Dr. Norman Silver, QDoc co-founder, highlights the impact QDoc has had: ‘Patients who may have had to drive hours to see a doctor, with QDoc that really isn’t necessary.’

Copenhagen transportation: a small crowd of people walking and biking past one of the historic locations in Copenhagen.

A research team from Brandon, in collaboration with residents, global experts in Copenhagen, and Canadian specialists, is working on enhancing public spaces, including parks and pathways, for non-motorized modes of transportation like walking and biking.

The “Walking the Walk in Smaller Cities” team, comprising representatives from Brandon University, the City of Brandon, and Prairie Mountain Health, has conducted surveys and focus groups to understand how Brandon residents use and want to use public spaces. They will now take these insights to a workshop in Copenhagen to develop innovative solutions with global experts, focusing on making Brandon a more livable city.

The project seeks to prioritize people and offer choices that promote community health and sustainability. The team will also learn from the Danish example, which emphasizes putting people first in urban planning and transportation. So far the project’s research has identified themes related to safety, accessibility, meeting human needs, and community engagement, and the team plans to implement selected projects to improve the city’s livability.

Like OERs, the enhancement of public spaces shares a common goal of making essential resources more accessible to the communities who rely on them, fostering inclusivity, participation, and the overall well-being of their respective communities. We look forward to hearing more as this project progresses!

Elders present Michael Cameron with a buffalo skull.

On October 5th in Dauphin, Assiniboine Community College took on the responsibility of hosting and safeguarding a buffalo skull from Chief Derek Nepinak of Minegoziibe Anishinabe (Pine Creek First Nation) in a ceremonial feast.

The buffalo skull is shared with Assiniboine to bring positive energy, resilience, safety, strength, and spirituality to students, staff, and faculty at the Parkland Campus. The ceremony, facilitated by Carol Stewart, Director at the Parkland Campus, featured the North Wolf Ojibway Drum group from Ebb & Flow First Nation, a prayer and smudge by Elder Reg Nepinak, and Chief Derek Nepinak’s eloquent explanation of the buffalo’s significance and its role in supporting students on their educational journey.

The buffalo skull will be accessible at the Parkland Campus for a year, benefiting the entire campus community.

Woman on laptop with open textbooks beside her.

Explore this selection of articles curated by The Manitoba Flexible Learning HUB about the growing adoption of open educational resources, innovative strategies for fostering student skepticism, the importance of copyright exceptions in Canadian education, bridging the digital equity gap through university Wi-Fi networks, and how students are using unofficial online backchannels for classes.

Dive into climate pedagogy with insights on addressing ‘climate anxiety’ in students and creating climate-conscious colleges. Plus, find additional resources for incorporating technology into your teaching practice, including meaningful synchronous and asynchronous discussion design, guiding principles for technology use, and tips for selecting the right teaching technologies.

Stay informed and inspired with these collection of educational insights!

National OER Headlines

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is witnessing a shift towards open education resources (OERs), freely accessible teaching and learning materials.

Student Senator Mathew Ho has noted a decrease in the requirement for expensive textbooks, with more professors moving course materials to online platforms, making education more accessible.

Kamil Kanji, VP academic and university affairs of the AMS, highlights the significance of OERs in reducing the financial burden on students. The AMS and student senators are advocating for greater OER integration, and UBC has made progress in funding and supporting OER development. Dr. Christina Hendricks emphasizes the benefits of OERs in improving accessibility and student outcomes, despite faculty-level challenges.

In Ho’s words, “Advocacy is a marathon, not a race.”

Campus Manitoba is a consortium of Manitoba’s public universities and colleges. Through collaborative projects and shared services, we facilitate student mobility and expand access to post-secondary programs for students in Manitoba. In addition to, our websites include, and

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