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Prof. Andrew Maxwell in Education Panel at Queen’s University School of Business

On August 11th  Dr. Andrew Maxwell, Director of BEST,  joined an Education Panel at Queen’s University Business School in Toronto, to discuss the impact of data analytics on innovation in Universities. Other panelists were Dr. Wendy Cukier (former VPRI Ryerson University),  Dr. Ying Kong (Big data research and entrepreneurship education at Tsinghua University, China) and Eva Reddington (Mitacs).

The panel focused on the impact of data analytics in universities, and discussed how it would impact multiple aspects of universities, from how they recruit, to how they predict student performance.

And as an educator, and a technologist, Dr. Maxwell shared some controversial insights, highlighting the potential positive impact of data analytics on students educational experience, and the potential disruptive impact that such technologies might have on universities themselves.  He highlighted the potential for disrupting universities due to technological advances in broadband access, low cost devices and advances in big data/data analytics.

He also provided insights into how student education will be improved based on data driven decision making, access to lifelong learning and changing professor roles, to mentoring from content delivery. As he noted the combination of new technologies and novel business models, is a prescription for disruption, which will have a profound impact on students and institutions in the next five years.


You can download his full presentation here:

Lassonde to Participate in Ontario’s Innovation-Enabled Workplace Initiative

The BEST Lab at Lassonde has received funding from the Ontario Government to work on developing an Innovation-Enabled Workforce for Ontario. The project brings together an inter-disciplinary leadership team of experts in both workplace innovation and educational program design.

The goal of this new program is to provide every student in Ontario’s higher education system with experiential learning opportunities to develop their innovation skills, knowledge and mindsets. This is being accomplished in partnership with innovation leaders from Ontario organizations and with innovative educators from other Ontario higher education institutions.

The director of this new initiative is Prof. Maxwell, who is also the Director of the BEST program at Lassonde. It is also co-directed by Dr. Thomas Carey, co-Director of the project and the Lassonde School’s new Executive-in-Residence for Teaching and Learning Innovation.

“Our ultimate goal is to provide every student in Ontario higher education with experiential learning opportunities to develop their Innovation skills, knowledge and mindsets. And we are doing this in partnership with innovation leaders from Ontario organizations (initially three corporate and three public sector) and with innovative educators from other Ontario higher education institutions (currently four universities and three community colleges).”

In addition to hosting the project team, York is also involved as a Workplace Partner.

“One of our key ideas is to treat our teaching and learning environments in higher education as workplaces for learning”, says Dr. Thomas Carey, “Our students will be adapting research-informed learning practices in their work and partnering with faculty as contributors to research and innovation on teaching and learning.”

Those experiences will lead into capstone innovation projects in work-integrated-learning with our workplace partners.

Plans for future development of this new program include:

  • Collaboration to create an initial specification of the workplace innovation capability that higher ed can enable students to develop for their careers and life roles, now and in the future.
  • Building of adaptable learning resources to foster the capabilities within higher education programs, and
  • Testing and revising learning resources, including adaptation by academic and workplace partners.

Below is a list of participating workplace and academic partners:

Workplace Partners

Emily Moore, Hatch Engineering; Mississauga ON

Karel Vredenburg, IBM Canada; Markham ON

Andrea Ross, Shopify; Ottawa ON

Dhaval Shaw, Bank of Canada; Ottawa ON

Danah Beseiso, CMHC; Ottawa ON

Oswald Zachariah, OMAFRA; Guelph ON

Academic Partners

Carol McAulay, York University; Toronto ON

David Potter, McMaster University; Hamilton ON

Eileen DeCourcy, Humber College; Toronto ON

Tania Del Matto, University of Waterloo; Waterloo ON

Colin Furness, University of Toronto; Toronto ON

Richard Wiggers, Mohawk College; Hamilton ON

Kate Carter, Wilfrid Laurier University; Waterloo ON

David Trick, David Trick and Associates

Evaluation Partners

Cathexis Consulting