"Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domain or released with an intellectual property license that allows for free use, adaptation, and distribution” (UNESCO).
OER can include courses, modules, textbooks, multimedia, assessments, and supplementary material like slide banks and workbooks. OER makes education more accessible and affordable for students as well as allowing instructors to modify and customize teaching materials for their particular needs.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of principles “that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn… a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone—“not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs” (CAST). UDL "fosters student independence and autonomy, avoids stigmatizing individual students, and creates a more inclusive and welcoming education setting for everyone” (OHRC, Policy on Accessible Education)
Land Acknowledgement and Protocol
"Toronto is in the 'Dish With One Spoon Territory’. The Dish With One Spoon is a treaty between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee that bound them to share the territory and protect the land. Subsequent Indigenous Nations and peoples, Europeans and all newcomers have been invited into this treaty in the spirit of peace, friendship and respect."
- PDF fileDownload Land Acknowledgement and Protocol
- Learn more: Ryerson Land Acknowledgement - Ryerson Aboriginal Education Council
Truth and Reconciliation
- PDF fileHonouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future: Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, external link
- PDF fileTruth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action, external link
Additional resources for teaching and learning about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada:
- PDF fileEgerton Ryerson, the Residential School System and Truth and Reconciliation, Ryerson University’s Aboriginal Education Council, 2010
- PDF fileResidential Schools: A Reading List
- PDF fileResidential Schools: Resources and Films
- Truth and Reconciliation and Treaties in Ontario, Ontario Government, external link
Video Resources: Reconciliation and Education
- Reconcilation Through Education, external link, Dr. Jan Hare, Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education, University of British Columbia
- History of Indigenous Education, external link, Dr. Jan Hare, Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education, University of British Columbia
- Think Indigenous, external link, Dr. Cindy Blackstock
- Reconciliation and Education, external link, Starleigh Grass, TEDxWestVancouverED
- Reconciliation as Recolonization Talk, external link, Dr. Taiaiake Alfred
The Blanket Exercise
What is the Blanket Exercise? A teaching tool to share the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. Developed in response to the 1996 Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, external link which recommended education on Canadian-Indigenous history as one of the key steps to reconciliation, the Blanket Exercise covers over 500 years of history in a one and a half hour participatory workshop.
- Preview the Blanket Exercise by watching this video, external link.
- Read more about the Blanket Exercise, external link.
Indigenous Knowledge for Education
- Learning from Indigenous Worldviews, external link, Dr. Jan Hare, Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education, University of British Columbia
- What is the Aboriginal Worldview?, external link, Susie Jones
- Different Ways of Knowing the World, external link, Dr. Allan Luke
- First Peoples Principles of Learning, external link, Laura Tait
- Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science, external link, Dr. Gregory Cajete
- Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science, external link, Dr. Leroy Little Bear
- Learning from Story, external link, Dr. Jan Hare, Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education, University of British Columbia
Indigenizing the Academy
- Interview with Dr. Jo-ann Archibald, external link
- What Does an Indigenous University Look Like?, external link, Niigaanwewidam (James) Sinclair
- Indigenizing Post-Secondary Education, external link, Conestoga College
- Indigenizing the University, external link, Cape Breton University
- Post-Secondary Education for Indigenous Peoples, external link, University of Winnipeg
Learning from the Land
- Whose Land Is It Anyway? A Manual for Decolonization, external link [available in PDF and epub]
When students struggle mentally, the impact manifests itself in academic performance. Stress, anxiety, and depression “decrease students’ intellectual and emotional flexibility, weaken their creativity, and undermine their interest in new knowledge, ideas, and experiences” (Douce & Keeling, 2014). Depression can suppress the brains ability to form new memories. Chronic stress has been shown to reduce “the desire to explore new ideas and to solve problems” (Stixrud, 2012).
To support student learning, instructors should aim to create conditions supporting mental wellbeing, and thus learning, through teaching practices. Instructors can benefit from a supportive classroom environment as well—in the words of Jennifer Poole, Associate Professor in Ryerson’s School of Social Work, creating a classroom environment that supports mental well being leads to “more engaged and committed students, better relationships, [and] higher work quality.”
Flexibility is a foundational principle of an inclusive classroom. A movement towards flexible learning supports a more equitable experience of education for all learners. Instructors can create opportunities for flexible education in any of the following areas:
- Time: The pace of a course and the timing of assessments
- Content: The topics covered, the sequence of topics, the types of learning materials, the range of assessment methods
- Instructional Approach/Design: the “social organization of learning,” whether that means group learning, individual or independent learning, and the format of learning resources, and the “origin of learning resources” (instructors, students, library, Internet)
- Delivery: place of study (on campus, off campus, blended, flipped, work-based), opportunities for contact with instructors and/or students, methods of support, and content delivery and communication channels (Palmer, 2011).
Writing in a second or other language at the university level is one of the biggest challenges many English as an Additional Language (EAL) students face. Some students find the process extremely frustrating, as they consider themselves to be competent, confident, and articulate writers in their first language, but find that they do not have the vocabulary or the command of complex grammatical structures that are needed to convey their ideas into English.
The Learning & Teaching Office has collaborated with English Language Support in developing some tips for supporting EAL students in their writing.