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Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair of Undergraduate Teaching Excellence


To imagine a 21st-century model of higher education that graduates citizens and leaders who are dedicated to the values of a just, civil society, and are thereby equipped to navigate a complex global landscape.

Dr. Jessica Riddell, Mr. Stephen A. Jarislowsky

and Mr. Michael Goldbloom

The Jarislowsky Chair builds capacities in teaching excellence, designs curiosity-driven approaches to learning, and implements programs that inspire ethical, critical, and creative thinking at across the Maple League, as well as nationally and internationally. As part of this mandate Dr. Riddell has created an Institute of Quality Undergraduate Education (IQUE), a vibrant research-intensive collaboratory that stewards research, design, and knowledge mobilization related to higher education. 



  1. Collaboration as a fundamental process in  building capacities

  2. Outstanding research around higher education and its relationship to extraordinary student experiences

  3. Community engagement and global citizenship as modes of developing civic engagement

The mandate for the endowed chair-ship is to imagine a 21st-century model of higher education that graduates citizens and leaders dedicated to the values of a just, civil society, and are thereby equipped to navigate a complex global landscape. The Jarislowsky Chair designs capacity-building programs for faculty and students, supports innovative teaching, creates strong mentorship networks, and facilitates inter-institutional collaborations across Canada and around the world. By taking a thoughtful, scholarly approach to multi-faceted issues, and by fostering reciprocal relationships and engaging across institutional boundaries, the Chair enhances engagement around teaching and learning embedded in local communities while addressing challenges on a national and international scale.


Responsibilities include designing and implementing comprehensive programming for faculty through mentoring, workshops, visiting speakers, writing retreats, symposia, scholars-in-residence, and other forms of engagement. In addition to building collaborative research and professional development opportunities, the Chair has focused on fostering deeper understandings of experiential learning (simulations, gaming, problem-based learning, authentic learning environments), students as partners (through co-design, collaborative projects, fellowships, reverse mentorship, and co-inquiry) and technology (technology sandboxes, virtual reality classrooms, digital production studios, synchronous/hybrid/asynchronous learning platforms). 


One of the mandates of the Jarislowsky Chairship is to mobilize knowledge in its various forms to diverse partners within the academy and beyond. Read the 2021 Report here: PDF 


Online Learning and Technology Consultants (OLTC)


Program History  

In June 2020, Bishop’s University hired 23 university students as Online Learning and Technology Consultants (OLTC) to help support faculty members prepare for Fall 2020. These undergraduate students are drawn from all five divisions: natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, business, and education. Some have completed one year of study while others are in the final year of their program. The one thing they all share in common is they value relationship-rich learning experiences (cf. Felten and Lambert. 2020). 65 applications were submitted for 23 positions: successful candidates demonstrated exceptional communication skills, creative problem-solving, curiosity, and well-developed social and emotional intelligence — all skills necessary for building successful relationships with faculty as they prepare for teaching in the time of COVID. 

Program Design & Delivery   

This program is the collaborative co-creation of Dr. Jessica Riddell (Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair of Undergraduate Teaching Excellence), Scott Stoddard (Director of Client Services, ITS), and Georges-Philippe Gadoury-Sansfacon (then a 3rd year Honours Undergraduate Student in Math and Psychology, Student Union Vice-President Academic, and a Jarislowsky Student Research Fellow). This program takes a tripartite approach — where a faculty member, student leader, and educational technologist co-construct a Student-Faculty partnership program — that is grounded in the scholarship of teaching and learning literature (SoTL) with design principles drawn from authentic learning (Reeves and Herrington 2002), students as partners (cf. Healy et al. 2014), high-impact practices (Kuh, 2008), and transformative learning and threshold concepts (cf. Meyer and Land 2003). 

Empathetic Design

The program is based on the concept of empathetic design, where the OLTCs develop critical empathy so they are aware of and can appreciate and make visible the discomfort and disorientation for both instructor and learner in a learning environment radically disrupted by a global pandemic. For many students, this is the first time they are aware of pedagogical design, assessment, alignment, community building, classroom management, and other facets of designing and delivering academic courses. 

One of the key competencies in this OLTC Orientation is the ability to engage in critical reflective practice, and to be able to think theoretically and practically about their role as students as partners. Specifically, the OLTCs engage in critical reflective practice around the following concepts: 

  • Self-regulation & accountability 

  • Ability to problem solve and where/who to ask for help

  • Role as a student partner

  • Managing interpersonal dynamics (form, norm, storm, perform)

  • Managing emotional and cognitive labour of the roles of instructor and learner (empathetic design)

Scott Stoddard: Supports the logistics of the OLTC program (hiring, HR, etc), Co-design of OLTC orientation, deliver technical modules on the various components of IT-supported programs, coordinate with the instructional designer, set up and monitor the Moodle pages for the OLTC for orientation and beyond, coordinate the IT teams and report to the Director of IT as well as the Executive Team at Bishop’s, participate in research around the program with a focus on assessment of technical training and support, help vet group leaders, etc. 

Jessica Riddell: Co-design of OLTC orientation, design and deliver critical reflection for the OLTCs, provide feedback on the OLTC daily learning journals, touch base with any of the OLTCs who might have questions about pedagogy or critical reflection, coordinate the five FFMs, participate as the FFM for the Humanities division, work with Heather on assessment of pedagogical design and support, help evaluate FMM experiences and perceptions of value in the simulation, provide feedback to SWG as FFM and as OLTC Co-coordinator, help vet group leaders, help to build and implement the communication strategy (internal and external), etc. 


Georges-Philippe Gadoury-Sansfacon: Co-design of OLTC orientation, work with Jessica and Scott on assessment of student support, help evaluate OLTC experiences and perceptions of value in the simulation, orientation, and for the duration of employment, provide feedback to SWG as student advocate and as OLTC Co-coordinator, help vet group leaders, etc. 

Further Reading & Resources

“On demand” Digital Resources from the Maple League “Better Together” Session

  • Student Feedback for your Course Design Georges-Philippe Gadoury-Sansfaçon (Bishop’s) and Janine Annett (Acadia) shared insights from students on their own campuses and responded to an audience Q&A about course planning. Click here to watch.

  • Exploring Campus Engagement in a Virtual Classroom Mary Sweatman (Acadia) and Janine Annett (Acadia) facilitated conversations about how to redefine community-based learning in a virtual learning environment. Click here to watch.

  • Active Learning Angie Kolen (St. FX) and Josh Read shared active learning strategies and did a ‘how do’ video of one of the attendees’ favorites, a ‘Living Likert Scale’. Click here to watch.

  • Making Space for Teaching & Discomfort: Maple League Executive Director Jessica Riddell co-hosted a ‘Keep Teaching’ Webinar, organized by the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. A synopsis of the webinar, titled ‘Naming, Claiming, and Aiming our Teaching Discomforts’ can be seen here.


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