Edubytes – 2023 in review

This month, the Edubytes editorial team looks back on the resources, articles and stories that stood out across the year in teaching and learning. The Edubytes editorial team consists of Sunah Cho, Manuel Dias, Will Engle, Stephen Michaud, Jeff Miller, and Jason Myers.

2023 in review

As we begin the new year, many of us tend to reflect on the year that’s been.

Looking back at this year’s Edubytes, we noticed three themes that resonated with our readership: GenAI in teaching and learning, course and assessment design, and Indigenous learning resources. In this issue, we share articles, resources and thoughts around these themes, as well as other articles that particularly resonated with the Edubytes audience. We hope you enjoy revisiting them – or diving into what you may have missed.

From all of us on the team, we thank you for giving Edubytes a read every month, and we wish you all the best for the year to come.

GenAI in teaching and learning

The rapid growth of Generative AI over the past year had a significant impact on higher education and various aspects of teaching and learning. Shared in the March and October editions, this topic brought important considerations on academic integrity, assessment design, privacy, ethics and universal design. Numerous training sessions and resources were developed to help the UBC community navigate the GenAI era.

The CTLT’s GenAI website

The CTLT supports faculty, staff, and graduate students in the transformative new era of pedagogy and generative AI. The website houses resources on GenAI in teaching and learning, with new ones added regularly, including workshops and experiences shared during the GenAI Symposium, Academic Integrity Week, the CTLT Winter Institute, 30+30 workshop series, drop-in sessions and presentations.

Browse resources

Assigning AI: Seven approaches to students with prompts

In this article, Mollick and Mollick argue that AI tools can help students generate ideas, organize thoughts, and revise drafts. They identify seven approaches to use AI as a tutor, coach, mentor, teammate, tool, simulator, and student. These approaches offer various benefits and risks for students, and the authors stress the importance of teaching students how to use AI tools ethically and responsibly. Instructors should provide clear guidelines and expectations for using AI tools in assignments. Students must cite sources and acknowledge AI tool contributions. The article gives practical suggestions for instructors to incorporate AI tools into writing assignments. Teaching ethical and responsible AI tool use can help students develop critical thinking, creativity, and communication skills.

Learn more (PDF)

Academic Integrity and GenAI – Q&A

Conversations around the impacts of GenAI tools are ongoing as their capabilities continue to evolve. New questions and implications arise with every new update. To increase awareness and provide information to UBC instructors and students, the Academic Integrity Hub assembled a list of important things to know about the use of generative AI tools in the classroom. Structured as a Q&A, this list will evolve with time, and we encourage you to share your thoughts on what should be addressed.

Academic integrity and GenAI


Courses and assessment design

A group of students talking to one another, outdoors.

Course and assessment design is a critical aspect of university teaching that directly impacts the quality of teaching and learning. It involves the strategic planning and structuring of course content, learning activities, and evaluation methods to ensure they align with the course objectives and learning outcomes. The following resources, shared in the January, May and August editions, provide useful tips on how to create a learning-centered syllabus, adopt universal design for learning guidelines, and how instructional designers can support these efforts.

The inclusive syllabus

An inclusive syllabus emphasizes the importance of engaging with and valuing differences and incorporates equity and inclusion into key course information, such as course policies, readings, assignments and resources. With this resource, understand why inclusive syllabi are important, learn how to write one, and find examples to build from.

Learn more (PDF)

The Universal Design for Learning Guidelines

The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Guidelines are a tool used in the implementation of UDL, a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn. They offer a set of concrete suggestions that can be applied to any discipline or domain to ensure that all learners can access and participate in meaningful, challenging learning opportunities.

UDL guidelines

Instructional designers as institutional agents of change

The article emphasizes the crucial role of instructional designers in higher education. It highlights their unique position to facilitate organizational change through systems thinking, a methodology that analyzes relationships and interdependencies within an educational system. These professionals work collaboratively with various stakeholders to identify and implement changes in learning and development, helping institutions adapt to evolving needs and technologies. Their role is increasingly significant in navigating contemporary educational challenges.

Read the article


Indigenous learning resources

Orange Shirt Day logo

Throughout the year, we shone a light on Indigenous research, resources, and online learning programs. In the September edition dedicated to Orange Shirt Day, the CTLT Indigenous Initiatives team shared context and resources for understanding the ongoing impacts of the residential school system, to honour Survivors, their families, and celebrate Indigenous communities’ strength and resilience.

Indigenous research and resources

The CTLT Indigenous Initiatives team creates resources exploring the impact of knowledge gaps, social location, and place on learning, funded by various UBC grants. These resources, used in classrooms and online, result from collaborative, ethical, evidence-based, and reciprocal research with local Indigenous communities and scholars. They utilize video and online platforms for accessibility and public use, with acknowledgment requested for contributors. Topics include land acknowledgements, classroom issues, foundational knowledge, UBC histories, inquiries, names, and geographical context. The resources aim to be accessible, collaborative, ethical, evidence-based, and reciprocal.

Browse the resources

Indigenous Learning Pathway online training

Indigenous Learning Pathways (ILP) is a multi-module online training program currently in development that is being led in collaboration between the CTLT Indigenous Initiatives and the Orientations & Onboarding program in Central HR. With a carefully curated spotlight of in-person and online resources for Indigenous-focused learning already available at UBC, ILP is designed for staff and faculty to become more engaged with Indigenous knowledges and perspectives. The program is set to launch in early 2024.

Learn more


Other popular teaching and learning topics

How to convince students to use effective study strategies

How can instructors integrate effective study habits into their courses? This article provides an overview of a recent study by Trent W. Maurer and Emily Cabay where they investigated strategies for educating students about effective study approaches by integrating specific evidence-backed strategies directly into their course. Focusing on spaced retrieval practice and successive relearning, the authors describe what they did in their class and offer suggestions and resources for how other instructors might utilize similar approaches in their own teaching.

Effective study strategies

The top 10 micro-credentials checklist

Does your micro-credential clearly articulate the specific skills, capabilities and knowledge to be gained upon completion? Does it provide meaningful feedback to learners? Contact North has created a short checklist for those commissioning, developing, or delivering micro-credentials. The checklist is based upon a comprehensive literature review and covers specific requirements of micro-credentials such as relevance, credibility, and quality.

View the checklist

For frictionless syllabus access, some professors bypass the college

A syllabus is often considered a contract between an instructor and their students. It communicates how the course will be taught, outlines how students will be evaluated and promotes the values of an institution or an individual instructor. To improve student engagement and retention, some professors created public, accessible, mobile-friendly websites that include traditional syllabus ingredients along with humanizing elements that ensure students feel supported. This article shares the point of view of such instructors and provides tips for others to create their own.

Learn more